People sometimes ask where I get ideas of things to make.
Generating crafty ideas
The unhelpful answer to this question, is that, for me, crafting ideas just come. Usually when I’m thinking about or doing something that I enjoy, and it reminds me of someone that I care about.
Linda Naiman, founder of Creativity at Work is more helpful. She suggests that having new ideas is just a matter of:
- Connecting ideas, questions or problems – Noticing that Totoro is beanbag shaped.
- Asking questions – Wondering whether beanbags can have limbs?
- Watching other people – Seeing my sister trying to convince my nephew that he can’t wear his tiger onesie all the time.
- Spending time with people who think differently – Checking out Minecraft because a friend loved it so much.
- Trying out something just to see what happens – putting lollies into holes in gingerbread, then baking it.
Implementing your idea
Once you have a crafting idea, the best thing you can do is just have a go and see what happens.
I think a lot of people are scared of crafting because they think that they can’t do it. They see the stuff that ‘experts’ make, and feel like they’re going to be judged if they don’t immediately produce something amazing.
Basically, it’s like Julie Burnstein suggests – do a bit of background research, and then wing it. After all:
- Other people don’t know what you were intending to create.
- Sometimes mistakes produce something better than your original idea.
- Most crafting materials are pretty forgiving – and I usually get more than I think I’ll need, just in case.
- You can always hide the evidence… nobody will ever know unless you tell them – and if you don’t mind laughing at yourself, it can make a great story.
Just remember – if your first idea doesn’t work, don’t give up. Just try it again using a different strategy.