In an effort to add balance to my hectic work/mom life, I decided about a week ago that I was going to get out of my creative rut and make something every day. After what was pretty much an entire year of nothing but having and tending to a baby, come hell or high water, I was going to return to doing the things I loved. I knew getting back into being creative after such a long haitus was going to be difficult. So, in order to be held accountable, I posted on Facebook that I was going to make, or make significant progress on, something creative every day. For 365 days.
The majority of the responses I received were positive and encouraging. I did receive a few from the naysayers who didn’t think I could stick with it for that long. I’m glad for it, actually, because I define the word stubborn, and I’m going to prove them wrong. (Even if I secretly think they’re right. Shh.) There were a few people who said they could never do this because they just “aren’t creative.” Do you know what I say to that? That’s a bunch of horse sh…I mean….bologna. Anyone can be creative. It’s just a matter of thinking outside the box and resetting your expectations. Creativity is not limited to painting or sewing or sculpting or anything typically artistic. You can be a creative baker. You can be creative in how you dress. You can be a creative gardener! There are a million ways to be creative. The thing is, you have to get out of your own way.
One of the easiest ways to build your confidence is to do small, ordinary things, and step it up just a notch. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? That’s because IT IS. I’ve found that doing things around the house – chores and whatnot – is something everyone has to do. And it’s the easiest way to infuse a little bit of creativity into your life. So I’ve compiled a list of things to help you stop making excuses and start getting creative.
Lowes has a great site that helps inspire you to get creative around the house. They have projects that meet all tastes and skill levels, and even break it down to cost, materials needed, and include pdfs with diagrams for help!
Pinterest is one of the greatest inventions ever created. If you’re still slightly behind the times, Pinterest lets you organize and share all the fun stuff you find on the web, and browse through things posted by other people. It’s a great way to find new things and get inspired!
Creatively Living has a great blog that showcases the writer’s “ love of finding ways to live inexpensively…& love for turning what most would see as trash into a treasure.” There’s even a tutorial section for you to follow along and recreate something she’s done that you love.
HGTV does everything from showcasing great creative blogs to showing you how to get creative in your own space. I go there a lot to drool over projects I’ll get around to doing…eventually.
Disney’s Family Fun site is something I try to hit up quite a bit. They have tons of projects there – ranging from silly backyard games to ways to make a boring dinner more fun. This site helps get me out of my creative rut, and it’s especially fun because I can make my son get creative with me, too.
Better Homes and Gardens is a huge source of inspiration. They have everything you could want to get inspired to do something fun and creative around home. Be prepared to spend a couple of hours going through the site getting ideas.
Ikea Hacks is a site I am absolutely in love with. Ikea is inexpensive, which I appreciate, but doesn’t really fit with my general overall style. Apparently a lot of people feel this way, and go about making the furniture fit their needs and budget. I’m always amazed at the ways people can conceptualize projects like this.
My brother and sister-in-law are good friends with a woman who owns her own vinyard. As a result, they get a lot of wine. Lots of wine means lots of corks. One creative thing my sister-in-law did was make a big corkboard for their kitchen using their leftover corks. It’s cool, it’s useful, and the actual construction of the board took a couple of hours. Hot glue, some wood trim and a little patience.
I had a friend who collected beer bottles. He also collected beer bottle caps. When he bought his first house, the first thing he did was set about covering the top of the bar in his basement with his collection of bottlecaps. It turned out amazing, and he claims it was super easy.
I got tired of my nail polish being in 19 different places all over – or taking up precious space in a drawer in my tiny, tiny bathroom. I didn’t really have any great shelves to hang up to store my stuff, and I definitely did not want to go out and buy something, so I rummaged through my parents’ barn and found a really cool spice rack. It had 4 little shelves with bars across the front to keep the spices in place. PERFECT for nail polish. I thought I was a super creative awesome crafting genius. Turns out, I’m not the only one who had that idea. Great minds?
A friend of mine wanted to entice some birds to hang out in the yard of her walk-out townhouse – but she didn’t have any place to really hang bird feeders. So she got crafty and made a couple of bird feeders out of old terra cotta pots and a couple of ceramic dishes she found at a garage sale. She glued them together, painted them, and they’re really super cute. I found a similar tutorial online, and it’s something that anyone can do!
My mom wanted to have a magnet board for her kitchen to hold recipes and grocery lists and whatnot since her fridge is stainless steel and magnets don’t work on its surface. So, inspired by Pinterest, I wound up getting a couple of really inexpensive cookie sheets – the flat kind without the rolled edge – and spray painted them a complementary color for her kitchen. Just like this crafter did! But instead of frilly magnets, I made some marble magnets with images of my kids. She loved it.
I was tired of just recycling the same old kid-crafts with my son, Jude, and wanted to come up with something fun to do. We get at least 59,340 magazines a month, and I thought there has to be something we could do with them, and I happened upon this site – 100 ways to creatively use old magazines. It’s awesome.
My friend, Jake, was looking for something nice to do for his girlfriend’s birthday and came to me with the idea of painting over an old thrift-store painting to create a new painting. The idea is you mask off the words, or image, that you want to be the object of the new painting. You paint over the old painting with whatever color you like, peel off the masking of the letters or image and voila! The old painting shows through, and the new paint covers the parts you don’t want to see. I was so inspired by his work that I went and made my own for my daughter’s room. It was similar to this DIY by tatertots & jello.
I could go on and on about all the easy and creative things you can do to get yourself in the creative mindset. If you feel like you don’t have a creative bone in your body and couldn’t come up with an idea to save your life, check out the links I posted to get inspired. Copy their tutorials. Little by little, you’ll eventually find yourself coming up with new ways to look at things and new ways to approach problems and maybe have a little fun in the process.