Make It Your Own

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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.

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