Make It Your Own
Several years ago, while on vacation, my teenage daughter purchased a needlepoint kit for me. I wasn’t crazy about it. The colors were too subtle, the design too chunky and the directions called for the kit to be worked in long stitch, which I dislike. However, because it was a gift from my daughter, I knew it would be completed.
Instead of throwing the kit out, I redesigned it. The light yellow and pink were exchanged for a rich gold and burgandy, the blocky design was adjusted in certain areas, and the stitch changed from long to single. Suddenly, the needlepoint kit, was lovely! And, just as important, the prepackaged canvas was now a unique, one of a kind design.
This experience taught me an important lesson: kits and projects designed by other folks need only be starting points. The projects can easily be changed a bit here or there without sacrificing the finished product. Now, I almost always make changes to prepackaged craft kits and projects.
Here are a couple of tips for making your next project more deeply reflective of your own taste…
…Start with the colors. If you dislike a color of fabric, yarn or paper that is supposed to be used for a project, feel free to hit the craft store for something more to your taste.
…Work with the small things. You might not feel comfortable changing the sleeve pattern on a blouse, but you might feel fine about adding or subtracting a pocket.
…Make small changes to the technique. Add a fancy stitch to your cross-stitch or use a special piping tip for your cake decorating. Just be aware that these changes may require the purchase of additional supplies.
…Embellish, embellish, embellish. Feel free to fold an origami flower to use with your scrapbooking kit or add a unique center square to your quilting pattern.
Warning: Avoid making really big changes unless you know the technique well. For instance, don’t make any structural changes to a knitted sweater unless you really understand how the changes will effect the finished garment.