How to Actually Start Your Arts and Crafts Project

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Let’s talk about Arts and Crafts 🧶🧵🖌️🎨✂️🖍️📐

Life is made more beautiful by arts and crafts! It’s a way to get creative, use your brain in a new way, and make something beautiful. Last year I bought wool to make a beautiful crochet cardigan. Of course I procrastinated, forgot about it, and have made little progress. Today I am sharing some strategies I used to get my crochet hook back in action.

🧶Choose 1 project to focus on
You know that craft project you have forgotten, not allowed yourself to start, not made time for, and are avoiding? Let me tweak your memory:

📐Watercolours for that landscape
📐Acrylic paint for that portrait
📐Fabric for that quilt
📐Stamp collection for those holiday cards
📐Cricut for those crafts
📐Yarn for that beautiful sweater
📐Calligraphy pens for that beautiful sign

It’s so easy to do a little of this, and a little of that, but if we have too many on the go we get overwhelmed and avoid all of them. Decide to decide and pick one project. 

🧶Gather supplies
Pull out everything you need for this craft, and no more. Put it all together, somewhere it’s easy to pull out and start. Perhaps you gather it in a bag or a basket or a bin. I keep my crochet hook and only one ball of yarn in a portable bag. It’s so easy to move around or pop in my bag for on-the-go. A huge part of squeezing in time for creativity is having the start and clean up be easy. As much as possible, simplify your supplies. 

This is my all-in-one, crochet bag

🧶Gather information
Sometimes we sit down to start our project and realize we don’t have all that we need. Before you begin, ask yourself, what do I need to start?

✂️Google a technique?
✂️Find a pattern?
✂️Watch a youtube video?
✂️Call a friend?
✂️Order a book?

I needed to find the crochet pattern website and bookmark it. I also need to watch the youtube video to remind myself of the technique. Do whatever you need to do so that you can sit down and start. 

🧶Start with 15 minutes
When I look at my finished craft projects, I know that the secret was making the most of 15-minute chunks. We often look at our art projects and think “I need 3 hours, uninterrupted,” but we all know it’s hard to set aside that much time.

What if, instead, we did 15 minutes every day and set up our crafts to be easy to start and easy to clean up? When I committed to 15 minutes everyday, and slowly saw the progress. 

🖌️One stitch
🖌️One double crochet
🖌️One stamp
🖌️One picture

This blanket was completed 15 minutes at a time

🧶Permission to Begin
Sometimes the biggest thing stopping us from our crafts is the fear of beginning. Our materials sit there perfect, untouched, with so much potential, and making the first move can feel overwhelming.

🎨The first cut of the fabric
🎨Colouring on the first page
🎨Opening the paint set
🎨Unrolling the yarn
🎨Glueing the first scrapbook
🎨Dirtying the first stamp.

It seems scary, so we avoid it. Do you know what’s scarier? Never actually using these items out of fear of making mistakes. Having them gather dust, wait for the perfect day, never be enjoyed. All it takes is permission. Permission to make mistakes, get messy, open, use, and enjoy your craft supplies. 

Imagine it gone, spilt, dried up, ripped, dirty, or your children got into it. Now, imagine in 3 years’ time you are donating it, for someone else to use and enjoy, because you held yourself back from doing just that. You’ll be asking ‘why did I wait?’ Arts and crafts are about the process, not perfection so please give yourself permission to begin. 

🧶Look for areas to squeeze in more crafting
When I started crocheting I pictured myself at home, in front of my fire, for hours at a time. Sure, that happened sometimes, but what helped me get into the habit was finding little times in my day when I could add crocheting.

🖍️The break room – I started crocheting on my breaks during nursing shifts and it was SUCH a great conversation starter. People get so curious and I learned about tons of closet knitters and crocheters among my coworkers

🖍️The borderline -One time I was stuck in the borderline for HOURS and I decided to crochet as I slowly crawled forward. Having something to do made the time pass much faster.

🖍️Road trips -I was headed four hours away for a ski trip and decided to pack my crochet. Wouldn’t you know I got a whole section of my blanket done in the backseat?

🖍️Just 15 minutes -I had a habit of coming home from work and immediately crashing on the couch with my laptop. I decided to challenge myself to do 10 min of crocheting and then I could veg. I often enjoyed the slow, calm, and meditative repetitive motions and found I crocheted far past 10 minutes.

🖍️A deadline-I have crocheted many items for babies in my life and having the deadline of their birth has helped me SO much in prioritizing it. If you need a little motivation, decide to give your creation as a gift.

Creativity through arts and crafts brings so much joy to our lives. Arts and crafts are one of those categories that people have a million excuses for why they aren’t enjoying their crafts, but no strategies for how to use them.

What strategy can you start using today? How can you move one step closer to finishing your project?

61 thoughts on “How to Actually Start Your Arts and Crafts Project

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  17. Thank you so much for this informative, encouraging post. I’m finding it helpful to ‘give myself permission to begin’ and permission to make mistakes. I’ve often bought craft supplies that I later change my mind about or they don’t work out as I thought they would. ‘It’s ok – trial and error’, I tell myself. And yes, uncut fabric has so much potential and I’ve got a busy, creative brain that says, ‘or you could use it this other way,’ which can derail me from plunging in. Because that’s what it is, right? A plunge. And yes, for a big project that can be overwhelming, I try to focus on the next small thing I need to do. Thanks again, Gillian!

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