Crafting wellbeing:

Why Making Things by Hand is good for the Soul

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The resurgence of crafting

Crafting by hand is enjoying a welcome resurgence in our modern world. This isn’t a mere cultural trend—it’s a collective re-embrace of practices that nurture our souls. In this relentless whirl of digital notifications, endless email threads, and virtual meetings, the humanness of crafting stands apart, offering respite and reconnection with the tangible, physical world.

The beauty lies in the process—of investing time, of deliberately slowing down, and of creating something with our own two hands. This satisfaction of seeing, touching, and using something made by hand is quite different from the fleeting contentment derived from convenient, mass-produced items. Inextricably intertwined here is the power of creation and the triumph against a largely disposable culture.

Our journey here at Old Green started with just that—an upholstery class, a step away from the rigidity of corporate life. Not only did it restore a pace gently dictated by the sway of hardworking hands, but it also lit the spark for a rewarding love affair with crafting and sustainable living.

This article is an invitation for you to explore the all-encompassing benefits of crafting by hand. It’s not just a hobby. It’s a pathway to wellbeing, a grounding pleasure that provides a sense of purpose and opens up a channel of soulful expression. We’re eager to share how crafting isn’t merely about creating something beautiful. It’s about creating a life that celebrates simplicity, pays tribute to craftsmanship, and harmoniously blends with nature, ultimately good for our wellbeing—and indeed, for our soul.

The craft of mindfullness

Crafting is so much more than a simple pastime; it’s a gentle beckoning into the world of mindfulness, where the rhythmic hum of handiwork can ease your mind into a serene state. It’s in these quiet moments of creation that we find our haven—a space where the clutter of daily thoughts is tidied away and our focus narrows to the joyful task at hand.

Ever noticed how when you’re absorbed in the gentle tug of yarn or the soft press of clay, time seems to stand respectfully aside? This is the Zen of crafting. It’s a soothing river of concentration, washing away the tumult of the busy world. As your hands move, your mind tends to still, settling into the now with every stitch and every brushstroke. Crafting is not just an act of creating but an act of being—fully, wonderfully present.

Did you know that the simple, rhythmic motions of your hands can be like a balm to a frazzled nervous system? It’s like your hands have a mind of their own and it takes over the rest of you. And there’s science behind it, too—a study published in the British Journal of Occupational Therapy found that participants who engaged in knitting reported significant reductions in feelings of stress and anxiety. Each repetitive motion gives a signal to your body to down the stress and up the chill. So when you’re feeling wound up, it might just be the perfect time to wind some yarn or knead some dough, soothing your spirit stitch by stitch, knead by knead.

a woman slices a loaf of crusty bread.

Community and connection in crafting

When we think of crafting, we often picture the solitary artist at work. But look a little closer, and you’ll see the threads of community and connection. Crafting has this incredible power to bring us together, creating a tapestry of shared experiences that span across ages, cultures, and backgrounds—colorful and vibrant.

Whether it’s a local yarn shop’s knitting circle or an art class, there’s communal magic in the making. In our own cosy corner at Old Green’s studio, our workshops aren’t just about learning a new technique; they’re about the laughter, the empathetic nods and the shared triumph over a completed project that might have seemed too complex at the outset. These workshops are antidotes to the pangs of modern isolation, where strangers become friends, united by the joy of creating something delightful together.

Crafting is a language that speaks across generations and cultures, a narrative thread that ties us to our past and weaves a future filled with shared skills and stories. During our workshops, walls come down as hands young and old, from diverse backgrounds, come together. People are not only enjoying a simple activity, they are sharing the rich tapestry of their life experiences. This intergenerational and multicultural exchange breathes life into traditions that might otherwise fade, keeping narratives alive while fostering a sense of belonging and continuity.

Participating in our studio workshops is more than just making; it’s participating in a storytelling process that honors our collective histories and crafts a shared vision for our future—all while learning together in a space that celebrates the joy of hands-on creativity and heart-to-heart connections.

Crafting as a sustainable practice

In today’s fast-paced, throwaway culture, crafting emerges as a beacon of sustainability and mindfulness. It’s a practice that not only enriches our lives with beauty and purpose but also cares for the earth, offering a pathway to more sustainable and thoughtful living.

Crafting, in its essence, is an act of love—love for the craft, for the creator, and significantly, for the environment. Handmade items, crafted with thought and care, stand in stark contrast to the mass-produced goods that flood our markets. By choosing to craft, we embrace the environmental benefits of using materials that would otherwise be overlooked or discarded. At Old Green, we champion this ethos by integrating reclaimed, recycled, and sustainable materials into our crafting processes. Each piece we create is a testament to the beauty that lies in repurposing, a gesture of respect towards the planet that nurtures us. It’s a reminder that every choice we make can contribute to a healthier, more sustainable world.

Crafting is a nod to the slow living and mindfulness movements, a way of life that values being present, embracing simplicity, and prioritizing the quality of our experiences. By turning to crafts, we celebrate the joy of creation over consumption, choosing activities that demand our attention and patience. In this spirit, Old Green takes inspiration from the rhythms of nature—not just as a muse for our creations but as a guide for our practices. We’re not just crafting; we’re making a conscious decision to slow down, to cherish resources that the earth generously offers, reclaiming materials with history and heart. This approach invites us to live more mindfully and sustainably, reflecting on our impact and how we can tread more lightly on the planet.

In weaving sustainability into our craft, we are not only creating objects of beauty but also participating in a movement that values what truly matters—our connection to the earth, to each other, and to the crafts that enrich our lives and protect our planet. At Old Green, every project is a step towards a more sustainable, mindful, and beautiful existence.

Getting started with crafting

Jumping into crafting might feel a bit like learning a new language at first—exciting yet slightly intimidating. But, like any great journey, the first step is the most important. So, let’s dive into how you can start this fruitful voyage with needle, thread, clay—or whatever calls to your creative spirit—with ease and joy.

Whether you’re eyeing your first ever crafting kit with a mix of eagerness and uncertainty, or you’ve already got a couple of projects under your belt but looking to broaden your horizons, we’ve got you. Here are a few pointers to ease into crafting:

Start small

Choose projects that match your current skill level. Achieving small projects quickly can boost your confidence.

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Practice makes perfect

Don’t shy away from mistakes. Each dropped stitch or uneven cut is a step towards mastering your craft.

Find your community

 Join workshops or craft parties to learn in a supportive atmosphere.

Take the leap!

Now that we’ve convinced you of all the benefits of starting your craft journey, why not dive into our range of nature based Workshops? It’s a perfect starting point for beginners keen on sustainable crafting.

At Old Green, we cherish the spirit of collaboration and learning. We offer a welcoming space for both seasoned crafters and novices alike. Our workshops, like the natural candle-making, are a fantastic way to dip your toes into crafting alongside fellow enthusiasts. 

Online Communities: Don’t forget the vast reservoir of knowledge and inspiration available online! From forums to social media groups, the internet is buzzing with crafters sharing their projects, tips, and encouragement.

Diving into crafting doesn’t have to be a solo journey. With resources like our tailored workshops and vibrant online and offline communities, you’re set to embark on a crafting adventure that promises not just the joy of making, but also the warmth of connection and the satisfaction of sustainable living. Start your journey with us at Old Green, and let’s craft a greener, more connected world together.

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