New craft? Start here.

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.

9 thoughts on “New craft? Start here.”

  1. I look forward to your video May! I was just wearing a necklace that I had bought on route 66 that was wired and I was thinking I have to try that!
    I’ll try to get my supplies lined up so I can get tips from you before I give the wire jewelery a go! 😀 TFS

  2. Are you selling any of this jewelry? Id love to buy! Lol very pretty and in my color too. Ill be looking forward to the video.

    1. first off thanks! At this time I don’t have plans to do so – still learning/figuring it all out. But it is a possibility down the road!

  3. Oh May! Genius strikes again! A number of years ago, I was into jewelry making big time. I bought everything and took classes and bought about a million beads. Thank God i didn’t get rid of them in the move. And they are all organized. I finally finished my new planners for this year (i’m so picky and needed something simple, well, sort of, lol) then i started looking for a few accessories. After watching a bunch of you tube videos, I want to make my own. AS usual, your post comes just at the right time. I have everything I need and I cant wait to see your video! I feel the “need” for some fabulous hatpins, too. don’t worry, i have that too. I had such fun shopping for all of my beads and met so many wonderful people in small shops that are now gone. (I did my part in keeping them open, lol) before my husband retired, we had alot more money. I have REALLY cut back on my spending. After 2 years of retirement, we realized that we are spending more than was coming in. WE hate debt so we will both be more careful. (the newest lilac lane embellishments are really calling my name) I really hope that your wonderful advice on spending will be read my alot of women that need it. I love instagram and you tube, but you can really be fooled into thinking that you must have alot more than you really need to craft. When i was growing up, we didnt have money for craft items, much. I made alot of things out of what we had in the house, lol.
    May, I don’t want to make a big deal about this, but I wanted to let you know about how much you have affected me in a good way. I was having so many physical issues and could not make cards. When you hurt your hand. You were so open and honest about it and how it was affecting you and how you were handling it (no pun intended). that and seeing all the videos with the fabulous craft rooms, I was really fighting feeling that mine did not measure up. I used a lot of furniture that doesn’t match (I love Old things, and new things that look old, and i mix them with modern things, lol) I have a whole wall of elf shelves that are open. Not much is behind doors. I get so much joy from looking at your craft room. When i see it, it reminds me to be so so grateful for what and really value what I have. It also has really inspired me to make more things to decorate the areas i have l left (like up near the ceiling, lol) Your room is so you and i love it and the colors you have chosen and the style of decorating that you use. You also have a way of being comfortable with yourself and your style with all of your art. You try new things and find new ways to make what your want. I guess i did make a big deal about it, but I really want you to have at least one person tell you how much i value you and your fearless way of sharing with us. (I know it cant always be easy and most people get criticism for being who they are.
    Thanks for all you do and share, hugs, treen

  4. Hi May, First those were some great tips. I am looking forward to the video on your bracelet, I had thought at one time of getting into making my own jewelry but I know how I am, I would go crazy buying the supplies and I just wouldn’t be able to find the time to do it. I have always wanted to make my own earrings, I can never find the type of earrings I want online. I am also dying to organize my scrapbook room, I recently with my husbands help went thru and cleaned out a bunch of stuff, because I am so unorganized I had stamps, dies, paper etc that I had purchased 2 and 3 times, it was sick, so we had those big green trash bags and filled 10, yes 10 plus 2 boxes of scrapbook supplies and donated them. It killed me because most of it was new supplies. Now I want to get organized so bad so I don’t make the same mistake in the future but it seems so overwhelming. Sorry, I am rambling and think I got off topic.

  5. looking for ward to the video. These pieces are gorgeous-the colors are beautiful! In truth I probably don’t need anything-but I’m getting some of your new 28 lilac lane kits-they give me joy just looking at them. These days that’s pretty important.

  6. Excellent advice, May. All the supplies are so seductive when you first start out. It’s so easy to Sink a load of money into a craft, then realize you’re not going to use the stuff. Add me to the list of people who’ve been there, too. Love how your first projects turned out!

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