In January 2015, I decided I wanted a different sort of New Year’s Resolution.  Instead of giving something up, I wanted to try new things instead.  And so I set myself a 12 Month Craft Challenge where every month I would try a new craft.

Well, I managed it!  My first ever resolution to be kept throughout the entire twelve months.

The challenge taught me several things:

  1. Handmade crafts are worth the money you pay for them. If you are one of those people who go to craft fairs or on etsy, look at things and say ‘That’s expensive! I could make that myself!’ then I say, just try it! Some of the ‘easiest’ crafts I tried, still turned out to be as time consuming or fiddly as more complicated crafts. When you go to a craft fair someone else has spent a lot of time, love and care in making that item. They deserve a decent wage in return.
  2. Crafts are a great way to relax. Last year was a tough one for me in some ways. I suffered with stress, developed an anxiety disorder and had depression.  But having a challenge to do meant that at least once a month I made time for myself.  I did something that wasn’t work.  That was mindful. I came out at the other end of it all and whilst I still battle with anxiety on occasion, crafting helps me calm my mind when I feel it creeping up on me again.
  3. You don’t need to be perfect.  I started the challenge with very simple crafts. Paper mache’ and paper flowers. Safe, simple crafts. As I became more confident, I tried more complicated crafts such as beading. Or crafts that used more than one technique. Sometimes, it went wrong.  I learned quickly, to adapt.

The most unexpected benefit I found in the 12 Month Craft Challenge was that over time, my confidence grew. As I tried more and more new things I decided to ‘just have a go’ at whatever I fancied.  This lead to more complicated crafts and in the end I just metaphorically threw the instructions out of the window to make more creative designs that reflected my personality.

So, am I doing another craft challenge this year?

Not exactly.

I still plan to make things and blog about them throughout this year, but not with a rigid schedule like last years.

I still plan to try new things if I get the urge to do so.

But I also want to have time to enjoy and improve on the crafts I already enjoy.

Expect to see more crochet projects and more powertex. And anything geeky or kawaii.