The Art of Craft

by Georgina Bridger 

Inside a Glass Hall apartment, it looks as though a bomb has exploded. The floor is covered in tiny specks of glitter and there are piles of items strewn about.   

No this is not the remains of a college party this; is the mess left from crafting.

“Better craft than crack,” Shelby Stewart said.  “It’s all about taking crafting to a new level.”

Many students at Chapman craft, whether it is for their dorm room, sorority sister, fraternity brother or just for pure enjoyment.

Stewart, a sophomore performance major, started her crafting adventure at a young age when made handmade birthday cards out of scrapbook paper and stickers.

 “I like to take the easy route of crafting,” she said. “I don’t sew.”

Since joining a sorority earlier this year, Stewart has been crafting constantly. She is a far of Pinterest and found a lot of inspiration from paddles that had been made previously. After making multiple gifts she thinks crafting is all about the overall effect. 

“It’s important to keep things simple and clean; the minimum effort for maximum effect,” she said.  “You need to commit to it and if you’re really going to go for it keep it clean.”

Tyler Pojo, a freshman dance major, grew up with her mother who enjoyed crafting. She would always make Pojo’s Halloween costumes from scratch which inspired Pojo to craft. Although Pojo danced from a young age, she never made any of her costumes but her crafting skills allowed her to alter and change her costumes.

“I once made a dress from scratch but I didn’t finish the zipper because I think it’s too small,” she said.

Today her new craft venture is flower crowns. It started after she made some for a Coachella themed basked. After that, people began contacting her to use hers or make them.

“A lot of people contact me saying I know that you make flower crowns can I borrow one,” she said. “Being in the dorms they’re really easy to make.”

Pojo thought that living in the dorms would make it hard to craft. She went to Michaels and got a hot glue gun and some other crafting necessities and realized she could make anything.

“It doesn’t even have to be that big. Even putting a bow on a mason jar can make you someone who enjoys crafting, ” she said. “It’s just making little things fun and personalized and adding flavor.”

Hannah Darbourne, sophomore double Public Relations and Advertising and Digital Journalism major, started a blog about the social media platform Pinterest and the different projects that people can do. She started the blog as part of the Intro to Digital Media workshop class in fall 2012 with Chapman alumni Adam Ottkee.

“It taught me that crafting is a lot harder than the photos make it seem!” she said.

The pair started off confident about the projects, thinking they would be easy, but then often ended up with a completed piece that looked nothing like the professionals they were trying to emulate. Other times they were very successful and projects turned out just as they had pictured.

“I like crafting because it's a way to express yourself. You can get all artsy fartsy and create projects that you can give as special gifts or decorate a room with,” Darbourne said.

Darbourne thinks Pinterest is a good resource for craft ideas.  Many of the “pins” link to webpages that give-step by step instructions, and little tips, for simple and cheap projects.

 “It's better than something store bought because it has a personal touch and a dash of pride,” she said.

Madeleine Wilson, a sophomore Strategic and Corporate Communication major, started her blog “Small Town Roots and Cowboy Boots” in early September 2013 as a project for a class. At first it had a professional angle but then as she became more comfortable writing she started to writing about sorority crafting. 

“When you make something for someone else you make it with your own two hands. It’s very rewarding when you give it to someone,” she said.

Wilson purely crafts for the enjoyment of others.

“I don’t think I’ve ever made a craft for myself,” she said. “You see it through from start to end so it’s very rewarding to give it to someone else.”

Although she does not have a car to get supplies, she has found a way to continue crafting in the dorms. Wilson believes that it is fun to give things a personal touch and that anyone is capable.

“People think of artists a certain way but crafting is more of something everyone can do,” she said.

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