Most crafters are friendly, social folks by nature. They enjoy the conversation and camaraderie that usually accompanies the act of creating something new out of raw materials, whether it be a quilt, a scrapbook, or knit booties for a new baby.
If you’ve been crafting in solitude, longing to be part of a group, but not sure how to begin, here are few ideas to help you start your own craft club.
Someone must act as the official club leader. It could be you or someone you recruit who’s comfortable taking the reins. Whoever is in charge will set the ground rules for your club. Consider having a co-leader who can step in if the club leader has a conflict.
Decide on your focus craft.
The most successful craft clubs are those where all members are creating the same thing – beading, rubber stamping, scrapbooking, painting, and knitting are great examples. Having a common craft allows members to swap materials, trade ideas, and learn from one another.
You’ll also have to decide if you’ll work together on a common project, all do the same type of project like holiday wreaths where you can share supplies, or if each crafter will work on their own. Your approach can change throughout the year, of course. Communicating up front helps keep everyone in the loop.
Determine when, where and how often you’ll meet.
It’s helpful to start with a schedule in mind. You can always adjust if you find that most of the crafters who’d like to join you aren’t available on your pre-determined day. Scheduling regular meetings and sticking to the schedule are the best ways to ensure a good turnout and active participation.
Community centers, senior centers and churches are popular meeting spots for craft clubs.
You could also meet at your home, or at member’s homes, with a different people hosting each time. When deciding where to meet, think about the equipment you’ll need to successfully work on your projects. Knitting projects rarely require more than a comfortable chair and good lighting, whereas rubber-stamping and quilting may require tables, and a painting club might require easels. Also consider parking for people who will be driving to participate in the club.
Consider the level of expertise in your group and plan accordingly.
Most crafters are so passionate about their favorite pastime, they’re more than willing to share their expertise with beginners. Group craft projects like quilting – especially if the group is working together on one quilt – may require that all participants be at or around the same skill level. For individual projects, it’s nice to have a mix of experienced crafters and newcomers in the club to achieve a nice balance of expertise and enthusiasm.
Keep in mind that there may be people who’d love to join your group for the kinship, but haven’t a crafty bone in their body! Decide if you’ll make allowances for those who want to join just to be social and connected.
Will you have a membership fee?
If you’re planning on buying supplies, reimbursing hosts for refreshments served at meetings, or inviting a guest crafter who charges for their time, consider having a small membership fee for your club. Of course, someone will have to oversee the finances, so think carefully about whether you want to take on that additional responsibility.
How will you promote your club?
Now that you’ve established the ground rules for your club, it’s time to get the word out about joining. It’s easiest to start with a group of people you know well – in your neighborhood or apartment building, at your church, or at other activities you enjoy like your fitness class or any place you volunteer.
- Start talking up your club with friends and acquaintances, and ask them to spread the word. They may not be a crafter themselves, but might have a friend who’d like to join.
- Consider an online announcement in your local newspaper or neighborhood website. Social networking sites are an easy, free way to promote membership in your club.
- Your local craft store may have a bulletin board where you can post an invitation to learn more. They may also have space available for your club to meet, providing club members purchase supplies at the store. Just ask!
Kudos on considering a craft club!
The set up can take a bit of doing, and you may find that membership ebbs and flows, but the important thing is that you’re providing an opportunity for like-minded people to enjoy each other’s company, call upon their creativity, and hone their craft. The communal aspect of a craft club is good for you! Club members have something to look forward to each week or month, and have more opportunities to develop and maintain friendships. The benefits of creating and maintaining a club are many – for you and your club members alike.