I have some new creative ideas that require some new supplies, but with any craft you’ve got to be careful! It is so easy to dive into scrapbooking, card making, or in my case beading and take the initial shopping way too far. Today I want to talk to you about those first ‘getting started’ steps when you’re looking to expand your craft supplies.
Start Here: Know what you’ve got
The first place to begin is to take a look at what you do have that will be useful in your new endeavors. For example, if beginning a new scrapbook album I check my stash of page protectors, cardstock, letter stickers, and more. In my particular situation I’m looking to see what charms and beads I already have both in my own line (28 Lilac Lane) and general stash as well.
Step 2: Write it down
Don’t start shopping yet! First take a few minutes to jot sketches, ideas, and otherwise brainstorm those wild ideas. In my particular case I am wanting to add some beads to some planner and backpack charms, make a few bracelets as gifts, and take on a few mixed media projects. Knowing what I am aiming to make will help tremendously before I shop!
You’ll want to think about quantities you want, items that would be useful, and of course the ideas that are inspiring this creative growth. Considering all of this before you head out with credit card in hand will always save money and avoid some regrettable purchases.
With a more clear vision ready to create and with ideas about what I need (and will use) it’s time to go shopping! A few tips:
- Have a “must have” list of any items that you can’t create without. In my case this included wire and crimping beads.
- Have “wish list” or general items you’re seeking including sizes and dimensions if applicable
- Don’t forget colors! You’ll want to know what colors will work well for you or that you intend to create with in general so you can be more focused in your shopping.
Need vs Want:
Now while shopping there’s a big difference between need and want. Sometimes the want category can be good! Sometims it’ll be items you didn’t realize you always wanted and you’ll turn them into products you can’t wait to use! Sometimes they’re items you just have a case of the “heart eyes” over and you won’t ever use them. It’s an important difference.
Above you can see my need vs want pile from recent shopping. I didn’t do too badly! I am a big believer in working from what I have on hand, so a few extras isn’t a bad idea in this case. I took one of the “want!” pieces from my trip to the local bead shop and turned it into my first necklace. (see below) So remember as long as you get stuff used and enjoy the creative time it is all good!
Easy to start.
The final piece of advice I want to leave you with today is to begin easy. In my case, I learned a very basic (no tools I didn’t already own required – yay!) technique for closing up bead strands which is to use a crimp bead. All it required was whatever closure I wanted + the beads + the wire which I needed anyhow as I didn’t have any stringing wire anymore. So my investment was all of about $15 to get enough stuff to make a dozen or more pieces. One mistake I see get made a lot (and am guilty of myself!) is jumping in too big, investing too deep, then realizing you don’t want, need, or use that tool.
I have just finished filming my first video making a bracelet with one of my 28 Lilac Lane kits (plus a few needed add-ons) and I will be posting that next week to share with you exactly what I’m talking about. In the mean time whether you’re considering a new kind of craft or perhaps a specific large scale project I hope I’ve inspired you to slow down and explore your ideas before leaping into action. Especially if it involves shopping for new supplies.
From an entirely new approach to my scrapbooking to jotting my ideas down more, adding some beaded elements to my mixed media projects (the end goal of my bead purchases!) to utilizing my stamps better I’ve really been working on having a better creative work flow. Not letting so many ideas disappear or never be realized because I don’t know how to do something or haven’t plotted out the details.