Four Ways to Be Creative When You Aren’t Crafty


I hate to craft. HATE IT! The closest I’ve ever come to crafting is some scrapbooks I made in college for my first three years (the last shoebox of senior year memorabilia never made it into a scrapbook).

That, and sometimes at mom events, I’m forced to craft against my will. See exhibit A.

Exhibit A. Forced craft. Ain't it a beaut? Or not.
Exhibit A. Forced craft. Ain’t it a beaut? Or not.

Now, as a mom, I seriously pity my children. Even in the age of Pinterest and crafting made easy, I just cannot seem to pull it together. Here is a detailed but concise list of my excuses when my kids want to be creative:

“We should go play outside.”

“Ummmm . . . go color in your new coloring book.”

“String cheese, anyone?”

“I think your Papa needs a birthday card. Draw one.” (Who cares if it’s six months late.)

As you can see, at least 50 percent of my excuses include the deep psychological method of diversion. Rarely do my non-crafty ways impress my children, and I’m sure they will chat about it with their shrink in about 20 years. “You know, it’s all mom’s fault. She had a Pinterest account and everything. You can lead a horse to water, but . . . .”

Anyway, SOMETIMES (like every ONCE in a WHILE — do not be even slightly impressed), I participate in something creative with my kids, or facilitate it, because while I am NOT wired for craftiness, at least one of my children is. So, you know, in the interest of putting others first, blah blah blah, we do this sometimes.

Let me tell you right now, if you are a craft queen, please just stop right here because you might want to judge and that’s okay, girlfriend. Judge away with your homemade wreaths and what not. But, if you are like me, carry on . . . .

Coloring the play house.
Coloring the play house.

1. Color on something not paper ($). Last summer, my husband built a really cool play house for the kids (because he’s crafty like that — showoff). Instead of painting it some vibrant color (which I would do), or staining it a deep brown (what he wanted to do), he gave the kids some crayons. Since we could basically buy stock in crayons, this is a very cheap way to get creative. Ever since, they have been happily graffiti-ing that thing from top to bottom. It’s a creativity fix plus vitamin D. Boom. For the win.

2. Paint something ($$). My sister majored in art in college (I got none of these art genes, oh well), so she and my eldest daughter have been painting together for years. It’s really pretty easy, so I decided to try it with her on my own. Here are the steps.


  • Use your Hobby Lobby coupon to by a cheap-o canvas or a mat board and some paint. (I prefer to get tubes of acryllic paint instead of little kid paint).
  • Drive home. Carefully. Don’t touch your cell phone while driving. (Unsolicited PSA, you’re welcome.)
  • When you get home, put some uggo clothes on everyone involved.
  • Squeeze colors on the canvas; my sister says to know your color wheel because complimentary colors create brown. I mean . . . I maybe did or didn’t know this. Whatever.
  • Use your hands or a paint brush and . . . paint.
  • Hang canvas in play room, proudly.

3. Write and illustrate a story ($-$$$). Here’s the deal. I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. And because I do love writing and creating stories, this one really appeals to me. I can remember long before I went to school, drawing a story and narrating it to my mom. I have no idea where those books and stories are now, but in this day and age, we can easily publish our children’s books with the help of any handy dandy book making website. Simply create a story with your child, have them draw the illustrations, take pictures of the illustrations, and upload them onto the website of your choice: Shutterfly, Blurb, or Story Jumper.

4. Decorate some t-shirts ($-$$). Who didn’t love their puffy paint shirts in the 80s that said lies awesome things like, “FRIENDS R 4EVER?” I did. I have a very vivid memory of painting said t-shirt in the church basement with a bunch of other kids(none of whom I am currently friends with), and then subsequently trying to pick the puffy paint globs off my shirt during school. Ahhhh . . . puffy paint, the memories we’ve shared. Nowadays, Crayola makes markers for shirt decorating, or you could opt for the mess and go straight for puffy. It’s win/win no matter what you do. Decorating shirts is a timeless thing. And, even if you don’t want your kiddo necessarily wearing homemade shirts out and about, they work great as pj’s.

Non-crafty moms, what do you do to help your kids get their creative on?


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