Move Over, That’s My Craft

There have been times at the kitchen table where I have wanted to tie my hands down and put a piece of duct tape across my mouth.  I am a craft control freak and have gone through an intervention and am currently in recovery.  OK – so it doesn’t warrant a reality show, but it was turning me into a scary craft monster at home.

The girls and I spent yesterday afternoon up to our elbows in glitter, tissue paper, glue, scissors, tape, and paper scraps of every shape and size.  With Valentine’s Day fast approaching we were hard at work on cards.  I love making crafts but I have learned that it takes a  special kind of crafter with a zen-like patience to make them with children. I am a craft control freak and it’s hard to admit.

 I love looking through craft books and finding new ideas to try.  My problem is that I want the finished product to look like the picture in the book.  In my adult ‘monkey’ mind I am doing this project to get to the final result.  My kids could care less what the finished product looks like and just love to get into the supplies and get cutting, gluing and creating.  Logically, I know this is the right way to go, but against my best intentions my hands sneak over to “help”.  And before I know it I have taken over.

I have literally lost it during painting projects, raised my voice (translation – yelled) that they just weren’t doing it right.  After one of these fiasco’s I cleaned up the mess, hugged the kids and gave myself a time-out to figure out what the hell was going on.

If I knew that the whole point of doing a craft was to nurture and allow a child’s creativity to grow and flourish then why was I snuffing it out?  When I was growing up money was tight and craft supplies were few and far between.  I have very few memories of making cards or art projects at home.  Was this more about my need to have an art outlet?  I answered with a resounding yes.

At the time my girls were enrolled in art classes and loved going.  I was such a proud mommy at the “art” that they brought home.  Here are a few examples:

I spent hours trying to figure out how they made it and chatted longer and longer with the teacher.  She suggested I try one of their adult classes and I promptly signed up for the next one.  The two hours I spent in that class every week were heaven.  I had an outlet, I could be creative, I was in charge of what it looked like.  And the best part?  Someone else cleaned up my mess at the end.

Now when we sit down to do a craft I make sure I do one along with them.  Each of us can create. And each one will look different in the end. That is what art is all about isn’t it?  Expressing what is unique about yourself and letting go.

Take a look at this link for some fun craft ideas:

Valentine's Things to Make and Do (Usborne Activities)

This is a great book if you can find it.  It’s by Usborne Books and has some fantastic ideas to get your creativity going.

I would love to hear about your art adventures with kids and without, please leave a comment!


4 responses to “Move Over, That’s My Craft

  1. I get that way sometimes when the kids make crafts, and I too have had to step back and take a deep breath and remember they are having fun, and that’s what it’s about.

    • Hi Maureen,
      Its nice to hear that other people struggle with this too. And you are right, having fun is what it is all about. My girls love doing crafts and I want to nuture that love not ruin it by being uptight and controlling. Thanks for the comment!

  2. I have no problem if the kids’ crafts look like… ummm… less than exact replicas. I can happily tell them ‘You’ll get better with practice. What you’ve created is beautiful. Anything can be art because art is about expression.” as long as they don’t want to “help” me with my craft. I don’t need theirgluey little fingers messing up my picture.

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