Craft Consultant! Episode 2: Craft for a Solo Retreat

If you follow me on Instagram then you may have already seen this series! If not then it's pretty simple, you submit your burning craft questions right here at emilymakesstuff.com using the contact form and then I answer it on Sundays in an IGTV video! What kind of questions? Literally anything related to crafts. Whats my favorite material, what was the hardest project I've worked on, what type of glue is the best, where do I shop for fabrics, etc. It's kind of like that episode of Parks and Rec where Ron goes on Joan's show and he's supposed to be answering questions about the park but then he's like ask me about any of my hobbies: woodworking, fishing. It's like that! Ask me about crafts, wholesale, lines sheets, retail, house plants, dogs, New Orleans, whatever!

What started as a fun IGTV project is now something I'm sharing on YouTube & now on my website so you can find it on whatever platform you like best!

I'm going on a solo retreat and would like a creative project to work on while I'm there. Ideally I would work on it a little bit each of the three days. Do you have any project suggestions?

Let's break this down into smaller sections to talk about! We'll go through materials, project ideas, schedule, and tools.

First up, materials! I know the person who asked this question is someone who does not craft on a regular basis so for this reason I'm going to suggest using clay. And I know I suggested this on the last video as well but it was for the same reason, it's great for beginners because it's affordable and super easy to work with. You can go the same route I suggested in the last episode by using air dry clay or DIYing your own version by mixing up a salt dough recipe. You also have the option of getting an oven bake polymer clay like Sculpey.

Next let's talk through some project ideas. I love the idea of incorporating something from this trip into the project you make. So say for instance if you went on a hike you could forage for a really cool branch and use that as the base for a wall hanging. There's some really gorgeous wall hangings in clay that show all of the phases of the moon. Some are just different geometric shapes. This is where you can really let your mind wander and just play around and find out what you like as you go. Jewelry is always a really popular thing to make from clay. I especially love this because I think it could be really special to wear as a reminder and symbol of the things you learned and goals you set during this retreat. A couple of other good projects are an air plant holder or a tea light holder. Both of these are very simple shapes and easy to replicate. 

When choosing a creative project for a retreat you want something that is going to be really simple. We want this project to be soothing and fun and a chance to let your mind wander so that all your brilliant thoughts come to the surface.

The reason I love all of these projects is it allows a very consistent schedule with whatever you choose. Day 1 cut out your shapes, day 2 paint, and day 3 assemble your project. The only project that doesn't require assembly is the tea light holder but that just means you might want to add another layer or paint or add a protective coat on that third day. That schedule is the most bare bones it can be but of course you have the option to spend much more time on this if you choose. All of the examples I showed in my video were very minimal but you could always search on Pinterest for more elaborate options of each project and even specific tutorials that give you step by step instructions. 

Lastly let's go through some tools you may need

  • clay (duh)
  • something to roll it out with like a rolling pin, wine bottle, or a sturdy glass or mason jar
  • parchment paper for it dry on without sticking
  • sandpaper (optional). Depends on how much you care about the finished surface
  • paints and brushes. Paint pens are also a good option for traveling
  • rope and cording depending on your project like if it's the wall hanging or air plant holder. 
  • hardware and tools if you're doing jewelry. Pliers, wire cutters, jump rings, and chain or all things you may need
  • scissors
  • embellishments like tassels, beads, or bells (optional)

 

Let me know in the comments if you've tried any of these crafts. If you have a burning craft question you'd like me to answer in this series please send it in using the contact form in the main menu. 

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