Denise Rodriguez with West Avenue Crafts makes home décor accessories that are on trend, simple, and enjoyable to make (and to look at!). She recently discovered how easy and rewarding it is to make her own Ikonart silkscreen stencils and shares a lot of her crafting behind-the-scenes on her Instagram Reels.
Denise has been crafting since childhood. She comes from a long line of crafters and DIYers. Below she shares some fantastic ideas to make crafting a family activity.
A Family That Crafts Together
A family that crafts together builds lasting bonds and memories for life ... and some useful skills! I have so many of those memories growing up. Helping my mom and older sisters cutting and making fringes of colorful strips of paper for school floats, even before I was in kindergarten. Vases made with newspaper-and-glue papier mâché, oversize balloons, and burlap. Small and large houses made of plaster mixture that we poured into molds, hand-painted and decorated. And the list goes on! In Spanish, we call it manualidades, in English, paper crafts.
My mom was a seamstress and made all our school uniforms, church dresses, and party dresses. She also made clothes for others and was able to make some extra money this way.
My dad, an Army veteran and retired police officer, is a pro-DIYer. He and my grandfather built our home - the house I grew up in, and they live in to this day - brick-by-brick. He became an electrician, plumber, ironworker, mechanic, architect, and builder. So naturally I learned to be a DIYer from him, as well as an entrepreneur. I started designing t-shirts with puff paint before I was 12 (depicted in the first picture above).
Create a Crafting Family Tradition
Crafting as a family can create memories for life. Here are some ideas to help you start a crafting tradition with your family.
1. Set a specific time for crafts
Set aside a specific time for crafts - whether it is once a week, once a month or seasonal - and make it a family craft night. Decide if there will be a theme or if you want to try a new craft idea you recently discovered. Make sure you have all the materials and that there is enough for everyone. It can also be helpful to set project expectations. Is it something that can be done in one day or a couple of hours? Or will it need to be finished the next day or next week? The clearer these expectations are, the more enjoyable the experience.
2. Expand your crafting tradition to include extended family or friends
Some of my best memories include crafting with aunts and neighbors. Select a craft that is appropriate to the level of those invited. Make sure you set expectations here as well, not only for time but also for costs. You can request that they bring their supplies but make sure you can provide some basic non-consumptive materials, such as scissors, molds, stencil making kit, computer use, etc. You can also opt to use recycled or second-hand materials to help lower your cost as well. You can also make it a little more fun by sending out invitations and RSVPs (but keep it small and affordable).
3. Make their birthday a craft party
For this type of crafting party it is best practice for you to cover the cost of all the supplies. Keep it simple to make sure everyone can participate.
Craft as a Family with Ikonart Stencils
When it comes to crafting as a family, we use our Ikonart Stencil Kit quite often. For our last craft night, we used a design with an outline that could easily be filled in, just like a coloring book. This was a great way to encourage planning, decision-making, execution of the plan and creativity. We used the free Sugar Skull designs from Ikonart to make our stencils. This is a fun and easy craft for everyone and perfect for Día de los Muertos which is coming up.
This type of craft is perfect for a craft party with family, friends, or even a kids birthday party. All you need is your surface (small stretch canvases work great), your Ikonart Stencil Kit, and some acrylic paint. You can prepare the surfaces ahead of time by applying the design to the canvas with black water-based paint. That way the design will be dry and ready to be painted during the party. You could use a brush or paint markers.
Happy Family Crafting!