Get crafty with local 100-yen shop, arts and crafts center options

Photos by Takahiro Takiguchi
Photos by Takahiro Takiguchi

Get crafty with local 100-yen shop, arts and crafts center options

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Japan

As you continue to stay home and combat COVID-19, besides binge-watching TV series, cooking up new recipes and spending time with your family, what else are you doing to pass the time?

If you haven’t thought about it, this is a great opportunity to try your hand at arts and crafts.

Enter your local base arts and crafts centers or, if you’re off-base, your neighborhood 100-yen shop. Here, you’ll find a number of craft kits ranging from knitting, leather crafts, needlework and polymer-clay art, to beading, origami, painting and more. Both the on-base and off-base options will have you leaving this quarantine with an abundance of handmade items if you’re up for the challenge.

My wife is a fan arts and crafts. In the wintertime, she knits unique and colorful mufflers for our family and friends using 100-yen shop items. During this quarantine, she’s also enjoyed trying paper-band kits which involve weaving strips of sturdy paper into boxes, coasters and different accessories based on the one purchased.

A typical 100-yen paper-band kit contains 236-inch long colorful paper bands and an instruction card written in Japanese and English. Depending on the kit purchased, you can follow the step-by-step instructions with photos and illustrations to make the box or coaster you chose without fail. The kits do not include the scissors, ruler, pencil, glue, clothespins and masking tape required to complete your craft, so make sure to check the packaging for what additional items you need to have on-hand.

With this kit, my wife carefully followed the instructions and swiftly cut and wove until she arranged the strips into a basket. To me, it was a wonder how strips of paper would transform dramatically into a usable basket.

My wife said she enjoys working on crafts as a pastime and the finished products always give her a wonderful feeling of accomplishment.

“At first, I didn’t realize that I could complete one,” my wife said. “So, I was very glad and proud when I saw it well done and looks pretty cute and professional.”

Now, many of her crafts are used as a container for stationery and handkerchiefs in our home. The more she practices, and her skills grow, the more she wants to make.

“It’s only 100-yen, and you can get a hobby started very easily, without going to class and paying expensive tuitions,” my wife said. “I think it a good starter to familiarize the art of handicraft. And it is fun!”

Check out your base arts and crafts center or 100-yen store to peruse the many options available! Practice makes perfect, so don’t worry if your first attempts aren’t perfect. Your cute products may surprise your friends and family, plus make for Instagram-worthy pics.

What are you crafting? Let us know on Facebook. Happy crafting!

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