12 Tips for Breaking a Crafting Slump

12 Tips for Breaking a Crafting Slump
12 Tips for Breaking a Crafting Slump

I haven’t written much about crafting lately. I’ve only published one design in the last 4 1/2 months.  I’ve completed just a handful of projects in that same time-frame, and most of those completed have been tiny.

It’s safe to say … I’m in a crafting slump.  Well, in truth I’ve been in a bit of a funk overall lately.

Perhaps it fitting to talk about this as May is National Mental Health month.  Studies have shown that crafting can ease stress, increase happiness, and improve your health. Even practicing some type of craft that you’re not good at can be beneficial.

thread stash in drawer

In an effort to boost my own interest in crafting again, I compiled this list of ideas that might help end this craft-making slump!  I hope you find some good ideas here too…

1. Look through your craft supplies.  Sometimes seeing craft products you’ve forgotten about can trigger ideas that get you excited.   This is my favorite method.  Looking through my yarn stash or card-making stash can sometimes lead to … {cast on all the things} … which is a different issue πŸ™‚  Find a beloved item, that one you’ve been saving for something special – and use it up!  Think of ways you can use those craft supplies in other ways too!  Use beads in a knit project or use thread to embroider a card-making project.  Gather paper scraps and make a mosaic collage with a child.  Take paint and old buttons and decorate a box.  The ideas are endless!  p.s. Does anyone else use an empty dresser to store crafts in? πŸ™‚

2. Look through your craft books, patterns or even Pinterest.  This could be a good tip … or not.  As long as you spend a little time looking and quickly narrow down to some possibilities.  I know what a black-hole Pinterest can be.  Oh, let’s face it.  My craft books and patterns can be a black hole too as I have PABLE (patterns acquired beyond life expectancy)!

3. Make something small.  Sometimes being able to start and complete a small project – or multiple small projects can help because it gives you a sense of accomplishment.  I use this idea a LOT!  Maybe that’s why hats and amigurumi are some of my favorite projects to work on.  Nothing like boosting my mood through “instant” gratification.

Ballerina doll unfinished

4. Look through your unfinished projects.  Is there a project that is bringing you down that you should just let go?  Why not recycling the supplies or toss it?  There’s no rule that says you have to finish everything you start.  Is there a project that you can finish in the next hour – if so, why not just get it done?   I have over 8 projects left unfinished.  One of which is a ballerina doll I started TWO YEARS ago.  If I don’t finish it soon, Little Chick might not want it anymore!  It requires seaming which is why I’ve put it off, but I should just get it done!

5. Watch craft videos to learn a new technique.  I have a friend who is content to keep on with simple cast-ons and knit/purl stitches in her knitting.  Not me.  I love learning.  Sometimes that newness can bring me so much enthusiasm that I want to knit or crochet into the wee hours of the night!  That’s always a good sign (but bad for getting up on time for work)!  This is the year I would really like to learn how to knit Brioche.  For crochet, the Love Knot/Solomon’s Knot is something I’d like to give a try.

crochet shawl project

6. Do a little something each day.  Keep a small project in your car or purse for impromptu creation time while waiting in line, at the doctor’s office or during your lunch hour. Do a little before bed for a calming effect, especially if it’s mindless crafting (repetitive, easy, etc.)    I’m currently trying to work on a shawl design.  It’s a larger project.  I’m not always good about finishing multi-week projects unless I’m really excited.  However, if I commit to working on it just 15 min a day, I can make some good progress in just one week.  Maybe eventually I’ll find myself not wanting to put it down.

7. Organize your space.  If your crafting space is disorganized to the point where it makes you unhappy or worse yet, where you can’t find the supplies you need, it can make it difficult to find the joy in crafting.  Even 15 minutes of straightening your crafting area can spur the urge to create.  Or crafting time can be a reward for spending those 15 min of cleaning.  This one hits me quite often.  I’m not always good about putting supplies back in their “proper” location when I’m finished – I just move on to the next project.  Eventually it gets to a point where I have to do a major reorganization before I feel I can even start something again!

zentagles 2016

8. Try a different craft altogether.  This is similar to the tip on watching videos, but here I’m suggesting you find something on your Craft Bucket List that you’ve always wanted to learn and dive in.  My bucket list contains things like learning to spin, tatting and Hardanger embroidery.  I also would like to someday make a quilt. I don’t consider myself a draw-er, but last year I discovered zentangles – which are usually broken down into simple shapes and lines, making them much easier than they look.  They’re quite addictive!  I think I have over 100 3″ squares made.  Not sure what I’m going to do with them, but for me it’s more about the process than the product.

9. Buy something new.  Had your eye on a new tool or supply?  Allowing yourself to splurge may push you into using your other supplies.   I was reluctant to list this one because it’s a very dangerous idea – for me at least.  However, I know it works!  Maybe that’s why I’m currently in a slump.  My mother and I haven’t been craft shopping in months! (Mom, you need to come “home” so we can shop LOL!)

10. Make a gift for someone.  Start your Christmas gifts early or make a special gift for your mother, mother-in-law, or a good friend.   If it’s tied to a birthday or holiday (like Mother’s Day), you’ll have a deadline to push you along.  I’m notorious for procrastinating, so deadlines are a good way to keep WIPs (works in progress) from becoming UFOs (unfinished objects)!

May stitch marker sets

11. Schedule crafting time with friends.  Invite one or a dozen friends over for chatting and crafting time.  Even if you’re all working on different crafts, the social aspect can be encouraging.  Just make sure you have a project that doesn’t require a lot of concentration.  Or maybe it’s just me that spends more time gabbing than crafting at such gatherings. πŸ™‚  Sometimes it works for me to engage Little Chick in my crafting as she gets me started – but quits long before I’m ready. (Other times I spend more time monitoring or helping her; but that’s ok too)  One recent afternoon she wanted to work with polymer clay.  I brought out the clay and my stitch marker supplies as I felt more like working with beads.  In just a couple of hours I was able to work up these 7 sets.

12. Use momentum to start the next project.  Once you finish a project, immediately jump into the next project.  Notice I didn’t say jump into the next project BEFORE you end the first one (ahem).  For some people it’s the interim stage that can put them in a slump.  If you start right away again, you’ll always have something that can be worked on!

Which of these tips have you used? Do you know of any others I’ve missed?

I’m going to see how many I can accomplish this weekend to spark my crafting mojo again!

6 Replies to “12 Tips for Breaking a Crafting Slump”

  1. Who moved crafts into a dresser first – you or me? October 2011
    If we need to go shopping together – does that mean Yarnventure again with nothing farther than Rochester? Love M

    1. Definitely you. Mine just recently moved into a dresser. πŸ™‚ Yep, we can do Yarnventure again … or Onalaska… or Winona … or …

  2. One that comes to mind is to join a KAL or CAL on ravelry or an online knitting group. It’s a good way to try a new technique (like, hmmm, brioche!) or a project you’ve admired but never got around to tackling with just a pattern and no guidance – the KnitBritish HapAlong was how I knitted a small hap last year. I’ve done a few now, and been a sideline cheerleader on many more, because it’s so much fun to see different projects made from the same pattern but different yarns, or with modifications. And the incredible support from other KAL-ers is very uplifting and encouraging πŸ™‚

    1. KALs can be dangerous for me because I want to do them all! But yes, joining in with others in some type of -along is a great way to get motivated. I just need to find a way to concentrate on ONE… otherwise I just end up with a bunch of WIPs πŸ™‚
      I’d never heard of a “hap” before and had to look it up. Looks like a wonderful type of project!!

  3. Yes, I have craft supplies (well sewing to be specific) in a dresser. I have used many of your different tips at times. I especially like to organize my crafting stuff and that generally makes me want to start working on all sorts of projects. Needing a gift for someone or making stuff to enter in the fair are also great motivators.

  4. Wow! this post is everything I wanted to do as of the moment. Wanna kick my creative side now!

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