WESTERN CRAFTS for FUN and FLAIR

A wonderful gift for friends and family, to spice up your home décor, or for some creative family fun, there are many western-themed crafts that will take a minimal amount of time, effort and money. Here are a few great ideas for western crafts you can do at home:

THE CACTUS POT

Adding a bit of western flair to a room is very easy with a cactus pot display. Purchase a potted grouping of cacti, and a terra-cotta planter big enough to accommodate the pot. With some acrylic paints and a few western stencils, found at your local hobby store or online, you can paint the pot and add some of the old west to any table or shelf. Place the pot on a folded bandana to make a western placemat. If you do not have a green thumb, just remember that cactuses do just fine with neglect- often its over watering that kills them. Total cost of the project: $15-30. Time spent: 2-3 hours.

DREAMCATCHERS AND OTHER KITS

Many places online sell make-your-own dream catcher kits. Depending on the size of the dream catcher and the skill required to make it, these fun craft kits can take an hour or more, and add a little of the southwestern flair to any room. Kids’ kits are also available, which makes this a great family activity.

Similar bead projects and crafts with feathers are also available. Try or for some affordable kits and ideas. Total cost: $10-15 Time spent: Varies

WOODBURNING

Wood burning kits are widely available in many stores. Frequently they come with all the tools you need, as well as wood for door hangers, wooden signs, and often leather for making key chains and other hanging decorations. Western themes are easy to incorporate into this medium, simply by lightly sketching boots, a western hat, a cactus, chili pepper or other western-theme icon into the wood, and carefully tracing it with the wood burning tool. Total cost: $25-40 Time spent: Varies

WESTERN THEMED LAMPSHADE

What better way to really add style to your western-themed home than with a decorated lampshade! Again, using stencils and acrylic paint, you can add any variation of designs to a simple, flat lampshade. Use vibrant colors to add to the appeal, for example, use a sky-blue shade with brown boots, vibrant red peppers and Kelly green cactus stencils. A simple, plain lampshade can be purchased at any discount store for relatively cheap. The stencils, through any craft supplier or online merchant.

Knot a red bandana around the stem of the lamp for a little extra flair! Total cost of this project: $10-25 Time spent: 1-2 hours, depending on how fast the paint dries.

POTTERY

Finally, a little bit of western-style pottery can go a long way to dress up a shelf or table. Clay can be purchased at any craft store. Be sure the type you purchase can air dry and does not need a kiln. Depending on your skills and budget, you can try and make western style figures, purchase a pottery wheel, or you can make a simple pot.

To make the simple pot, take a good amount of clay and roll it out on a flat smooth surface to make a long cord. Once the cord is relatively thin, begin to wrap the cord into a circle, gradually increasing the height of the pot by placing the clay coil on top of itself, leaving a hole in the middle. Once the pot is complete, smooth out the sides using your hands and a little water, if needed. Let it air dry, and then paint with a western design or motif, or simply leave it as is for a more primitive western look. Total cost of this project: $10-50 Time spent: Varies on project.

Western crafts can add some style to your home, dressing up an otherwise boring room, or provide a fun family activity. Check the internet and craft store for more ideas on other western-style crafts, because with a little creativity and time, you can redecorate your home or make great gifts for friends and family alike.

 

Frederick Parker

http://laughatrice.com