A Teenager’s Guide To Being A Grandma

An embroidered pattern on a jean pocket. Embroidery is an easy-to-learn skill that is very similar to sewing. Photo by Sofia Kidd.

Do you consider yourself an “old soul?” Maybe you listen to music from a couple decades ago, or you wear old, vintage clothing, or you really, really like to clean. Maybe your friends consider you an “old lady.” If you check any of those boxes, you might be interested in these fun crafts that will bring you even closer to grandma status. 

The classic craft that might come to mind when someone says “grandma” is usually knitting or crocheting, and for a good reason! Maybe you’ve received crocheted gifts on a holiday occasion, or you’ve seen your grandma sitting in her rocking chair, a pair of knitting needles clicking away as a sweater, misshapen sock, or scarf magically appears as she works. But they’re not crafts that only grandmas can do! They are both fun, productive activities that fill your time without requiring your full attention. You could knit or crochet while watching your favorite TV show, hanging out with friends, or maybe on FaceTime with your grandma so you can show off your skills. Both are skills that can be self-taught, or if you’re really into it, you could take classes at your local craft store. “It seems a lot more intimidating than it really is,” says Franklin student Pearl McNames (10). “It’s actually really creative and fun!” And at the end of it all, you have a homemade product that can be worn or shown off. 

A very cool craft that is not widely done anymore is tatting, or lace-making. Tatting involves a series of fine knots that require great patience and skill to pull off. Looking up YouTube tutorials and toughing it out by yourself would work to learn the skill, but your best bet would be taking classes at your local craft store, or finding an expert on the subject and forcing them to teach you. Or asking politely, whichever works. Tatting can produce lace jewelry, embellishments for clothing, or lace doilies and other ornamental pieces that add to the general grandma vibe of wherever you choose to place them. 

Another fun, useful skill that is widely grandma-associated is sewing and mending. Knowing how to darn a sock or fix a hem is a valuable life skill. Sewing by hand is a fairly easy craft to learn by yourself, with the help of the internet. Using a machine is more complicated and requires reading manuals or calling in help from a professional (AKA Grandma), but the ease and speed it offers is worth it! Additionally, the more skills you gain, the range of projects available to you becomes wider. You could start by mending existing clothes, then altering, then before you know it, you’re sewing a piece of clothing!

A fun skill that may bring you even closer to grandma status is embroidery. It is very similar to sewing; the main difference being the decorative aspect. Embroidery is a fun way to embellish or decorate something that may be boring or plain. Clothing, pillows, and other miscellaneous fabric items can all be embroidered, as well as wall hangings or similar items. With the use of YouTube and WikiHow, embroidery is a fairly easy-to-learn skill. If you know how to sew, chances are you can embroider, too! This craft makes great gifts and is a good way to occupy your hands. 

A more niche and complicated skill, quilting is a classic grandma go-to. Quilting builds on sewing skills and creates a beautiful, handmade quilt with any patterns or designs you may wish. Your nearest craft store may offer quilting classes, and quilting handbooks for beginners are a great resource. As with all of these skills, the more you practice, the better you get and the more skills you build. As your quilting abilities progress, the patterns you make can be even more colorful and complicated— and you definitely have bragging rights, because quilting is cool. 

Knowing how to do any of these crafts will bring you even closer to being a grandma— or as close as you can get when you’re a high school student. All of them are very impressive, and having the ability to craft and make a beautiful product out of a piece of string or a swatch of fabric is very nifty and neat! Most of these crafts are a good way to occupy your hands while doing some other task, and usually creates a product that you can be proud of.

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