Break it Down

No, I’m not talking about singing… I’m talking about breaking down those larger projects that you would love to complete into smaller, manageable parts.

The Monumental Task

When I see projects online, I often wonder how people make time to do it all. I’m always pinning massive sewing projects, amazing gardens, and time-intensive paper crafts. When I see the tutorials online, I know I have the skills to complete the work, but my reality is two adorable, screamy, active boys who need my attention for all of their waking hours. My choices are to include them in the projects (which I do from time to time), or to only complete crafts when they are asleep (which leaves only about an hour or so each night to work.) Neither scenario is ideal.

My solution? I break my big projects into tiny bits that I can complete in about 10 minutes. I find that is about the time span that my two little boys can play independently without some sort of interaction with me. I realize that this method may stretch a project that would normally take about 2-3 hours and make it into a 2-3 week project. I’m ok with that.

How do I do it?

Each project is different, but I follow the same general guidelines each time:

  1. Gather supplies – get your key items together for the project. This usually involves a shopping trip for me, so getting everything together at the beginning of the project will certainly save time during the process.
  2. Complete tiny steps –¬†have your supplies handy and ready to grab when you can steal a few minutes to work on it. For my “daddy doll”¬†project (I’ve since completed dolls for both sets of grandparents too), I took the picture one day, printed it the next, ironed it on the next, sewed the fabric together the next, and finally stuffed it on the last day of the project. Yes, it took me longer to complete the total project, but since I had everything ready to go, I only worked on it for about 10 minutes a day, which felt like no time at all.
  3. Get help when you can – my kids love to help me with my crafting projects, so I try to include them as much as I can. We will be starting a garden in our backyard this spring, and I have been planning it for months (in my head). I found a cute tutorial for using old wine corks as seedling markers, and made my own twist on it (tutorial to come) by letting the boys paint the corks before I use permanent marker to label them. They loved painting with me, and I loved getting a tiny step of my project done while keeping them busy and entertained. (Yes, the 2-year-old wound up with paint all over himself…)

Everyone can find time to craft!