Thought Catalog
June 12, 2013

21 Signs You Have An Arts And Crafts Addiction

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What is the issue?
Hello, my name is Nico Lang, and I’m addicted to decorating things. It’s my gay gene kicking in. I have an entire wall of my house that’s done in crossword puzzles and another that’s covered in “old racist posters,” because nothing says “Please have sex with me” to one-night stands like historical racism. Thanks, Al Jolson!

Do you also have a problem? If these following points sound like you, you may be an addict. But don’t worry. There’s a group for it. On Wednesdays we wear lace.

1. You immediately know how to calculate the price of anything in bulk — including yarn, antique wallpaper, old maps, stickers or birth certificates from the 1920s.

2. When you go to an antique store, you always have to haggle because if you were going strictly from the listed price, you would leave without any money. You regularly budget every month for arts, crafts, beads, plastic eyeballs and double-sided tape. One month, I spent almost sixty dollars on double-sided tape alone. Those projects aren’t going to stick themselves together.

3. Often writers get inspiration in the middle of the night to write a new piece, woken up by an idea they just have to write down, usually in a notebook beside the bed. If you had one of these notebooks, it would only be filled with design ideas, like the time you thought it would be a great idea to build DIY mobiles, which it turns out suck.

4. You are the worst person to buy Christmas presents for, because you usually ask for very specific things like “postcards only from Japan,” “scrabble tiles” or “stamps from the Reconstruction Era.”

5. However, you give great Christmas presents, like the time you made personalized cards for everyone in the family out of old photographs. You are also always great at White Elephant and Secret Santa dollar limits, because your gifts often only cost two dollars to make.

6. Instead of gifts, you are often known to give people lessons in things for Christmas, like teaching them how to crochet, sew or patch up the jeans that have a giant hole in the crotch from biking. These are skills that will last them forever, whether they asked for them or not.

7. You often make big-ticket crafts purchases without really knowing why you need so many pictures of sailboats. The owner of the antique store will ask you what you plan to do with those, and you say, “Decoration?” hoping he will understand. He usually just looks at you like you’re a flasher.

8. Your most prized possession is a hot glue gun or the industrial sewing machine your grandmother gave you. If you do not already have a sewing machine and you are a crafts addict, you are likely saving up for one as we speak.

9. You sometimes stay home on a Saturday night to knit or to scrapbook.

10. When showing off their new scarf or sweater, many people brag about how much or how little they spent on it. “This was $10 million,” they say. “I had to sell my spleen to get it, but don’t worry. You don’t need that anyway.” You are known to instead boast, “Oh, you like that. I made it out of bubble paper and dental floss! Isn’t it great?”

11. You have a bad habit of not throwing things away, because that cereal box could be useful later. That Lucky Charms container could be a future purse, who knows? One man’s trash is another man’s rabid obsession.

12. People often meet babies and think, “Oh, cute! What’s their name?” You want to know the baby’s size and measurements, because you know the perfect onesie for it.

13. You are on a first-name basis with the Chinese lady tailor who lives across the street, because you are always coming to her to ask for alterations. Did you really need to make those jacket sleeves three-quarter lengths? Probably not, but hey, why not?

14. You live at Hobby Lobby, Michael’s and JoAnn’s Fabrics. I don’t know if they have JoAnn’s outside of the Midwest, but I honestly can’t think of a world without JoAnn. Where else can you buy construction paper in every conceivable color (including colors you didn’t know existed) and six different brands of tacky glue? That’s a dark universe I shan’t go to.

15. When you have roommates, it’s customary to be woken up by loud music or the sounds of the television. Not okay, but not uncommon either. You’ve woken your roommates up with such classics as intentionally breaking mirrors you bought earlier that day or tearing books apart for the vintage-style pages. Why did you have to do this at 1:00 in the morning? That would be a great question for Freud.

16. Most people donate old clothing they don’t want anymore. You try to spruce it up, by sewing patches on the jacket you don’t give a shit about or throwing paint on your old baggy jeans, just to see how it looks. Answer: Not any better.

17. You and your grandmother get along really well because you have the same interests. You love to swap tips or garden together, as people your age are often wont to do. (Spoiler: They aren’t wont to do that. You’re secretly old. Join the club.)

18. You’re enrolled in more than one crafting club at a time or have multiple knitting groups, none of which know about each other. It feels like cheating, but you just have so much love to give. You are also subscribed to multiple card-making and scrapbooking magazines because, yes, they have those. You read them just for the articles, you swear.

Bonus: Your coffee table is fucking covered in catalogs.

19. You often form friend groups around your addictions, like your knitting friends, your sewing friends, your beading buddies, your stamp sistas and your hatmaking hombres, none of which know about each other either. You aren’t just living a double life. You’re practically Valerie Plame.

20. You love finding new purposes for things that aren’t supposed to be used for that, like baking pans, wooden spoons, crates, plastic jugs, rolling pins, whisks or picnic baskets. There’s nothing that warms your heart more than seeing an old mailbox or mail container filled with shoes.

21. You desk looks like it belongs to a third-grader, covered in crayons, markers and colored pencils. You still color and you are a grown ass adult. You still don’t color in the lines, but now it’s “intentional.” TC mark

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image – andreas