Every craft enthusiast knows how easy it is to get caught up in the joy of making new things. . Like any art, though, it’s important that you take the time to do the not-so-fun stuff in between, like caring for your supplies and work stations before you start the next project!
Check out these common crafting mistakes and why you should avoid them!
Letting yourself fall into bad habits is risky no matter what you’re passionate about. It can affect your finished product and take the joy out of your work.
We’ve all been there. You walk into a restaurant and you just have to save that woven glittered placemat because you know the restaurant will throw it out! Saving things you “might use later” is a great idea for stand out pieces and really unique finds, but remember that you can’t save everything. Will you really use all of those shiny candy wrappers? Sometimes you just have to practice self control. Don’t save junk!
Your hot glue sticks might last you for years, but other crafting supplies have expiration dates that you should actually abide by. Your gem glue and certain types of paint won’t be the same quality in ten years, so keep in mind how long you’ve had things. If there’s no expiration date, check on your supplies by paying attention to their colour, consistency, and smell.
Don’t let your mess take over your surfaces! Whether it’s yarn ends, old threads, smeared paint, or general clutter, forgetting to clean up your mess will stop you from crafting as effectively. Paint, glue, or glitter messes could ruin your next project and neglected clutter will just make you feel crowded when you walk into the room.
Just like your surfaces, your crafting storage needs to be well organized (or at least contained)! Letting your spare supplies take over the whole room can be de-motivating. You won’t be able to find things, tools you need will get lost, and someone in your family will get sick of your mess eventually. Find easy, affordable storage solutions and dedicate a day to getting things sorted!
Overloading yourself can get stressful, especially if you’ve committed to deadlines or promised the final product to someone. The pressure could make you feel rushed and you might not produce your best work. Make sure you don’t take on so many projects that you stop enjoying your art!
6. …And letting too many of them fall by the wayside
If you do take on many projects at once, remember to prioritize. Which ones did you promise to have done first? Which ones can you finish well but quickly and which ones will need a little more time? Try not to set things aside for so long that you never pick them up again!
Practice makes perfect! If you’ve promised someone a great finished product, make sure you try a couple of practice rounds first. Particularly if you’re being paid for the project, you want to produce quality things that people will love. Work on your skills and offer to make people things that you can create confidently!
It’s always good to know what you do well, but trying new things could help you discover other hidden talents! Every once in a while, spice up your crafting routine by trying a technique or craft you’ve never made before. Either you’ll discover a new passion or you’ll reaffirm that you’ve already found what you love doing most.
Whether crafting is a hobby or your profession, creating beautiful works of art can lead to great opportunities. Have confidence in your abilities and take cool chances that come your way! Have you been approached by the local crafting society about displaying your work at a fair? Don’t pass the opportunity up!
If you’re proud of what you do, let people see it! Participate in a craft sale, join a crafting circle or swap, or set up an Instagram account to display your art. You’ve worked hard and there’s nothing wrong with showing people your beautiful creations.
11. Letting finished projects take over your home
“I knitted every piece of clothing in my wardrobe!”
Putting your finished projects on display can be a lot of fun, but don’t let them clutter the whole place! If you find that you have too many things and not enough space, consider taking some of your better work to a crafting swap, an arts and crafts trade show, donating them, or selling them. Do you often find that you’ve made more things than you know what to do with? Consider opening your own online shop!
Rinsing brushes, winding yarn, and generally taking care of your crafting tools certainly isn’t the most interesting part of the process. If you’ve ever left your brushes to dry in paint overnight, however, you know how necessary it is! You pay good money for your tools and supplies, so take good care of them. Neglecting to clean them properly will ruin them and result in you having to buy more.
We can’t stress the importance of taking good care of your supplies enough! Letting your paints, glues, and other supplies dry out wastes the things you need and costs you money in the end. Before you finish up your work for the day, check all of your lids! Make sure everything is sealed properly and standing up straight so it doesn’t spill.
They’re not exactly fun to read, but storage instructions are written on crafting supplies for a reason! If the bottles of your paints, glues, aerosols, and other supplies say that they shouldn’t be kept in extreme temperatures, try not to store them near your radiators or in the garage. Things like freezing and melting can change the consistency and effectiveness of certain products and ultimately ruin them.
In some places, crafting is more than just a hobby- it’s a community! If you know someone who is trying to learn a technique that you’re very good at, be willing to help them. Connecting with the people around you over common creativity can be a lot of fun, and helping someone out with their art can feel very rewarding! Perhaps they can return the favour next time you decide to learn something new?
Like any community, the crafting world has etiquette. Try to remember this when you’re interacting with fellow craft enthusiasts on Internet forums or in meet ups. Offer to help others, but try not to force it upon people who might want to figure something out for themselves. Keep in mind that there’s a difference between an expert and a know-it-all.
Displaying your creative triumphs is a great feeling and it can be a lot of fun to talk about your successful projects with people who share your interests. It can also be fun to show off the work you’re proud of to non-crafters, who might be very impressed by your creative talent. Keep in mind, however, that not everyone appreciates bragging. Feel free to share, but try not to put other people or their work down while you’re at it.
There’s nothing wrong with asking for assistance when you need it. If you’re feeling stuck and help is available, take it! It’s better to seek a few pointers and learn from the experience than it is to struggle on your own for so long that you become frustrated and give up on your project.
Most avid crafters know that the cost of supplies can really add up. Even if you have discounts or memberships, good quality art supplies and crafting tools can be pricey. Factoring your creative passions into your overall monthly budget can help you allot spending money for the things you love doing without breaking the bank.
Are there things you used to love making but lost track of when life got busy? The new year is the perfect time to pick them back up! Even if crafting isn’t your biggest priority, try not to let your skills go to waste. Set aside a little bit of “me time” and pick up whichever craft was your specialty, for old times’ sake!