I wrote about scrap booking yesterday which many people have as a craft hobby. Crafting is an extremely popular way that many people spend their spare time and even make money from.
If you enjoy making things then there is a world of crafting out there for you to explore. As most of it requires that you buy some type of specialty supplies or equipment the cost of it can pile up very quickly and so can the space that it uses.
It use to be that crafts were considered to be a inexpensive hobby that would save people money but now craft stores are filled with all sorts of fun and expensive things to buy.
Your crafting hobbies can take over your house.
There are so many different crafts that people do from making things with textiles, wood, ceramic, paper and many other materials.
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Copyright Ingrid Talpak 2011
What at one time started a simple enjoyable way to spend your spare time can become all consuming.
You need to bring all your craft items together in one area of the house so you can inventory them and see if there are items that you are now ready to pass on.
Sometimes what seemed like a fun and exciting hobby can become frustrating or boring. There is no shame in deciding that something really is not for you.
A huge problem that some crafters run into is that they are interested in so many different things that they begin to collect a little bit of everything. They see the potential in every item that they touch so they don't want to throw anything out. While most things might have some potential as a craft material you don't always have the time or maybe even the talent to reach that potential. You can't continually gather material and never use them. You might be better off keeping a journal of your ideas and when you have the time to develop those ideas you can start saving again.
As you are gathering all you materials together you should be testing that all the markers and pens are still usable. If they don't have enough ink in them to make anything then throw them out. It is incredibly frustrating to pick up a pen that is the perfect color for you project just to find that it is barely legible.
Do the same with paints, pencils, ink pads and all the other materials. What ever you keep should be in the best condition and ready to use.
It is easy to sort items like pens, markers, paint brushes and crayons in cleaned soup tins. If you want it to look attractive you can cover the tins with any sort of decorative paper. Here we just did it in a variety of different colors.
As always you are trying to keep like with like. All the paints can be placed together in a box all glues together in a bin and all papers together in a container.
If you hobby involves sewing then you might have shelf upon shelf of fabric. Fabric can discolor is it is left to sit in the same folds and in sunlight for a long time. Cheap fabric doesn't even need to be exposed to sunlight to discolor, as the fabric ages it can yellow. You need to look at all your older fabrics to make sure that they are still in good condition.
If you love to sew then there is nothing more fun than to have a bevy of fabrics to choose from but it can get out of hand. You don't want to be picking up fabrics for "some project" if you already have a list of half finished projects at home. There is always a use for fabric and fabric on sale can be irresistible, but leave it for some one else to get the deal and enjoy if your sewing closets are already over flowing.
If you have decided that there is a particular craft that you just are not interested in any more then think about passing your supplies onto a charity. I have donated to Scouts and Girl Guides and I know that the local school is always looking for craft supplies for their kindergarten.
You could also sell your supplies on line but only expect to get 30-50% of the original cost. Crafts age like everything else and if you have craft supplies for something that is no longer popular, like rug hooking then think about donating the supplies to a thrift store.
Organizing you craft supplies can have it's own set of challenges. If you have small items like beads for jewelry you don't want to get them all mixed up but it you put each type in a separate small container then you will have to open all the containers to find what you need.
If you have large bulkier items you don't want them to get crushed. Look on line to see what is sold for storing your particular craft item and see if you can copy it using cheaper methods.
You can get sturdy boxes from the liquor store and cut them down to make trays for you papers and other supplies.
Unless you have a great deal of space in your home you will probably have to have different craft supplies in different areas. This is fine if you keep it consistent and train yourself only to work on your crafts in designated areas and don't let it creep through the house.
One myth that a lot of crafter have to break themselves from believing is that crafting is a great way to save money. It can be but only if you are getting all your supplies from the recycling bin. Once you step into a craft store you are spending money and not saving it.
Do a quick inventory or you craft supplies to see how much money you have already spent on them. You can chose a median price that you will assign to the supplies (all brushes were $2 and all fabric $8 a yard) and add it all up.
Make a note of you craft supplies on a separate page (or on Article Inventory.pdf ) of your binder and what the cost are. If you at some point plan to make this more than a hobby you will have to get use to making regular inventory and keep all your receipts for tax purposes.
If there was a crafting hobby that you once spent hours on but had to stop because of children or other time commitments then see if you have the time now to get back to it. You know how much you use to enjoy it and you would be much happier spending your time on that then watching television or surfing the internet.
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Copyright Ingrid Talpak 2011