Minutesaver Monday – Making Time to Craft

Minutesaver Monday – Making Time to Craft

I’m pretty sure we’ve all been there.  We love to make things.  Maybe our passion is crochet or sewing or painting or jewelrymaking or one of a zillion other things.  It’s fun to do and we love to do it, but it’s hard to find the time to ever actually get around to it.  There’s family and kids and husbands and work and cleaning and cooking and laundry to tend to.  Not to mention various appointments, grocery shopping, and a thousand other errands every month.  We quell our nagging creative voice by pinning things onto virtual boards that we rarely have time to go back and review.  Pinning is like walking around the mall with a gigantic shopping cart and trying things on and tossing things in but never paying for them and taking them home.

Don’t misunderstand me here.  I love pinning things.  I spend a great deal of time every month doing just that.  But there’s a danger there.  That time you spend pinning could be spent actually making something.

I know a big challenge many of us have is space to craft in, and I understand.  I started with a craft drawer and graduated to a craft closet.  I then moved into a craft <dining> room.  From there I moved back to a craft drawer and then into a craft garage.  After the craft garage, I wound up with a room full of plastic totes and dreams and wishes.  I now finally have a useable craft room and workspace.  No matter how much space you do <or don’t> have, this list is a great start to get you creating.  So, maybe this week, take some time away from pinning and get to making.


Organize It

My space is <most of the time> quite organized.  I use a combination of mason jars of various sizes and boxes and containers from IKEA to keep like items together.  Everything is labeled and this makes it super easy to find exactly what I need when I need it.


 Zone It

 A step beyond general organization of supplies is keeping everything in similar zones.  My shelves are organized in a way that makes sense to me.  Small wooden trinkets are all together.  The paint is with the paintbrushes.  All of my buttons and other small embellishments are on the same shelf.  My washi tape and other tapes are close together.  All of my adhesives are in the same box.  I have containers for Sharpies, pencils, and pens.  All of my jewelrymaking supplies are on the jewelry table.


Waiting to be “zoned.”

 Prep It

When you decide on a project, gather up all of the supplies you need for that project before you begin.  Otherwise, you can get distracted when you go to grab the item you’re missing.  Here’s a typical day of mine…

“Oh, I need the washi tape for this project!  Let me get that.  Oooooh, look!  I forgot I had THAT washi tape!  It would look great on that picture frame I got the other day.  What did I do with that frame?  Oh yeah.  It’s in the closet.  <Digs in closet> There you are, Mr. Picture Frame!  Wait, what’s this?  <Holds up child’s wooden stool> Ohhhh, how cute!  I should paint this red and put ladybugs on it!  What colors of red paint do I have? <Scurries to paint caddy>Oh yeah, let’s paint!”

Clean It

You know that saying about cooking…that it’s easier if you clean as you go?  The same is true about crafting.  I’m sorry to break it to ya.  Right now, I’m a victim of not doing this.  My craft room is seriously bad.  I have to clean it before I can work in it.  Which makes me procrastinate, because I hate to clean.  But I can’t work in a messy craft room and there’s no cooking in a messy kitchen.  When my craft room is clean, I chomp at the bit to get in there and make it messy again.  When it’s dirty, I’m not as eager.


This is a picture of me, not following my own rules.

Monitor It

 One of the stinkiest things that happens while crafting is finally finding time to work on a project and then not having a staple item you need.  Totally stinky.  Keep a list on a chalkboard or a notepad or your phone when you are running low.  That way, when there’s a big sale, I know what I need to stock up on and I never get in the middle of a project and realize I’m out of Aleene’s Tacky Glue <horrors>.


Henry Ford-itize It

We all know that the assembly line is the best way to make multiple similar items.  I used to only make four coasters at a time.  Now I scoff at the idea of making less than 100 at a time.  If I’m going to get out paint or Mod Podge or whathaveyou, I’m going to make as much as I can.  There’s drying and curing time involved and that doesn’t change if I’m making 4 or 100, so I’ll make 100, thankyouverymuch!

Multitask It

Along the same lines as #6, try to multitask.  If I’m painting and I finish up but still have paint on my brush, I will find something else to paint until I run out.  If I have a project that will need to dry or rest for a bit, I do other projects in between and stack them to maximize my time.

Plan For the Future of It

There are days when I have no inspiration, but I still want to do SOMETHING.  On those days, I may just cut paper squares or organize beads or buttons for a future project.  Or, I may do a small piece of a larger project, like making a few fabric flowers for an art piece.

Keep a List of Ideas About It

Sometimes the best ideas come when you are nowhere near your craft room.  Keep a list.  Either in a notebook or on your phone.  Jot it down so you don’t forget and have to play the “Why-Can’t-I-Remember-My-Great-Idea-Oh-No-Am I-Becoming-Senile” game with yourself.  It’s cruel and unnecessary.

 Quit Doing Other Stuff That’s Not As Fun As It

 There’s some good things on TV.  But there’s also a lot of things that just aren’t worth your time.  So spend that time doing something creative!  How about including your kids?  My older son loves to help me paint, and it saves me time.  Carve out one hour a week to MAKE something.  You deserve it!

With Crafty Love



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