April 01, 2014

Bright Ideas: Tips for Crafting Newbies

Today we're sharing our favorite tips for crafting newbies. Let us know if you have any specific questions and we'll try to answer!


Tell your crafty friends you craft

If you’ve got friends who do any kind of craft, tell them what you’re making, and what you want to learn. Even if they don’t do the same kind of crafting that you do, they might know someone else who does, or maybe they’ve done it in the past. They might have books or patterns that you can borrow for help or ideas.


Crafty friends are also a great place to start for saving money on craft supplies. Check out our post about free supplies here!


Read blogs and tutorials


Whenever Katie and I want to try something new, we always look for blog posts about it. Blogs are, hands-down, our number one place for insider info and tips. Websites are great, but bloggers tend to put more detail into posts about how to make projects faster, easier, cheaper, and simpler. Blog posts are also a great place to read about what not to do when trying a new project.


In our books, nothing beats a good photo tutorial. That’s another reason why we love blogs so much -- they tend to be picture heavy. When you’re trying a new craft for the first time, step-by-step photos help you to get it right.


Don’t spend too much money on new supplies


When you’re first starting out as a DIYer, our most important advice is not to buy expensive tools and supplies right away. There are a lot of awesome products out there, like die-cut machines and high-quality sewing machines, that are very expensive. We own a few of these tools and machines ourselves, but it’s important to think of these as an investment once you’re already settled into crafting.


In the beginning, you probably don’t need these large tools and expensive supplies anyway. Start small and just experiment with the kinds of crafts you like. Try to make the projects you want to make with the supplies that you do have. When you do decide to invest in special tools, read blog posts, product reviews, and ask around to make sure you get the ones that are right for you. Lastly, don’t forget to use coupons!


Don’t buy your supplies at craft or art stores


Although it seems like art supplies are best found at an art store, that’s also where you will pay the most money. Here are a few staple supplies that you can find much cheaper in other locations:


  • Glue: Buy glue sticks, tacky glue, super glue, and hot glue at an office supply store or the grocery store. Also, don’t buy double-sided tape in scrapbooking -- buy it in the general crafting section.
  • Paint: If you’re buying acrylic paints, you can find them much, much cheaper at the supermarket than at an art store or even a crafts and hobby store.
  • Pens and markers: These can also be bought at an office supply store or the supermarket for much less than what you would pay at an arts supply shop.
  • Yarn: Unless you need a specialty yarn, buy this at the supermarket. Most big-box retailers carry a lot of yarn and it’s much cheaper.


Practice Makes Perfect
When you’re just starting out, crafting can seem overwhelming or intimidating. Don’t be scared! We all have “craftastrophies” and “pintasters” once in awhile, instead of the “pintastics” that we had hoped for. We’ve had failed projects many, many times, projects that never make it onto the blog. Sometimes this can be very discouraging, other times a craft disaster turns out to be very funny. All types of crafting takes practice though, and don’t be afraid to just keep trying. It’s also okay to find a new project if you decide that one kind of crafting just isn’t for you.


Favorite Sites for Craft Tutorials and Techniques


Sewing:
sew4home.com


Scrapbooking:
americancrafts.typepad.com


Stamping:
simonsaysstampblog.com
paper-wings-productions.blogspot.com


Embroidery:
wildolive.blogspot.com


Jewelry Making:

What are your favorite tips for someone new to crafting?
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1 comment:

  1. I would suggest buying the big money items second hand if they are a necessity to your craft but you aren't sure you'll stick with it. It is so easy to drop hundreds of dollars on a new hobby just to have those things sit around the house for years, untouched. I got my sewing machine through craigslist for $40, as well as my serger which was about $50. So I spent under $100 for two items necessary to sewing (well..... technically the serger isn't necessary) and probably saved close to $900. I would also suggest buying up things in small quantities whenever possible. I have about every color under the sun of polymer clay, but it took me MONTHS to acquire so many different colors. I bought the colors as I needed them depending on the project I was doing. Same with all my embroidery floss. :)

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