Monday, 24 June 2013

5 Tips to Avoid a Crafting Catastrophe

We all enjoy crafting.  We craft for many different reasons.  Some of us enjoy wearable arts, paper arts or altered arts.  Today’s crafter enjoys using many different mediums in their crafting which makes mixed-media crafting very popular.
Craft projects can fail for a number of reasons.  Many of those reasons can be avoided.  How you ask?  By following..

1. Plan your Project
Big or small, you want to plan out your craft project before starting your fun.  Think about what you want to create, the materials and tools you will need and the best place to create the project.
There are many different paths you can take to achieve your finished project and you want to think about the best way to achieve your goal.  Gathering all your materials before starting your project will allow you to have everything you need at your fingertips.  This avoids hunting for a missing element, which will disrupt your workflow and lead to projects taking a longer time to complete. 
Crafting projects that are planned have a greater chance of success than those that are not thought through.  Think about all the steps that you need to take to finish your project.  What will you do first?  What will be the second step?  Thinking through all the steps will allow you to find the best way to accomplish your goal. 
During this planning phase, you need to test the techniques and products you want to use in your project.  This will help you determine if you are using the right techniques and that the products you are using will yield the results you are trying to achieve.
If the techniques are new to you, practicing them before you use them in your project will help you increase your skill level.

2. The Right Tools/Products for the Job
Crafting should be fun.  If you are not using the right tools and products for your project, you can become frustrated and the project may not turn out like it should.  We have all tried cutting paper with a dull craft knife and we know how much “fun” that can be. Using the right tools can make the project easier.  If you want to avoid a craftastrophe, using the right tools is a must. 
Using the right product is equally important as using the right tools.  Read all the information you can about the products you use.  Visit the manufacturer’s website and the check out the best product for your needs.  For example, regular craft glue can turn yellow with age.  Use that glue with fabric or in an important collage, and the glue will yellow with age.  The project will be ruined.  If your project is something that will be temporary, you may not worry about the aging of the finished project.  But, if you want your artwork to last, knowing the characteristics of the products you use is important.

3. Use Quality Products
Sometimes, spending a lot for a product does not mean that it is a quality product.  A quality product does what it says it does and beyond.  Using a quality product also makes crafting easier and there is a less chance of something going wrong. 
Inexpensive clear craft glues can turn yellow over time, but so can more expensive ones.  Inexpensive cardstock can be flimsy and take away from the look of your project.  How do you find out about the quality of a product?  Research.  Google is a great place to start when you want to find out information about a product.  See what others are saying about a project.
Keep in mind that some rubber-stamping inks fade and there are others that keep their colors over time.  It is true for all inks and some paints.  Asking other crafters and reviewing Internet posts will help you find quality products you will love to use.

4. Keep it Clean
Avoid having food and drinks around your crafting space.  Accidents can happen and accidents can lead to cross contamination of the foods and liquid.  There is nothing worse than having your project almost completed and spilling (insert your favorite liquid here) all over it. 
Are you the type of crafter who gets your inked fingers all over your work?  Do you get glue over everything?  One of my favorite tips to keep it clean is to have a damp cloth next to you as you work.  That way, you can keep your fingers and hand clean as you work.  If your fingers are clean, your project can be kept clean as well. 

5. Follow Instructions
For those of you who are recreating a project or technique from a craft magazine, blog or other source, keep in mind that manufacturers and craft designers take great pains to write project instructions to help you create a great project.  They thought about the project design and the materials they used so you will have an easier and more enjoyable time crafting.  They picked the materials and tools listed in the project because they were the best materials and tools to use for that design.

Craftastophes can happen to the best of us, but with a little thought and planning, you have a better chance to create a project of which you can be proud!


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