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My Paper Pinwheel brings you a wealth of crafting information and some great ideas and inspiration. Whatever crafts you love, you’ll find something great to make and do here. If you’re new to crafts then it’s the perfect place to start.

Which crafts do you love?

There are so many crafts to choose from. Do you try everything or are you the master of something in particular? Perhaps you love paper crafts. Paper crafting is a great craft as it’s cheap and easy to get into, you don’t need lots of space or expensive equipment and you can make some great things such as birthday cards that are truly personalised, or scrap book pages to record those wonderful memories. Maybe you love to knit or sew? Hand knitted jumpers for the kids or even for the dog. Or beautiful and unique dresses for yourself.

Stepping outside of your comfort zone

Why not try something new! If you’re getting in a rut with your crafting, it’s really fun to give something new a try. You could take up something totally different, such as candle making, or extend a craft you’re already into. Perhaps if you love card making, then you could give decoupage or teabag folding a go.

Meeting up with other crafters is great fun

There are craft shows and groups that meet up regularly all over the country. If there isn’t one near you, then why not consider starting one? If you advertise it online you should easily find other like minded people to meet up with. Sharing craft equipment is also useful if you’re meeting up. Someone may really find that piece of red spotted ribbon you have spare very useful, and they may let you use one of their tools such as a die cutter. There are also lots of craft groups and forums online. It’s great to share photos of your makes with others, and get inspiration from their creations. Craft forums will often have challenges for you to partake in, or swaps, whereby you make something for another crafter and they make something for you. Perhaps this will be a bookmark, an ATC (Artist’s Trading Card) or an advent calendar at Christmas time.

Find inspiration everywhere

There are loads of different ways to get new inspiration for your craft projects. While this is not the official website of My Paper Pinwheel, you’ll find plenty of inspiring ideas here, and on many other websites and blogs. Pinterest is also a great place for getting some ideas. Take a look in your local store for craft magazines, there are plenty of those available with tips and ideas, and they often come with a free cover mounted gift too. It’s always good to build up that craft stash! Then of course there is the inspiration in the world you live in and see every day. A walk in the woods, a beach holiday, Christmas time, they can all give you great ideas for new things to make and create.

Build up your supplies to ensure you have everything you need

Being creative does need a wide range of supplies. If you are a paper crafter, you’ll have your standard tools such as craft knives, glue dots, sticky pads etc. But when it comes to the creative aspects, such as papers, ribbons, buttons and brads, the more you have, the more options you have. Sorting your craft supplies by colour can be a good idea. You will usually know what colours you want to work with. Red for a Valentine’s card, pink for a new baby girl. Then you can simply grab the box of items that match that colour, rather than having to sort through every colour all mixed up. This will also allow you to see which colours you’re running short of. Don’t forget, when it’s coming up to Christmas or your birthday, drop lots of hints that you’d like craft supplies or vouchers for a craft store.

Craft supplies on a budget

Crafting can be expensive, but there are some neat ways you can save some money. If you join a forum online, or join a group in your local area, you can save money by swapping and sharing. For example, when you buy a roll of ribbon, you might get several metres of it. If you’re making cards or scrap book pages, you’ll only want a small amount each time. So why not swap half your roll of ribbon with someone else who has bought a different colour or design?

Always check the discount stores and the sale bins. Craft supplies don’t go off or become old fashioned. So always take a good look at any reduced items in stores. Some of the discount stores stock some great low priced craft supplies too.

Analyse everything for crafting potential before you throw it away. That old jumper, could you pull it apart and reuse the wool to make a great winter hat? That blouse that has seen better days, why not snip off those pretty buttons and use them on a card? Do you ever buy clothes with little ribbons for hanging them up with? Perhaps you cut them out because they get in the way? These small ribbons are the perfect size for delicate card making projects.

Designer papers and card can be expensive, so always check packaging, especially when you get gifts are Christmas and birthdays. Sets of bath products and cosmetics can often come with beautifully patterned cardboard boxes and ribbons that can be repurposed for your crafting. Let your friends and relatives know too, then they can also save up some reusable items for you. If you think outside the box, you can find craft supplies everywhere. An old circuit board from a broken computer can be made into an amazing card for someone who is into technology. A pack of playing cards with some missing, or leftover scrabble letters from a game that has long since gone in the bin should never be thrown away, they are perfect for card making. Scrabble letters can be used to spell out a name or a message, and playing cards have lots of uses. The numbers can be used for birthdays. Two two cards for twenty two, or use the aces with the sentiment ‘You are Ace!’. You’re only ever limited by your own imagination when it comes to paper crafting!

Make your hobby make money

As with any hobby, crafting can be expensive. So why not make your craft hobby into a small business? Selling your cards, knitted goods or artwork online will give you extra cash to replenish those all important supplies. You can sell on eBay of course, but why not also check out Etsy, it’s an online marketplace specifically for hand made goods. You’ll find all sorts of different products for sale there, from jewellery to furniture. You could also look for local craft shows where you can hire a stall for the day and sell your products that way. It’s a lot of fun.

Make your handmade cards truly personal

The great thing about making your own cards, is that you can tailor them exactly for that particular person. There’s always a limited range of cards in the shops. Often you can be browsing the shelves for ages and just not be able to find a card that’s just right for the person you need it for. Cards do tend to be fairly generic. Cards for a son or father will tend to have football or gardening images on. But what if your dad or son hates football and gardening? Likewise, cards for females tend to be pink and pretty, but what if the person you’re buying for just isn’t very girly and doesn’t like the colour pink? Of course, the trick is to make your own. If your nephew has two great loves in his life, dinosaurs and pizza, then you can make him a pizza shaped card with dinosaurs on, or a dinosaur shaped card with pizzas on for that matter! The world really is your oyster. If someone has an unusual name, they’ll be really touched to receive a card that features their name. Also, you can generally only get cards with an age on for special birthdays such as 18, 21 or 60. Make your own and it’s no problem putting a massive 43 or 56 on the front of the card!

Enjoy what you do

When it comes to crafts, it’s so important to enjoy what you do. Everyone improves over time, so even if your efforts are a bit messy to start with, gain inspiration from others and you’ll get there eventually. Crafts can be very relaxing, a great way to unwind after a long day at work, and a welcome change from TV or computer screens. Have fun!