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The Dark Side of Crafts

Acrylic painting tote bags on a picnic at the park. (Collette Combs)
Acrylic painting tote bags on a picnic at the park. (Collette Combs)

Crafting is glamorized as a supposed ‘soothing activity’ in times of stress. But do you know the dark side of crafting? Just kidding, it’s not truly a dark side, but honestly, an activity that is supposed to be fun and cute should not be so overwhelming. Picture this: you are in a “crafting mood,” all excited to get started on a fun activity to clear your mind. Within the blink of an eye, your kitchen’s a mess, with multi-color papers, paints, and random strings all over the place. 

Not to mention, crafts are so insanely expensive. In my opinion, there is no need for my quick trip to Hobby Lobby to cost over $50 for flimsy scissors and a couple of beads. My mantra is– why waste your time on something that creates a big mess and requires big money to make?

Let’s delve into this by discussing the overall result of your craft. Humans thrive on reward systems, and I feel that crafts don’t offer you that immediate satisfaction upon completion. If you’re anything like me, you’re usually stuck with a project you worked hours on that feels like a half-hearted attempt because your results didn’t look at all like the reference photo you saw on TikTok or Pinterest. Take coloring for example– and I’m not referring to regular drawing, where when you mess up the slightest line, you’re forced into an endless cycle of erasing and redrawing; I’m talking about actively coloring inside the lines. Coloring is absolutely the biggest scam. It lures you in with its promises of being a relaxing, soothing pastime, when in reality, it just makes you feel like a failure.

My friend’s attempt at building a gingerbread house and it completely falling apart in the process. (Collette Combs)
A tote bag painting with acrylic paint that you shouldn’t do. (Collette Combs)

At this point, you are likely wondering where this pure hatred for crafting stemmed from. Last summer, my friend and I found this TikTok about purchasing cowgirl hats and attaching beaded strings around the base to make them “cuter.” So, as any other normal teenage girl would do, we drove to the store, bought the supplies, and headed to a park to begin constructing our masterpieces.

We assumed this crafting would be quick and simple, but soon enough, beads were flying everywhere and we were losing our patience. As the wind blew the beads through the holes of the picnic table, we grew more and more frustrated. The whole activity was so stressful. It was nothing like what TikTok promised it would be. We left the park overstimulated, with a bag half full of loose beads and a hat that was completely falling apart. I might have even shed a tear during the process. It was that bad.

The supplies used for the atrocity that would become of this craft. (Collette Combs)
A photo from making hats, although it may not show here, I was seconds away from a breakdown. (Collette Combs)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I personally believe there are plenty of better, more rewarding alternatives to ease your anxiety, if that is your goal. Have you tried baking? With baking, you can literally munch on your craft right after it’s done cooking. What even is the point of crafting if you can’t eat what you make? Another alternative to crafting is simply going outside. Grab a friend, play a sport, or even just go on a walk. You’ll be surprised by how fun and soothing these simple cures can be for your nerves. They’re even more effective when you are at a pretty location, such as a beach during sunset, or a nice field.

 

Making beaded bracelets while babysitting seems cute until you have to clean up after crazy kids. (Collette Combs)

Crafts NOT to do: 

  • beaded cowgirl hats
  • friendship bracelets
  • picnic canvas painting
  • adult coloring books 
  • tie dye shirts
  • origami

Better activities TO do:

  • make slime!
  • bake
  • board games/cards
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About the Contributor
Collette Combs, Staff Writer
Collette Combs is a senior at Marco Island Academy and a Staff Writer for The Wave. In her free time, Collette enjoys cheering, dancing, and going to the beach with friends in her convertible. She loves anything to do with music, traveling, and clothes. After high school, she plans to study business entrepreneurship to become a CEO or own her own business and get rich. 
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