Crafts might seem frivolous during our current, troubled times, but they can provide such a beautiful outlet for not only creative energy, but also as a way to shine a light on powerful subjects. That's why these make-your-own dolls that celebrate Black change makers are so poignant and wonderful.
These downloadable PDF instructions are only $1 each, and 100% of the proceeds are going to the BIPOC in Fiber and the Social Justice Sewing Academy charities. The designs are pretty incredible. Crafters can choose between everything from a crochet Michelle Obama to a Chadwick Boseman Black Panther doll, an embroidered version of Colin Kaepernick, and even a punch needle portrait of Dr. Angela Davis. The designs also range in skill level. For instance, while I might be able to pull off the Chadwick Boseman doll (simple hand stitching), I would not be able to crochet my very own Oprah Winfrey. However, for those who do crochet, the instructions look pretty straight forward. And if all else fails, there are coloring pages as well.
While crafts have never been strictly the pastime of one group of people, the largely publicized crafters and projects have, for a very long time, been incredibly white. Think of all the infomercials you saw for craft projects growing up, or the craft kits you see down the aisles of craft stores, and think of how overrepresented white ladies have been. This wonderful set of crafts centers Black change makers and Black creators along with telling their story.
The charities that are funded by this effort are spectacular. BIPOC in Fiber highlights Black and Indigenous people of color working in the fiber industry, striving to make it a more inclusive industry. The Social Justice Sewing Academy was founded in 2017 to combine youths looking for creative pursuits with a deep passion for social justice to be able to express themselves through art and crafting. They encourage their kids to use their art to speak out for causes that are personal to them, whether that be mass incarceration, gender discrimination or gun violence. Whatever the child wants to fight, they learn how art can help.
Buy purchasing PDFs for these make your own dolls, you can help these groups continue funding such important work.