Engaging in a craft project can be fun in its own right, especially in the beginning. Simply setting some time aside to create something is rewarding, especially during the winter months when the inclement weather means we’d rather stay inside than be out — and there’s no doubt that a craft project is better than watching Netflix all day!
But of course, at some point simply creating something will fail to satisfy. You’ll want to create something good. Setting standards and goals for yourself is important, especially if you have ambitions to one day sell your goods.
If you’re looking for some ideas on how you can step up the quality of your projects, then this page is for you. Below, we’ll run through some effective ways to elevate your craft projects, whatever type of crafts you may be engaged in.
Practice Your Weak Points
There will be various components to your craft projects. In fact, depending on what it is, there could be a dozen or more tasks you need to complete. You’ll likely find that you’ll have a natural talent for some of the components. Those ones you can consider to be “locked in” — you may want to boost the standard at some point, but it’s unlikely that doing so will have a significant impact on the overall final product. Rather, it’s improving your weak points that’ll make the biggest difference.
So step one is to analyze your past work and identify the areas that could do with some improvement. Next, spend some time simply practicing those aspects over and over again, until you’ve gotten things watertight.
Use Better Materials
It’s tempting to try to cut costs by using the cheapest materials you can find. However it’s important to keep in mind that the quality of the materials you use will have a significant impact on the overall quality of the product. Indeed, in many ways, the materials are the product; it’s just your skills that are bringing them together.
You can use cheaper goods for practice, but when it comes to something that you plan to keep or sell, boost the quality. You can usually get much better materials without breaking the bank; it’s just a matter of paying 20% or so more than you usually would.
Try Different Techniques
There’s more than one way to do something. You’ll become better at crafts — and create better final products — if you have a variety of techniques in your toolbox. That way, you’ll be able to select the technique that’s right for the project. It’s always tempting to stick to what you know, especially after you’ve gone through a grueling learning process, but there’s value in pushing yourself to use different methods.
Set Aside Time
You can’t improve just by thinking about things. You need to get in the trenches and actually work. If you’re serious about your crafts, then it’s important to set some time aside to practice and create even when you don’t want to. Waiting for inspiration to strike is a dangerous game because, as we all know, inspiration is pretty fickle — it’ll be there one moment, gone the next, and in the meantime, you’ll be missing out on many opportunities to improve.
It’s best to just make “crafts time” a permanent part of your schedule. Could you set aside an hour or so for your crafts projects every couple of days? The more you put in, the more you’ll get out.
Create an Inspiring Space
You’ll be much more likely to put the hours in — and work well — if you have an inspiring space in which to engage in your craft projects. As with all things, the environment in which we engage with our projects will have a pretty big impact on how well we’re able to work.
You’d find it difficult to fully engage with a sewing project if you were working in a dark, cramped space; on the other hand, if you have a bright room, a great sewing cabinet, and plenty of space to work, you’ll find it easier to get into the mindset you need to succeed. The bottom line is that you should enjoy being in your workspace; if you don’t, then it’s time to make some improvements!
Find a Community
Unless you’re a true original, it’s unlikely that you’re the only person making whatever it is that you’ve chosen to make. Unlike other endeavors, there’s no sense of competition in the crafts world — and if there is, it’s healthy competition. As such, you’ll find plenty of people willing to give you pointers and provide advice on how to improve your products. Take a look online — there’ll certainly be a forum or subreddit you can turn to. In some cases, there may be an in-person group you can attend, especially if you live in a large city.
Immersing yourself in your craft community can provide other benefits, too. For instance, it can help step up your game. If you can see how the top-level people are doing things, then you’ll be inspired to improve your own projects.
People who reach their full potential are rarely content with staying in their comfort zone. You might have the tools to complete some good projects, but could you challenge yourself to do something outside of your comfort zone?
This approach is less about creating something brilliant, and more about diversifying your skills and committing to ongoing improvement. You’ll make mistakes as you go, and you may want to retreat to what you know best, but ultimately your foray into the unknown will prove to be beneficial.
Ask for Feedback
It can be difficult to objectively critique our own work. We’re often too harsh on ourselves, and only see the things that we didn’t do quite so well. As such, there’s a lot of value in getting the thoughts and opinions of people you know and trust, and seeing what they think of your work.
In all likelihood, they’ll point out plenty of things that you’ve done well and will come up with a couple of areas for improvement. You don’t necessarily need to take all their feedback on board, but you’ll be better off knowing.
Boost Your Confidence
You can also step up your crafts game by more broadly boosting your confidence. Having belief in yourself can make a world of difference when it comes to crafts projects, in much the same way it can when starting a business or creating art.
You don’t need to get to the level of arrogance, but simply having faith in yourself, and knowing that you will eventually reach your desired level if you give it time, can have a big impact.
Finally, keep in mind that Rome wasn’t built in a day. It takes time to notice improvement, and your journey towards making better products will be all the more difficult if you’re expecting fast results. Instead, stay patient, and trust the process. If you’re following all the tips on this page, then your projects will get better in time. The most important thing is to simply have fun with it.
If creating quality craft products was easy, then everyone would do it. It’s a person’s dedication to their craft that has the biggest influence on their overall success — no one is an absolute natural.
If you’ve made a good start to your crafts career, then the above tips should help to take your projects to the next level. And from there? Well, the sky’s the limit.