Can you be a minimalist and a crafter? The short answer is yes, but you have to pick and choose, plan ahead, and deal with the leftovers.
PICK AND CHOOSE:
I have enjoyed mosaics, crocheting, knitting (well, I didn’t actually enjoy knitting, but I gave it the ol’ college try), scrapbooking, wood burning, stamping, jewelry making, watercolors, and making gifts for holidays. To downsize my pile of craft supplies, I had to pick and choose which crafts I would keep doing and which I would let go. It also meant I had to clean out the Fibber McGee’s closet of crafts by using up what was still usable and tossing what had deteriorated.
(Does anyone else besides me remember Fibber McGee’s closet, either from the original radio shows or the reruns? Think AVALANCHE and you’ve got the idea!)
Sadly, my beautiful stamps had gotten squished, misshapened, and crumbly due to poor storage. (Shame on me.) But I have to admit I enjoy watercolors the most and also making gifts for holidays, so it wasn’t too hard to let go of the stamps and other craft supplies.
As a watercolor painter, I limit my palette to only a few colors. I basically use just six: warm and cool versions of blue, yellow, and red. You can mix up any color in the world using just those six colors. A few tubes of paint, a sheet of paper, and a couple of brushes are all I need to create a painting, so I can honestly say from experience that this artsy craft requires very little storage or working space.
When making gifts for holidays, I get a kick out of crafting from scavenged supplies. (Little or no buying allowed! I kind of make it into a game.) Scavenger crafting keeps waste to a minimum and virtually eliminates the need for storing supplies.
I am currently planning a Christmas craft with upcycled and recycled supplies. Starting last month, I made a list of supplies I’ll need, and I’ve been on the hunt for those and ONLY those supplies. It’s a textile project, but I won’t be buying a pretty piece of fabric simply because it’s beautiful. I’m searching for a particular amount of used rayon or cotton fabric in almost-Christmassy colors. In minimalist fashion, I’m planning ahead so I’ll have just the right amount of supplies with no waste and no leftovers to store.
DEAL WITH THE LEFTOVERS:
What if I plan ahead and it doesn’t work out exactly? For example, if I needed one-and-a-half skeins of yarn for a craft project, and I bought two skeins at a yard sale, I would have to throw away, store, or use up that last half a skein on something else. Otherwise the leftover yarn would just create clutter, like fingernails on a chalkboard to a minimalist! Throwing it away would be disappointing, but it would allow my crafting area to remain clutter free. Storing the yarn would only be appropriate if I already had a proper space to put it. And darn, much as we’d like to think, stuffing yarn into the corner of a sock drawer does not count as a proper space. But using that last half a skein for something else–now that would be great. I’m sure there are many ideas out there, but off the top of my head, I can think of three things crafters could do with leftover yarn:
- Make a pompon to top a gift.
- Make two friendship bracelets, one for you and a matching one for your granddaughter.
- Cut the yarn into 8 inch strips. Whenever you have an empty bread bag, cut the bread bag in half so you have a tube plus a smaller bag. Use the yarn pieces over the next couple of months to tie off the open ends of the bread bags when you pack lunchbox snacks or sandwiches.
Make this day even better. Consider:
- Go through your stash of ink pens and toss those that don’t write anymore. Some of my dead pens were marked with the recycle code 5, so I was able to pull out the inside ink part and recycle the outside plastic. It feels good to reach for a pen knowing the few I have left ALL WORK!