How To Get (and Stay) Motivated for Crafts and Do-It-Yourself Projects

Think you can't paint? Never tried a particular craft before and need that kick to get you going? Want to try a new project but feel a little bit daunted?

Don't worry- we all feel like that sometimes. So I thought today, I'd share some tips I use to get motivated to dip into the arts, crafts and home improvement projects I haven't tried before.

  • Set reasonable goals for yourself. So, for instance, if you want to decorate a piece of furniture and you're not sure of your painting skill, choose a design that suits your skill-- and don't expect to replicate the Sistene Chapel on your TV armoire. :) Consider tools like stencils, transfers, decoupage, or simply scaled-back artwork. This takes the pressure off while setting more reasonable expectations.
  • If working on a project in stages, take photos during the stages not only so you can see how far you've come, but so you can go back to where you were before if there were any Oopses along the way. I did that with my TV armoire, taking photos of my first attempt at decorative painting, and it gave me added confidence.
  • Know that there are going to be times during almost any project that you're going to wonder whether you're doing the right thing-- and that's okay! Even fine woodworkers and great designers get confronted with problems during projects that test their problem-solving abilities. Don't be afraid to stop and take time to regroup. Take as much time as you need to think it through again.

  • Remember that even if something should go awry, this is all a part of a learning process. So while the end-product might not be just what you wanted right away, you can fix it, and you will also have gained the knowledge to do things differently in the future. That's invaluable!
  • Sketch your design out in advance, or do a few practice pieces to see how your technique will work out before attempting your work in its permanent spot. This gives you a chance to see how your materials will handle in a safe setting.
  • If working in paints, acrylics wash up with water and make it a lot easier to cover up any mistakes.
  • Remember that you'll never know whether you can do it, if you never try. You might just be surprised what you can accomplish if you put your mind to it. But you have to take that first step and start!
  • Patience! (This is the hard part for me.) Realize it doesn't have to be perfect the first time. The success is in the learning, not necessarily in the finished product. Choose to take a short break from it, rather than give up.
Here's wishing you joy and success in whatever projects you tackle!


dustbunny8 said...

Very timely post for me with some good advice!I have a dresser that we bought-I won't tell you how many years ago-that has been abandoned so many times in the process of being worked on it's shameful!I swear this time is different!It will be ugly and painted or whimsical and painted(I think that's what I'm aiming for)but it will get painted this time!Thanks for the encouragement!
p.s. loved your storybook kitchen,you combine things so well.

Jenn Thorson said...

Dustbunny- Oh, best of luck to you with this project! I hope it finally gets the look you want. I know you can finish it!

Lois said...

Hey Jenn.
Thanks for the advise.
Maybe I should work on that wooden mailbox that has been sitting in my attic for the last 7 years waiting to be painted.
Hmmmmm......well....maybe not...LOL!