Winter Wonderland provided crafting opportunity for OHIO students

College girls flock to anywhere that there’s a craft project.

If an event has a craft incorporated, there’s a pretty good chance that it will be a hit.

University Program Council’s Winter Wonderland event was no different.

Winter Wonderland, held on Thursday, December 4, was an event inspired by Disney’s Frozen. The walls of Baker ballroom were decked out with blue and purple snowflake-shaped light projections while the screens on the two farthest walls played the movie for the participants. Olaf was also attending the event and posing for photos in the honors collegium with a festive Frozen background.

The event featured some winter-themed treats such as sugar cookies and hot chocolate, as well as popcorn, and there were many craft projects to work on while the movie was playing. Upon entering the event, guests could choose a snack and then either sit on the side of the ballroom that was low-lit and set up to resemble a movie theater, or they could choose the more brightly-lit side filled with circular tables to join in on the crafts that were available. The event was definitely designed to cater to the people who really just came for the movie in addition to the people who were hoping to make the event into a social gathering.

“We like our events to be active instead of being passive, so we were looking for ways to incorporate activity into our event. We didn’t want people just watching the movie if they wanted something to do with their hands or to interact with the event, so crafting is a good way to do that.”

— Alex Molnar, University Program Council president

Participants could choose to decorate:

  • gingerbread houses & cookies,
  • coasters,
  • mugs,
  • or glass ornaments

There were also many options to choose from when it came to those crafts.

The supplies table was filled with:

  • gingerbread decorating kits
  • sharpie markers
  • fake snow
  • glitter
  • paint
  • ribbon
  • etc.

 

 

So what is University Program Council?

The organization’s website says this:

“Known as “UPC,” the University Program Council is a volunteer organization of students who work to bring innovative programs to Ohio University and the surrounding community. University Program Council’s primary goal is to provide fun, exciting, engaging, and entertaining programs and events for all members of the OHIO community.”

And why would they choose to host this type of even at Ohio University?

“The inspiration for this event was Disney, winter, holidays and bringing people of all ages together. I wanted to have crafts to give people something to do while they were watching the movie so this event would bring in more people with different interests. For example, if you don’t like Frozen the movie, you can still come and do crafts and eat food and enjoy it.”

— Devin Rhodes, UPC Creative Events Executive

What makes crafty events so popular with college students?

  1. It becomes a social gathering. There’s something therapeutic about sitting and talking with friends while creating something with your hands. Talk about the perfect almost-finals-week stress reliever!
  2. Crafting has a purpose. When the event is over, there is a physical item to take home that can be displayed proudly in a dorm or apartment. Free decor? Most people are all about that!
  3. There’s free stuff, duh! Even if points 1 and 2 were irrelevant, crafty events still provide an outlet for creativity, and the supplies are free. Plus there’s usually free food, which is enough of a reason to leave the house.

Will there be more craft-based UPC events next semester?

“There’s always a possibility. We haven’t finalized our final list of activities or events for next semester, but what we’re looking to do is make sure that we can appease the most people, and if we can do that with crafting, then that will be incorporated,” Molnar said.

To find other events that may satisfy your creativity, check out the OHIO Calendar of University Events (CUE). If you know of something that’s happening and it isn’t on the CUE, add it yourself using the “add event” button to spread the word to other students searching for interesting events.

Below are some pictures from UPC’s Winter Wonderland event:

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OHIO U’s Getting Crafty!

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:
  1. Crafters arrive
  2. Sign in
  3. Gather supplies
  4. Speak with coordinators about how to complete the craft
  5. 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:

JoAnn Fabrics

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.

Walmart

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.

Cross Court

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.

 Lowe’s

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,

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