Sunday, December 20, 2009

You Are Craftier Than You Think You Are!

I was so surprised to receive two comments on yesterday's blog about my trying to always have an end-of-the-year stash of handmade token gifts. Both ladies are two of my personal faves, and I love hearing from them.

But, girls, you ARE craftier than you think you are. I have two favorite sites that I go to when I am just not into crocheting, or I have run out of ideas, or I need something new but very easy and very quick. I go to either Craftbits or FaveCrafts. I'll cover each one over the next two nights, with plenty of examples and links. In fact, you just might find a few last minute gifts you can make and surprise yourself.

Mostly, right now, I want you to understand that you don't need a ton of gifts. And you don't need to know how to make a ton of gifts.

Here's a big tip for you. You start with one item that is easy for YOU to make, an item that you like to make, and that really looks good when you've finished making it. You want something that makes folks feel it is something special because they don't know how to make it themselves, or they wouldn't even think of trying to make one.

Now, everyone has different skills and abilities. My sister used to embroider and also do decoupage. I cannot embroider. Whenever I try, the material puckers. I cannot do decoupage - it's messy. But, I have found many little gifts, often by accident, just by trolling the Internet.

One of my faves is a little shirt folded from a dollar bill. I was looking for instructions for a ring made from a dollar, or a rose. When I found a site with really good graphics and instructions, I tried both the ring and a rose. I was all thumbs. However, I had no trouble whatsoever with the dollar bill. This site has many other money origami designs. Maybe one of them will be the start of your end-of-year stash, or your emergency-gift stash.

If all you do is find one new item a season, you have proven to yourself that you are crafty.

I cannot do beading. Yet, I found that in some beaded figures or designs, if I substitute chenille stems, I can duplicate the design and make a really nice item.

So, there's another tip for you - think outside the box. Just because a design uses certain materials, it does not mean you cannot substitute materials that you are more comfortable with.

Now, just relax and check out the links over the next two nights, and surprise yourself. Oh, and yes, check out the money origami site - he has links to even more money origami sites, too. The four images above are all from his site - a pair of glasses, a heart (Valentine's Day's not far off), a Christmas tree, and a fan.

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