Get Creative for National Craft Month

March is National Craft Month and it’s a great time to recognize the many active retirement communities with residents who are crafters.

I am always amazed at the talents of crafters at our clients’ life plan and assisted living communities. East Ridge at Cutler Bay, a life plan community in South Florida, has an active group of crafters who organize craft sales twice a year to raise money for their community’s funds.

Other communities inspire their residents to pursue beading, knitting, and painting. For many residents, this is the first time in years they’ve had the time to take a craft or art class and find so much joy in attending classes with people who are like themselves.

I’m interested in learning what your residents craft. During this crafty month of March, it’s a perfect time to inspire crafters and would-be crafters.

I believe you are never too old to learn a craft. I have friends taking up photography and knitting and they relish the joy of learning something new and pursuing these interests.

During this crafty month, it’s suggested that crafters practice the three “R”s: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. A lot of crafts can be created by using simple items that are typically tossed out and can be repurposed. Just take a look at Pinterest for a wealth of ideas. Crafting doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive to be satisfying. I’ve recycled old necklaces and bracelets and reused old beads for new jewelry.

Other crafters may want some of your supplies that you may not either need or want, so March is a good time to share your unused supplies with others.

Use the month to explore different things that you may have an interest in. Maybe attend a craft demonstration at Michael’s or Joanne’s or head to a craft festival. Stopping in at a specialty craft store can be inspiring too. I know people who love to visit knitting, quilting and needlepoint stores simply to get motivated to work on a project.

Encourage children to craft too. You can go on a hike and pick things up from the ground to turn into arts and crafts.

Have you had an interest in photography? Not only does photography teach you a new way of how to capture life and the environment around it, it teaches you how to enjoy it in a different way. A morning walk becomes a time to look at the light and study reflections.   There are inexpensive digital camera available and it costs very little to print pictures.

Many crafters often have projects that need to be finished. You may want to use this month to finish something you stopped and haven’t picked up.

There are so many benefits of crafting and this month gives us a reason to focus on just a few of these things. Crafting not only is fun, it’s a great way to keep busy. Want to not snack or talk on the phone—take up crafting. It keeps your hands busy.

You can get better at crafting, quickly. Craft projects can start out pretty simple and don’t require a lot of skill. You can usually find people who can be of help. My neighbors are experienced knitters and welcome the opportunity to show someone a special stitch.

Crafting can be social. Quilting bees of the past are a perfect example. People would come together to quilt and it’s the same with knitting circles. Fast forward to today and many knit stores have a designated day to come by and knit. The people sit and talk while they knit their projects. It’s a great way to socialize. At senior communities, this is why craft classes are so important.

Finishing a craft project provides a sense of accomplishment regardless of the project. I love wearing a scarf I’ve made and especially being able to say, “I made it” when I receive a compliment.

I hope you enjoy celebrating this special month of March and discover the many benefits of crafting.

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