Let's face it, we ALL lead busy lives from sunrise to sunset! And yet, we MUST allow ourselves time to be creative. It is important in so many ways ... to keep our minds creatively active, to find our inner peace, to hand make gifts for loved ones, to help us decorate our domain on a dime, and to simplify our lives by allowing us to rest a moment and stretch our brain in a different direction.
So, how do we make the best use of our crafting time when we are all so busy? I gathered ten thoughts to share with you. I thought if I offered these suggestions, it just might help those busy frustrated crafters who say they NEVER have time to craft and yet they LOVE to!
1. Look for Inspiration
First, I would recommend that you take time to plan our your crafting project. Inspiration is all around us daily. Absorb everything around you when you are running errands; look for inspiration in trends, color palettes and patterns. When online, refer to your favorite how-to blogs, websites like plaidonline.com that are loaded with projects, and check our Pinterest boards.
2. Gather Your Supplies
Once you have settled on what you want to create, it is now time to gather the necessary supplies. Take the necessary time to shop for all supplies needed. When at home, also gather the basics like scissors, pencils, a ruler, an eraser, etc. There is nothing worse than being in the middle of a project and realizing that you do not have the necessary supplies.
3. Set up an Efficient Work Station
When you are ready to craft, gather ALL the necessary supplies. Refer to the project supply list, but also think "outside the box" as everyday crafting supplies may not be listed; supplies such as a container for water, paper towels, foam plates, glue, scissors, tweezers etc. may be needed but not called for in the supply list. Try to think of all the supplies you will need. Set up an efficient work station and check it for proper lighting as well as making sure your work surface is sturdy.
4. Review Written Instructions
Before crafting, review the written instructions for the project you want to recreate. Someone before you took the time to create the fun project you want to reproduce and they may have worked through some "kinks" when they created the original. Learn from their expertise and experience.
5. Enjoy the Process
Enjoy your time crafting, try to "de-stress" as crafting is NOT "brain surgery" and if your creation is taking a different spin from the original, go with that flow. Do not worry about being precise unless it is a very intricately designed craft. Mistakes can be made. I always tell my students "We never make mistakes when crafting ... a perceived mistake is only an opportunity for a design change!"
6. Contain Your Project Supplies
If you are not able to complete your project in one setting and know you can come back to it tomorrow, try to leave your project supplies out so that you can begin crafting later without having to "set up shop." However, if you cannot afford that real estate in your home and need to clean up after crafting, try to contain all your project supplies in one box or crate so that you do not lose anything.
7. Work Efficiently
When crafting for the holidays or times when you want to make multiples of the same items, try to set up an "assembly line" of sorts. You will find it much easier and quicker to complete several of the same item in one setting.
8. Craft with Others
If appropriate, invite the kids to craft along with you. It is never too early to begin influencing others. Or why not invite a girlfriend to come over to craft with you? Sharing a few laughs while crafting is the BEST de-stress technique I have found!
9. Be Organized and Clean Up Afterwards
Do take the time to clean up after the project has been completed. Make sure that brushes are cleaned well, pencils are sharpened ready for their next use, scissors are stored safely and electrical tools such as a hot glue gun are safely unplugged and stored.
10. Document Your Projects
Yes, I said it, take a pic! When completed, take a photo of your finished project and date it especially if you plan to give your handmade creation away. Who knows ... you may want to craft this same project a second time.
I sincerely hope that you enjoyed these organized thoughts on crafting. Perhaps it will help you as a busy person find the right time and motivation to craft a project or two!
And if you are looking for a last minute project to craft for the Fourth of July, give this patriotic Gallery Glass project a try. You will find the instructions on plaidonline.com.