How to put on a crafternoon tea

Sometimes it’s easy to let friendships drift, only catching up when there’s a birthday or at Christmas. Give yourself a reason to get together by taking turns to host a crafternoon tea. Here’s Karyn Henger’s beginner’s guide. 

You’ve heard of book club, and of course the good ol’ stitch n’ bitch, but things have moved on. A crafternoon tea is an afternoon (or evening) where you and your friends get together to create. Ideally, the project needs to be simple enough to make while you’re talking – but don’t shy away from learning a new skill. Particularly if this is a group of old friends, you’ll all be comfortable enough with each other to relax into the task at hand. 

Hayley Pearce, a keen crafter from Auckland, belongs to a group of 12 friends who meet every six to eight weeks to craft together. “So far we’ve done screen printing, jewellery making, Japanese shibori fabric dying, origami, soy candle-making. The candle making was really fun; I actually went out and bought more materials afterwards and made a whole lot of candles for my family for Christmas. Next, we’re making glass terrariums.”

Hayley’s group, Kitty Run Home, started when a few close friends decided to meet up regularly with purpose, rather than just going out for lunch. 

“I really enjoy it – it’s social and a bit like belonging to a book club, but creative,” she says. “And it’s fun to try new things that you wouldn’t necessarily try if you were just going to be doing it on your own.”

Crafternoon tea tips: 

Take turns to run the gathering, with the host being responsible for choosing the project and learning ahead of time how to make it. 

Avoid crafts you know your friends won’t enjoy; but don’t be afraid to embrace new  projects if they’re achievable for a beginner.  

The cost of materials will vary, depending on what you’re making. Issue a list of what to bring the week before, or set up a fund for materials everyone can contribute to.

Allow plenty of time to complete your projects – a good two to three hours plus run-on time for more talking.

If you’re the host, provide nibbles as well as a strong pot of tea or a cheeky bottle of wine and the conversation and creativity will flow! See www.good.net.nz/crafternoon-nibbles for inspiration.

Leave your children with gran or your partner – this is your time with friends. 

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