Why you should care

Because wouldn’t be cool to learn how to make your own everything?

You’ve been meaning to sign up for that knitting class for, oh, about a decade now. Crocheting sounds fun, but you just can’t find the time. Between kids and crazy corporate schedules, neither could Jeanne Lewis and Julie Roehm. So the San Francisco friends quit their day jobs to launch their dream: Creativebug, an inspiring, one-stop-create, online-instruction site for both never-sewn-a-button-beginners (that’d be me) and serious arts-and-crafters (that’d be your talented friend you’ve always kind of envied). The site features 250, and counting, easy-to-follow video workshops on everything from upcycling and felting to stamping and entertaining, taught by both big-deal and up-and-coming crafters from around the globe. Each instructor has a cute, occasionally tear-jerking trailer (watch them below), so you can get to know the person behind the project. “I’d see some artist on YouTube who’d been whittling wood for 60 years, and I’d think ‘Who is this guy?’” says Lewis. “On Creativebug, I wanted to tell the artist’s story. Everyone has one.”

Bead a necklace out of found baubles. Turn old books into stylish home decor. Even mold your own lip balm. It’s all you can make (at your own pace! in your pj’s!) for only $25 a month (or $17/month for six months), a portion of which goes back to small nonprofit arts organizations. Cheaper than that class you’ll, uh, never get to, as well.

Especially if you sign up on CyberMonday! $30 for three months; $60 for six months; $99 for a year. A selection of free classes will be offered throughout December, too: On the 2nd, learn how to make your own wrapping paper.

A few of our favorite classes:

Luminaria Candle Shades

Turn something as simple as wax paper from the pantry into something pretty: decorative lanterns that emit a soothing glow. Creativebug editorial director Kelly Wilkinson shows you how to cut and iron paper panels — with flowers, leaves and pine needles that you’ve gathered and pressed between the pages of a heavy book. Materials? A ruler, craft knife, and decorative washi tape for seaming the paper edges. For each luminaria, cut four rectangles (9 inches across by 4.5 inches high is a good size), using a wooden cutting board as your surface. Fold in half, put the pressed flowers between, and then lighlty iron. Seam with the washi tape, place around a votive, and voila: tabletop decor that barely cost a dime. (And mark your calendars, deal-seekers: On December 17, you can learn to make luminarias, free of charge.)

Found Necklace

Rummage around your junk drawer, poke around the flea market, repurpose an old belt — and Lisa Coris will teach you how to make beautiful, whimsical baubles out of nearly anything. Gather your found objects, disassemble them, and then string ‘em together into something totally new — using nothing more than scissors, crazy glue, fishing line and a clasp which you’ll link to part of an old necklace chain. Lisa’s pieces, made with beads she forages from travels around the globe, are always asymmetrical. Why? “We’re not symmetrical,” says the talented single mom to an adopted Ethiopian boy. “Life isn’t symmetrical.”

Homemade Apothecary

Who doesn’t need a new lip balm this winter? Angry Chicken blogger Amy Karol has been molding her own since her student-poor college days. In her Creative Bug class, you can learn how to make everything in your medicine cabinet: facial lotion, body butter, even deodorant. But the lip balm is especially easy: a teaspoon each of cocoa butter, shea butter, and almond or olive oil. Melt the butters in a double broiler, add six drops of, say, peppermint essential oil and one vitamin E oil gel cap and pour into a 1 oz. tin or an empty lipstick tube. Let sit in the fridge overnight, and then stick on a cute handmade label and hand out to friends or leave on your co-workers’ desks.

All, so much more fun than the mall. creativebug.com

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