By Maria Nerius
There are several reasons why you should take advantage of technology to help you plan and organize your craft projects at camp. If you use your time wisely, you can tons of information at your fingertips.
Pick a Craft, any Craft
If you enter the keyword crafts into the Google search engine you will have over six million sites pop up to review. You can make the result a little less overwhelming by selecting keywords that are more defined or specific.
Try the same search using the keywords painting on wood. The result is just over 1 million hits. Then try adding the keyword kids to the mix. Now, a more manageable grouping of 100,000 sites and pages are yours to sort through.
You'll quickly find the sites with patterns and projects. Here are some examples of sites that offer free information…
Create For Less
This site has an extensive list of craft terms broken down into craft categories plus some quick and easy craft technique tutorials
Great site with a focus on children. You'll find coloring pages, crafts, games and holidays.
Over 100 different coloring pages to print out.
Free Kids Crafts
There is quite a variety of children's crafts at this site ranging in themes, supplies and skill levels. Selection includes balloon crafts, cooking with kids, hair accessories, paper projects and more.
All About Frogs
Fun coloring book of frogs.
This site has a long list of fun crafts. Some are pages within the site while others are links to other sites. The focus is children, but also affordable craft projects for those on a tight budget.
This is a Web page of links. You'll find the link that has the subject or category of coloring pages you are looking for and just click on the link to go directly to the Web site.
Crayola Creativity Central
Plenty of fun stuff to learn and color at this site with well thought out games, activities and coloring pages.
Plenty of great ideas from coffee filter butterflies to Popsicle puzzles.
Projects that focus on the needle arts, including knitting, crochet, tatting, cross stitch and quilting. Projects also include some holidays and a variety of skill levels.
An extensive site of links with a variety of crafts for any age and skill level.
The Creative Artist
This site is all about decorative painting including free technique information, a variety of links and projects.
A tutorial on weaving with on a potholder loom. It includes a glossary, some photos and very easy to follow instructions.
Simple step-by-step instructions for making paper. This site also has a variety of other craft tutorials.
Everything you ever wanted to know about photography and taking a great photo. This site has an answer for any question and an excellent set of tips for any age group.
This site has some fun ideas for different types of nature hikes and activities. Once you're done with your hike, you'll find plenty of nature crafts to do!
You'll need to scroll down past the index and ads, but this site contains wonderful information on techniques involved in water coloring.
This site has instruction sheets for all kinds of dying (tie-dye, batik, marbling) presented in a no-nonsense style. You'll also find an excellent instructional sheet on using polymer clay.
If you want to find specific crafts, the history of a craft or specific tips for a craft, you will have to get more specific in your search.
As well as using the specific craft technique in your search, you'll want to include keywords like tutorial, glossary or how to.
There is a lot of information out there just waiting for you to find it. Throwing in the keyword free will also help avoid an excess of commercial sites.
However, don't over look all commercial Web sites. A commercial site will often contain free information, projects and histories. Following this article is a special product section featuring some of the latest offerings from vendors. Their Web site addresses are included with their product descriptions, so go the Web and check them out.
Take advantage of the creativity that is abundant on the Internet. Sign up for a few electronic newsletters or mail lists. Or, post a note on a bulletin board. When you need inspiration there is no place like the information super highway to get your creativity flowing!
Maria Nerius has been designing and writing craft projects for 15 years and is the craft expert at CreateForLess.com. If you have questions, comments, have craft ideas of your own, or would like to see a particular craft in an upcoming issue, e-mail Maria at firstname.lastname@example.org.