Interior Designer, Verity Coleman has shared her expert advice on how to create some arts & crafts masterpieces during the COVID-19 lockdown as BFBS runs a creativity competition that both adults and children can take part in.
BFBS's 'Forces Voices’ creativity competition aims to get adults and children to share their ‘stay home’ creative masterpieces and be in with the chance of winning £500 worth of Amazon vouchers - you can enter the competition here.
Verity Coleman, owner of Rascal & Roses design studio and a British Army veteran, is judging the arts & crafts category of our BFBS 'Forces Voices' creativity competition and has kindly provided her top arts & crafts tips for those entering the competition - or anyone else that wants to get crafty.
Tip One: Enjoy The Journey
Children tend to turn their hands to anything and are naturally far less worried about being judged on their masterpiece.
However for us, our concern of what others think and our confidence can hold us back.
If you enjoy arts and crafts, I urge you to not worry about the end result but simply enjoy the process.
Tip Two: Pick Something You Think You Might Enjoy
It really doesn’t matter if it isn't on trend, or what everyone else is doing, if you want to do it, do it!
One of the best things about creativity is that it comes in so many forms – if we all enjoyed the same things the world would be a very boring place.
Tip Three: Even If You Think You Don’t Have An Artistic Bone In Your Body, I Bet You Do
So many people, in the military in particular, refuse to believe they are artistic.
But in many ways the strategic and tactical mind is constantly having to be creative and imaginative.
Often we channel our creativity to a very practical end.
Tip Four: Time For You
Another reason arts and crafts is so good for our mental health is that it is almost impossible to create something while simultaneously focusing on something else.
For this reason, I would try and allocate a small amount of time each day to work on your project.
That said, I am a creative (and I know I’m not alone) who struggles to create in a “time slot” so to speak – and therefore it might end up with some late nights or early mornings instead – I love working when the house is quiet.
Tip Five: It’s A Great Way To Work Collaboratively
Crafting with your children is an amazing way of spending time with them and can culminate in something lovely at the end too – although not always – and if it doesn’t that really doesn’t matter (see points 1 & 4)!!
The Rainbow Tree Blog has some brilliant ideas on crafting with children: https://www.instagram.com/therainbowtreeblog/
Tip Six: There Are So Many Things That Come Into Arts & Crafts
I am a terrible painter, there I said it. Despite doing art at GCSE and A Level, I would not consider myself a skilled artist by any stretch of the imagination.
Luckily for me there are so many other mediums that you can use other than pencil and paint and here are a few ideas:
- Sewing – cross stitch, embroidery, free sewing, machine sewing, making clothes, dolls clothes
- Collaging – so many options here from cutting out magazines to using dry food and recycled objects
- Paper crafting, hamma beads, aqua beads
- Knitting & crochet – anything from a scarf to a jumper
- Jewellery making
- Make up & body art
- Flower arranging and gardening, dried flowers
- Upcycling furniture, renovating furniture
- Cooking and baking
- Mood boards
- Flat lays
Tip Seven: Create Something Useful To You
One of the most rewarding ways to channel your artistic creativity is to make something you want or need.
Really nailing down a requirement will absolutely help with your creation.
When I first started my business I wanted to have lampshades to cheer up our married quarter, they were hard to come by, but after some research I discovered you can make them yourself.
This was the beginning of my interiors journey and whilst I don’t make many anymore it is still something I enjoy when I have the time. If you have something to aim for: like some hand-made artwork for your sitting room or some newly potted flowers for your porch, then you’ll find the task easier.
Tip Eight: Have A Hunt On Pinterest
Pinterest is one of the best places to get inspired – I defy anyone not to find ideas on here for something to create.
It works like a search engine so all you need to do is type in something you would like to make or adapt or refurbish and there is almost certainly going to be other people that have done it and helpfully shared their experiences.
Tip Nine: Go With A Theme
Rainbows have become the symbol of appreciation for our NHS workers, key workers and carers and this initiative has already inspired so many of us to get creative.
Not only is the meaning so important right now, but also the colours are inspirational and uplifting.
You can choose any subject or theme can help you start your creative journey.
About Verity Coleman
Verity Coleman retired from being an AGC(SPS) Major in 2017. She now lives to Herefordshire with her husband (also a serving Army Officer) and their young family.
She started her interior design business whilst on maternity leave with her daughter in 2012 and has worked full time on Rascal & Roses since leaving the Army.
With her team, Verity has worked on a variety of different properties all over the UK from residential family homes to commercial boarding schools and holiday homes.
She was also a contestant in 2019 on BBC2 & Netflix’s Interior Design Masters. Rascal & Roses offers a full interior design service specialising in period properties.
To enter the competition and read the Ts&Cs please click here