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Introducing Creativebug Online Craft Tutorials

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh’s Communications and Creative Services Intern, Corinne Hebestreit, got crafty with Creativebug, the latest addition to our eResources collection.

Creativebug, a service offering online video tutorials for arts and crafts, was just added to CLP’s eResources lineup, and I was eager to begin using it. When I first logged on I was overwhelmed by the amount of tutorials available to choose from. As I browsed through, I noticed that there are tutorials for everyone. The duration of the videos range from seven minutes to over three hours, and some tutorials are easier to complete than others, which is great for those who do not have much experience with crafting.

Creativebug’s videos have galleries attached to them where users can upload the artwork they created from following the tutorial. This function is great, because you can see the various ways people have designed their art. Each creation is different from the other, so I was able to gain inspiration from other users’ projects. There is also a detailed list of materials needed for each project attached to every video, and it can be downloaded as a PDF for more convenience.

The first tutorial that caught my eye was one on zine making. Zines, pronounced like “zine” in “magazine,” are small, self-made booklets that can be photocopied for circulation. You can include text and images to create your zine, and your final product might tell a cohesive story, or it might contain a different collage, or list, or theme on each page. The content is up to you. I figured that a zine was something I could feasibly complete with my skill level—I certainly wasn’t going to tackle a sewing project. While I have done my fair share of crafting, I am not the person who sits down to make an elegant-looking project while remaining stress-free. Rather, I am the person who is wiping sweat from her brow as she tries to unglue her fingers from one another while attempting to cut a straight line on a piece of patterned paper.

details of Creativebug zine project

As I clicked on the video, my excitement shot up a notch when I noticed that you can add typed notes to each video as you watch. No more sticking Post-It notes everywhere to remember important details. I gathered the material needed to make a zine, and started following along with the paper folding instructions demonstrated in the video. Once my paper resembled a small booklet, I started designing it. I am not particularly skilled at drawing (though, Creativebug has tutorials to help!), so I used messy and brushy lines to add a super short list of some of the best books that I have read this year on one of the pages of my zine. I cut out a few pictures from magazines and used washi tape to add color and design elements. On the rest of the pages, I glued down more images and drew patterns to complete my zine. The last step is binding your zine, which should be done once you have made your photocopies for circulation. While the tutorial demonstrates how to use a needle and thick thread to bind your zine, I opted for a stapler.

interior detail of Creativebug zine project

If you decide to follow the zine tutorial from Creativebug, you might want to check out Whatcha Mean, What’s a Zine?: The Art of Making Zines and Minicomics by Mark Todd for more ideas and inspiration. I checked it out from the Library and used it for added guidance.

Creating my zine was a lot of fun, and I enjoyed having the freedom to design each page any way that I wanted to. I will definitely use Creativebug again to try a new project. Perhaps art journaling? I was surprised to find such high-quality and in-depth tutorials that are so easily accessible for all library card users, which is why I encourage you to check out the projects on Creativebug too. It’s time to get crafty!

By Corinne Hebestreit, CLP Communications & Creative Services Intern

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