Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Choosing DIY Projects You'll LOVE

Hi friends, how was your weekend? I do realize that it's Tuesday and I should've been asking you that question yesterday, but in case you noticed I took yesterday day off. The family and I took an impromptu trip down to Legoland on Father's Day and came home yesterday afternoon. It was too quick, but with Art's work schedule being what it is, I'll take what I can get.

With summer in full swing for most of you (Taylor still has 8 days left of school and it's only 75 degrees here), I thought I'd write a post a little different than the norm and share some thoughts and ideas on DIY'ing. I know summer is the time when a lot of you ramp up on projects or look to start new projects with the kids, so I wanted to share some tips to help you choose DIY projects that you'll love, not get frustrated with.
I spent almost 2 hours walking around Michael's on Saturday, by myself, the rarest of luxuries.  It was glorious and relaxing.   While I was browsing, my creative juices flowed like crazy and I thought of too many projects I'd love to try.  But it was good to have time to think and be inspired.  While browsing I thought up this blog post in fact!  So friends and readers have asked me in the past, "how do you decide what to make?  Where do you begin?", so today I'll take you through my creative process and how I decide what to create, and what ideas to leave on the table.
  • first and foremost, start with one-three mediums and build from there.  For me, my primary mediums are fabric paint, jewelry, and paper supplies. These are the things I'm drawn to and so I focus my energy, time and financial resources on those types of projects.  I stray every now and then, but for the most part my projects reside in those areas.  Narrowing your focus down will save you time and money!
  • find inspiration in places other than Pinterest.  Pinterest is amazing, don't get me wrong, but you'll be surprised what you can be inspired by when you look around.  Magazines, books, browsing Michael's for two hours, thrift stores, fashion stores, beauty supply stores, whatever.  Spending too much time on Pinterest can also leave you feeling down and like your project will never be good enough, look pretty enough as A, B or C.  So get in and get out, don't linger for hours on end.
  • don't create a DIY just for a blog post (if you blog), create it because you want it or need it.  I've done this before because I think readers will love it, and I tell you, it's just a waste of time.  My most well received DIY projects are the ones I created for myself because I really did want it, or the ones I thought very few people would love (case in point this seed bead necklace and the statement necklace I created for Making It Lovely - who knew those would be such big hits?)
  • know your limits and stick with your skill level, or slightly above your skill level.  It's great to challenge yourself, so if the pattern says for advanced beginner, and you're a beginner, go for it and teach yourself new things!  But save yourself tears and agony and don't go for the mega-advanced complicated pattern, no matter how cute and amazing it is.
  • factor in your cost of supplies and time to decide if a DIY project is even worth it financially.  I was recently considering make baby #3 his/her own crib skirt, but after factoring in the cost of fabric plus the hours it was going to take me to sew something new, I decided to just buy the $60 crib skirt I found online.  I think I made a good call here.      
Creating DIY projects are supposed to be fun and enjoyable, not stressful and a time suck.  You shouldn't feel like you want to punch someone in the face during the process ;) I've learned this along the way, and am still learning when to go for it and when to keep it simple and simmer down on the crafting.  What are some other tips you could share or have found to be helpful? 

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