The crafts which serve a purpose and also double as décor or art maintain a
strong place in our economy and homes. Having an introduction to functional crafts will not only inspire but
amaze you as you find new and unique ways to create art you need.
This is especially helpful in times of recession or slow economic growth when luxury items such as high end art
and furniture is not a practical option. Learning these techniques will provide a sense of emotional fulfillment as
you create the things you need and love.
Furniture or Found Object Transformation
Learning how to recycle, reuse and change up an old piece of furniture is of huge benefit. There are many
refinishing experiences shared online but the taste is entirely up to you. Many older furniture models which can be
found at local thrift and consignment shops simply need a little stripping down and they can be transformed into
magnificent pieces of furniture.
To refinish an old piece of furniture, you first need to know what to look for when shopping. First you will
want to find a great deal on a silhouette you like. Examine the piece carefully to insure it is still structurally
sound, unless you have carpentry experience and can fix broken legs, drawers or tops.
Next, take a look at the finish. Is it painted, veneered, lacquered? You will want to insure the piece can be
stripped with a store bought furniture stripping solution and the wood underneath is decent. If you find an exotic
or nice hardwood, you are in luck as these can turn out beautiful. Many vintage trends involved painting beautiful
woods so removing the paint will uncover a glorious wood underneath which can be sanded and re-stained to look
Finally, you can add your own personal flair by purchasing your own knobs, handles or drawer pulls to give the
piece an updated, contemporary feel. These items can be found at antique flea markets, online or at local hardware
stores. You can also purchase inexpensive ones and transform them with a little spray paint or embellishment.
You can also take something which was used for one purpose and give it another! Take an old canoe for example,
mount it on a base in an upright, vertical position, add wooden cross boards and you have a new, cool bookshelf.
You can also use this same boat for an outdoor flower planting box. The creativity is limitless.
Enhanced or Created Beauty
You can transform an entire room, such as a kitchen by adding a few easy details
which are both functional and beautiful. Refinish your cabinets, for example by stripping the paint and
refinishing them in your preferred color or stain. Remove all the hardware and replace them with something
elegant or whimsical to make your personal statement and you have a brand new set of cabinetry.
You can take old lamps and transform them with Modge Podge using cool maps or vintage music sheets. Another idea
is to take an old bowl from your kitchen and with a bit of twine or rope you can wrap it an turn it into a gorgeous
Giving yourself an introduction to functional crafts will greatly enhance your life and impress your company.
The founder of the arts and crafts movement, William Morris said it perfectly, “Have nothing in your house that you
do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”