Photo: Going Home To Roost. Whether you knit, sew, paint, write or craft, chances are that you find it challenging to squeeze in as much creative time as you would like. It is all too easy to allow our schedules to be filled to the brim with obligations to others, but the fact remains that when we take the time to do the things that feed our creative spirits, we feel better. When fall approaches, and the coziness of home beckons once again, it’s the perfect time to take up your chosen craft (or try something new).
These 11 ideas and beautiful, inspiring spaces will help spark your creativity, get you out of any ruts and support your craft side.
No more excuses! Avoid distraction and make the most of limited time
Even if you can set aside only 10 or 15 minutes, if you make them count – and repeat daily – you will be amazed at what you can accomplish. While it’s true that some projects require a few longer dedicated work times, if we are being honest, mostly “I have no time” is just another way to procrastinate.
If creating is important to you, you probably can find the time. Set yourself up for success by avoiding easy access to the Internet and turning off all of your devices during dedicated creative work times – and let those you live with know how important this this time is to you.
If you need a big, open space, make it happen
If what you really need is an expansive surface to spread out on and you don’t have a dedicated place with one, don’t let that stop you. It’s perfectly all right to call dibs on the dining room or kitchen table between meals, provided you can clear your work to the side relatively easily. Keeping a cabinet or drawers nearby will make it easy to sweep things off the table in a hurry.
Feeling stuck? Take a time-out for exercise
The next time a creative block hits, try taking a brisk walk, settling into a few yoga poses or lifting weights – anything to get your blood pumping. Exercise gives your mind a rest from actively thinking about your creative problem while improving circulation (and likely your mood). The best ideas can bubble up spontaneously during these time-outs, pulling you out of your rut in a much shorter time than if you had been trying to force an idea to come.
Find a corner to call your own
Whether it is a small table pulled up to a sunny window, a closet that can be curtained off from the rest of the space, a tiny unused nook or a cabinet with a work surface hidden inside, it is important to find somewhere that lets you fully commit to your creative practice. There will be times when you must leave your work in the middle of a project, and it is so helpful if you can leave some of your materials out rather than needing to clean up completely every time. Don’t fret if the only space you can find is a bit out of the way – sometimes a desk with a spectacular view is not as conductive to good work as a tiny nook, where you can focus your energy on the task at hand.
Make sure you have easy access to your materials
If you need to hunt and dig every time you want to work on your craft project, chances are that it’s not going to happen as often as you would like. It’s not necessary to keep every last item on display, but putting frequently used tools in an easy-to-grab spot is key. Fill an open-top bin or basket with your materials and store it in the room where you like to work.
Let your entire space reflect your creative passions
There is something to be said for having an entire studio devoted to your art (of course), but for most of us, finding creative space within the rest of our home is just how it goes. But that doesn’t mean you must confine your creativity to one zone – in fact, the more you can integrate mini creativity spots throughout your space, the more likely it is you’ll be tempted to make something. Try displaying your guitar on a stand in the living room, keeping pretty fabrics or luscious yarns in open cubbies, and stashing a stack of fresh notebooks and nice pens near your favorite chair.
Know when you need privacy
This tip is especially pertinent for those living with kids or roommates. Even if you have a large space, if others are constantly interrupting to ask you questions or chat, you need to find somewhere more private. Taking over part of your own bedroom with a worktable and an inspiration board could be the ideal solution. If you want to be really tricky, you can even pretend you are still sleeping – and squeeze in a little creative time first thing in the morning before anyone knows you are up.
Mood matters: Your creative space should inspire you
While it is true you should minimize distractions during creative time, that doesn’t necessarily mean you ought to work in a completely unadorned room, either. Tap into what fuels your creativity and bring more of that into your space. Consider a small stereo if you enjoy music while you work, textiles or vintage objects that spark your imagination, an inspiration board where you can collect your ideas, and book you love; even fun wallpaper or a vibrant wash of paint can enhance your mood and help juice your creative spirit.
Entice yourself with inspiring quotes
I am a big believer in the power of words, and an apt quote has helped me out of a creative rut many times. Keep a rotating selection of favorite quotes, says, song lyrics and lines of poetry on a chalkboard or pin board, or simply taped to your wall for a quick boost whenever you need it.
Know that moments of humor in your decor make creativity flow
Keep the mood light in your creative space with a cheeky, fun touch like a decorated or “dressed” sculpture, a cheapo vintage portrait that you have drawn a mustache on or any object that brings a smile to your face.
Be open to creativity in all areas of your life
Creativity permeates everything we do, from our conversations with friends to preparing dinner for our families. Approaching everyday tasks with a creative outlook makes our daily life richer and more satisfying.