If there are two things that work surprisingly well together, it's gaming and crafts. At first, you might not see a connection between the two, but if you're someone that enjoys both hobbies, you'll know that there is a lot of potential for cross-over between the two interests.
To prove this point, we've picked out some of the best gaming-related crafts that can be completed in an afternoon. From sewing to painting, crochet to origami, and everything in between, there is something for everyone here. Many of the projects on this list require little-to-no previous crafting experience, and some of the tasks could easily be undertaken by children.
So, think of your favourite games, gather your materials, and read on to find out how you can manifest your love of gaming into an array of awesome handmade creations.
Perler beads lend themselves really well to 8-bit gaming crafts, as they are perfect for that pixelated look that's classic to retro gaming.
Instructables user toughschmidt has put together this great tutorial, with a set of 6 patterns for making a Legend of Zelda coaster set. The instructions and patterns are really easy to follow, and this would make a great craft activity for children as a result, with just a little adult supervision required for the later steps of ironing and attaching the cork backing.
The final step of this tutorial includes a handy guide to creating your own retro gaming perler bead patterns, so you can be designing your own patterns for your favourite games in no time!
I know what all the gamer geeks in my family are getting for Christmas this year...
Is this not the cutest little Murloc you ever did see!? If you have some basic crochet skills under your belt, he can be yours in just a few short hours with this free pattern from FanCrafts.
Crochet seems to be making a huge comeback at the moment, and one particular area that's popular amongst crafty gamers and geeks is amigurumi. A mash-up of the Japanese words for "crocheted"/"knitted" and "stuffed doll", amigurumi is the art of creating adorable little characters from yarn.
And they don't get much more adorable than this little guy. Though much of the creator's blog is in German, her patterns are written in English, so you should have no trouble following the simple stitch types listed, and creating cute little characters like this Murloc in next to no time.
I'm absolutely fascinated by origami (the Japanese art of paper folding). That you can take simple pieces of paper, fold them in a certain way, and make seemingly endless creations in this way is pretty amazing.
There's a current trend in origami for the corner bookmark, and crafters are coming up with more and more inventive ways of applying this creation to the things they already love. Pokémon is no exception.
Red Ted Art is a popular blog for children's crafts, and with a new generation taking an interest in Pokémon due to the recent Pokémon Go craze, they put together a collection of tutorials for making corner bookmarks of some of the most popular characters from the game franchise.
Below is their video tutorial for a Pikachu bookmark, showing easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions for making your own:
Over on the blog post linked, you'll find the rest of the video tutorials for making bookmarks of: Meowth, Bulbasaur, Squirtle, Charmander, Eevee, Jigglypuff, Togepi, and a Pokéball. There's even a special Christmas edition Pikachu bookmark, if you feel like getting a head start on your homemade gifts this year!
If that's not enough to satisfy your inner Pokémon trainer, you'll be pleased to know that Red Ted Art have instructions for making many more Pokémon-themed crafts over on their blog, too, so be sure to take a look around if you find you've caught the crafting bug. Gotta make 'em all!
Is there any game that can invoke a sense of nostalgia in so many people quite like Tetris can? If you're a fan of 1980s retro games (who isn't!?), then you'll love this protective case for your iPad or tablet.
The talented ladies at SewSheCan.com have created the pattern for this lovely little case, and the PDF can be downloaded for free on their blog. This project is made up of very basic patchwork sewing; lots of quick and easy straight lines, and a simple magnetic catch to add on for keeping your tablet secure.
Now, I'll hold my hands up and admit that I'm absolutely terrible at sewing, so ordinarily this would be the kind of thing I'd steer clear of. But with the tutorial's clear instructions and accompanying photos, I'm pretty sure even I could whip this up fairly easily! And for those already adept at sewing, you'll put this together in no time. Maybe even with your eyes closed (though I wouldn't recommend that last part).
If you want to add some subtle gaming decor to your home, you can't go wrong with this Skyrim candle holder, created by YouTube user Console to Closet.
If you never did anything special with the map poster that came with your copy of Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, now is its time to shine. This could be a great little upcycling project if you have an old, plain glass vase lying around.
In their online series The Game Room, Console to Closet have put together the following video tutorial for making this beautiful vase from some very simple materials, most of which you may already have lying around the house. It gives off a lovely warm glow when lit up with a tealight, really making the map details stand out.
As mentioned in the video, this is a simple idea that can be applied in many more ways. Do you have any other old gaming freebies you could use to create similar candle holders or vases? Old comic book pages? The possibilities are endless! See what you have lying around in your collections and have fun creating beautiful decorative pieces for your home.
One of my favourite kinds of crafts are the kind you get to eat afterwards, and this sweet treat ticks all the right boxes for an artistic endeavour of the tasty variety. They're quick and easy to make, and have a double whammy of nostalgia thrown in: the favourite gooey marshmallow snack from your childhood, along with Nintendo golden oldie Mario. What's not to love?
YouTuber Rosanna Pansino is the host of the online "Geeky Cooking Show" Nerdy Nummies. Her channel is full of awesome geeky creations to suit every fandom, and you'll find lots gaming-related treats to choose from to impress your friends when it's your turn to host gaming night.
These Mario Star pops are a great choice for some quick kitchen crafting, as they are easy to make yet look super impressive once finished. Check out Rosanna's tutorial video below if you want to give them a go yourself!
Next we have another perler bead craft, this time taking inspiration from hit sandbox game Minecraft. Just like old 8-bit games, Minecraft lends itself really well to this kind of crafting, as the game's pixelated look is easy to replicate with perler beads.
The first project in this selection is the awesome photo frame designed by Beth at Dramatis Personae. It looks a little ambitious for an afternoon craft on first look, but when you realise just how simple it can be to put together perler bead pictures, it becomes a lot less daunting.
Beth provides in-depth and easy-to-follow instructions on her blog, with a clear photograph of the completed design to use as a pattern, and includes tips on how to make your own designs based on the popular game.
If you're looking for something a little less fiddly, the BrainPowerBoy blog has a few quick and easy Minecraft characters to make, that even young children could put together in around half hour or so. Their designs include the popular Creeper, along with main protagonist Steve. These would look great made into fridge magnets!
If you've played the recent reboot of Tomb Raider, you've probably noticed Lara Croft wears a jade pendant around her neck, which seems to be a stylised serpent of some kind. It's quite pretty in its simplicity, and with Lara being a popular choice of character amongst cosplayers, it's no surprise that many people have attempted to replicate the charm.
A great way of making sturdy replica jewelry is to use Fimo, a type of polymer clay that, once you've finished sculpting, can be baked to harden and then polished, painted or varnished for a professional-looking finish.
Tomb Raider fan and cosplayer Sara Croft has put together a handy guide for crafting Lara's pendant from Fimo or similar clay, complete with photographs and detailed step-by-step instructions. If you're more of a visual learner, Sara's YouTube video, shown above, will be really helpful, and you too can be wearing the famous adventurer's pendant in no time.
As gamers everywhere know, one of the most important symbols in many a game is that of a heart, usually shown in a corner of the screen to let you know how many lives you have left before you see the dreaded 'Game Over'.
This adorable plushie is the perfect afternoon craft for fans of retro games, with the 8-bit style magnificently captured in its patchwork-like design.
Created by Cut Out + Keep member Zan, this sewing project has clear instructions with accompanying photos for each step, making this an easy undertaking for even the most novice of needleworkers.
The most time-consuming part of this project is probably the cutting out of all the mini fabric squares, but once that is done, it's a surprisingly simple task of sewing them together, patchwork style, and filling with toy stuffing.
Whether used as a miniature throw pillow, or displayed on a shelf with other beloved plushies, I think you'll agree this is too cute a craft to pass up.
If you're as addicted to collecting this quirky in-game currency as I am, you'll love this easy-to-make prop replica! These caps look really authentic, yet the method for making them is surprisingly simple (if a little fiddly in places).
This is a great little upcycling project that takes existing bottle caps destined for the garbage and turns them into little pieces of awesomeness. I mean, who doesn't love Nuka Cola? And bonus -- these ones come without that pesky radiation problem.
Created by Instructables user HAZARDU5, the tutorial for making these caps has in-depth instructions, with really handy step-by-step photographs. To make things even easier, HAZURDU5 has included a free PDF download of the Nuka Cola cap label for printing and attaching to your bottle caps, before scraping them up a bit to give them that authentic 'used' look.
The finished caps would be a fantastic little added extra for a Fallout cosplay, or would look equally good displayed on a shelf alongside your games.
With Breath of the Wild being one of the most talked about video games right now, let's come full circle in our craft round-up with one final Legend of Zelda project.
This elegant throw pillow is a lot easier to make than you might think, as it uses fabric paint to add some geek chic to an existing cushion cover; a unique bit of DIY home decor that will make you the envy of your gamer friends.
The couple behind quirky blog Our Nerd Home have put together a useful tutorial for making these throw pillows, and have even provided a Triforce stencil for fellow crafters to print out and use themselves.
Our Nerd Home is a blog dedicated to "Geek Culture & Home Decor", so as you can imagine they have lots of other awesome DIY craft ideas for the home that you can try out yourself.
What are some of your own favourite geeky gamer crafts? Which of the ideas on this list will you be trying? Let us know in the comments what projects you've been working on!