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20 Crafty Challenges to Inspire Creativity

Creative challenges are all over social media these days. The basic concept is this: You create a collection of work with a running theme over the course of a set period of time. For example, every October artists create and share ink drawings each day for that month in the Inktober challenge. The 100 Day Project encourages creators to come up with their own project and contribute to it consistently for (you guessed it) 100 days. Every February 2 is Hourly Comic Day, where artists create a comic for every hour they are awake. The lettering challenge 36 Days of Type, which is going on now, has designers go through each letter of the alphabet and numbers and interpret in their unique style.

Note: This post contains affiliate links, meaning I may be compensated if you click or buy. It does not affect how much you pay, but it is one way to support this blog!

As you can see, these challenges vary widely in theme and time interval. They can be great for getting your artwork seen and building a community of artists, as well as for making creative habits. I love to participate in different challenges myself once in a while. I've found that I get the most out of challenges when I keep the following in mind: 

  • Go into the challenge with the intent to hone your skills or learn a new one.

  • Keep it simple. Don't get overly ambitious or you will be more apt to drop off mid-challenge. Pick something relatively easy and quick. If applicable, break up one large project into small manageable tasks. That being said, don’t stress about missing a day. Just pick back up and keep going.

  • Pre-plan. Write a list or sketch out what you want to create each day so you aren't grasping at ideas when it comes time to make. Set a time in the morning or evening, or perhaps only on the weekends—whatever fits into your schedule and will increase your chances of success.

  • Share and encourage others to participate. It's more fun when you have friends to encourage and inspire you! The easiest way to do this is to post on social media and use relevant and unique hashtags so others who are participating can see everyone else's work.
  • Don’t compare yourself to others. In the end, this is for your own growth. 

If you're looking to start your own creative challenge, I've written up a list of ideas for all types of creatives. You can find it HERE. I thought it would also be fun to add a few more suggestions in this post that are specifically tailored for us crafters. 

    1.  Scrapbook pages

    Record your everyday moments by creating quick scrapbook pages daily or weekly. This can be a paper scrapbook or digital. Pocket pages are particularly easy to do and require minimal time.

    2. Draw or craft with your kids

    Perhaps your child could start a drawing or craft, and you finish it by adding your own touches. Reinterpret a scribbly drawing, turn a painting into a card or t-shirt, or create a cool frame. 

    Crafts with my kids

    3. Redo old projects

    Gather up some of your older work and see how you would reinterpret it today. See how far you've come and what you've learned. 

    4. Learn a new medium or recreate the same subject with different media

    Is there something you've always wanted to try? Start with the basics and work your way up to more advanced techniques.

    My mandalas using different media for Spoonflower's 7 Days of Design back in 2019.

    5. Coloring pages

    Find a book or print your own from downloaded images and complete a page a day (or part of a page if designs are more complex). Experiment with different media and color palettes.

    Click the image to see my Folk Art Florals digital coloring book (affiliate link)

    6. Hand letter or decorate the date in your journal

    Do you want to keep a regular journal, but struggle with making the habit? Start with just the date! Write or hand-letter the day's date, making it as fancy or simple as you like. Once you've done that, you can stop there or continue with a full journal entry.


    7. Knit or crochet swatches

    Start planning your future knitting and crochet projects by making swatches to test yarn gauge and stitch patterns.

    8. Grow a paper garden or bouquet

    Love paper crafting? Create one or two paper flowers at a time and slowly build yourself a whole bouquet or floral display "garden." I like to make individual blooms and attach magnets to the back so I can stick them to the metal cabinets over my desk and my fridge.

    9. Make and send cards

    If you like to make greeting cards, start going through your stash and build a library of cards to have ready when the occasion arises, or send some out to loved ones just because. There are also some charities that accept cards for various groups.

    10. Embroidery sampler

    Create an embroidery sampler and work on one color or motif at a time. 

    11. Create daily mandalas or tiles

    Mandalas and Zentangle tiles can be a fun and relaxing exercise. Be as elaborate or simple as you like. Look up new patterns to try. Once you have a good collection, gather them into a small album. 

    If you want to go the digital route, art apps like iOrnament or Amaziograph make it fun and easy to create radial and tile designs on your iPad. Or try this cool dot mandala brush kit for Procreate by Sweet Willow Designs.

    Go to the Dot Mandala Brush Pack by Sweet Willow Designs at Holly Pixels.
    (affiliate link)


    12. Collage or art journal

    Collect scraps, drawings, and photos in an art or junk journal. Paint in some textures and add some doodles to make it your own.

    13. Build miniatures for a dollhouse

    Build or buy a dollhouse box and add miniatures and decor to the inside.

    14. Mini crafts

    Also going along with the "mini" theme, take your preferred craft and choose small projects that are related. If you're a paper crafter, perhaps make gift tags or mini albums. Artists could create sketch cards to keep in an album or trade. Make little knitted Christmas ornaments or mini clay sculptures. You get the idea.

    15. Cute bento box lunches

    Make lunchtime fun for you or your kids with creative bento box–style edible art. 

    16. Learn origami

    Learn how to fold different shapes out of paper.

    Click to view on Amazon (affiliate link)

    17. Recycled crafts

    Challenge yourself to reduce waste and make something from recycled objects. Repurpose a jar for home decor. Make old clothes new and stylish again. Knit a scarf with leftover yarn. Use paper scraps and cardboard in your scrapbook. There are lots of possibilities.

    18. Take a photo every day

    Do a simple photo-a-day challenge with the intent of using those photos in your scrapbook or journal. This could be for memory keeping or visual inspiration.

    19. Catalog your craft supplies

    Create a swatch album for your all your pens, paints, paper, fabrics, yarns, etc.

    20. Create (and use) a Pinterest board

    Can't decide on one thing? Try a mix by creating a dedicated Pinterest board and making your way through it one by one.

    I hope this list got you inspired to try your own crafty creative challenge! If you do start one, please share! (You can find/tag me on Instagram: @nikijincrafts.)

    Til next time,

    Niki


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