The Random Writings of Rachel: The Vicious Cycle of Crafting

The Vicious Cycle of Crafting

I've come to a conclusion that applies to all crafty people: Craft projects create a vicious cycle.

It starts innocently. You want to get started in scrapbooking, or in sewing. So you buy the basic stuff you need to begin, and finish your initial project. You get hooked. You buy specific items for a specifically themed project--of course you don't want to run out mid-project, so you buy enough that there's just a little left-over material when you're done. Next, you create a completely different type of project, that of course needs completely different supplies. Now, you notice your growing collection, so you decide to embark on a project that will use up some of the supplies you already have--however, you need a few new embellishments to really put the finishing touches on that project, so you buy those new embellishments, and before you know it, you have more leftovers when you're done than you had when you'd begun the project meant to use up the leftovers!

This seems to be a universal truth. This is the reason why sewers have grocery bags full of fabric scraps and scrapbookers have  ziploc bags full of paper scraps. The organized ones may have organized their leftovers by color and type of scrap. You may hold onto that metallic purple permanent marker because of course there will be another project for which it's appropriate to use a metallic purple permanent market.

It's hard to truly use up craft supplies, to really make do with what you have without cheating and buying one little extra to spice up your latest project.

Because of my recent prioritization of NOT buying unnecessary stuff, of truly using up what I have, I challenged myself to make my Christmas cards for this year without buying anything new. Because I've made many cards for many different occasions: post-wedding thank you cards, Christmas 2011, Christmas 2012, graduation thank-you cards, birthday cards, party invitations. From each of these projects, I have leftover cards, envelopes, papers, stickers, stamps, ink pads, pens, etc. I usually come up with a specific pattern that I want to use for cards for a specific occasion, and then I save the leftovers, but I don't use them for the next project because I've come up with a different color scheme or pattern I want to use. But this year, I didn't want to buy anything new. That meant that my Christmas cards would not all look the same, instead, they'd all have to be different, I'd have to come up with different patterns based on what I had available. So, my Christmas cards this year aren't uniform. They're all different. But I was able to make 30 cards without having to buy a single new thing, and now my stash of paper-crafting products is slightly smaller than it was before. Success!


I beat the cycle. For today.

32 comments:

  1. i am that person with drawers full of leftovers...i love the idea of making cards out of them. you've inspired me!

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  2. so much truth to this post - you should see the inside of my crafting project - just about 100 things that do not match together whatsoever. except, dear girl, you proved yourself wrong by using odds and ends to make really cute christmas cards... sneaky sneaky.

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  3. What a great idea! I usually like having lots of different card options anyway, since I try to pick a card to match the recipient's personality!

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  4. If people could only see the bookshelf I have full of 1/3rd skeins of yarn...embarrassing. I really need to buckle down and make a multi-colored something, it's just such a pain to switch colors mid-project, let alone 20 times mid-project...haha.

    Cute cards!!

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  5. love this! it's always nice when you can create something with what you already have!!! i have drawers & drawers full that i need to use of half used stuff!

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  6. Your cards look great!!! And yes, crafting is a vicious cycle!!!

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  7. These looks fantastic! What a great way to save money...but then there's me who used to buy all the stuff and then get overwhelmed and never finish. That probably explains part of why I don't do much crafty projects these days! :-)

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  8. i have a whole bag of craft leftovers! it really is a vicious cycle. i love all the cute things you've made!

    cute & little

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  9. Your cards look beautiful! I run into that vicious cycle ALL THE TIME! I resolved to do the same as you last year for Valentine's Day--make cards for all my friends using only supplies I already had. I felt doubly successful with cute cards and a less messy drawer!

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  10. This is the absolute most truest thing that I have ever read. They really get ya with those craft supplies. i think every woman has a box or bag of sorts with leftover supplies to use someday!

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  11. This is the reason why I don't do crafts (other than the fact that I'm so, so terrible at it, of course)!

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  12. This will be my new reason why I don't usually hand craft anything (former excuse was sheer laziness). I am likely a hoarder-in-training and don't need more stuff to acquire and hold onto! ;o)

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  13. I've been saving my non-photo Christmas cards each year, so I can do recycled cards in the future! I think they look fun and inventive. Plus, it looks like you care about the environment. ;)

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  14. Lovely cards! I totally agree--crafting has that "vicious cycle" element to it! :) T. http://tickledpinkwoman.blogspot.com

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  15. These are so creative! Wow, I always just buy mine :)
    XO/Kelly @ Our Cone Zone

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  16. Clever! And these look amazing. Your idea turned out to work better for you than people would think who are extreme perfectionists about what they use I bet! :)

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  17. Well done, the cards look great! And yes, that cycle is soooo true.

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  18. Love your cards! They look great, and using up scraps definitely makes sure that things are unique! :) I am the craft-leftover hoarder. I am known to keep boxes and old popcorn tins full of fabric scraps and paper scraps so tiny that I'll most likely never use them................but you never know! lol

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  19. What a lovely idea to use up what you had - it resulted in some lovely cards! You're very talented :)

    Away From The Blue

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  20. I absolutely love how your cards came out! Handmade cards are so much more special than the store bought kind!

    -Sharon
    The Tiny Heart
    Necklace Giveaway!

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  21. Yay for beating the cycle! And those cards are so so so cute! I really wish I had your creativity. I see it in these cards, I see it in your outfits, and I see it in your writing every day. You truly inspire me!

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  22. Our bedroom is overflowing with my craft supplies! It really is a problem. Your cards look great!

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  23. Beautiful cards, great job recycling! So many times I have said I would use things I already had and not buy new ones. You actually did it!! Good for you :)

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  24. Very impressive.

    You would literally die if you saw my crafting area and all my supplies. I blame it on the fact that it was my business for some 10 odd years. If you ever think you want to scrapbook more or are interested in doing a full album let me know. I might be able to hook you up with some supplies…freebie style : )

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  25. Oh yes, you hit the nail on the head! I built myself a craft room in our basement and I still can't find a place for everything. I need some major stash busting sessions. Kudos to you for not spending anything on your cards! Thank you for sharing it at What We Accomplished Wednesdays. Have a great weekend!

    Hugs,
    Deborah

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  26. LOL. I could swear tou were talking straight to me in this post. I find myself going overboard on a particular craft All. The. Time. I went nuts when I first started making jewelry. I now have enough materials to single handedly make jewelry for every person on my block. Male and female. *sigh* I think I may have a problem...

    Btw, those cards turned out great!

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  27. Haha this happens to me all the time! Actually, it happened to my mom with pie filling and crust when she and my dad first started dating. She ended up with upwards of 30 cherry pies and, needless to say, my dad was thrilled!

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  28. this is why i'm glad i'm not crafty :) honestly, i'd rather just buy handcrafted items. i know, it's awful, but still. i know my limitations!

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