The Hive JQ

The Hive is a community hub for Birmingham in an historic building, with an award-winning organic café and bakery, craft workshops, exhibitions and event spaces.

As our #KeepWellKeepCrafting project has come to an end, we take a look back at the all the wonderful crafts from our creative community. The idea behind our craft campaign was to create an online community for anyone to upload and share their crafty creations, and for us at The Hive to do something to contribute to people's sense of wellbeing during lockdown. 

In April 2020, we started posting out free craft kits to anyone who got in touch. Starting with a jewellery making kit, the remote craft campaign included a whole range of crafts: macrame keychains, pompom making, decoupage, copper embossing, paper quilling, polymer clay marbling… we designed each challenge to make sure it was suitable for an adult-craft audience, and was potentially to be something that people would not have tried before.

Alongside posting out physical craft kits, we also created a range of DIY craft sheets which didn’t require any specialist materials. These arts and craft challenges doubled up as family-friendly activities, and included an alphabet photography challenge, an animal phone stand, cardboard tube houses, an ‘inspired by design’ challenge, and so much more! (For anyone who missed out, we’ve uploaded all of the ‘How To’ guides from our craft challenges to this post, so everyone can have a go at something new!). 

The remote craft campaign was a real success. In our first week, we posted kits to just under 30 participants, and by our final week over 115 people were involved! The Hive team has thoroughly enjoyed seeing everyone’s crafty creations, and we feel that the project really created a sense of community in a particularly difficult time. Here are just some of the lovely things that participants had to say:

“I have really enjoyed it and it helped me a lot during lockdown as I found the isolation quite hard at times. It reintroduced me to crafts I'd not done for a while, gave me new ideas and I learnt a craft I had not done before.”

“Really enjoyable and helped with my mental wellbeing during these difficult times.”

“Heartwarming. Great to receive artistic simulation, especially through the post.”

“I just loved it and was looking forward to receiving your packages and emails.”

“It’s so wonderful as [our group] are actually sitting down and making time for themselves away from their caring roles to do the craft - which normally is something they don't do”. 

“The projects have been a life saver, and a lovely thing to do at home with my 8 year old.”

“I have just received my first pack and cannot wait to get creative. I live alone & suffer with my MH so this will help me immensely, thank you so much.” 

Roseanna, Freya and Naomi have really enjoyed putting the project together, and seeing everyone’s responses to the craft kits. Looking back on the project, Freya says, “Recently it’s been really hard for people to be creative, especially in community groups like the ones we usually offer at the Hive; I think the campaign has been a welcome distraction, and it’s been so nice to see people come together online to share that creativity.”

Naomi writes, “It feels strange now looking back to March and the work we have done over the last few months. Right from the start it was important to us as a team to continue an analogue connection to our existing community. It definitely feels that we have also made new connections and reached a new audience during this period. I wonder if the pandemic has given some people the permission to craft/make who maybe wouldn't have considered it before. I'm proud of the new collaborations and grass-root connections we have made during this time - Partnering with Ladywood helpers to support our local community and providing craft kits for local families.”

We have had a wonderful time running #KeepWellKeepCrafting, but we can't wait to get back to the Hive! Keep and eye out on social media for updates about when we'll be back up and running. Follow @TheHiveJQ on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. 


Download our 'How To' guides for all of our featured crafts below. We also provide demos on our Youtube Channel: The Hive JQ. 

Pom Pom Making

Jewellery Making

Make a Polymer Clay Marble Coaster 

Macrame Keychain

Make Your Own Phone Stand

Photography Challenge

Inspired by Design Challenge 

Paper Quilling 

Wool Wrapping

Copper Embossed Bookmark