Cats and Cross-Stitch: How The Internet Has Influenced The Craft Community

It’s happened to everyone. You sit down to try to make something and the ideas just don’t come. You’re in the mood to get creative, you’ve got your supplies ready…but inspiration is ever so slightly out of reach. So what do you do? Look outside? Play with your kids? Or pop over to Instagram to see what Grumpy Cat is up to?

Poking around Facebook is widely viewed as the opposite of being productive, but what if you could find new, cool craft ideas from the kind of content that people can’t help but share on the internet? A lot of crafters have.

From a painting of Ellen’s infamous Oscar selfie (which now hangs on the wall at Twitter’s headquarters) to printed valentines featuring one pretty Internet-famous Shiba Inu, Pinterest and Etsy are loaded with handmade products that hearken to something digital. They’re like inside jokes where the entire community is in on the joke.

craft ideas twitter earrings
Image via Pinterest SEJournal on Pinterest

Which makes total sense; crafts have always imitated life, and been a way of bringing people together. Both in the creation of crafts, where crafters (usually women) would gather around to quilt and chat, to the sale of handmade goods at craft fairs, there’s a definite social element to the art of making and selling your wares. So why wouldn’t social media, something that’s infiltrated our lives, also creep in?

Additionally, with the ability to sell crafts online, there’s a lot more overlap between the people who make stuff and the people who consume handmade stuff.

craft ideas facebook like
Image via CavidDesigns on Etsy

The other great thing about crafts that reference popular culture? They get shared like crazy. Big-name blogs like Buzzfeed are constantly touting crafters who include geeky, interesting, and especially social media-based items. Something about seeing an embroidered hashtag just seems to delight them.

Even if you’re not necessarily an internet person — you don’t, for example, regularly check Reddit or even know what it is — you can still draw craft inspiration from social media, memes, and even popular TV shows. Because even if it’s not your thing, it’s absolutely somebody’s.

To find internet inspiration for your next pop culture craft, check out what’s trending on websites like KnowYourMeme, a website whose sole purpose in life is just to explain internet stuff. Or, just get onto your own Facebook or Twitter accounts and look for the kinds of things about the style you could borrow. Iconography, language, and even the way people talk can be really inspirational, and give you all kinds of new craft ideas.

etsy craft ideas
Image via Stitchrow on Etsy

Another good tip? Know when a meme is over. Crafts last a lot longer than viral videos, so stick with ideas that have some kind of a shelf-life. After all, no one really wants to own a Double Rainbow pillow case, and Bed Intruder is so very over.

Hanna Brooks Olsen FOLLOW >

Hanna Brooks Olsen is a writer and editor for CreativeLive, longtime reporter, and the co-founder of Seattlish. Follow her on Twitter at @mshannabrooks or go to her website for more stuff.