What Is a Handicraft?

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A handicraft is any kind of craft that can be made using one's hands or simple tools. While indigenous cultures from around the world all have handicrafts, there is a resurgence in their popularity in America.



Art and handicraft are two different things. Art, such as oil painting, is made for display purposes. A handicraft is made to be used in everyday life. Examples of handicraft objects would include knitted sweaters, clay mugs, herbs grown in a garden, dolls made for children and woven baskets.


Handicraft encompasses many different crafts that are used traditionally in everyday life. Gardening, sewing, knitting, crochet, paper making, leather making, spinning, bead work, stained glass, pottery, quilting, needlepoint, metal work, doll making and woodwork all are examples of handicrafts, as only your hands or simple tools are used to produce artistic objects used in daily life.


Modern Use

There has been a resurgence in popularity of handicrafts, especially in the fiber arts, among children, teens and young adults. The article "Young and In Stitches" in the Boston Globe suggests that handicrafts has become popular with young people because it gives them a chance to relieve stress by doing something with their hands that doesn't involve a computer or cell phone.