Scotland, land of blue loch, purple thistle, sparkling burn and wooded glen, has long inspired many an artist to capture its striking beauty. Typical Scottish arts and crafts celebrate Scotland's mystical landscape along with its Celtic roots. Whether you have a clan surname and an interest in your heritage or generally love all things Scottish, you too can unleash your creativity with arts and crafts inspired by the spirit and the land of the Scots.
Scotland is famous for its standing stones, stone circles and stone monuments. While the stones' historical significance at times is mysterious, their stark beauty remains undeniable. To create your own mini version of a stone monument, brush acrylic craft paint on a smooth rock (available at landscaping stores) and embellish it with Celtic symbols. Butterflies signify rebirth while arrows suggest virility and power. Encircle your symbol with intricate ornamentation such as curved, fluid lines, interlocking spirals and whimsical ellipses. You can find additional Celtic symbolism online and in books at your library.
Celtic Design Pendants
The ancient Scots decorated their jewellery, weapons and pottery. Make your own Celtic design pendant out of oven-bake polymer clay (available at most craft stores). Carve your design with a stylus and adorn it with interlacing patterns, circular lines, tendrils and repeating patterns resembling ties or knots. Make a loop at the top of your pendant and attach a wire loop to run a necklace through. Place the pendant on a baking tray and bake it in a toaster or regular oven to ensure its final form.
Loch Ness Monster
The mythical Loch Ness Monster, who lives in the Scottish highlands, can now reside upon your window sill. To recreate your very own Nessie, cut a 12-by-9 inch piece of foil and work it into the basic shape of the monster. Pinch the head and arc the neck. Use several additional strips of foil around the monster's midsection to build its body and to create lateral fins. Apply a soft modelling material that air dries to a lightweight, smooth finish, to completely cover the foil. Use the modelling material to make triangular spines and attach them from the monster's neck down to its tail. Press smooth any lines or seams. Attach small coloured buttons for eyes. Display your Nessie on a swathe of blue felt fabric to represent the highland Loch (or Lake) Ness.
Weave a Tartan Plaid
Plaid comes from the Scots Gaelic word plaide and specific tartans are associated with particular clans, but you don't have to be Scottish to create and enjoy your very own tartan plaid. Simply purchase an inexpensive hand loom from a local craft shop. Many kits include yarn. You can also make your own loom from a picture frame. Weaving is the interlacing of horizontal (or weft) threads with vertical (or warp) threads and is simple to do. Start with simple projects like tartan potholders or coasters.
Design a Coat of Arms
The Scottish coat of arms, like any brand or trademark, serves to identify your distinct strengths, accomplishments and passions. Draw a shield on a piece of white drawing paper and illustrate it with symbols. A golfer's shield might contain a golf club, while a pilot's could employ a bird or a pair of wings. Use markers or watercolours for your illustration. Cut out the shield, mount it with tacky glue onto black mat or black foam core board, then frame it.