Just getting started with crafting? Good for you! It’s a fun hobby and a great way to express your creativity. While getting started in crafting can be exciting, it’s also easy to get in over your head and end up frustrated and discouraged. We’ve all been there. Every crafter has a story or two of projects gone wrong, but if we had to make mistakes to learn from, at least we can share those lessons! Check out these eight-common beginning-crafter mistakes, and spare yourself the trouble of learning the hard way.
- Not reading the whole tutorial
When you first get started in crafting, it’s always a good idea to get the ball rolling with some tutorial-based projects. These will help you build your skills before you dive into completely original projects. It’s like cooking–when you try out a new recipe, you follow it to the letter at first, and then start tweaking it to make it your own. And you’d never start a recipe without reading the whole thing, right? The same goes for crafting tutorials!
- Not assembling your tools and supplies first
There’s nothing worse than getting halfway through your project and running short of material or realizing you don’t have the tools you need to finish. Since you’re working from a tutorial (and you read it the whole way through, right?), there shouldn’t be any surprises when it comes to the supplies or tools you’ll need. If you’re investing in more expensive equipment, supplies and materials, take some time and do a little research before you buy it. You’ll be glad you did!
- Not starting with a practice piece
All right, you’ve read the tutorial and assembled your supplies. Time to get started! First things first. Manage your expectations. No matter how carefully you’ve planned, your first piece is always a practice piece. Remember the recipe analogy? You’ll always want to make tweaks and changes, plus you’re still getting used to the techniques and skills your project requires.
- Assuming DIY is less expensive
Lots of crafters get into the hobby thinking that it’s an inexpensive way to make the things they want. While, yes, it is possible to hand-make many of the things you might otherwise buy in a shop, remember that crafting supplies aren’t cheap either! Even if you can get supplies for less than buying the finished item, don’t forget to factor your time in as well, especially if you plan on making items to sell.
- Not giving yourself plenty of time
Nothing sets you up for frustration quite like last-minute crafting! It’s already difficult to learn a new skill and how to apply it–there’s no need to make it a timed test as well. Leave yourself plenty of time to work on a project, preferably over several days. And remember, this first attempt is a practice piece!
- Starting big
Your first project is not the time to create a fine piece of furniture, or a corseted wedding gown. It can be frustrating to start with the basics–there are only so many pillow cases you can make before you never want to see another one as long as you live–but it’s even more frustrating to put a lot of time and effort into a project that ends in disaster. A good way to build up to those big, challenging projects is to try out smaller crafts that require some of the same skills.
- Getting discouraged!
Even with all this handy advice, you’re going to make mistakes. Your glue gun is going to overheat and melt something you worked hard on. The cat is going to knock over you water glass onto a painting that took you all day or your little one might stained your personalized projects. It’s easy to want to throw in the towel on crafting in general when things like that happen, but keep in mind that setbacks are a part of the process. It’s a good idea to take a break and walk away from a project when things aren’t going well. (Remember that whole section about not giving yourself plenty of time? This is why.) Clean up, put your supplies away, go for a walk, take a nap, have dinner with your family, whatever it takes. When you’re ready, come back and try again. You might be pleasantly surprised.
- Not having fun
This one might sound a little elementary-school, but it’s one of the biggest mistakes new crafters make. It’s supposed to be fun! There are so many different disciplines within crafting–sewing, knitting, crocheting, papercrafting, metalwork, prop-making, costuming, doll-making, glasswork–the list is literally endless. If you find the projects you’re working on aren’t enjoyable, find new projects! Life is too short not to have fun while you’re crafting.