Crafting for Mental Health – Finding a Balance

When I started looking for scientific/medical resources espousing the mental health benefits of crafting, I found primarily anecdotal evidence. This anecdotal evidence was mostly about knitting and crocheting and some was provided by various “crafting” resources so not very “scientific” at all.

Although I am not an expert on crafting or mental health, I do know that crafting in various forms does something to calm the mind for many people. Which crafting form you choose depends on your personal interests. It could be knitting, crocheting, paper crafts, stamping, flower arranging, woodworking, painting, drawing, jewelry making, journaling, coloring, etc. The list appears to be endless. So, even without the scientific or medical resources stating the mental health benefits of crafting, it might be worth a try. What have you got to lose?

Many arts and crafts have seen a resurgence since the beginning of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Some have used crafting as something to do while being “stuck” at home, while others may use it as a form of meditation or prayer.

In a blog post written by Ashley Foster January 24, 2019 on the University of Arkansas website, the following benefits of crafting are listed:

  • Reduced stress. 
  • Helps relieve and reduce depression and anxiety. 
  • Projects help build self-esteem. 
  • Decreased risk of cognitive impairment as you age. 
  • Can help with insomnia. 
  • Relaxation reduces irritability and restlessness. 
  • Builds community and friendships. 
  • Can help with grief processing. 

We have wonderful resources at Westlake Porter Public Library, some of which are highlighted below. Also, check out our digital resources. If you do not see what you are looking for, please contact us at the library for assistance in finding what you want.

Books

Cover image for Knitting
Cover image for Kids knitting
Cover image for Knitting and crocheting all-in-one for dummies
Cover image for Simple crocheting : a complete how-to-crochet workshop with 20 projects
Cover image for Floret Farm's a year in flowers : designing gorgeous arrangements for every season

Cover image for Japanese paper flowers : elegant kirigami blossoms, bouquets, wreaths and more
Cover image for Easy homemade pottery : make your own stylish decor using polymer and air-dry clay
Cover image for Machine sewing : 25 quick & easy projects to build your skills
Cover image for 40 great stained glass projects
Cover image for Rock art handbook : techniques and projects for painting, coloring, and transforming stones
Cover image for First art kit : creative papercraft remedies for what ails you
Cover image for Make it modern macramé : the boho-chic guide to making rainbow wraps, knotted feathers, woven coasters & more

DVD/Blu-Ray

Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitting Workshop
Cover image for Crochet stitches in motion [DVD] : Stitches for all skill levels
Cover image for Color techniques for vibrant watercolor [DVD]
Cover image for The art of quilting [DVD]
Cover image for Tie dye 101 [DVD] : the basics of making exceptional tie dye.
Cover image for The everyday gourmet [DVD] : rediscovering the lost art of cooking

Databases and Subscriptions

Creative Bug More than 1,000 award-winning art & craft video classes taught by recognized design experts and artists. Enjoy video classes on embroidery, quilting, knitting, sewing, baking, painting, and much more! Creativebug is the number one inspirational resource for DIY, crafters, and makers, now available to you for free with your library card. Get started with this guide to Accessing Creativebug (PDF).

Hobbies & Crafts Reference Center Offers detailed “how-to” instructions and creative ideas to meet the interests of virtually every hobby enthusiast. Full text is provided from leading hobby and craft magazines.