10. Get organized –
You can’t craft if your desk is covered in supplies. It’s as simple as that. If you’re organizationally challenged, check out photos on Flickr of craft rooms for inspiration. Read organization tips and apply them to your craft supplies. Get crafty with new storage solutions – remake tea boxes into drawer dividers or soup cans into brush holders.
9. Use what you have before buying more –
This will be much, much easier once you’ve gotten organized. How many times have you bought supplies only to discover that you already had that item but had misplaced it or forgotten about it? If you’ve got 10 balls of cotton yarn, at least start a project before buying another ball. Figure out what size brushes you actually need before you buy another. Finish a 4×4 painting before you buy another 4×4 canvas. Write down what colors you don’t have in inkpads. Keep an easily tracked inventory if needed.
8. Start on gifts early –
Whether for birthday, Christmas, anniversary, or just because, if you want to make a gift for someone give yourself the time to actually complete it. Too many crafters wait til the last minute, or make grand plans and don’t think through how many hours it will take. For instance, don’t start a Christmas sweater on Thanksgiving unless you can knit quickly and will have the time.
7. Finish at least one unfinished project before learning a new craft –
A lot of crafters have multiple interests and mediums. If you spin yarn and knit, finish spinning that skein or knitting that hat before learning embroidery. Don’t buy expensive lampworking equipment when you’ve got 9 unfinished paintings sitting in the corner gathering dust.
6. Donate unused supplies –
This is easy to do alongside the “get organized” resolution. Did you decide that cross-stitch was just not for you but still have a box of fabric? Give it to a nursing home. Tons of empty sketchbooks and you’ve given up drawing for sewing? See if there’s a daycare that can use the extra paper. Schools, nursing homes, and women’s shelters are always good places to contact about donating supplies. If all else fails, offer them up on FreeCycle or drop them off at Goodwill.
5. Swap old craft books for new ones –
You’ve already tried all of the patterns from a book but don’t want to just give it away – it was expensive after all! Offer to swap it on a site like PaperbackSwap.com or Swap-Bot.com for another crafty book. Got a great how-to book for your birthday that you’ll never use? Swap it or even sell it on half.com and use the money to buy yourself something more in line with your tastes.
4. Set aside a craft budget so you don’t overspend or do without –
You don’t realize the scrapbook paper you’ve bought wasn’t on sale til you’re already home and cutting into it. You underestimate how much yarn you’ll need and have to go back and buy another skein. You have to do without any new supplies because you just don’t have the extra cash. Set yourself aside some money from every paycheck to use specifically for your hobbies. Being broke is even more miserable when you can’t enjoy your hobbies. Even if it’s only a few dollars, be sure and keep a little something back to spend on yourself. Keep track to know exactly how much you have to spend and if something is too expensive, put it back!
3. Throw away any supplies that are no longer good –
The wooden knitting needles your dog chewed up, that you plan to try to sand down and fix “someday”. The inkpad that’s half dried out and the paints that are practically solid. Get rid of it. Being thrifty often goes hand in hand with being crafty but when it’s unusable, just give up and trash it. Those scissors that gnaw through everything and destroy all that they touch are doing no one any good.
2. Get yourself some adequate lighting –
This is especially important for anyone who has only a craft space and not a whole room dedicated to their hobbies. Stop straining your eyes and back trying to get that thread through the needle. Rearrange your space if you can to get as much natural sunlight as you can. If you’re right handed, make sure the light source is to your left so shadows of your hand don’t fall over what you’re trying to see. Get a cheap desk lamp if nothing else and place it right over your workspace.
1. Use your powers for good –
There are plenty of charities that accept handmade goods. Look into the Project Linus, Hugs for Homeless Animals, or Artists Helping Children. Sew up a stuffed toy and give it to the women’s shelter. Knit some hats and give them to a homeless shelter. Give that jewelry you made but never wear to the local community theater for costumes. Combine getting involved with getting creative.