Author on TES: Craftivity master, Artsy-Crafter

Simon Hempenstall
05th January 2016

Artsy-Crafter has published over 120 hands-on TES resources and talks to us in this post about the value of crafting and the piece of advice that inspired her to become an author.

Tell us about your professional background.

I started teaching while completing my Bachelor of Education in 1983, more than 30 years ago. Since then, I have taught most ages, been involved with teacher training in developing countries (India, Sierra Leone, Grenada and Mongolia) and currently teach arts and crafts and painting on cruise ships during school breaks. I believe in life-long learning and love to create craftivities for students around the world.

Where do you start when making resources?

Whenever I see something I like, I ask myself, “How can I make that out of paper?” Then I go about trying to figure it out. I make sure that the crafting activities I create are both educational and enjoyable. 

Teachers are constantly looking for new and interesting activities for celebrations such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas, Easter, etc., so I create fun crafts for students to mark these occasions.

What value do you think craft resources have in schools today? 

Crafting allows students to be creative, critical thinkers. Although I provide the basic templates, pupils need to read and follow written instructions in order to create their final product. They can still be creative and add their own flair to the craft to give it a personal touch. 

As much as possible, I include a simple writing task on the back of each activity, just to sneak in a little literacy.

What advice would you give any teachers out there who are considering selling their resources?

The best advice that I read when I was considering becoming an author went something like this; “If you want to be successful, think about these two things: what are you good at and what do you like to do. That’s your niche. Stick with it.” 

It’s true! There is nothing I like to do more than crafting. How great that I get to share that love with students around the world. That is my idea of success!

In general, what makes a great resource?

A great resource is one that engages the students. It needs to be challenging, yet not frustrating, creative and interesting. Most importantly, it has to be meaningful. Students need to feel a sense of pride in their finished craftivity because quite often they will gift their creation to a loved one or keep it as a lasting treasure of a special celebration. 

Teachers need to see its relevance and know that valuable classroom time is well used. Ultimately, it has to be fun!


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Artsy-Crafter's TES Shop 

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