Creative hobbies go viral | ArtsHub Australia


The humble craft has unexpectedly become the new lover of social media, especially on the Tik Tok video platform, where the creators present an eye-catching mix of handcrafted aesthetics and pop cultural imagery.

Highlighting the growing value that younger generations place on sustainability and eschewing fast fashion, craftsmanship has also been a welcome distraction from the digital age and has surprising health benefits.

So, as Sydney Craft Week is in full swing, from macrame to tufting, ArtsHub has brought together five trendy practices and containment-friendly projects to inspire you towards the joy of crafting.


From the old traditional practice to the social media star in the worlds of fashion, interior and art, embroidery has never looked so good. The release of the period drama Bridgerton sparked a renewed interest in this hobby that was once the pastime of reserved aristocratic ladies. Today, he is seizing on personalized t-shirts, fabric patches and original and contemporary wall hangings.

Tactile embroidery by Peruvian artist Ana Teresa Barboza. Image courtesy of the artist.

An embroidery hoop is the key specialty material you will need for this craft, along with the needles and thread. If you want to start from scratch, you can even try making your own embroidery hoop from recycled materials, like a plastic container.

Once you’re all set, find the right inspiration in a YouTube or Tik Tok tutorial and get started. The best part is that embroidery can quickly rearrange your favorite pieces and use up junk.

Read: COVID-19 has been a boon to the craft

But if you’re not comfortable with sewing, cross stitch embroidery can be the place to start, with pre-designed designs that only require point-to-point stitching.

Or if you are a knot pro, there are a myriad of images that can be created with the French knot technique like this cherry blossom tree.


Speaking of knotting, using a variety of knotting and braiding techniques with rope can allow you to create a hanging house for houseplants – another increasingly popular hobby.

Often aligned with the bohemian aesthetic, the practice of macrame was actually spread by sailors in the 19th century who made things like hammocks and belts as a hobby on their travels.

Dutch artist Sandra de Groot uses this technique to create sublime portable sculptures that evoke her narrative story.

Hanging works of art in macrame by Sandra de Groot. Image courtesy of the artist.

Macrame can be hung from a range of brackets, but a wooden ring or rod (called a macrame peg) is often used. Here is a meditative tutorial that will walk you from start to finish for a small wall hanging.


A surprising highlight of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics saw British diver Tom Daley crochet (on dry land of course) a cottagecore-inspired pouch for his gold medal. Due to popular demand, Daley even created a quick “Cozy Medal” tutorial on his Tik Tok.

Crochet has also found a special community on Tik Tok, with manufacturers forging new connections and inspirations that may have been in practice for decades. The platform combines seamless visuals with upbeat music, perfect for drawing attention to the craft.

Singaporean artist Kelly Limerick channels her love for Japanese kimo kawaii culture (a mix of cute and bizarre) through crochet, creating large-scale works that are both adorable and eerie. South Australian artist Trevor Smith also embarked on his mother-inspired crochet – a profession still stigmatized and unusual for men at the time – and which became the driving force of his 40-year artistic career.

Kelly Lim alongside her large-scale crochet work. Image courtesy of the artist.

The latest crochet trends are closely linked with fashion, although you can create anything from plush toys to blankets. Crochet hooks are also a safer, young adult-friendly alternative to knitting needles, and one of the cheapest craft tools to get your hands on.


There are countless talented and diverse Australian artists working with clay, pottery and ceramics. One of them is Ramesh Mario Nithiyendran whose work you can see at HOTA, Gold Coast with his 2021 Six Meter Commission Double-sided avatar with blue figure. There is also artist Zhu Ohmu who combines ceramics with 3D printing, and Vipoo Srivilasa who creates original figurines, and many First Nations artists from the oldest indigenous art center Ernabella Arts, who frequently do ceramic work.

So why not bring those pottery memorabilia back to class with refreshed eyes and go for it yourself?

Read: Creative home schooling: a list to go to when lesson plans fail

With a lump of clay and cutting tools on a kitchen bench, get ready to melt the day by dipping into creations such as a gravy dish or small vase. Go for air-dried clay as you won’t be able to bake it at home, but note that they will be more brittle, so a cup or gut might not be the choice. You can also use the idea of ​​the fabric patch to make clay pins.

What if you don’t want to get your hands dirty at all? You can enjoy quality ASMR pottery and leave the work to the experts.


Finally, there is tufting, the art of soft rugs! The upholstery has garnered a lot of attention thanks to viral designs such as a Tom rug melting down the stairs from ’90s cartoon classic Tom and Jerry.

The viral and nostalgic tufted rug from the manufacturer RUGSOA®.

But other artists have used this medium to create bespoke works of art that are not limited to floor rugs. The bushy works of Canadian artist Simone Saunders explore her Métis identity, with thrilling portraits that champion Black Lives Matter. And Philadelphia artist Tim Eads created a dedicated online retail space in 2018 to meet the growing demand for tufting supplies head-on.

Read: The craft business shouldn’t be an oxymoron

Fortunately, a tufting gun (which costs $ 300 and up) isn’t an essential tool if you want to try tufting. Beginners can start their own rug project using a tufting needle (which is much cheaper than a tufting gun), which you hold like a pen to punch through the thread into your choice of strong backing fabric.

All you have to do is stretch some fabric over an embroidery frame or hoop for small projects, and draft your design, then thread the tufting needle and start punching. The technique creates a three-dimensional looped yarn structure with a texture that you can’t help but slip your hands on.

YouTuber craft connoisseur Jenna Phipps has a great video on how to create a comfortable piece of art with the bare minimum of materials.

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