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Crafting and creating with physical limitations

Crafting and creating with physical limitations

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This video is a little different than my other ones – this one is more focused on ways to create crafts and artworks around any physical limitations you might have. It might be an injury (like me), an illness or disease, or even arthritis. It can be really hard to give up a hobby or pastime (or career) because of something that has happened either suddenly or gradually over time. Plus creating in general has hugely therapeutic benefits so being physically limited as to what you can do can be very frustrating. In this video I’ll be showing three ways that I have used to still be able to create art despite my physical limitations – cross stitch, smaller mini paintings, and digital painting using the ArtRage digital painting/drawing app. I can no longer draw or paint “normally” as I can’t use my upper body very well, can’t be upright for long, and I can’t move my head or neck without pain. I’ve discovered that by doing these three things I can still create lovely pieces. I’ve had to give up knitting and crochet as they require me to move my arms and shoulders too much. Even though that’s sad for me because I loved doing that, the fact that I can still do some things is the most important thing to me. In the video I’ll be discussing a few ways to figure out how to start experimenting and seeing what might work best for your situation. I am not affiliated with any of the products I mention in the video, I just really love them and they work really well for me so I want to share that information with others – maybe they will help you too.


Cross Stitch

Sistine 1, cross stitch, 14"x20", 2015 Dana Batho
Sistine 1, cross stitch, 14″x20″, 2015
Cross stitch is something I picked up again after decades of not doing it. It can be seen as a “granny craft,” but there are a lot of really neat modern designs out there now. Even many men are getting into it, like “Mr X Stitch” and “Stitcher Moose.” The repetitive motion of your hands is extremely relaxing and is quite meditative. I’ve discovered I can do cross stitch still if I don’t have to hold the frame and if I can keep the stitching at eye level. I’ve done this by designing little legs to prop the sewing frame up on my lap which you can see in the video. If you want to see how the rear leg of my scroll bar frame was made (both the legs were super easy and cheap to make), check out the blog post here.

I also have turned many of my paintings into cross stitch patterns using the MacStitch program (the Windows version is WinStitch). I have several posts about how to use MacStitch, and several tutorial videos in the blog and on my YouTube channel. In the video you can see the piece I was working on, to the right is an image of the finished product. It took me 9 months as it’s so big and I was experimenting with how to support the frame, but all the effort was worth it.


Flower 1, Oil on canvas, 3"x3", 2015 Dana Batho
Flower 1, Oil on canvas, 3″x3″, 2015

Mini paintings

If you’d like more information about the brushes I showed in the video for digital painting, a post about the Nomad capacitive brush I bought and trialed is here. A link to one of my posts about my mini oil painting on canvas is here.

ArtRage digital painting

Pieta reference image ArtRage
Pieta reference image


I love this app, it really has transformed how I create art and what I create. Also, in the video I mention a few blog posts about how to use the ArtRage app. They are here and here.




Final tips


  • Consider whether you can still do projects you want with some adaptations to the way you do things or using some adaptive equipment
  • Think about what your actual limitations are and see if there are other crafts or hobbies that you can physically do (even if you’ve never done it before)
  • Adapting equipment or working methods will take time and may be frustrating, but it is definitely worth the effort
  • Ask your friends and family for ideas, they may have some brilliant brainwaves
  • Take lots of breaks as needed and make sure you’re set up comfortably (and realize you might work more slowly or not be able to do as much as you once could)
  • Don’t be afraid to do a project in smaller chunks if that’s easier for you


If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to leave them below! I’d love to see some awesome ideas of things you have done to get around your limitations, you never know when they might help someone else. 🙂

Crafting and creating with physical limitations
Article Name
Crafting and creating with physical limitations
This video will show how to create craft & art despite having physical limitations (illness, injury, etc). No matter your disability, you can still create.
Publisher Name
Peacock & Fig
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Follow Dana Batho:

Artist and Designer

I am an artist, veteran, analyst, and mommy to the sweetest dog ever. I am constantly thinking of ways to use my creativity in everything I touch despite my physical limitations, and I love encouraging others to do the same.

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