How to Master Your Craft – Tips and Tricks

 

Craft gift box with rose petals and dried flowers on old wooden plates. Lovely holiday background.

 

Trying something new can be intimidating. It can feel like becoming a master of a craft or hobby takes too long, or you may feel like you simply aren’t cut out for it. Well fear not! In this article, I’m going to share with you some tips and tricks that will get you on the path of masterdom in no time.

 

Oil paints and brushes to paint laid on the table in the composition Paints and brushes

 

Tip # 1: Dedicate Yourself

What does this mean? Well simply put, it means making a contract with yourself that you’re going to take your craft seriously and follow it through. In many cases, learning something new is expensive, and involved. Say you want to learn how to sew. You may decide to register in classes, or if you’re fortunate to have a friend or family member who already knows how to sew, you can learn for free. But do you have a sewing machine? Iron and ironing board? Fabric to learn on? These items can add up quickly. Make sure pursuing a new craft is definitely what you want to do, and you’ve considered what it may take to get started.

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Tip # 2: Practice Every Day

You’ve heard it a thousand times before: practice makes perfect. I have only been sewing for just shy of 2 years. I picked up a cheap little machine from Walmart and started getting nightly lessons from my mom. Am I perfect at sewing? Nope. But do I sew everyday? Yep! When you’re learning something new, you have to practice as often as possible to develop your skill. Picking up painting? Paint something every day. Practicing drawing manga or cartoons? Grab a sketchbook and fill a page every day. Getting into sewing your own clothing? Pick up some secondhand bed sheets and whip up a dress. You can’t go out and buy a canvas, or a sketchbook, or a sewing machine and expect to master your craft if you never touch it. So dig in and set aside one or two hours a day to practice, and you’ll be a master in no time.

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Tip # 3: Expect to Fail

Yes, you read that right. When you’re starting something new, you will fail. And you will fail often. But is this a bad thing? Do you simply not have what it takes if your human figures turn out wonky, or if the new pair of pants you were sewing has uneven seams? To answer that question, consider these quotes by Thomas Edison:

  1. “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
  2. “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”
  3. “I have not failed 700 times. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.”

What’s the point? The point is, nobody is perfect, and when you’re trying something new, don’t feel bad if your first few tries (or even more!) turn out wonky. It’s okay to feel upset that you’re not where you want to be yet. But don’t let yourself become so discouraged that you never touch it again. True failure isn’t in messing up from time to time, it’s deciding to stop trying. Don’t give up! After all, Thomas Edison said…

…”Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

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Tip # 4: Turn Failures Into a Learning Experience

So you utterly botched those buttonholes. What now? Think of this as a learning experience. After all, why practice if you don’t take away anything from it? You can read tons of articles or watch lots of videos on how to perform a certain technique, but you don’t know if it will work for you until you try it. And maybe what worked for someone else needs to be tweaked just a bit to be perfect for you. And some things just need to be done a few different times before you know exactly what you’re doing. My first pair of leggings were accidentally made too small, and the seams were so weak and silly that it practically fell apart in my hands. I still have that pair of leggings tucked away in my dresser (as if I’d wear them some day. Ha!). But today, whipping up a pair of leggings is second nature. Why? Because I realized what didn’t work, and I tried something new with the next pair, and with the next pair, and so on. So if something isn’t quite perfect, take notes of what you could change next time, and before you know it, you’ll have something wonderful!

In closing, don’t let yourself be scared or intimidated by something you want to try. Picking up a new hobby, and sticking with it through the good times, and bad, will not only give you confidence, it will give you something very rewarding: masterdom!

Happy crafting everyone!

 

 

Updated: September 15, 2015 — 4:26 am
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