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This section is currently blank in our Help Center. While we can't have an exhaustive list of Arts & Crafts (IIRC, that's something that got hashed out on Area 51), being specific about what types of questions are OK is necessary.

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    Yeah. Instead of having a definition, let's just have a set of criteria, and then we don't have to list stuff out. :) – Zizouz212 Apr 26 '16 at 20:44
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If your question is about an Art and/or Craft and:

  • It is a question about how to do a technique OR
  • It is a question about how to achieve a specific result

The following types of questions are explicitly off topic:

  • Brand specific product recommendations
  • General recommendations that do not have a specific objective

My thinking for the off topic items is that we'll want to avoid questions to recommend a specific brand of paper, sewing machine, etc. because that will almost always be opinion based.

I don't think it's reasonable to ban questions about general types of materials and tools but they need to have a specific, objective goal. For instance, "What finishes are best?" should be considered off topic but What are food safe finishes for woodworking projects, ie. turned bowls is a good question because there's an objective measure for correct answers.

Both lists should probably be longer but this is what I've got for now.

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I recommend that we make general "How do I do this craft" questions off topic. They are extremely broad and there are already thousands of (better-suited) sites out there that already exist. We are here to help troubleshoot arts and crafting issues, not to teach you how to do the craft from the beginning.

The closest analogy I can think of is on Cooking.SE. They do not allow questions asking for recipes because there are often dozens of recipes for every possible food creation, so there's no one "right" answer.

So, too, we should not allow questions that are too broad like:

There are plenty of sources for learning how to make paper and the specificity of "used paper" doesn't actually make this easier to answer as the default of most paper making sites is to start from existing paper products. There are many different methods. This is too broad.

If the questions can be made more specific to a particular technique, tool or definition, that's fine.

  • I agree, both on not wanting broad questions and on the site needing to be explicit about "How do I do this craft" being too broad. – BSMP May 5 '16 at 22:04

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