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How To Have A Zoom Crafting Night That'll Keep You Creative & Connected

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The family and friends that craft together stay together. From sewing patches onto a quilt with your pals from college to having a Friday night family cookie decorating session with the cousins, crafting creates an undeniable connection between people... even when you're not physically in the same location. Once you know how to host a Zoom crafting night, you'll always have a way to stay engaged with loved ones (as long as they're crafty).

And it doesn't even matter if your local craft store is closed. “I would recommend that parents pick craft projects that use simple items that most people would have around the house,” Crystal Garman of Simply Full of Delight tells Romper. By switching your mindset slightly, you can truly enjoy distance crafting with family and friends using super basic materials. Once you realize that you’re still making art, in whatever form, and showing it to your loved ones, you’ll see that the same creativity, laughter and love remains, even if you’re each in your own homes.

So set a date and time to gather with friends and fam, have your art supplies (and your humor) handy, and get ready to craft some amazing artwork — and a connection that will endure despite social distancing.

1. Find Out Everyone’s Interests

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You can craft almost anything, so you’ll need to narrow down what you wind up doing. If everyone is passionate about paper, you might consider scrapbooking. Or if your kids are really into slime, see if everyone else is okay with getting in on creating the shaving cream/school glue/contact lens solution concoction. And if you have a bunch of bakers on your hands, then maybe making chocolate chip cookie dough might be a good idea.

2. Get It Together

There’s nothing like sitting down to start crafting — and you’ve completely forgotten the paintbrushes. “Before the call, make sure to get all the supplies in one spot,” Stephanie Swoodson, a craft blogger at Swoodsonsays.com, tells Romper. “And check that the glue isn't dried up.” You don’t want to get your kid all excited to craft with the cousins and then discover that the materials you thought had on hand are all used up.

3. Use Simple Items

As Garman recommends above, choose a craft that incorporates items that everyone has on hand. That means using things like paper, crayons, markers, and maybe some washable paints if they have it. And if you do decide to go the baking route, think of simple recipes (and not, say, a chocolate soufflé). That way, everyone can participate together.

4. Allow For Creativity

Sure, you might all be making Easter bunny hand prints, but that doesn’t mean that everyone’s art has to be identical, particularly if you're dealing with little ones. “I'd recommend picking a somewhat open-ended craft that kids can put their own spin on, or at least choose their own colors,” says Swoodson. “Making everything identical isn't as engaging for kids.” You might even give out stickers (virtual and otherwise) to those who come up with the best crafts.

5. Make It Short (And Sweet)

Zoom only allows for 40 minutes in the free basic plan, so unless you have a paid plan, don’t pick a craft that will go longer than that. Plus, people (as in small kids) might not have patience to do a in-depth craft that will take longer than that. “Pick something that can be done in one sitting so everyone can share their finished project with their friends,” says Swoodson. And if the craft can’t be completed in the allotted time, you can always schedule a follow-up call to share their craftiness.

6. Switch Up Materials

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If you thought that crafting came in only one genre, think again. For your Zoom crafting night, you might decide to make earrings, do some scrapbooking (and share printed family pics), or even do floral arranging. You might make one Friday night session into a fairy garden adventure, or break out the cookies and start decorating.

7. Allow For Everyone’s Artistic Ability

Despite the picture-perfect Pinterest images, crafting sometimes comes a lot easier for some than others. So that’s why you should take your mini Matisse’s artistic ability into consideration before selecting the craft. Ideally, you want to pick a project that is easy enough for anyone to pull off, but not so simple that it’s boring. And make sure to applaud everyone's efforts, since this might be a new experience for all involved.

8. Make It Age-Appropriate

You might use crafting night as a way to keep the connection between your kid and family during this time of social distancing. Or it could make for a fun activity for your child and their friends. Or it could just be a fun activity for you and your mom friends after the kids go to bed. Just make sure that the craft is age-appropriate, especially if you’re going to have people of various ages and stages on the Zoom call. You don’t want your kid struggling to keep up, or craft night could end up in tears.

9. Show Off A Sample

In theory, telling everyone that they’re going to make a window cling might sound easy enough, but some people may need a visual example. To save on time, you can always have a ready-made sample of the craft that everyone can use for reference. “Every parent involved should make a sample of the craft ahead of time, on their own,” says Swoodson. “This way the kids each have an example to look at and they can help if they get stuck.”

Crafting on a Zoom call might make you miss being able to have that immediate closeness with your friends and family. But once you realize that crafting can occur no matter where you are, you might tap into a newfound creativity that you never knew you had before.

Experts:

Crystal Garman of Simply Full of Delight

Stephanie Swoodson, a craft blogger at Swoodsonsays.com