When we started offering wearable art classes at Mannequin Madness, we noticed a positive change in energy and attitude of the participants at the end of the class. In fact when our class was being filmed for an episode of Localish, one of the cameramen commented to me about the palpable shift in the energy he could feel. He also observed how everyone left smiling and with a lightness in their mood.
While we do think our classes are fun, but the joy our participants were experiencing can apply to almost any activity that involves making things by hand. We found that out after reading this article about quilting that explains the health benefits of making things by hand. A summary of the article is below.
That is why I often say to the quilters in our class, “instead of making art for your bed, you make art for your head.” And making a headdress requires less skills and tools (only a glue gun and scissors) and you can make something amazing in less than 2 hours.
Here are top 4 health benefits derived from making things by hand.
1 It Lets You Unplug from Today’s World
Let’s face it: we are all addicted to technology. It’s not completely a bad thing but it can stress and overwhelm us at times. Spending too much time staring at your smart phone, tablet or laptop also isn’t great on your eyes.
The physical act of creative art — from choosing your materials to cutting and gluing together pieces, is calming time that lets you unplug and focus on creating. Crafting also helps you focus on completing a task versus shortening your attention span.
2 The Physical Act of Crafting Relieves Stress
The nature of crafting is extremely calming. The physical motions of creating help to relax our brain, which lessens the flight-or-fight response triggered by stress.
The sense of accomplishment that creators feel when completing a project also ties directly into stress relief, as it boosts confidence in our creative abilities.
3 Playing with Color and Texture is Good for Your Brain
One health benefit of creative crafting is the process of combining color and shapes. According to studies, the use of bright colors and textures can be uplifting, temporarily distracting us from the stresses of work.
Crafting and creating offers challenges such as geometry and design. Working with color and texture combinations uplift us emotionally and delivers an element of play, something that is essential to stress relief.
Playing with different shapes, textiles and designs also helps develop important problem-solving skills.
Experimenting with a new technique or overcoming challenges lead to feelings of satisfaction and boosted self-esteem, especially during difficult times. Working in a new “wheelhouse” where the brain is engaged and exciting also helps promote mental agility.
4 It Promotes “Community” across Boundaries
Our headdress workshop is a safe, relaxing environment to explore your creative interests and talk with others, sometimes people of different ages, gender, ethnicities, backgrounds, and skills.
As crafter Mayra Cecilia Morales writes: “Humans are social animals. Friendships and community are essential for keeping us connected and healthy.”
Crafting with others provides opportunities to chat about common issues, share creative ideas and accomplishments, laugh and build friendships.
If you’ve been feeling anxious or stressed lately or are just looking for a fun project to try, then consider taking one of our wearable art classes. And bring your friends or bring your coworkers.
I promise you that you will walk away with a smile on your face…and wearing something uniquely beautiful on your head.