When Facebook introduced the ability to livestream in March of 2016 it was hard to predict how crafters would make use of it. The opportunity to engage with fans in real time opened up a whole world of creative potential. Demonstrate techniques, go behind-the-scenes at trade shows and conferences, conduct live interviews – the options were seemingly endless.
Now that we’ve had some time to play with Facebook Live (I’ve done a few myself. Have you?), a couple of crafty people have really made use of the platform. They’ve created weekly shows with a set format and have an ever growing audience of devoted followers. Like low-budget interactive television, these shows are really engaging, entertaining, and informative and just a little bit unpredictable, but in a good way. Some of these hosts have now added sponsors and their shows have become revenue generators for their businesses. As a huge fan of new media, it’s been so fun to watch all of this unfold!
Here are five enjoyable Facebook Live shows made by crafters for crafters. I’ve included a recent episode so that you can get a feel for what the show is like as well as the air time and day for each one if you’d like to begin tuning in regularly. I hope you find something on this list you like, and if you have others to recommend (or have a show yourself that you’d like us to check out) comment below.
Also, whether you’re a regular Facebook Live watcher, or are just getting into it, I highly recommend checking out this article by Vickie Howell about how to be a great audience member. Doing these shows is a lot of work and it’s good to hear firsthand how you can support and cheer on your favorite broadcaster.
Okay, onto the recommendations…
1. Ask Me Monday with Vickie Howell
Airtime: Mondays at noon Central
Vickie Howell is a crafty TV star and she’s now clearly really enjoying producing her very own mini-show via Facebook Live each week, Ask Me Monday. Vickie is a knit and crochet designer and teacher and she demonstrates a skill in each video. Broadcasting from her home studio in Texas, she does a great job building community by encouraging viewers to interact with her and with one another in the comments. She’s also been able to successfully monetize her show, working with crafty brands to show off their tools, supplies, and patterns. I love how she’s created a set behind her and changes it up each week to reflect what she’ll be talking about. And Vickie does giveaways at the end of the episodes as well.
2. Sewcial Sunday with Sara Lawson of Sew Sweetness
Airtime: 5pm Central on Sundays
Broadcasting from her home studio in Illinois, Sara talks about new notions she’s adding to her sewing room, gives you glimpses of what she’s working on, and engages with viewers by answering questions and responding to comments. She also highlights a fabric bundle of the week and talks about how she would use it and sometimes does unboxings of supplies packages she receives. At the end of each session Sara does a giveaway of some supplies such as fabric bundles and sewing books. If you enjoy sewing quilts and bags and want to get to know a designer, this Facebook Live is one to watch.
3. DIY This with Jennifer Perkins
Airtime: 1pm Central on Thursdays
Jennifer is truly a multi-crafter and she loves creating home dec projects with upcycled materials from the thrift store. Broadcasting from her home in Texas each week she demonstrates how to make an original design in keeping with her kitschy aesthetic. She’s encouraging and creative and her projects are super accessible for crafters of all levels. Watching this show will encourage you to see everything as a craft material ready to use. The projects Jennifer demonstrates are also available on the DIY Network blog (here’s the tutorial for the fall wreath project she’s demonstrating in this video). I love how Jennifer gets real about her process and doesn’t let anything get in the way of her crafty fun.
4. Watch Me Wednesday by Canton Village Quilt Works with Jackie Kunkel
Airtime: 1:30 pm Mountain on Wednesdays
Jackie is a warm and welcoming quilting teacher and she treats you to a lesson each week during this show by demonstrating how to create the quilt blocks she’s designed. Filmed in her studio in Arizona where she sits at her sewing machine to guide you through the steps, you’ll learn week by week how to create a project right along with her. She’s an experienced teacher and it really shows. Watching this show you’ll pick up tips and tricks you can use for other projects as well (the best stitch length for paper piecing, snipping off excess seam allowances, the best pins to use, etc.)
5. Penguin & Fish with Alyssa Thomas
Airtime: Weeknights at 9:30pm Central
Alyssa Thomas, designer from Penguin & Fish, broadcasts from her home studio in Minnesota. Alyssa works on other designers’ projects (with their permission), making progress each evening. Here she’s stitching Jacquelynne Steves Block of the Month. You can work along with her and make progress with a community of makers and guidance from an expert stitcher. Getting in the habit of hanging around with Alyssa on Facebook Live each evening would definitely help you stretch your skills (in the episode linked above I learned the best way to separate embroidery floss strands!) and stay motivated with your project. Alyssa also does giveaways via a hashtag she provides and recommends books and supplies that she likes best.
I like crafty videos of all kinds and rounded up my 10 favorite sewing YouTubers a few months ago so go check that out, too.
If you watch Facebook Live videos, what do you like about them? And if you don’t watch them now, what would encourage you to start?