20 Things You’ll Find At A Craft Camp For Grown-Ups

At Brooklyn Craft Camp, there are more pop-poms, paper flowers, and Project Runway winners (read: one) than you’ve ever seen in your life.

1. A warm welcome.

Brooklyn Craft Camp is the brainchild of the multitalented Brett Bara (she’s a crafter, designer, TV host, and author). “I had the idea to try to connect more people with crafts instruction in an approachable, fun way,” she told BuzzFeed. “I called all my favorite authors, designers and crafts experts from the NYC area and asked them to teach classes, added in great food, good music, cocktails and fun decor — and Brooklyn Craft Camp was born!”

It took place all day Saturday in the basement of a church in Greenpoint (the neighborhood where Lena Dunham’s character lives in “Girls,” although sadly, no Lena Denim dresses were made). It consists of four 90-minute class sessions you sign up for in advance, on everything from printmaking to beading to embroidery. 101 people attended this year; some were full-time crafters with blogs and Etsy stores of their own, while some were math professors and oyster distributors and publishing professionals happy for a day they could devote entirely to some of their favorite hobbies. (And some were a hybrid of both.)

2. New buddies.

This pattern comes from Craft A Day, a book by author and crafter Sarah Goldschadt. In between class sessions, Craft Camp attendees were invited to drop by Sarah’s station to make quick and easy projects like this one.

3.

These bunny ears, another pattern from Sarah’s station, are the perfect size for an Easter egg that needs an upgrade.

4. A Project Runway winner.

Season One winner Jay McCarroll gave the keynote address at lunch. “I was a fat kid,” he told the assembled crowd, “which is basically how my love of sewing started.” He now designs fabric and does the best Tim Gunn impression I’ve ever seen in my life.

He spoke frankly of the fashion world and of building a life out of creative pursuits: “It’s hard to make a career out of something a lot of people see as a hobby,” he said, adding later, “There’s so much bullshit in the world. Just wear yoga pants and Crocs.”

5. A pom-pom bar.

It’s just as magical as it sounds. With materials and instructions provided by Purl Soho, a store that also runs one of my all-time favorite craft blogs, the pom-poms were surprisingly easy to make.

6. Here’s how:

You take the yarn (or two, or three) of your choice and wrap it around your four fingers, held slightly apart so there’s space between them. When you’ve wrapped a big, thick bunch of yarn, cut the end attached to the ball. Cut a piece of yarn and tie it tightly around the center of the bunch — I tied it twice to make sure it was extra strong. Slip the yarn off your fingers, cut through all the loops on either end and then give your pom-pom a haircut so that it’s even all around.

7. Voila! A lifetime supply of pom-poms.

8. Perfect for subtle, tasteful jewelry.

9. New skills, like printmaking.

Julie Schneider held a hand-carved stamp workshop.

10. And paper-cutting.

She also ran a cut-paper cards class.

11.

If you too want to own a piece of this, check out Julie’s Etsy shop.

12. And embroidery.

This workshop was taught by Jessica Marquez, the crafter behind the blog Miniature Rhino and author of Stitched Gifts.

13.

I managed to make this without drawing any blood whatsoever. Buy the kit to make your own version here.

14. And jewelry-making.

Christina Batch-Lee ran this workshop, where attendees painted wooden beads and tried not to knock over the water cups of the people sitting next to them.

15. And crepe-paper-flower-making.

Kayte Terry, who works in the visual department at Anthropologie (yes that is a real job, yes it is totally unfair that it is not your job) demonstrated how to make paper roses and dahlias that will never, ever die. She also demonstrated how floral tape is the weirdest substance on the planet; it becomes stickier and waxier the more you use it until you want to remove your own fingers.

16. And terrarium-building.

These amazing little worlds were made under the instruction of Gonül Yetim.

17. Each one was totally different.

19. Even the couch had its own sweater.

20. And the cocktails had their own washi tape flags.

No detail was too small for a personal, crafty touch.

“Beyond the positive experience of making things yourself,” Bara told BuzzFeed, “I think everyone had such a good time because it really was like a little one-day retreat. They all knew that they were there for a full day of ‘me time,’ where everything was taken care of, from supplies and materials to food and drinks. We’re all so busy and overwhelmed these days, and I think everyone felt so good just to take a day to not have to worry about anything but being creative. It was pretty awesome.”

To find out more about Craft Camp and be a part of it the next time it rolls around, sign up for the mailing list here.

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