Whenever faced with the time-old question of what I do for fun, I’ve learned to master the nonchalant shrug of my shoulders accompanied with a sheepish smile when I tell people that I read and write in my free time. All while trying to ignore the smug, niggling voice at the back of my head telling me that everyone reads and that most people write by somewhat compensating with the idea that I’m fairly more dedicated at my craft than the average person. What I don’t let on is that I have a hidden talent that I keep under wraps. No, it’s not photography, it’s not sketching and no, it’s not even jewelry making; it’s nothing useful or hip and trendy like that.
Before you conjure up images of me clad in a knitted puke-green cardigan and cat-eye glasses, reeling in innocent victims to sit down with me so I can flip through an entire journal’s worth of embellished memories, let me stop you there. While I do admittedly own both the cardigan and reading glasses, it’s really not as bad as it sounds. As a person with creative tendencies who cannot draw to save her life and gets cross-eyed from staring through a camera for too long, I take solace in knowing that there is still room for me in the creative sphere as long as glue, scissors and coloured paper exists. Through cutting and pasting, I’ve learned to express myself in ways that holding a paintbrush to canvas could never justify. While clothing designers see embellishments and dreams of intricate needlework, I think of the endless possibilities of 3D bookmarks just waiting to be cut out. Here are some more things that will get your heart pumping a little bit faster if you’re a fellow Edward Scissorhands like me.
- Pattern paper
There’s nothing like walking into a craft store and seeing aisles filled with never ending racks of patterned paper. Nothing beats feeling the thickness and smoothness of the weighty quality in between your fingers as you admire the funky designs printed unto the pristine surface. (Funky? Hip? 3D bookmarks? With this vocabulary, I am obviously well in the running to being the coolest person in the world. Watch out Cara Delevingnes and Kendall Jenners of the world!). Just imagining the crisp snip of your scallop-edged scissors as it cuts through the paper sends shudders down your spine.
Most of the time, ribbons are used for fabric-related activities but when I see ribbons in all their sleek, satiny luxuriousness, I’m almost overcome with an urge to hot glue it to the first object I see. Whether twirled and flowing or as a tasteful accent on the corner, ribbons are the way to a crafter’s heart.
- Washi tapes
Originated in Japan, washi tapes were a big trend that blew up in 2012 when scrapbookers realized their sticky ribbon dreams could finally be brought to life in a convenient roll and in an array of quirky designs. Despite being around for a while, these glorified adhesives aren’t on the way out anytime soon. With the ability to “cutify” just about anything, from lampshades, to table tops and computer keyboards, it’s easy to why it’s an essential must-have.
From a very young age, children’s first attempts at decorating are often expressed in a whirlwind combination of crayons and stickers. As someone whose drawing skills had never evolved much beyond the occasional doodle, I personally never grew out of my love for stickers. Puffy, glossy, water-filled, sparkly or literally anything that can be peeled off and stuck unto another surface, stickers never fail to inspire a childlike bubble of glee within me.
Behind that blasé shrug as I talk about how much I love reading and writing as my go-to hobby with individuals who will never understand the beauty of “the craft”, I hold close to me the secret thrill of cozy afternoons filled with cutting out old magazines and spreading even layers of glue over every type of material imaginable.