In the 1990s, Staro Selo Museum launched cooperation with master craftsmen, who presented traditional skills and crafts. The cooperation intensified in 1996, when the first contracts were signed with the craftsmen as the Museum's external collaborators. The permanent exhibitions, which present the way of life of the population of Zagorje in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, are complemented with a living picture of craftsmen presenting and demonstrating traditional crafts, such as blacksmith's trade, pottery, and weaving.
Guided by the interest of visitors of various backgrounds and age, which implies education, the Centre for Traditional Crafts and Skills was established within Staro Selo Museum in 2007 within the framework of the project entitled, CRAFTATTRACT – Traditional Crafts as an Attraction in Culture Tourism. The plan of the Centre's operation included field tours, registration of the existing traditional crafts, skills, and customs, and good cooperation both with traditional craftsmen and with other people who have knowledge of skills and customs. The concept of the plan led to the list of the Centre's roles and tasks, that is, a development plan, which includes the following:
- Field operation – continued monitoring of the state of preservation of traditional heritage – information on traditional craftsmen and people who have knowledge of traditional skills on the territory of the County, and collection of digital and photographic documentation
- Information, Documentation, and Communication Centre – preparation of a data base presenting the current state of affairs and entering changes caused by socio-economic influences. Such a comprehensive data base may be useful to experts in the sphere of heritage and tourism for various analyses, preparation of cartographic displays, as the basis for further research on a specific issue, and preparation of proposals for the preservation and protection of a segment of intangible heritage (for instance, the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia used the Centre's data base in the case of two reports of intangible heritage for inclusion on the National and UNESCO's Representative List of Intangible Heritage of Humanity – manufacture of traditional wooden toys in Hrvatsko Zagorje and mead-making craft in Northwest Croatia)
- Communication role – activities involving presentation and popularization of traditional crafts and skills, which includes protection of intangible cultural goods, organization of workshops involving intangible heritage, setting up related museum exhibitions, participation in relevant fairs, and cooperation with education institutions and with tourist agencies and operators
CRAFTATTRACT project received the Croatian Museum Association's annual award for the best museum project in 2008. The project was also presented at the review of the awarded projects entitled, The Best in Heritage in Dubrovnik in September 2010 and included in the Excellence Club.
In 2011, the foundation of the Forum of Slavic Cultures (FSK) showed a great deal of interest in the project involving traditional crafts. The project was therefore envisaged as a model for expansion in the region. Each year, various activities will be organized in the home country of one of the partners, such as organization of joint exhibitions in Southeast Europe, printing of publications, promotion of traditional crafts at relevant fairs, transferring knowledge to younger generations, and activities aimed at promotion of the joint regional (inter-state) cultural and tourist area.
In cooperation with Croatia Nostra association, CRAFTATTRACT was entered for the European Protection and Conservation of Heritage Award. Croatia Nostra is a non-profit non-government association involved in protection and conservation of cultural heritage.
The Centre for Traditional Crafts and Skills has organized a number of intangible heritage workshops at Staro Selo Museum: the blacksmith's workshop, the making of traditional crêpe-paper, straw, and textile ornaments, traditional carpenter's workshop, the roofer's workshop – covering roofs with šop, rye thatch; the potter's workshop (from shaping clay pots on the potter's wheel to finished products), making and decorating traditional gingerbread figures, preparation of a traditional dish – zagorski domaći štrukli, and cutting cow horn into combs, accessories, and other objects.
The good cooperation between the Museum's Centre for Traditional Crafts and Skills and craftsmen and other people with knowledge of traditional crafts and skills created the necessary preconditions for new projects, such as the exhibitions entitled Craftsmen in the Workshop and The Comb-Maker's Workshop.
It is important to emphasize that Staro Selo Museum's Centre for Traditional Crafts and Skills was the first such centre on the territory of the Republic of Croatia to systematically begin collecting information on intangible heritage.