A to Z of Crafts

Hey all, here's an A-Z of crafts compilation covering some craft favourites, crafty knowledge, a little bit of history, mythology and other ideas. This blog is just a starter for ten, the world of Google provides much more in-depth explanation of each and every craft you could possible imagine. I hope you enjoy the read and it provides you with some inspiration to get crafting - please leave a comment at the bottom and share your favourite crafts.

A. Art or Craft.

There are numerous descriptions on the difference between Art and Craft. Art may be considered as the end product of producing an expression of emotion, it's the output of your creativity. Craft as the act of using skill to mould materials into a new form, producing an object that itself could constitute art or may be a practical item made from an artisan technique. Ie you may craft a metal statue or equally craft a bone handled flint knife.

B. Basket Weaving.

Malleable strips of material can be weaved to form useful items such as baskets, bags, chairs or even shoes. Traditionally fibres from organic materials such as pine and willow have been used to create baskets, a base with 'spokes' (imagine a bike wheel without the outer rim and tyre) is formed. Fibres are then weaved in and out of the spokes and tightened as the basket is formed.

C. Crochet.

Crochet is arguably an easier craft to pick up than knitting and it is also an affordable craft for beginners. Using a single hook and wool you can form pieces through simple knot techniques. Attempting a scarf or baby blanket is a great achievable place to start and your end creation will make a perfect handmade gift.

D. Decoupage.

If you have a pair of scissors, some magazines, some glue, a brush and a little imagination then decoupage is the craft for you. It can be used to decorate an object by simply dreaming up the image/style you'd like to create, cut out the necessary pieces, glue to the object and then varnish.

Using specialist glue and paper can achieve a more professional finish or just get stuck in materials you have to hand, especially when getting the kids involved.

E. Engraving.

Engraving is the craft of marking material to produce a design. This could be on a plaque, vessel, jewellery or anything really. Usually engraving is completed on a metallic substrate but any hard material can be used to capture the imagery.

Research shows engraving started as a craft in the 1400's, however cave markings may be considered as a form of engraving - and the earliest cave markings date back over 37,000 years.

F. Flower Pressing.

This is a great craft to do at home with the kids. Pick some beautiful flowers, and place them between two sheets of absorbent paper, kitchen roll will work. Place between a pile of heavy books and leave until the flowers are dry (usually around 2 days).

The technique may be used to preserve flowers received for a special occasion or to produce decorative flowers for cards.

G. Glassblowing.

Glassblowing dates back as long ago as the Roman empire; however, remains one of the more specialist and higher entry point crafts, unless you do happen to have a furnace..

Molten glass from the furnace is gathered onto the end of a blowpipe, the blowpipe is then spun as the crafter (lampworker or glassblower) blows down the pipe to form the glass object. The glass is continuously reheated in the furnace and worked until the creation is complete.

H. Holly Wreath Making.

Time to get festive. There are a number of methods to making holly wreaths, I personally prefer to avoid using plastics and foams, instead using natural and recyclable materials.

Using a metal ring frame as the base, layer moss and fix by wrapping with wire or string. Once a firm moss ring is created, decorate using locally sourced holly and/or other available evergreens. Take holly cuttings, wrap wire around the stem and push the wire into the moss ring to fix. You may wish to finish with some additional decorative touches, such as pine cones, again fix these using wire or string.

Watch your fingers throughout, holly is spiky and sharp!

I. Ironwork.