Today I’m carrying on my series of posts on being a creative mum with one on how to get back into crafting after a long break.
I remember how daunting it was to get back into crafting when I first became a mum. I suddenly had this need to create every day, but I didn’t have a clue where to start. I doubted my abilities, felt guilty about spending time on myself, and thought I had forgotten every technique I had once learned.
If you are in the same place, here are 3 tips to get you back into the swing of things.
1. Surround yourself with inspiration
Create an environment that supports your need to craft, that motivates you, and gives you the kick in the butt you may need to get over your fears.
Subscribe to blogs, podcasts, YouTube channels and Facebook pages that give you that creative itch, keep small boxes or baskets with craft supplies where you see them and are inspired to use them, stick post it notes or postcards with inspiring quotes where you will see them and want to act on them, and pencil in regular crafting sessions.
2. Start small
If it has been a while, starting a big project can be really overwhelming. It’s better to start something small that you can complete fairly quickly. It will get your creative juices flowing, boost your confidence, and remind you what like and don’t like. You don’t want to start a massive project only to realise half way through that you don’t enjoy this particular craft any more, or notice a mistake you made way back and don’t know how to fix.
Any small project will do, but one of my favourites is decorating diaries, journals and notebooks. It makes planning, organising and memory keeping even more fun, but doesn’t take much time. If you haven’t done any arts or crafts in a while, this is bound to get your creative juices flowing.
Doodle in pen and pencil, add stickers (raid your kids’ sticker collection if you need to!), tape, photos, invitations, magazine clippings, and more. Let your imagination run wild. The photos above are from my bullet journal, which I use for my daily to do lists and planning projects I’m about to start. I’ll go into more details on how I use my journals, planners and notebooks in a later post, but this should give some ideas on what you can do.
Small amounts of time:
Many of us hold out for longer periods of time to give us a chance to make something substantial, but when we have kids they may not be available, especially in the early days, so we’re better off going for shorter bursts of time. Most of us can find 15 minutes at some point in the day. Maybe before the kids wake up, when they nap, or when they’re engrossed in their own play. Those 15 minutes are much easier to keep up regularly too.
I’m right there with you. I’ve recently started sketching again for 15 minutes every day. It’s so manageable. If you want to take it a step further, make yourself accountable to someone. Post a daily photo on Facebook or Instagram, or ask someone close to you to ask you how you’re getting on. In fact I think I’m going to start posting mine to Instagram. I’ve been a bit quiet on there lately while I’ve figured some stuff out, but am itching to get back to it (find me here).
3. Take classes
Is there something you’ve always wanted to do? Or is there something you used to do, but stopped doing?
I mentioned craft clubs as a social aspect last week, but they’re great for brushing up on old skills or learning new skills too. If you can’t go to a craft club once or twice a week, there are tons of classes available on the internet. Some are free, some you have to pay for. I use Craftsy a lot because they have loads of free classes, as well as many others that are very affordable, especially since they run sales all the time. Once you’ve signed up, you can access the classes any time that suits you. I’ve just signed up to the free Spectacular Stamping class with Joy Macdonnell, and can’t wait to get started this weekend.
Then there are blogs and YouTube. There are project tutorials, technique how tos, and full length classes. I’ve done lots of written project tutorials this year so check out my archives, and I plan on making video tutorials very soon. My Periscope videos were postponed until next week, but they are coming, so check them out too.
The most important piece of advice I can give you though is this: Don’t try to be perfect, just craft! You’ll get better with practice.
What do you want to get back into?