So this week I realised I have posted my 50th blog post on this blog. 50! (You can read the 50th here) And I really feel like I’ve come a long way since that very first post and even since my very first craft post. I’ve learnt a lot since then; just think, I didn’t even know how to hem my own curtains and now I can fill my house with matching accessories. i’ve learned a few new skills, and found a few new passions in decoupage and papercrafts that are going to seriously keep me busy for a long time!
If you’ve been reading my blog at all recently you may have noticed that things often go wrong when I begin to DIY… I mix paint up wrong, I fiddle too much and I don’t think things through. So today I’m here to try and help you avoid all the mistakes I’ve been making and lead you to crafting success! I’m going to give you 10 crafting habits to up your game!
Useful Crafting Habits
1. Have the correct equipment
I know this sounds like obvious advice but you would be surprised how often I try and bodge a project using not-quite-the-right-equipment. When trying to make chalk paint for the first time I just used any old paint I had lying around the house… ie. eggshell from painting doors and skirting… it definitely wasn’t my finest moment.
Don’t get me wrong there are times when pva is just as good as mod podge (in my case every time because I’m too cheap to buy mod podge) however I do find it’s much easier to replace something when you already know how it’s supposed to behave. Use the correct equipment the first time round and you will know what it’s supposed to look like. Then you cheap out after.
2. Gather everything you need before you start
I love a good relaxing craft project: a little bit of cutting, a little bit of gluing… oh cr*p…. a lot a bit of running up and down the stairs every 5 seconds because I forgot things. Now in all honesty I could use the exercise but I’m not crafting for the workout. If everything is laid out and ready to go, then you won’t be making mid project trips up and down the stairs covered in glue.
3. Protect your area
I’ll tell you this now: it is a good job our dining table is glass and not something porous because I can never ever find a newspaper to lay down. Take a look at some of my old projects, how often do I actually cover my table before I set to work? But I’m giving myself so much work to do! It is a huge pain in the bum cleaning glue off the glass table, after gently scraping and washing it and then having to polish otherwise it just looks like a streaky cloudy mess. Don’t be me guys, protect your area (nudge wink insert rude joke)
4. Read the instructions thoroughly
Nothing worse than having a wet and sticky project only to discover that you forgot something a layer down. I do this in cooking all the time; I serve something up and say to my fiance ‘there was supposed to be croutons but I forgot to put them in’. Read your project from start to finish at least once before you start. It helps to understand the project but also to know what everything is for; don’t want to use your last bit of twine on the wrong part of the project and then fall apart because it’s ruined and nothing ever goes right…. No-one could ever call me dramatic….
5. Do a test run
As much as I love to try new things, I don’t recommend trying paper flowers for the very first time the night before your wedding to make your bouquet. If possible, always try and do a practice project, doesn’t have to be the full thing, just enough to get you used to it before trying it with the materials you care about. You wouldn’t sew a dress in the expensive material the first time round would you? No, you’d make a mock up in a cheap material first. Same thing. I think.
6. Take your time
I know what life is like, you have this to do and that to do and 37 seconds here for some crafting before you have to start on something else. It’s really hard to find time to fit in a real craft project. However if you rush it, it’s never going to look as amazing and professional as that pin you saw. Take your time, it may be that you have to leave the project and come back to it, better than trying to make it too fast and ruining it.
7. Exercise patience
This goes along with number 6, impatience can also cause us to rush but it will ruin your projects. I know all about this, I’ve ruined 50% of my decoupage projects by touching them because I was impatient. If something says ‘leave to dry’ you will darn well leave it to fully dry, step away from the craft project!!
8. Don’t take on too much
This one we all know: too many projects too little time. This is where I need to take my own advice: pick something and stick with it!!! It’s so easy to get distracted and think I’ve done that one time to try something new!
9. Don’t be disheartened
We all have that friend who can make a craft and it look exactly like the one on Pinterest yeah? Dump her! You don’t need that kind of perfection in your life, making you feel bad!
Of course I’m joking (mostly) but when it doesn’t look exactly like you wanted it to…. don’t worry about it. Look at what you did well and improve on it. I have so many friends who say they aren’t crafty and aren’t creative and ‘I could never make that’ when I know for a fact they could! They just need practice!
10. Have fun!
This is of course the most important point! The only reason we craft is because we enjoy it! If you find yourself getting angry or frustrated you need to put it down and come back later. Crafting is fun! Enjoy yourself!
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