Stolen from Cooking.SE - If you're unsure how this should look, check out their version, which has really great examples. It's generally a good idea to have a separate Meta question to reference that shows support for the subject or question type that you are saying is on or off-topic as moderators may want to link to these discussions on the FAQ.

Please don't use this topic to discuss whether something is on topic or not - create a Meta discussion about it first and when the decision seems clear, bring it here for final voting.

Because of how broad "Arts and Crafts" is, this should not be used for stating whether a specific type of art or craft is on-topic (e.g. crochet or painting) though it may be useful to list subjects that are specifically off-topic like photography and digital art.

Since this is one of the 7 Essential Meta Questions of Every Beta...

What should go in our FAQ?

Most of the FAQ is boilerplate, but we need to determine the on-topic and off-topic subjects that go into that particular section of the official FAQ. Those should be derived from the original site definition and the current set of questions.

Example template:

Following the example set out in the linked page, the section being discussed here might look like this:

{Site Name} is for questions about traditional artwork and handmade items.

If your question is about:

  • {On-topic subject}
  • {On-topic subject}
  • ...

and it is not about:

  • {Off-topic subject}
  • {Off-topic subject}
  • {Off-topic subject}

… then you're in the right place to ask your question!

Answer format:

Please post one subject and specify whether or not it is an on-topic or off-topic subject. Note that your answer should not be in the form of a specific example question; it should refer to an entire subject group. Example of such a response:


Handmade arts and crafts creation techniques

(Optional comments)

Please vote up answers if you agree with the proposed on-topic/off-topic status. Vote down answers where you disagree.

  • I could think of a bunch of these so we should try to make a pool of quality ones and let the votes decide which go up in the FAQ. Whats a good number to have? Around 6 of each depending (some stronger examples might raise that number). – Matt May 18 '16 at 3:32
  • Some may be able to be grouped together. But, as noted, we should hash these out in individual topics before adding them here. – Catija May 18 '16 at 3:34
  • Should we feature this possibly soon? Now that we have the mods we can start to focus on the sites "image" (if you can call it that) – Matt May 27 '16 at 1:17
  • @Matt Good idea! Done ;) – Catija May 27 '16 at 2:06

11 Answers 11



Tool usage, upkeep and selection

Questions about

  • How to use specific techniques and tools to achieve a particular effect.
  • Selecting the appropriate tool for a particular task
  • Identifying tools via pictures and characteristics.


Asking for inspiration ("What craft can I do with ...?")



Product and service recommendations : {Where can I get (product)? / Where can I find someone that does (service) in (area)?}

These are basically the same question. Product or service recommendation requests will most certainly be opinionated or too localized to be useful.



Art/Project Critique

Questions seeking validation of work and not actually seeking improvement or guidance in how the work was created. Obviously opinionated with no value to other beyond the asker. Take it into chat where that is welcomed.

  • Could there be room for objective critique? Similar to how codereview.stackexchange.com works? – Nick Udell May 27 '16 at 9:41
  • 1
    @NickUdell I am already leaning to No. Art is open to interpretation which is why I think we cannot have a good base for answer "What do you think of the tree drawing" is what I am talking about here. Reviewing code can be done objectively as you apply coding practices and standards as well as other approaches to the review. "Your code does this.... You should try this". I don't expect someone to say "Your willow does not fit here... consider cherry blossom instead". CR questions can request to focus on a specific part. That translates here but not as art critique but help with technique. – Matt May 27 '16 at 12:11
  • While that might be true about paint and drawings, would the same apply to amateur woodwork or knitting or more technique-oriented crafts? EDIT: Having thought about it some more, even if technique-based critique was on topic for things like knitting, have a rule selectively applied to tags would only confuse matters. – Nick Udell May 27 '16 at 12:33
  • 1
    @NickUdell Questions like those I should expect to be more "How can I do [this technique] better" (which can be on topic) as supposed to "How does this look" (which would be opinionated regardless of the genre). The distinction between seeking guidance and seeking approval or opinion – Matt May 27 '16 at 12:36
  • The goal is to keep things as objective as possible. If the OP says "I think this looks bad, how do I get a different effect" that's one thing, but asking for validation (either good or bad) is simply too subjective. – Erica May 27 '16 at 13:24


Material Selection and Usage



Complete Tutorials

Seeking guides that would explain larger projects from start to finish. Typically these are a collection of separate Q&A's and should be split up.



Discussion or critique of the work of other artists.

  • Excludes things like "What is the technique called that was used to create this." and similar.

We are here to help you troubleshoot your own work, we are not a general "art forum".

Example of off topic question:


  • You beat me to adding it in here, well done ;) – Erica May 29 '16 at 14:47


Instructional Aids Tutorial Step Clarification

How to perform/understand how a certain task can be completed. Focusing on a specific step of a particular project

  • This concept is on-topic but I am not hot on my short description of it. – Matt May 18 '16 at 3:46
  • I'd be concerned that this sounds too much like "tutorial" (e.g. a whole sequence of instructions), or is too broad. I know what you're going for, but agree the description needs tweaking :) – Erica May 18 '16 at 11:14
  • @Erica Tutorials are a part of it. Stuck on step (X) and need help type things. Still working on it. – Matt May 18 '16 at 11:34
  • Hmm. I think this would be on topic (we have an example already), but these questions really need an image or something to go with them, which is a bit hard to convey in the FAQ. – user24 May 27 '16 at 2:13
  • The don't need an image. They need a link to the instructions usually. Images are just a bonus almost everywhere. Might not be a good fit for faq still – Matt May 27 '16 at 2:20
  • and to include the important parts of those instructions. – Matt May 27 '16 at 2:33


Where do I start

These would be opinionated or too broad. Asking questions where ones skill and comfort level would have to be assumed. These are not useful to the community. Usually only to the individual and possibly a couple of others.

This is meant to address broad beginner questions. We know they can be saved but not usually how they are initially presented.

What I am thinking about is questions like:

  • What are good project's for a beginner to start [genre] (like Origami or Drawing)?
  • I never painted with oil before.... where do I start?
  • 1
    Do you have an example question or two? I'm not sure I follow. – user24 May 27 '16 at 19:04
  • @CreationEdge Added examples of what I mean. – Matt May 27 '16 at 19:24
  • So, really it's "where do I start" questions? – Catija May 27 '16 at 19:24
  • @Catija Dammit..... that is a great way to phrase it. I was trying to generalize it in case people were like "I have mastered the art of Crocheting everything... Now what do I do". That is not likely to happen. – Matt May 27 '16 at 19:26

{On Topic}

Attributes of different media and how they interact

  • We have plenty of questions using this concept. – Matt May 27 '16 at 19:53

{On Topic}

Proper media storage and final product preservation

  • You think this could be separate from Tool Usage, Selection and Identification? As supposed to Tool Usage, Selection, Upkeep, Storage and Identification. Although it is getting wordy at that point. – Matt May 27 '16 at 19:59
  • 1
    @Matt Try "Tool usage, upkeep and selection", and the ID thing doesn't need to be explicit. – user24 May 27 '16 at 20:17

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