Welcome to Crafty Chica!

Latino Crafts and DIY

Did you know the American crafts industry rings in $43 billion a year? And according to the 2016 census bureau there are 56 million Latinos in the United States. Yet when we visit the craft store, the department store, the bookstore, even craft/women/design websites, we don’t see our culture reflected. If we do, it’s very minimal and very stereotypical. And it often involves a lot of cultural appropriation.

My dad always taught me to take action instead of griping. So, in 2001 I launched Crafty Chica as a way to show Latinos (and lovers of Latino community) ways claim our identity in this market space and make our own decorations, jewelry, home decor, and so on.

FACTS ABOUT ME:

I’m an expert in making things and sharing them! I’m a hyper-creative lady who wanted Loteria flowerpots and when I couldn’t find them, I made them myself. And lots of other things. I sold them far and wide in large quantities. I decided to teach the world how to make them as well. Hello, a site for Latino crafts was born, and it’s been going strong for more than 16 years! The more you do something, the more your skills progress. So I will say I’m experienced!

I’m a third-generation Mexican-American chica. My great-grandparents on my mom’s side were from Sonora, MX, and on my dad’s, Zacatecas (they ran a ranch by day and a blanket business on the side!). My parents didn’t teach us kids Spanish because they thought it would help us assimilate easier. I didn’t even want to eat Mexican food back then. Stupida! It wasn’t until I met my (now) husband at age 21 that my life changed. He inspired me to explore and connect with my heritage and I’ve been making up for it ever since. I feel my story represents many other Mexican-American women who strive to connect with their culture. It’s not about how well or how long you’ve been speaking Spanish, it’s about what you are doing right now to move forward and set a good example to keep your culture alive. I speak a leetle Spanish now, I’m still working on it, but I don’t let that stop me from celebrating my culture!

This site is about sharing a creative lifestyle from my perspective. I make items to sell, and I make items to share tutorials for people to make for personal use. I hope it inspires people to get creative and celebrate their own culture, no matter what that is!

This is what I do for a living! Yes, sprinkling glitter and glue…and a lot more! I’m really proud to say I make a living doing what I love. I used to “wing it” back in the day, but now I know the power of planning, it’s made a huge difference. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you can’t live off of your passion. Research, make an action plan, come up with multiple revenue streams, and follow through. This is no guarantee you’ll be shuffling Benjamins all day, they may be sacrifices, but it’s worth it if it means doing what you love!

I L-O-V-E social media! I’m a middle-child. I love to speak up and share ideas. I latched onto social media when it first started. It’s come such a long way. I try out all the new platforms to see if I click with them. I kind of have a different take than others in this space. I’m not consumed with numbers of followers, contests, awards, stats, or grades. I’m laser beamed focused on making cool stuff that I think people will like, and the numbers, and stats, etc. come organically. If people like my stuff, awesome, if not, no hurt feelings!

To me, making things is all about processing our feelings. Whether it’s happiness or stress, there’s no better way to get right with yourself than to sit down and make something. If you truly allow yourself to be in the moment while creating, you can shut off all the noise and distractions in your brain. Shut down the self-doubt and just have fun exploring your badass thought process!

I’m addicted to making things. To me, it’s healing. It’s about letting go of fear and embracing mistakes as part of the learning process. I often give stuff away I make, but I also sell items in my stores. But my FAVORITE aspect is sharing the inspiration. I call it “spreading the gospel of glitter.” That little bit of light can lead the way to something new and wonderful.

Will everything we make turn out fabulous? Not always. Like that saying – it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey! My journey has been a loca one, but I would have it any other way! I never imagined I would be a full-time artist, writer, and digital entrepreneur, but here I am. You can always count on me to be here to offer you ideas and inspiration!

We are all a crafty chica in some way, no matter where you come from. And we know that being a crafty chica isn’t just about using our hands, it’s also very much a state of mind. The same way we think about different ways to use paint, we apply that creative perspective to life. Decision making. Style. Topics of conversation. That’s why you’ll find a variety of topics on this site. I share recipes, travel, movie reviews, shopping lists, my Phoenix faves, a little fashion, and beauty.

And of course, lots of arts and crafts!

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this!

Love & light,


11 Responses

  1. I can always find inspiration through your blog post even though I don’t consider myself an artist and craft person, I love your blog. You find ways to show your love and support for others through your handmade items.
    I find myself looking through your pictures and reading the steps how to even though I never try them (one day I will).

    P.S. Where can I get your “Building my Empire” mug it’s inspirational?

  2. Hi Kathy,
    Not sure why I’m getting a “Welcome”. I’ve been following you for years. AND I love your site and all the goodies you give us.
    I have a question. Your coffee cup with “Building an Empire” is awesome. I use paint markers and follow all the directions to a “t” and I still have color that comes off. Your design is so thick. How do you get it that way? I don’t have it nearly as thick as that. When I try, it doesn’t adhere to the design I already have in the way I’d like. Cups are such nice gifts, but I’ve kept all the ones I’ve made except one. I’ll have to ask that person how his is doing.
    I’m grateful to you for all the things I’ve learned. You are a great lady. I love your energy, enthusiasm, creativity and charm. God bless you and yours. Cathey

    1. Hi Cathey! It was my fault. I meant to publish this as a “page” but did it as a “post” and it went out to all my subscribers by accident! But I’m happy for all the awesome feedback!

      For my mugs, I do fired ceramics and I use a product called “French Dimensions.” It is like puffy paint for fired ceramics, super fun! Hope this helps and thank you so much for following y site, so appreciated!! Have a great weekend!

  3. Cathy Wow! You are a proud, driven, caring women that likes to help others by sharing your fabulous ideas. You have me pumped up and ready to make things. Thanks Christine

  4. My daughter and I took a class from you at Changing Hands Bookstore a few years back and still have our matchbook altars….we wanted to come to your vision board class last saturday to work on one together but missed it! Any chance you will be doing another in the future? It would be a such a lovely way to set some goals together! (She’s going to be 13, and I’m well….older…:) Thanks! I love your energy.

  5. Kathy, I’d love to buy a couple of concha cups. Let me know how I can order them. Awesome,,, Delia Flores

  6. Kathy, I am so excited that you are coming to San Jose Ca. I have waited a long time to meet you and hope to do so since we will basically be in the same building… I am an actriz with Teatro Visión and will be in the theater rehearsing for our play “Macario” while you will be in the Lobby of the theater signing your book! I hope to be able to sneak out and get a book from you and to finally meet you! I also wanted to invite you to check out our rehearsal, we start at 11 am and go till pretty late that day since the following week end we will open our show. I really do hope to see you there!

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Hi, I’m Kathy, The Crafty Chica!

My specialty is creative motivation. I’m an artist, author, and speaker and this is where I share my craft tutorials, artwork, articles, books, product lines, and workshops!

Let’s work together! Check out my services page HERE.

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Kathy Cano-Murillo is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

NOTE: All tutorials on this site are for personal use only, not for commercial reproduction. Please respect the designer(s) who so graciously shared them!

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