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I am a person with hundreds of crafts I want to do. I have a room full of stuff to do them with, but I have "no" sense of time whatsoever! How or when do you make things for the next season to come? I mean, it's September now, when do I make Christmas stuff? When do I make Halloween stuff (I think I might still have time hahaha), when do I make 4th of July stuff? I want to give gifts at birthdays, but suddenly, the birthday is here and I have to buy something! I just really need help!
By LuAnn Marie
It's easy to get organised once you've heard how others do it, and I'm sure you're going to get a lot of great advice from the wonderful crafters here on ThriftyFun!
I split crafting up into categories: gifts (teachers, hostess, thank-yous, birthday, anniversary, graduation, wedding, Christmas), seasonal decorations (four seasons, holidays, themed parties), and then break those categories down even further by complexity of the projects I've found, downloaded, and printed out to save for future use.
I use a 3-ring binder with blank sheets for brainstorming, tabs for each type with sub-tabs for complexity, and a freebie downloaded then printed out monthly calendar to organise all this - if I tried to keep it straight in my head I'd never manage it!
The more complex - the longer it will take to complete and may even take a couple of tries to get 'right' so I base my 'when to start' timing on that. For simple and quick, for example, I like to get the project done at least two weeks before I need it but for complex projects I've given myself as much as two months - for Christmas, lol, I start in January!
After a few years you build up an inventory, especially of seasonal decorations. But there is always something new to add to those stored decorations - crafting for decoration is never finished, not really:)
Likewise you can build up an inventory of teacher, hostess, thank-yous, and other gifts we always seem to end up wanting to give. If you have time, you can personalise a stocked gift (adding on or changing something using the recipient's favourite colour, or a gift card).
That way you have time to start a pair of PJs or a messenger bag or a lovely piece of jewellery or a hand knit/crocheted something special for the especially loved:)
As you get into the crafting-timing habit, sometimes you'll see a new project and your inner crafter insists you HAVE to do it right then! Lol, always listen to the inner crafter!
One thing - whatever you find is your absolute fav craft (mine is sewing followed closely by hand quilting followed by simple crochet scarves), it helps to have one (or one of each of your personal favs) long term project going that you work on a little bit at a time without meaning to finish it in time for whatever occasion. No rush, just crafting for the sheer pleasure.
For example, I'm currently working on a traditional log cabin quilt top pieced as another yet another worn garment hits the rag bag. When that gets a little 'old', I work on stocking stuffer crocheted scarves. This helps me feel as though I'm making progress, and knowing these are 'long-term' projects takes the deadline imperative down several notches. I work on these while watching TV or a DVD, alternating between the quilt and the scarves.
Can't wait to hear how the other TF crafters organise their crafting-timing!
As a general rule, most crafters are 90-120 days ahead. So, you start Christmas in Sept, Valentines Day in November, etc. Keeping a binder with ideas for "each" seasonal holiday helps. And unless you are filling a store, you don't need to make more than you can display and give. If you want to sell that is another story.
Also, you may want to keep a binder of Birthday and Anniversary ideas, with a list of dates slid inside the cover sleeve. And when you get the time, make things ahead. For instance, do you have a relative or friend who loves cats? Maybe a potato bag for the microwave and some matching pot holders would be nice to whip up on a rainy day? Or your kids love Sponge Bob and you have the time for some slip covers for their bed pillows? You get the idea.
I collect supplies all year long and keep them by items...buttons, fabric, yarn, etc. Getting the room organized is the beginning of a long and happy crafting life! I hope this all helped.
I always start at least a month before a season. Xmas is an exception as I start in mid October. I have a calender in my craft room and I mark on it what I want to make each week (if possible). If you do the calender, check it every day as you enter your craft area.
Also you could find a reminder program (lots of free ones) for you computer that would send you an email detailing what you had put in the reminder for that day. I also made a huge banner that I put up over the door that said: Goals and has the following on minimum one large or 2 small projects per week. For actual craft time, I set a mechanical kitchen timer for 1 hour at a time. If I have to wait for glue or paint to dry, I try to start another project, like a mending or sewing on my machine while I wait.