We all see those posts on Facebook of amazing crafts ideas or DIY projects that “anyone can do”, and have those moments where you just think, are you kidding? Those kinds of projects often seem incredibly complicated and seem to require skills and equipment that only a select few people have. That being said, when you look at the kinds of things that people make in those posts and videos, it’s hard not to feel tempted to try it out for yourself. But how many of us have Pinterest accounts filled with ideas for projects that we’re never actually going to bother with. Sure, thinking about the kinds of things that you’d like to try is one thing but it’s something else entirely to actually get on with doing it. Well, if you ever needed an excuse, you couldn’t have a better one than the time of year in which we find ourselves! There are more DIY and craft projects floating around at Christmas time than at any other point in the year. Whether you’re planning on making your own decorations or giving out some handmade gifts, now is the time to embrace your crafty impulses. Here are a few simple ways that you can do just that.
Pick your materials
If you want to start crafting, then the first thing you want to figure out is what materials you actually want to work with. No matter what kind of thing you’re planning on making, if you don’t know what materials you’re going to be using from the start, the whole process is going to be far more difficult and unpleasant. You could make things using cloth, felt or other soft materials. Or you could try your hand at wood carving for something a little more challenging. Of course, if you’re in the mood for something a bit more heavy duty you could even use metal. Just remember that the more difficult to work with your materials are, the more likely you are to have to rely on powerful tools which is likely to drive up the cost of your project pretty considerably.
Learn the basics
Now, there’s nothing wrong with trying to dive straight into a project, but if you try and do anything that’s a little too ambitious before you have a really solid grasp of the fundamentals, then you’re that much more likely to end up getting frustrated and pack the project in altogether. The best thing that you can do is to start at the very beginning. If you’re working with fabric then heading over to a site like Sewing From Home is a great first step that can give you all the information you need to get started. And if you’re looking to work with things like wood or metal then there are hundreds of tutorials available that you can use. Bob over at the I Like To Make Stuff Youtube channel is particularly great!
Find a project
Of course, working exclusively on the basics isn’t always going to be the best option. After all, if you’re working hard and improve, but you don’t really have anything to show for your work then it’s pretty likely that you’re going to end up getting discouraged. So it’s a good idea to frame the skills that you’re learning around a specific project. Make sure that you give yourself something clear to aim for. Perhaps it’s a gift that you want to give to someone, or maybe you have a decoration that you really want to create. Not only will this give you something to aim for, but it will also help you get a better idea of the kind of style that you want to work in. A handmade wooden gift is always going to be a very different style to one made of metal or fabric.
Keep it simple
Then again, don’t try to be too ambitious on your very first project. The truth is that many projects can be a lot more difficult than they seem, so do your research and find something that you think you can realistically manage. There’s nothing worse than trying out a big, complicated project that you’re never realistically going to be able to finish and having to give up on it halfway through. You should also find projects that aren’t going to take months to complete. If it’s your first project then you’re going to want to see results pretty quickly. Take on something that only takes a few days to make instead of a few months. That way you can immediately see what you’re good at and what you need to spend a little bit more time working on.
Don't be scared to mess up
Speaking of things that you need to spend more time working on, remember that your first project probably isn’t going to be very good. In fact, there’s a good chance that it’ll end up being the worst thing that you’ve ever made. And that’s great! After all, you’ll want to keep getting better and better as you go and the only way that you can really do that is to learn from your mistakes at every opportunity. Don’t be afraid to get things wrong from time to time. The only way in which you’d ever really fail is if you gave up altogether. It’s far better to be the one who tries, fails, and tries again than to be the one who’s so scared to fail that they never try at all.
Sure, making things yourself is always going take more time and more hard work than if you just go to the store or order it online. However, no matter how it turns out, you’re so much more likely to treasure something for a long time when you can see all of the efforts that you put into it. Not only that but if you make your own gifts, then they’re going to be that much more to the people who receive them because they’re one of a kind.
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