Ways to knit up a ravelled sleeve
September 27, 2011 9:46 AM   Subscribe

I need ideas for craft projects memorialising loss of various different kinds.

My housemate and are inviting people over for a weekend where we'll do crafts that have to do with loss and with all the things and people we have lost over the year. This will be a pretty serious affair; two of my grandparents died this year, and there may well be other people there who have lost nearer relatives. But it will also be open to people doing something that's about the cute handbag they left on the Tube.

We have some ideas already, but it would be good if we could smooth things along by having a lot of suggestions for projects, especially since it's easy to freeze or block up when you're feeling a lot of emotion. There will probably be a wide range of crafting ability.

Any general suggestions about how to run this well would be more than welcome. The current plan is to have a long drop-in, drop-out weekend, with the possibility for some people to sleep over if they need to. We're expecting somewhere around half-a-dozen people to attend, give or take. The event will be kinda-tangentially related to the Pagan festival of Samhain, but this will not be a major part of the proceedings, and most of the people attending will not be Pagan.
posted by Acheman to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The Crafty Chica is a little over-the-top for my tastes, but she has some sounthwestern/Mexican inspired projects that could be accomplished by people with a wide range of crafting abilities: La Calavera box, Love Haiku card.

If you had magazines, cardboard, paints, glue, and glitter, people could easily do all sorts of collage projects. Various kinds of boxes and tins could be decorated as memory boxes.

Here's some matchbox shrines. And wallet shrines made of felt.
posted by Squeak Attack at 10:35 AM on September 27, 2011

If you live near a body of water, it strikes me that making paper boats that you then set on fire before launching them could give things a cathartic, Viking-funeral sort of feel. Decorate said boats (or the paper you use to make them) any way you like. If you don't live near water, but are near a reasonably open area and are able to do it reasonably safely, maybe make, decorate, and launch burning paper airplanes instead.

(I might just like setting things on fire.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:00 PM on September 27, 2011

I made for my mother a christmas ornament that was just a 2" wooden cube with glued/decoupaged photos of her cats on it. We drilled a with a hole through a long diagonal, and threaded a wire through (wanted to put a ribbon but couldn't make it go in, and glue the ribbon onto it to fake like it was just the ribbon). The six sides of the cube were photos of her two older cats who had died the previous winter, and the two new kittens they adopted the next spring, each cat alone and as a pair to get 6 images. Depending on the personal story, a cube might not be ideal but for mine it was just right.
But the idea of decoupaging a wooden object or box still stands. To do that you'd need a wooden object, photos, Gesso, paintbrushes, an Xacto knife, and a glossy sealant topcoat.
posted by aimedwander at 1:47 PM on September 27, 2011 [1 favorite]

I just thought I'd follow up on this, because in the end we worked out a number of fun ideas for projects.

I got a lot of mouldable white fondant icing, some writing icing tubes, and some silver balls, for people to make sugar skulls. I used this as a warm-up: people would come in and say 'Oh, I don't know what to do' and I'd say 'Try making a sugar skull'.

I got a bunch of cheapo frames from the poundshop and some interesting paper. People could use these however they wanted.

Bought some shredding scissors, which were a lot of fun to play with! We also had an antique typewriter, so we had people type things and then shred them.

Got some tiny glass jars to put things into, like a jar of memories.
posted by Acheman at 3:01 AM on January 19, 2012

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