Tackling creative projects is easier than ever thanks to the maker movement, a blend of DIY sensibility and technology.
Making things is nothing new, but now consumers can use technology to create better, more advanced items. It used to be that if you wanted to learn a craft, you’d have to buy a book or find someone to show you how to make your creations. Today, online tutorials from industry experts are just a click away.
“I made it”
The maker movement is growing. According to Forbes, over 46 percent of Americans, young and old, say they’re part of the maker community. Consumers have a strong interest in creative activities including arts, crafts, technology, cooking and more.
That interest is particularly strong in times of uncertainty. “In an unsettled world, people turn more and more to creative passions and pursuits because they’re looking for tangible projects and programs that they can really take part in,” says Catherine Balsam-Schwaber, general manager at Bluprint, a digital destination for lifestyle learning.
She says everyone from a casual baker to someone selling crafted jewelry at a market is contributing to the maker movement.
Bluprint is a subscription service with over 13 million community members and a content library with over 4,000 hours of original material including online classes on crafts, home décor, cooking, entertaining and more. They also produce original entertainment series featuring creative experts to help inspire and entertain.
The goal is to empower users to get creative and take on an assortment of projects. In the end, they’ll be able to proudly say, “I made it.”
Last summer, the company launched start-up kits called Bluprint boxes to help beginners take on a project.
“If you’re successful making the first project, you’re more likely to go on to the second and the third project because you feel like you’ve made something incredibly tangible,” says Balsam-Schwaber, noting the site also has intermediate and advanced classes.
The platform is creating partnerships to help its users connect with maker opportunities they see in popular culture. “In the case of ‘Project Runway,’ we have additional content on Bluprint that introduces our larger maker community to challenges or creative projects you can do at home that are inspired by the challenges that you see in the show,” says Balsam-Schwaber, explaining those challenges incorporate a range of crafts such as sewing, illustration and design.
In other videos, users can get sewing inspiration and costume tutorials from sewist and comic book fan Marcy Harriell; décor and design tips from professional crafter Jo Gick; sewing and fashion tips from lifestyle blogger Mimi G; as well as fashion and design tips from Mondo Guerra, runner up from “Project Runway” season 8 and winner of “Project Runway All Stars.”
“Our experts are really able to help you avoid the pitfalls and have the opportunity to make your project successful the first time around,” says Balsam-Schwaber.
Being a maker has many benefits. Adults use it to de-stress and get creative outside of work. Kids may use it to learn new things, collaborate with others or bond with a parent.
“When I think about crafting I think about it really as creativity,” says Balsam-Schwaber, noting that the creative projects, “really release a sense of joy in your daily experience. It’s such an enhancement for people of all ages.”