In this episode, I am sharing some ideas on how to plan a crafting retreat day that you could run this Spring with friends.
I love that crafting is usually a solitary hobby. I am pretty introverted and use my craft time to recharge and take a moment. However, I also think it’s important to have some in-person connection; especially when you are connecting over a shared love of something.
You can listen to the episode below or keep scrolling to read the tips instead.
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How to plan a crafting retreat day
Below are the decisions you have to make when you’re planning your retreat day. You can work through them in order and/or flip back and forth to decide all of the details.
Online or in person
I said above that I think the in-person connection is important, but you may not have many people in your life that enjoy the same crafts as you. If so, you may want to think about running your crafting retreat day online. This is a little more difficult but it is possible. I run seasonal retreat days inside the Cross Stitch Club and they are all done over Zoom.
If you can though, I definitely recommend trying to do this in person. If your actual friends don’t enjoy crafting you can ask inside some Facebook groups, school mums, friends of friends, etc if they want to join in.
But I usually find that even people who might not think they enjoy crafting on an everyday basis will come along to a craft day if they’re invited. It’s the social connection, more than the type of event, that some people enjoy.
For the rest of this post, I will be talking about planning an in-person event but you can use some of the tips for online too.
Date and time
Weekends usually work best for these kinds of days, but that might mean you or the people you invite have to get babysitters. Depending on who you are inviting, you might be able to do this on a weekday instead.
For example, at-home parents might be better suited to a weekday than a weekend. But if you’re inviting people who you work with, you might all have weekends off.
The time of the day depends on everyone’s schedule but you will need a good few hours and I find 10 am – 4 pm works pretty well. This way there is only one meal involved for the day (lunch).
Once you have a day in mind, check with the people you invite. I like to give at least 6 weeks notice to make sure people can come.
You can definitely do this in your home if you have a dining table and enough chairs (you can always ask people to bring a chair with them). Or you could try and hire a room for the day if it’s within your budget. (I will talk about money more below).
Deciding on your theme early will help you figure out what to do on the day.
I like to go for seasonal themes; Spring, Summer, etc because in person you are all in the same season, but you can do whatever.
Easter and Mother’s Day are coming up, you could go with a genre such as fairytales or woodland, or base it on a movie/book/TV show like Harry Potter or Alice in Wonderland.
I like to break the day up into sessions when I’m running the Cross Stitch Club retreat days. There are so many crafts out there but now you have your theme you can narrow it down.
You need around 1 hour per session, plus an hour for lunch/break and if you are going with 6 hours then that is 5 sessions. Of course, you can adjust this if you need more time for certain things. It’s difficult to judge at first but if you’re running this at home you can always run over if you need to.
Once you know how many sessions get yourself on Pinterest! Just search “your theme crafts” for example “Harry Potter crafts” and see what comes up.
You can make a Pinterest board for your retreat day and just save anything and everything that looks good.
Next, go to your board and narrow down what crafts are your favourite and are relatively simple to do.
You could also have a session/hour/half an hour where people bring along their own crafts/projects they are working on and just sit with their own stuff chatting and drinking tea. I like to do this at the start of the day to get the ice broken and everyone settled in.
Make your lists
Now that you have your sessions ready, go through them and write down what you need for each tutorial (I have sheets you can download and print off for free below).
You could also write down the tutorial or just save it to follow on the day.
There are 2 ways to get your supplies. You could give everyone a list of what they need for the day and they buy it themselves. This way, people can spend what they can afford and pick things to their own preference.
Or you could work out how much everything would cost for everyone to take part, split the cost by the number of people coming and ask them to chip in that amount and you’ll get it all in one go.
If people have things like glue guns/scissors etc at home you could ask them to bring them so there are enough to go around.
The other supplies you have to think about are food and drink. You could ask people to bring their own lunch, or again ask them to chip in and you will make something.
If you do that I just recommend an afternoon tea style such as sandwiches, cakes, a fruit plate, etc. You will want to ask about allergies as well if you do this. Then the usual tea/coffee/juice etc.
You might also want some background music on; you could make a playlist specifically for this day. If there is a theme it could go along with that; the soundtrack to the movie, songs about Summer, etc.
And then you should be ready to host a crafting retreat day! I am thinking of doing a part 2 to this post talking about how to actually run the day; if you would like to see that please just let me know.
If you do run a day be sure to stage me in any photos you take @hannahhandmakes.