I know what you are thinking: “If there really are 10 benefits happy crafters enjoy, why would they seldom reveal them?”
That is what I thought, too. I have asked crafters what they get out of their craft, but they usually shrug and say, “It’s something to do; or It gets me off the phone; or I like puttering around in craft stores.”
Really? A craft is not just something you do to keep from being bored.
A craft can be defined as an “activity that involves making something in a skillful way by using your hands” or “a job or activity that requires special skill.”
“craft.” Merriam-Webster.com. 2019.
https://www.merriam-webster.com (10 August 2019).
The definition alone provides a very good reason to enjoy a craft, but other reasons exist, too – and many crafters enjoy their crafts more once they understand the benefits. For example:
“Crafts make us feel rooted, give us a sense of belonging, and connect us with our history. Our ancestors used to create these crafts out of necessity, and now we do them for fun, to make money and to express ourselves.”
~ Phyllis George
Phyllis George (Miss America 1971, Miss Texas 1970, an American actress, a businesswoman, a former sportscaster, and Kentucky’s First Lady from 1979 to 1983) gives us a glimpse into some of the benefits happy crafters enjoy.
The benefits of connecting with history and giving a sense of belonging account for the enjoyment of candle dipping, the craft shown in the photo above. Making candles by dipping requires special skills and much practice, but the girl can imagine she is working with her ancestors, doing for fun and enjoyment what they did out of necessity.
Woodcarving, hand weaving, whittling, spinning wool, leatherwork, knitting, flower arranging, painting, writing, pottery – many crafts can connect us with history.
Even if you hate history, though, you are sure to want the 10 benefits happy crafters enjoy – even though they seldom reveal them.
The 10 Benefits
Here are the 10 benefits in alphabetical order, discussed below the list.
1. ease stress
2. help others
3. improve mental health
4. improve physical health
5. increase happiness
6. nurture children
7. protect brain
8. reduce depression
9. save money
10. strengthen family ties
Have you ever watched a crafter focus intently on carefully producing an object? Such focus can ease stress. You cannot focus on daily tasks and the craft at the same time. Shift your focus to the chosen craft, and that focus can ease stress and help you relax.
Crafters who create something to help others experience joy in the process. Imagine donating a few hours, and supplies, to help children in an orphanage make dolls or cardboard box castles. Think of making thoughtful gifts that will help others. As you give of your time to help others, you help yourself feel satisfaction.
Improve Mental Health
Take a craft such as art. American Art Therapy Association says. “… (crafters) use art media, the creative process, and the resulting artwork to explore their feelings, reconcile emotional conflicts, foster self-awareness, manage behavior and addictions, develop social skills, improve reality orientation, reduce anxiety…..”
Improve Physical Health
You have probably heard the proverb: “A merry heart does good like a medicine.” Proverbs 17:22. Happy crafters smile and laugh. Those actions, in turn, boost your immune system and even relieve pain. Find a craft you enjoy, laugh while working on it, and you can improve your physical health.
Do not confuse laughter and happiness. Laughter is a sound, but happiness is a feeling of being contented and satisfied. When we become thoroughly absorbed in our craft, our brains release the happiness hormone dopamine. Work on your craft regularly, and your store of dopamine can grow, increasing your happiness.
Teachers, parents, grandparents, and others use crafts to educate children and further their development. Children learn cooking skills when they bake cookies with Grandma; building skills when they build a tree house with Father; and improve manual dexterity as they use new tools and methods completing educational crafts with teachers.
Experts tell us that crafting can protect a brain from damage caused by aging. Scientists are beginning to study leisure activities’ impact on the brain… and crafting could reduce your chances of developing mild cognitive impairment by 30% to 50%, according to a 2011 study published in The Journal of Neuropsychiatry.
The British Journal of Occupational Therapy published a study of more than 3,500 knitters. That study showed that 81% of crafters who said they had depression reported feeling less depressed after knitting. More than half said they felt “very happy.” It turns out that the same happiness hormone discussed above helps reduce depression.
Happy crafters benefit from saving money. Of course, crafting is no longer a necessary pastime, so it is no longer cheaper than premade products. However, you can still afford to make wonderful gifts for yourself and others. Once you read my blog post, “How to Save Money on Craft Supplies”, you will love this benefit of crafters!
Strengthen Family Ties
Leave all electronic devices in another room and tackle a craft project with your family. Crafting together can strengthen family bonds. Create a wall hanging with the driftwood and seashells gathered on your beach vacation, or a decorative family tree. The best crafters know that designing, cutting, painting, coloring, gluing, etc. bring families closer.
The 10 benefits happy crafters enjoy can be yours in whichever of the five basic types of craft you choose: decorative, fashion, functional, paper, or textile. Share your craft with others and you will spread the benefits.