Often times, DIY can be a very solitary activity. Unless a project is somewhat difficult or especially fun, crafters tend to do much of their work alone.
Crafting can also be a very social activity, however. Ohio University and the Athens area has slowly been building up activities for crafty people to get together and share their creativity.
Some organized DIY groups include:
Pin It Club
New to Ohio University is the student organization called Pin It Club. Although the club is relatively small at the present time, they hope to gain momentum and become a full-fledged student organization soon. For DIY-ers interested in Pinteresting with a new group of people, the next meeting will be Nov. 18 at 7:30 pm. Find the club’s contact information here to get more details about meeting times and locations.
CIC’s How-To Events
The Campus Involvement Center (CIC) of Ohio University has a relatively new event titled How To. Every Tuesday of the semester from 7-8 pm, participants are taught how to do something new. Past events included Mason Jar Soups and Soap Making. What’s on the agenda isn’t always DIY-related, but the CIC offers a diverse selection of seminars. Take a look at the calendar of events here.
JoAnn Craftsy classes
These events are unaffiliated with Ohio University, but they are available to the entire Athens community. JoAnn Fabrics on East State Street offers Craftsy classes for the DIY lover. The classes are not free, but the expertise of the instructors makes it well worth the money. Skills demonstrated in the classes range from painting, sewing and jewelry making to cake decorating and more. Take a look at the schedule of classes here to find something that suits you.
Marti & Stewie Craft Night
The title is a play on the name of the ultimate homemaker, Martha Stewart. Marti & Stewie craft nights have become increasingly popular over the past few years. Each Thursday night from 9 pm – 12 am, the FREE craft night is held in the West 82 Food Court seating area. Crafters are welcome to come and go at their leisure during those hours. All that is asked of participants is that the last group shows up to begin their crafts before 11pm to ensure that they have time to finish. The craft is different every week, and Marti & Stewie provides crafters with all supplies necessary to complete each project. The craft is also announced on Facebook before the start time of craft night each week so crafters can plan accordingly.
A typical Marti & Stewie craft night follows this order:
- Crafters arrive
- Sign in
- Gather supplies
- Speak with coordinators about how to complete the craft
- Sit down to socialize with friends while working on art
The craft for this week was needle-felting. Check out this tutorial for making a needle-felted penguin to see what it’s all about.
In the video below, Sarah Scarberry explains the craft for Week 11 and highlights some of her favorite Marti & Stewie crafts from the past.
There’s nothing wrong with continuing to craft in solitude. If you’re new to the DIY scene, here’s a quick guide to finding craft supplies in Athens where stores are relatively limited.
Where to find supplies:
This is where you’ll find the most specific craft supplies, as well as the largest selection. Because this store is dedicated entirely to crafts rather than having a crafts department, it’s usually a life saver when you need something uncommon to finish a project.
Although Walmart isn’t specifically a craft store, the DIY and craft sections there are extensive enough to find many things one would need to complete a project. In a pinch, Walmart is especially helpful because it is open 24 hours.
This hidden gem lies on Court Street. The selection at Cross Court is focused mostly on paper crafts and scrapbooking. In the past, Cross Court has had a Cricut die cutting machine for public use, which also cuts down on the need to own fancy equipment to be an avid crafter.
If you dabble in wood crafts, having a Lowe’s is incredibly helpful. This is the best place to go if you’re looking for paint, stain, hardware and wood. The staff at Lowe’s is also helpful and knowledgable, so being a little unsure of what you need isn’t detrimental to your project. They even make it simple to do wood crafts without having expensive power tools. When you buy boards at Lowe’s, they’ll cut it to the size you need so that you’re ready to begin your project when you leave the store.
Do you know any other advice for crafters in the Athens area?
Please share it with us.
Until next time,