How to Make Something Pretty Even If You Can’t Stand It

There is a heavy burden with being “the crafty” friend, and that is, people are always asking you to make things for them. Personally, in the past couple months, I’ve made a couple deco mesh wreaths, a water colour painting, rings, wedding centrepieces, bridal shower centrepieces, corsages, and boutonnieres. Hopefully you have not been so busy, but I’m sure you can relate. Especially when you have birthdays, holidays, weddings, or anniversaries coming up. With the privilege of being the crafty friend comes the responsibility of helping your other not so crafty friends when they need it. It is a great honour and duty we Crafty Queens hold, but it can come with much stress.

This Project is So Awful! I Want to Cry!

Please tell me I’m not the only one who’s said this. I’ve been there, and it’s hard. If it hasn’t happened to you yet, it mostly likely will. Whether you serve your friends out of the goodness of your heart or you are lucky enough to be paid for your creative endeavors; at some point you are going to have to make something you don’t like. I know, I’m sorry. I don’t want to ruin your happy little crafting world of glitter and pretty things, but that is the sad truth.

The Truth Can Hurt: At some point in your crafting career you will have to make something you really don’t like.

And if you need a lifesaving worksheet for this kind of project, I have one right here:

Make the Project You Hate Bearable

Free downloadable worksheet, craft inspiration, craft ideas, help with craft burn out, avoiding craft burn out, I can't stand itThis will happen especially if you have a craft business and take custom orders. You may have a certain style of what you make, but there are going to be people who have a slightly different taste than you. It may be with colours, the theme, or materials you use.

In my career I’ve had customers who wanted boquets and centrepieces in royal blue and burnt orange, because those were their wedding colours. That day I learned I would not be using those colours for my wedding. I hope I never have to use them together again, because they were definitely not my favourite.

I’ve also had a customer who’s wedding theme was “Fifty Shades of Blue,” and I hope she didn’t see my eye roll when she told me this. That was an interest experience.

One of my least favourite materials to work with is burlap. I know lots of people love it, but I’m one of those strange aliens who doesn’t like it. I find it scratchy and itchy, and I do not care for the look. I love anything classic and elegant, or colourful and cheerful. In my eyes burlap completely clashes with those thoughts. However, I work with it all the time because people love it, and it is so sadly popular. (I have grow a little founder of it over the year’s I’ve worked with it, but it still is not my first choice)

Even if you hate everything about the piece: colour, theme, materials, occasion, person you’re making it for, you can still create something that looks beautiful. It isn’t always easy, but it is possible.

Here’s how you can do that:

Let’s Talk About Beauty

Beauty, pretty things, and what people like are all opinions. What you think is drop dead gorgeous, someone else things is drop dead frightening. And that is perfectly fine. We all have our own tastes and there are craft supplies to accommodate all of those tastes. Keep that in mind as we continue.

Think of the Person

You may know the person you are making the item for extremely well, you may know them pretty well, or you may not know them at all. Either way, think of they way you know them. Thank about why they asked you to make: for a wedding, for a baby shower, for a friend, for a gift, for themselves. Think about their personality. Again, you may have known them for long, but you can still get a feel for what they are like from your first introduction. Are they outgoing and full energy? Are they more reserved and quite? Do they like bold colours? Do they like minimalist designs? Whatever it is they like, the most likely asked you to make them something based off their interests. If not, they asked you to make them something for someone else based off that person’s interests. But hopefully you have a basic understand what the person receiving your project likes, from different materials you are using.

Why is this important? You may not love the end project, the colours, the idea, the theme, the occasion, or anything about it, but that person receiving it will. Over the years I have made hundreds of crafts in an array of styles. I’ve had some people tell me they absolutely hated some of the pieces I made. Some have even used the word “gaudy” to describe them. Some I agreed with, and some I did not. But I knew I was not making it for that person, I was making it for someone else. And I knew that person would absolutely adore it.

The same is true for you. You are not making this piece for you, you are making it for someone else. We all have different tastes, and this is what that one person likes. You never ever have to see the piece again (fingers crossed xx). It doesn’t have to go home with you, it is coming home with someone else. If you have to tell yourself that over and over again to make it through the project, by all means please do so.

Set the Standard

You know your skills, and you know what a good piece of whatever you specialise in looks like. Always keeps those standards in mind. You can wish you were working with different materials, colours, people, themes, but you can still tell a while designed and put together piece from a poorly designed put together one. You may hate the colours and patterns, but you can still tell it is a high quality piece.

When you start the project, think of what the professional standard for making this piece is. You may not be able to control everything about this project, but you most certain can control the quality. You may not like the way it looks when it is finished, but when you give it to your customer/friend/client/family member you want them to think it is the most beautiful thing in the world. You wanted them to say “Wow.” You don’t want them to think it looks like you pulled it out of the trash bin.

Deco Mesh Wreath Example

  1. Round, not some obscure oblong shape
  2. Fluffy and full. Don’t want to see the wreath wire frame
  3. No raw edges
  4. Ribbons don’t fray

Sewing Example

  1.  Strait seams
  2. Hem hangs neatly
  3. Fabric is pressed and smooth
  4. Doesn’t look like

Paper Goods Example

  1. Paper isn’t wrinkled or damaged
  2. Project stays together
  3. Looks neat and clean

These are just a few examples. You may be working on one of these projects, or another one all together. Whatever it is, set what you think makes it quality, and stick to those standards. There is no faster way to tarnish your crafty reputation than to give them a poorly made item. You are better than that.

Give Your Best Self

On a similar line, not only give it your best professional work, but also give it your best sell. Sounds similar, but let me elaborate. Not only make it look professional, put some pride in your work. Give it all the love and TLC you would with any other craft project. This person came to you because they like the way you make this item. There are other people who do the same thing you do, but they came to you because you offer something different and special. Use that to your advantage. Whatever it is you specialise in, use your best techniques. This person doesn’t just want a dress, or a card, or a hat, they want a dress, a card, or a hat bad specially by you. They will feel so special when you give them their item. They will want to show it off to others. They won’t just say “Look at my amazing wreath.” They will say, “I have this amazing wreath, and this incredible person made it for me.” That leads to your name getting out there and more people wanting your items.

Think of all the people out there who buy bags, clothes, or anything really. The more “special” ones are the name brand items. Sometimes people don’t just buy shoes so they have shoes. They buy those shoes so they have the name brand. They buy bags with other people’s names on them because it makes them feel good. Then everyone else knows it isn’t just a bag, they know it is that certain brand’s bag.

It can be the same for you. You are your own designer brand name. People will come to you just so they can say “This person made my table, cake, or napkins.” The more items you make for people, the more your name will get out there. You may not be a world wide sensation, but you could be a community wide sensation. In your area people will start recognising your work. If you work on a project you don’t care about, deliver the item, and it’s made in a way that clearly says “yeah, I don’t care about this thing,” people can tell. Then they may not come back, and they might tell their friends too.

Focus On the Good

It might be hard to find it, but try to look for the good. There is potential in everything things, and everything has it’s beauty. It may not be the beauty you like, but there is at least one thing you can find. Tear the project apart if you have to. Come up with five or more positive things about this project. It could be the colour. You could be excited because you get to try out a new technique. You could be happy because it is going to be in a wedding, and you’ve never made anything for a wedding before. Even if it is as simple as “There person is going to be so happy when I give them this item.” If that is what you need to hold on to to make it through the project, then keep telling yourself that. In my own experience, I have used that thought many times. You may not always get to see their face when they receive it, but imagine them how happy they will be when they first see it. Think of how happy it will make them for the days, months, years to come.

Whatever it is you need to tell yourself, keep thinking those happy thoughts. Repeat them over and over. Write it down and hang it where you can see it. There is good and beauty in everything.

Add Lots of Love

Make it with love. Not a love for the item itself, but a love for the craft. Make it with a love for what you do. Make it with a love for happiness. Sacrificing your own happiness for the happiness of others is true love. It may sounds harsh or blunt, but that is what you are doing. When you dislike the project, and you sacrifice your time and efforts on something you think is ugly, just to make someone else happy (and hopefully that is your main objective), that is love.

Reward Yourself

Yes! You absolutely deserve it. Give yourself a piece of chocolate every 20 mintues or after you reach a certain mile stone in your project. Tell yourself you will never do something like this again. Give yourself some reading or tv time. Reward yourself with a fun craft project after you are done.

So Let’s Recap

5 Things to Do When You Hate the Project You are Working On

1. Think of the Person You’re Making It For

2. Set the Standard

3. Give Your Best Self

4. Find the Good

5. Add Lots of Love

6. Reward Yourself

One Last Thing

This one is kind of obvious, but I thought I would say it out loud any way. Don’t every tell the person you are making the item for that you hate it. Try hard not to roll your eyes or tell them it sounds like an awful idea just because it isn’t your taste. It can be an awful idea because it isn’t feasible or it is impossible to make. However, don’t say it is going to be ugly because it is not what you consider beautiful. To this person it may be the most beautiful thing in the world.

Good Luck

Again it is hard making something you don’t like, but you are an amazing Crafty Queen, and you can do it! It may not be what you wanted to make, or look the way you wanted it to look, but it can still be beautiful in the eyes of the receiver. It can also be beautiful because you made it in the most professional way, and you put your best self into it. You are amazing, and you have got this project in the bag! Now go out and conquer that project!

And if you haven’t downloaded your free worksheet to make the project you dislike a little more bearable, then please sign up for it. I want this project to be as easy for you as possible. You deserve it!

I So Need This!