As I was buying Halloween supplies this week, I couldn’t help but notice the Christmas decorations were already on display, and that old familiar feeling of excitement coupled with dread washed over me. This is that time of year (holiday crafting season, duh) when I get overly optimistic about the number of crafts I am going to accomplish over the holiday season, swiftly followed by the memory of years of failed holiday crafting attempts.
You see, as a designer/creative people often assume that you are a naturally crafty person. While I think that this is sometimes true, I struggle when it comes to things like pipe cleaners, pinecones, and the avalanche of deceptively easy Pinterest crafts that seem to flood my news feeds. I have plenty of experience in technical things like packaging and book arts, but cutesy crafts have always seemed to escape my abilities.
Yet each holiday season I always begin with visions of grandeur and then fizzle into a puddle of stress and disappointment when the 25 crafts I have planned on making for party/hostess/christmas gifts result in a 10 percent completion rate coupled with a small fortune lost on supplies and wasted ingredients. Past personal fails have included candles in a teacup, homemade meringues, and three back to back all nighters because I thought I could knit everyone in my family a washcloth in time for Christmas to go with their homemade soap. I still have the eight boxes of glitter pencils I bought five years ago that I planned on making personalized toppers for – what is wrong with me? I decided this year to put a stop to this insanity.
With that said, I wanted to share with you my 7 Tips and Tricks for a Stress Free Holiday Crafting Season:
1. Pick one or two crafts per holiday. ONLY.
2. Just say no to Martha – she’s in a whole other league, one we mere mortals should just accept as unattainable. Her scones ARE crazy-delicous, though. Mookychick has a great blog full of non-traditional holiday crafts to get your inspiration flowing.
3. Looking for an excuse to bring out the Exacto blade? Check out A Little Hut’s website – they have a variety of really cool, clean and not too-cutesy templates for you. Boxes, ornaments and the like in a wide variety of skill levels. Bonus: they are so fresh no additional glitter/decoration is needed.
4. Repeat after me “It is OK to BUY Christmas/holiday cards, and I am still a good designer if I do” And look at is this way, it frees you up to really perfect those few crafts you will be doing. I have loved Oh So Beautiful Paper’s blog for some time now. Not only do they showcase some gorgeous cards, they also have a great DIY section full of great projects that won’t send you into sugar shock.
5. Because I know you’re going to go to Pinterest anyway (don’t worry, I am too), here is a great site you can visit after to view other failed crafts and feel a little better about yourself.
6. Keep it simple. The most successful crafts I have ever done were because the my current skill set directly applied to the task at hand and therefore I was able to achieve a clean execution – a hallmark of professionalism (wink, wink).
7. Think outside the box – remember, we are designers for a reason. The world is full of traditional, super-cute crafts. What can we as designers bring to the table when making our own? Leave the buttons, ribbons and pinecones to the masses. Think about what you WISH crafts would look like, and then GO. DO. IT.
And oh yeah, Peace on Earth, Y’all.