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Topic: cheap/quick crafts for homeless shelter?  (Read 2907 times)
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mamachameleon
« on: January 08, 2005 09:59:48 AM »

(First post! Whee!)

Hey all,

Soon I am going to be volunteering at a local homeless shelter, crafting with them for three hours a week. I really would appreciate any ideas for cheap crafts that are easy to do, and can be done in three hours or less.

Thank you all so much, and I look forward to your responses (and can't wait to be more active on craftster- I just love you geniuses!).

jenn.
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« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2005 10:32:23 AM »

Maybe you can get a fabric store to donate some fleece and make hats, blankets, scarves?
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« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2005 11:36:34 AM »

Are you going to be working with children or adults? If adults or older children, simple, small bound books are nice, cheap, portable, and then you can use them as a journal or poetry book. I'm thinking something like these: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=21461.0 Decoupaged cardboard boxes are a similar idea...somewhere to put personal items and thoughts...like this http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=17038.0. You can also get cardboard photo frames pretty cheaply and decorate them with markers, crayons, glitter, etc.

Kudos to you, also...I'm sure you'll make a lot of people happy and have a great time doing it!
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mamachameleon
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2005 01:18:09 PM »

Thanks, those are really good ideas. It's a day shelter for adults, about 75% men and 25% women.
I think they would really like making fleece hats or scarves, or decoupaging boxes and journals. The woman who has been doing it for a while has them beading every week, and it seems that they need something new to do.

Thanks for your help.
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kneesocky
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2005 01:48:19 PM »

if i read this correctly, you're going to be crafting with local homesless people at the shelter? as in teaching them crafts?

AWESOME!

i know that there's is evidence (which i can track down for you if you email me) that knitting reduces stress and whatnot, and has been taught in places like school programs and prisons, i.e., places where stress is likely to arise.

and in the case of homeless shelters, where often times the majority of people are homeless given to simply falling through the cracks of the system (i mean, really, in reality, it's not that hard to find yourself homeless if you don't have a financial safety net/savings, especially if you have dependents, a landlord who will kick you out if you're a bit late on rent, etc etc), stress is also a common issue.

i know that there are also programmes that exist where individuals are taught a skill and then their efforts are sold providing a sense of pride and satisfaction, not to mention a little bit of money (which can equal hope!)

sorry i'm babbling, just wanted to say BRAVO!
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mamachameleon
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2005 02:25:21 PM »

Knitting or crocheting would be a good idea, too, and yarn is super cheap on ebay.  I wonder how hard it would be to teach.

Kneesocky, "Craftivism" was on the list of possible names for my newly forming business.  Guess I will have to choose another name. Smiley
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rabid.dustbunny
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2005 02:39:26 PM »

I always think I want to do something like this and rarely ever actually do it. I'm so  happy to hear a fellow craftster is really going to it, good for you.

I agree that teaching people to make things themselves is good for their self-esteem, provides possible money making skills to the industrious and is good for their souls. I was thinking teaching knitting is a really good idea because they could also make themselves scarves, blankets, hats, etc.
This might also be something the homeless could do to help others, which is a very empowering feeling. I mean, think, if even one or two of them get inspired to teach this to others, or to make scarves or whatever to people who won't come to the shelter...I don't know. Suddenly I'm seeing crafting as a big social sollution. Perhaps I got a little carried away there for a minute. But still...it would be cool, you have to admit.
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kneesocky
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2005 04:55:18 PM »

mamachameleon: teaching knitting is a snap. procuring wool and needles is a bit harder (although you might be able to find a LYS that will donate or post a note up in an LYS and there might be a customer with a yarn stash that's gone crazy....)

all you need to do is get all the materials, get a few friends who know how to knit to help out, cast on for everyone, and then start with the knit stitch. once they get the hang of it, the purl stitch. as they continue some will just be okay with these two stitches, while others will want more.

dustbunny: you're not being silly. there is a lot of potential to crafting, way beyond just making stuff for yourself and your family/friends.
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« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2005 04:15:40 PM »

I always think I want to do something like this and rarely ever actually do it. I'm so  happy to hear a fellow craftster is really going to it, good for you.

I agree that teaching people to make things themselves is good for their self-esteem, provides possible money making skills to the industrious and is good for their souls. I was thinking teaching knitting is a really good idea because they could also make themselves scarves, blankets, hats, etc.
This might also be something the homeless could do to help others, which is a very empowering feeling. I mean, think, if even one or two of them get inspired to teach this to others, or to make scarves or whatever to people who won't come to the shelter...I don't know. Suddenly I'm seeing crafting as a big social sollution. Perhaps I got a little carried away there for a minute. But still...it would be cool, you have to admit.
I also have been wanting to do something so helpful for a long time too =D  And no, you didn't get carried away, I was thinking the same thing! (unless I also got carried away  Tongue)  I was thinking, that maybe you could let them knit scarves and blankets and hats and things (like so many others have said) but maybe you could organize (not by yourself of course, get help) a charity type thing. The people at the shelter could knit the things, and then you could sell them for charity for the shelter! Just a little suggestion. Have fun! ^^
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