Home crafting is many things. Or at least, it can be. It can be fun, relaxing, tiring, frustrating and rewarding. Often it is all five of these within about twenty minutes.
If you’re one of those people who keep the ones you got wrong even when you’ve started getting them right, you’ll know what I mean. From the candle that somehow went fluorescent orange to the scarf that wouldn’t keep an ant warm. They all have a place in your heart.
Of course, there is more to crafting than just the experience. Eventually, you do want to be getting it right and have finished products you want to look at or use. Otherwise, the outtakes stop being funny and end up being annoying. So here’s a few tips to help with that.
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First Of All: Don’t Use Cheap Materials
It makes sense in the early days of a craft habit to keep spending low. You don’t want to commit thousands of dollars to something you never end up getting good at. But at the same time, cheap materials can be the reason you never get good. If you’re making clothes, you want material that will hold a shape. For candles, you want a wax that won’t frost on the inside of the jar. Even if it costs a little more.
Secondly: The Answer To “Will This Do?” Is Usually “No”
Again, in the early days it may be worth experimenting while you get to grips with the basic principles of what you’re doing. But using the right tools for the job is essential. This is certainly the case where anything that you might wear is concerned. Wobbly buttons on a jacket just mean it will fall apart sooner. Get online and browse for grommets and other pro-level fastenings. They may cost a little more, but they are sturdier.
Third: Watch Videos. That’s “Videos”, Plural
If you’ve ever purchased a home appliance or some furniture which requires assembly, you’ll know about this. You put a video on your tablet and watch the expert assemble the item. At some point, they’ll say “So, you should already have fitted X to Y”, and you respond “When? You didn’t tell me about that!”.
Watch more than one video on the craft project you’re doing. Some of them miss out large swathes that are really important. It’s their fault your necklace keeps falling apart.
And Finally: You May Not Find Your Craft Right Away
The great actor and comedian W.C. Fields said “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. No point being a fool about it.” And that’s funny, of course, but he had a point, too. There are so many craft options out there, and if you just can’t make the first one work for you, try another. You could waste time and money trying to knit when you’re a natural at needlepoint. Experiment. Find your medium.
From time to time, especially when getting started, you’ll find crafts to be frustrating and bewildering. But keep at it, because they do reward you in the end. They can be beneficial for so many reasons – practical, financial and even as an alternative to therapy. But don’t chase them down a blind alley, because your skill is out there. You just need to find it.