11 Wabi-Sabi Crafts to Try
Wabi-sabi is a philosophy rooted in appreciating the beauty of imperfections, and the acknowledgement of three realities; that nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect. This sentiment has recently sparked interest and enthusiasm within the crafting and interior design world for good reason – with sustainability a hot topic, it’s plain to see why the make do and mend mentality is experiencing a resurgence.
This philosophy has now transformed into an aesthetic of natural materials, muted colour palettes and gnarled surfaces, with patterned stitches and gold fillings to emphasise and celebrate a humble attitude towards adapting to age and change.
Here are some simple craft projects that you can complete to add a bit (or a lot!) of Wabi-sabi into your life and home.
Create an abstract piece of 3D art which would work perfectly on its own in a minimal space or as part of a gallery wall that wows. This project uses Hobbycraft product to easily create an effective piece that would sit harmoniously on any wall. Follow the tutorial linked above to find out how it’s made!
Create a tile brooch by gently filing down any sharp edges on a piece of old tile, and gilding with Pebeo Mixtion Gilding Paste and Pebeo Gold Gilding Flakes. Attach a brooch finding to the back using a Glue Gun.
Sashiko is a Japanese form of repair and translates directly as “little stabs”. It is typically carried out with a white cotton thread on indigo fabric. This visible mending technique has been practised in Japan for thousands of years. Molly Martin here details how to do it yourself, should you have any small holes or tears that need repairing.
Mix a strong glue such as Bostik All Purpose Glue with Winsor & Newton Gold Drawing Ink on a small sheet of paper and apply to broken ceramics in order to piece back together. Follow the video by One Kings Lane to see how they’ve created the fixed items pictured above.
Use darning techniques to repair knitwear with nicks, holes, and imperfections. Follow the tutorial above by darning artist Tom of Holland written for The Yarn Loop.
Fall in love with the slight imperfections of handmade ceramics. Embrace the slight dent or crooked lip—these flaws are innocent marks that represent the hand of the maker. With this in mind, why don’t you try creating a handmade jar? You might end up loving its flaws.
Be inspired by Potter Sarah Bagouin-Harris, who draws inspiration from simple shapes and uses earthy glazes to create one-off pieces that are full of character and elegance. Take a look at Sarah’s Instagram to stay up to date with her current work, which uses gold gilding amongst the gritty glazes in a quintessentially Wabi-sabi style.
We have all done it – chopped off our ends at the centre of our granny square, thinking that we have probably worked over the end enough to trap it in. Then, some months later, you notice that the square is unravelling from the centre out. Monty Knits is here to save the day with her tutorial explaining how to fix a granny square hole!
These clay pinch pot planters are so simple to make and with the painted drip effect and shiny glaze they almost look like they’re straight out of the kiln. The best thing about this project is that you can forget painting within the lines and just get a bit messy.