5 Tips for Crafting Newbies From Princess Nebraska

Jennie Canzoneri

fireplace diy
Elizabeth's repurposed fireplace
Elizabeth, with Princess Nebraska, is a crafting guru. She is creative and also super-savvy about decorating her home. She has created a beautiful, stunning living space (I can say that; I've been inside it!) without breaking the bank.

Because I admire her so much and her outlook on home crafting, I asked her to share her top five tips with a new crafter (me!).

Here are her crafty words of wisdom!

1. Don't be afraid to copy ideas you see in magazines or online. As long as you're not selling things inspired by someone else, most of the time no one will know your great idea came from Martha Stewart. By the time you put your own spin on it, it's not going to resemble the original source that much anyway. I have a blank notebook full of tear sheets and printouts that I want to make or DIY, and I'm constantly adding and referring to it. When it comes time to build a new gate or sew a fabric advent calendar, I have lots of ideas to refer to.   

2. Know your strengths and weaknesses, and don't beat yourself up over them. I really, really hate sewing things from a pattern, but I'm great at sewing straight lines, so I don't sew stuffed animals or rag dolls because following a tiny pattern like that gives me the rage. But I make a lot of quilts and pillows. I'd rather just buy a doll on Etsy than spend many frustrating hours hunched over the sewing machine, swearing.

office desk craft diy
Elizabeth's office area
3. But don't be afraid to learn new things. I have NO IDEA how to make buttonholes, but I'd like to figure it out and give it a try. If it's awful, I can always revert to my old standby (snaps), but I'd like to see if I can figure it out.

4. Accept that most of what you make will have some degree of imperfection, and chances are no one but you will notice those one or two crooked seams. Because whatever you're doing is, by its very nature, handmade, it's not going to look like it came off a factory assembly line. You'll save yourself a lot of heartache if you go into a project with realistic expectations. This isn't to say you should expect to produce crap, just that if you're making yourself crazy and not having fun, it's not worth it!

5. Trust your instincts. I can't tell you how many of my favorite projects have been inspired by ideas or objects that other people gave a VERY raised eyebrow to. I have a gorgeous glass fixture hanging in my entryway that I bought for a quarter at a garage sale. No one else saw much of anything in it, but I knew that with a good cleaning and a coat of spray paint, it was going to be fabulous.

Thank you, Elizabeth!

Now, readers, do you have a tip for someone new to crafting?


Images via Princess Nebraska

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