It’s getting towards that time of year when demand on your crafting skills starts to increase. With Christmas just around the corner, the scope for card making and hand made tree decorations alone is huge. But when you add to that all the crafted gifts to be made, you’re looking at a pretty busy schedule.
Many people take up crafting as a relaxing hobby, a way to fill in quiet evenings or afternoons. Equally, many decide to scale up their hobbying ambitions once they realise how popular their hand crafted products have become. Whatever your situation, whether enthusiastic amateur or full time craft entrepreneur, these four secrets to faster crafting are exactly what you need at this time of year.
A place of your own
Nothing slows your craft projects down more than having to work around other people. Toiling away at the kitchen table isn’t ideal for anyone – the family can’t eat or do homework, and you can’t work undisturbed. Prioritise clearing a dedicated space for your craft work in the home. It could be a disused box room, an alcove at the end of the hall, attic or garage space, even a shed in the garden – it doesn’t really matter, just as long as it’s your space, reserved purely for your craft projects.
Once you have decided on the perfect space, spend time and thought on creating a work station that functions smoothly and efficiently. Ensure you have enough flat surface on which to work, include as much storage as you can and site it within easy reach of where you will be sitting. Remember, we are talking about speeding up your crafting output, so if your work station functions like a well oiled machine, progress will be swift.
Perhaps not so obvious, but the secret of being comfortable whilst you craft will mean you can spend longer doing what you love. A desk and comfortable chair positioned at the optimal ergonomic height will help prevent neck strain, back problems and a whole host of other repetitive strains, aches and pains to slow you down. Remember to take frequent breaks for stretching or walking around the garden – giving your body and circulation a chance to wake up and reinvigorate.
Many crafting techniques demand fine and detailed handiwork so ensure your work station benefits from excellent overhead lighting. Really great lighting will prevent eye strain and enable you to work swiftly and for longer periods.
Finally, aim for a workspace that is a comfortable temperature. Too hot or too cold will effect your concentration and ultimately drain your energy – slowing you down in the process.
Finding a reliable source for quality craft materials is the Holy Grail for any serious crafter. For access to the widest range of craft supplies, tools and materials, the best place to look is online. Internet craft suppliers are able to carry huge stocks and massive ranges and you’ll find a real Aladdin’s Cave of craft riches on offer. In addition to the choice, the convenience and speed of online commerce means you won’t have to abandon your craft station for long while you re-order vital supplies.
Many craft suppliers provide basic projects which are unadorned and undecorated, simply waiting for your trademark artistic attention to turn it into a beautiful piece of craft. You can purchase attractive MDF shapes , ready to be decorated – choose from rocking horses, owls, butterflies and other forms waiting to be customised in your unique fashion. MDF shapes are the ultimate short cut for crafters looking to produce more high quality merchandise within tight deadlines. Plain paper maché trinket boxes or Babushka doll sets can also receive the decorative treatment, turning them from an unpromising brown to a bejewelled, multicoloured delight. Art and craft suppliers that sell kits and specialist tools for card making and gifts for customised decoration are saving you valuable time.
Look up from your Desk
Yes, it’s good to be focused, but take the time to look up from your desk occasionally to see what others in your field are doing. Check out craft forums and online communities where techniques and fresh approaches are discussed. Take inspiration from tutorial videos on You-tube craft channels and pay regular visits to the craft boards at Pinterest. Try also to keep abreast of what’s popular and selling well on Etsy and Folksy. Being well informed about new techniques, materials and tools available will ensure you don’t miss out on time-saving tips.
Remember the faster you craft the bigger the returns. Whether that’s reflected in the happiness on people’s faces on Christmas morning or the growth in your bank balance, these four secrets to faster crafting guarantee smiles all round…