When I talk to people about crafting; what they get out of it, how often they craft, the thing I hear most often is that there’s never enough time for crafting.
Interestingly, I also often hear that people feel guilty taking time for themselves to craft. Now, we all know that’s crazy talk, but I think many of us feel that way too. So, we’ve brought together a little round of 10 ways to make time for crafting. Let’s dive in!
"The first thing is to recognise how crafting makes you feel, and how important it is to you to feel that way."
1. Recognise how important it is for you
If you’ve got any guilt about spending time crafting, let’s squash it together. You might have seen articles in the papers about how crafting is good for us; the American Journal of Public Health found it reduces stress and anxiety and boosts positivity and makes us feel more connected.
We knew this already, right?
That wonderful feeling of ‘flow’ when your brain stops whirring about all the things you need to do; the peace that descends as you concentrate on working with your hands and see something you’ve made come into being.
Put another way, how you feel when you haven’t been creative or made something for a while? Does your tetch-o-meter swing to major grumpiness? (Maybe that’s just me!)
The first thing is to recognise how crafting makes you feel, and how important it is to you to feel that way. Dissolve any guilt about spending time looking after yourself.
2. DIY Workshop
I think of there being two types of crafting; the full focus concentration when you’re learning something new or doing something tricky or messy.
And the type of crafting you can do while chatting, or with the TV or radio on in the background.
For full focus crafting, set some time aside. You’ll probably be aiming to get the project to a certain point, a bit like you would if you were at a workshop, so estimate how long you’ll need. This is ideal Sunday afternoon crafting; I see it like going to a workshop, and make sure I’ve got nice loose-leaf tea in for a good cuppa! Look forward to your DIY workshop and enjoy it as a treat.
This is a lovely thing to do with crafty friends too, so get your best mate around and have a giggle and a blether as you learn something new.
3. Spontaneous Crafting (or, have everything easily to hand!)
Ah, the other type of crafting! How often have you thought it’d be quite nice to do some crafting of an evening, but then you’re a bit knackered and it’s late, and it seems a hassle to bring everything out for half an hour?
Easy fix, have everything you need for the project to hand.
There’s some quick ways to do this, but my favourite is to use medium size boxes (like your Craftiosity ones!) or A4 zip bags to keep all the materials for a specific project together, and to have your regular tools; scissors, pencils, etc., in a jar or pencil case so you always know where they are (hide the pencil case if your beloved family keep ‘borrowing’ things).
This is especially useful if you don’t have a dedicated crafting room / space.
When inspiration strikes, just grab one of the bags and the tools you need, and you’re ready to go.
Even better, keep whatever’s inspiring you next to your sofa, so it’s easy to pick up when you have 10 minutes.
"If you’re finding it tricky to craft at home, or if you fancy some crafting company, why not start a crafting huddle."
4. Get your household involved
Is the biggest distraction to your crafting time your loved ones?
If you’re doing something involved, those around you can sometimes want a bit more of your attention, so could you bring them along for the ride?
Kids love copying what you do, can you give them a cut off or mini version to do alongside you, or is there part of your craft project they can do?
It’s not just little ones, my husband spent about 2 hours watching me have a go at an embroidery kit one Christmas before he piped up that he fancied having a go. He was good at it too!
5. Create a Crafting Huddle
If you’re not getting peace at home to craft, or if you fancy some crafting company, why not look for or start a crafting huddle. You may find some already in your area.
I know a fair few crafting huddles that have sprung up out of groups of like-minded crafters in a local area finding each other through crafting facebook groups or pages, or groups like the W.I.
All you need is a decent size table, tea, cake or nibbles & good company – if you don’t have space at home and your project isn’t too messy, why not meet at a local cafe?
Everyone can bring along whatever they’re working on, and it’s a great way to learn about new crafts or develop your skills.
6. Treat yourself to completing something!
Hands up if you’ve a number of half finished projects you haven’t gotten around to completing!
The excitement of starting a new project is fab, but it’s also really nice to have that sense of pride when you complete something too.
Try to choose projects where you’re looking forward to having or gifting the final make, so you can see a use beyond the enjoyment of making it. It’ll give you an extra incentive to see it complete.
"If you know you’re a holiday crafter, add a craft kit to your holiday packing list."
7. Holiday projects
I’ve lost track of the times I’ve been on holiday and had a sudden urge to stitch or paint – and have a collection of duplicate supplies to show for it! If you know you’re a holiday crafter, add a craft kit to your holiday packing list. Passport? Check! Sewing? Check!
8. Still no time? Identify your time thieves!
This is a really good life hack, but it’s also useful for crafting.
Work out what your ‘time thieves’ are – those things that take up a lot of time, or where time disappears for you.
If you’ve never done it before, it can be really interesting to use a timer app like Toggl to work out how you spend your time across a week.
Travelling to work, cooking every evening, checking Facebook every half hour – all those bits add up. If you love cooking every night, then it’s not really a time thief, but if you’d rather not, then why not batch cook? I’ll do big pots of bolognese, vegetable curry, etc., over weekends and freeze the extra for weekday evenings.
A big one for many folk is putting the phone down. It’s addictive for many of us, but would you really intentionally plan to spend an hour flicking through facebook? Much more satisfying to get your hands into some craft materials.
9. Have craft, will travel
Travel crafting? Who hasn’t had a little admiration for the folk who bring out knitting on the train and happily click-clack away.
Think about grabbing stolen moments when you’re out & about.
When you’re waiting for the train or out at lunchtime on a sunny day, why not bring something easy to make? If you enjoy it & you’re not elbowing everyone in the ribs, go for it!
10. Give yourself a creative challenge
Need a little more motivation to get your craft on? Have a look at things like the 100 Days Project, where you challenge yourself to do a specific creative thing every day for 100 days.
Too much commitment? Think of your own version – a workshop each month, a 30 days project. Something you do for yourself, with a little project to do or add to each day. What would the perfect challenge look like for you?
Remember, crafting shouldn’t be a chore (unless you’ve promised to stitch 100 metres of bunting for your sister’s wedding, then it might feel like one!), it’s something for you to enjoy and look forward to.
Enjoy being in the flow & happy making!