It always feels better to give than receive, so why not use your crafting skills for good and help others with your makes. Here’s a look at six hashtags keeping us inspired to make for others
As well as being a tool for boosting mental health, you can also use craft to raise awareness of environmental or political issues close to your heart. From sewing dresses for girls in Africa, to knitting booties for premature babies there’s so many gentle and positive ways to raise funds or simply put a smile on someone’s face.
We’ve rounded up the best hashtags to help you meet like-minded makers and find ways to use your passion to help others…
The #littlesquaresofstrength project was set up by Australian crafter Fleur Lyon to bring female crafters together to form a community who then send love and kindness to women who need a bit of encouragement and support.
All you have to do to take part is to knit, crochet, sew, weave or embroider a 16cm x 16cm square then send it off to become a part of a #littlesquaresofstrength blanket. “You can be as unique as you like – even the most simple squares are wonderful in the blankets,” explains Fleur.
“This year people can nominate a little one who’s having a tough time, and collaborative blankets will be sent to children and their mamas. Just imagine wrapping yourself in a blanket that is made up of squares handmade by women all over the world, infused with so much love.”
Give an unexpected handmade gift to friends, especially ones you think could do with a bit of a boost, by taking part in #make2share. Simply pick two friends to make something for, tag them in your post on social media, send them a handmade gift and then they have two weeks to do the same for someone else. It really is the gift that keeps on giving! “We are appealing to people’s inherent desire to brighten someone’s day,” explains Creative Bug founder Julie Roehm.
“Our goal is to spread happiness by turning one delightful moment into three. You can give anything made by hand, including knitted or sewn gifts, an envelope with a poem or a picture, a zine or a batch of cookies. Everyone is capable of making something.”
There’s lots of inspiration on the Make2Share site including a cute tassel garland from the team here at Mollie Makes. Don’t forget to post your makes on social media using the hashtag #make2share and wait for the good karma to flood in!
Craftivist Collective have worked on numerous projects to raise awareness from stitch-ins at train stations for fair transport fares to hand-stitched hankies to persuade people in power ‘not to blow it’. One of our favourite projects of theirs is #fortheloveof… where you sew what you love about the planet onto a heart in support of the charity The Climate Coalition.
“#fortheloveof hashtag makes climate change more personal to us all because it asks us all to think about what we love, how climate change will sadly effect it and how we need to campaign to world leaders to protect what we all love,” explains Sarah Corbett, founder of the Craftivist Collective.
“The hashtag isn’t spiteful or demonising an ‘enemy’. It’s asking everyone to take part in protecting what they love and that’s why it’s so powerful and positive.”
There are a whole host of projects you can become a part of including Mini Fashion Statement project, which launches in a couple of months using the hashtag #whomademyclothes. You can create scrolls to make people think about how the clothes we wear are made. For more information visit the Craftivist Collective website and take a look at the projects you can get involved.
The Refugee Community Kitchen in Calais has been feeding up to 2,000 refugees a day with the help of an army of volunteer chefs and cooks since last year. Inspired by their humanitarian effort, knitting legend Debbie Bliss, East London Craft Guerrilla founder Debbie Daniel and Sliz Gillard (whose husband Chris is one of the chefs donating his time to the cause) decided to come up with another way to help those living in the tough conditions of the refugee camps.
While still in its early stages, not only will the group host ‘Knit Nights’ to create squares for blankets, but they want you to send in your knitted squares too and share your efforts on social media using #Knit4RCK. “We have been told that they are seriously lacking in bedding as things get really damp so having fresh blankets are needed,” explains Debbie Daniel.
“We’ll collect the squares or you can sell finished blankets yourselves and donate the proceeds. We’d love people all over the UK to start their own Knit Nights too as a way to share ideas about what we can all do to help those in need.”
5. #thebigknit / #bigknitmyhat
You’ve probably already spotted the tiny knitted hats sitting on top of Innocent Smoothies in your local supermarket. The Big Knit project has already raised £1.7 million for Age UK and you can get involved too.
Jamie Sterry from Innocent explains “The Innocent Big Knit is a campaign where we ask the public to knit us little hats to put on our bottles. For every bottle we sell wearing a little hat we donate 25p to Age UK to help older people stay warm and well in winter. Plus this year the #bigknitmyhat means people can send us a photo of them with their little hat and the winners will have real life sized versions of their hat made.”
Knit for Peace receives thousands of items every year from keen knitters and crocheters around the UK who need an outlet for what they produce and who get a real sense of purpose by knitting for charity. Knit for Peace then distributes the items to where they are needed. It might be a dressing gown to a hospice, jumpers to women’s refuges or hats, scarves and warm clothes to the homeless in the UK and refugees in camps in Kurdistan, Syria and Greece.
“Our volunteers unpack the day’s post-load of knitting to choose something they think is a bit special and we then post that as the #knitoftheday, which lets knitters and crocheters know what other people are making for us and spreads the word,” explains Deborah of Knit For Peace
“Sharing the makes is a really important part of what we do and brings more people to us to help others in need.”
Get sharing, meeting and making with these hashtags too…
#craftforacause / #craftforgood / #makeforchange
If you’ve made something for a charity, share the message by using these creative hashtags.
If you’ve been brightening up your local area using yarnbombing don’t forget to add this hashtag to your posts to inspire other people and to be a part of the #craftivist community.
Spread the love by sharing little makes with strangers by leaving handmade items with notes explaining why they’re there for people to find.
Want to shout about a political cause close to your heart, and then share your radical makes with this hashtag.