We are rapidly approaching the “most wonderful time of the year.” It can also be one of the most stressful times of the year as we prepare for the holidays. Here are 8 ways to make the season merry (and keep your sanity at the same time)!
Creative people love to give gifts from the heart. Jobs, family obligations, and life in general can create challenges to our time, resources, and energy. Some of these tips will help you this season, while others will help you next year!
1. START EARLY
It is never too soon to start projects — even a year in advance. That eliminates the last-minute rush. Besides, who doesn’t enjoy the holiday spirit while making gifts throughout the year?
2. TAKE NOTES
Use a journal or notebook to keep track of ideas. Clip out photos. Write down gift ideas. We all know someone who has “everything.” Often, all you need to do is listen to find inspiration for a handmade gift.
3. GET ORGANIZED
Having your craft or sewing room in order allows you to spend more time creating and less time looking. Put everything in its place. Pull most-used supplies front and center for easy access.
4. INVENTORY SUPPLIES
While you are tidying up, make sure you have your basics on hand. Make a list of items you need. Carry the list with you. You never know when a shopping opportunity may arise.
5. WATCH FOR SALES
Make sure that you are signed up to receive Secrets’ newsletters and sales notices. Start a wish list of favorite designs. That way, when they are on sale, you can easily move them over to your cart and check out without spending hours looking for designs that you know you want to purchase.
For items you use often, like fabrics, thread, stabilizer, and batting, take advantage of great sales even if you don’t need them. Sign up for email notifications from your favorite vendors. Some merchants match competitor pricing just by seeing a copy of the advertisement. Print out copies to take with you when shopping, just in case.
Check out forums and social media sites, like the Secrets of Embroidery Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram pages. Other embroiderers share their work related to your craft to see where others are buying in bulk. Some vendors offer wholesale accounts.
Have holiday gift ideas that won’t get completed this season? Buy the supplies on clearance and be ready for next year!
6. GATHER COMPONENTS
Keep project pieces together. Whether it is zippers, fabrics, thread, or buttons, it is much easier to complete projects when everything is within reach. That includes your pattern, directions, and printouts of design stitch sequences and colors.
7. TWO WORDS: ASSEMBLY LINE
Usually when we make gifts, we make several of the same type. As inventor of the modern assembly line, Henry Ford was on to something. It may seem overwhelming to think you are going to make 10 zippered bags, table runners, or ornaments. By breaking tasks down, the whole project is manageable and you get more accomplished.
Press fabrics one day, cut out pieces another, stitch and finish the next. Before you know it, multiple projects are done.
8. MAKE TIME EVERY DAY
All-nighters and weekend embroidery marathons lose the fun factor. Allow time every day for creating. Productivity is cumulative; you will be surprised what you can accomplish in just 30 minutes or less. Often, you will spend more time than that — which translates into finished projects!
How do you get ready for holiday projects?