How to get your Christmas crafting done in time

Every year it begins anew: The Christmas Crafting Frenzy.

This year, I’ll make everyone a homemade gift

This simple sentence marks the starting point of the one task that has yet to be mastered without the hustle on December 23rd. I have definitely gone down that rabbit hole myself a couple of years only to discover that this wasn’t possible without a feasible plan (I have a big family).

How to get your Christmas crafting done in time

Is it even possible?

Before you even start making plans, write down all the things you want to make for Christmas. All the gifts, all the decoration, everything.

Then, estimate how long each project will possibly take and add up the hours.

Now, take a deep breath and think about this: how much time can you dedicate to your Christmas Crafting? Do you have a couple of hours every weekend? Do you tend to craft during the weekdays or just on the weekends? Be realistic about this and remember that life always happens and eats up your prettily planned time slots occasionally.

So, does the time span you need for crafting equal the time you have until Christmas?

If yes, great! Go ahead and do all the things on your list!

If no, don’t despair. This article gives you some good tips on how to make things happen anyways!

Start early with your Christmas Crafting

Every year in late summer, my mother tells me how she already has most of the homemade Christmas gifts finished. And you know what? This time is always the first time of the year that I think about Christmas at all.

Starting early gives you a huge advantage and helps to make the Christmas time a relaxed family time.

Even if you just plan which gifts you want to make and get all the supplies. Your future self will love you for this. Having a plan and the supplies gives you the possibility to start crafting at any time. So if you have a slow weekend in September and the craft bug bites you, you could either browser Pinterest for crafting ideas or just start that project you have already prepared. See where I’m going with this?

Project boxes & bags are your friends

After you have determined which projects you want to craft, prepare them!

Get some boxes or project bags and assemble all the materials and info you need in them to make your projects. This might sound totally over the top but think about it this way. When you have everything ready to go, the entry barrier to actually do these projects is much lower than if you had to buy the supplies first. Or maybe you can’t find the pattern anymore and need one hour to search it on your computer or the internet. So much time that you could have been spent crafting.

Having project boxes or bags also helps you stay organized in the long run. These don’t have to be fancy ones. Delivery boxes or paper bags can do the trick, too.

So, prepare your projects to be picked up at any time when you feel like crafting.

CHRISTMAS CRAFTING

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Read more about my experience with two popular felt ornament patterns by Alicia Paulson & the PurlBee.

What to do when you don’t feel creative sometimes?

I personally have days when I’m zero creative and not in the mood to create.

On these days, I’m usually great at doing the “stupid” tasks like sorting things, assembling stuff that needs no thinking, cutting out things. All of these tasks often take no brain power at all but take a lot of time to finish.

So objectively you get a lot done even though it doesn’t feel very creative. Maybe you have some tasks that you only like to do when you are in a certain mood? Do these when you are in the mood for it!

Finding time for Christmas Crafting

Maybe you only have time to craft on the weekends and even then you have many other things to do so crafting is not always an option.

You might want to have one or two projects laying around that you can work in small steps every now and then.

For example, I have a knitting project in a basket in my living room since last year. The goal was to knit up all the yarn I have of this particular yarn into a blanket. I chose a pattern that I could do in a continuous round and when I decide it is finished, I can just stop. So there really is no end date to this unless I run out of yarn – perfect! Every couple of weeks or months, I pick it up and knit while watching TV. Yesterday, I was curious how big it has become and I couldn’t believe it. Unfolding the whole thing it was covering me up completely as a normal blanket would. Even though I never hustled through this project, it has grown over the many 30 minutes of knitting time I managed to find throughout the year.

Maybe you have a project that you can easily pick up and do some stitches for 5 or 10 minutes every now and then?

You will be surprised how much you’ll get done this way!

Ten stitch blanket on Ravelry – free pattern by Frankie Brown

What about the big projects?

Some projects are just too big to be prepared a long time beforehand or in small steps. Projects that need equipment to be set up everytime. Or baked goods and other edibles that can spoil need to be made just before the gifting. What to do about these?

Set a date for these and do them. Choose a weekend or day for this and prepare everything. There is no way around it. Big chunks of time usually don’t pop up accidentally. We have to make it happen instead of waiting for the perfect time slot that will most probably never come.

How to get your Christmas crafting done in time

It is 2 weeks before Christmas, what shall I do?

First off, pin this blog post for next year so you’ll don’t have to hustle at this time of the year next year.

I have some short tips for you (you don’t have enough time to read long posts because you should be crafting right now 😀 )

  • make the most important gifts first
  • is there a project that will suck up all the time? Do a good chunk of the other projects first so that you have more than one gift when the big project doesn’t go as planned
  • only use crafting techniques that you already know to avoid mistakes and wasted time/supplies on failed projects
  • customize ready-made products for the recipients like adding a name or favorite something
  • support indie makers online and offline and get some thoughtful gifts e.g. from Etsy

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