How to get ideas for great crafts, in a retail store

I often get asked, “Where do I get all my ideas for my crafts?” “How do I come up with my crafting ideas?” or “Do you just design these crafts on your own?” The theme of these questions can pretty much be summed up as, “How are my crafts born?”
Sometimes it’s just luck and creativeness and they ideas just come to me. Other times I have to look for inspiration else where.
It’s such a fun process that I would like to teach you about. Read on to see how I search for inspiration and create great ideas for my crafts.

Step 1: Define your creative mindset:

First off, I need to be in a creative mindset as I set out for inspiration. Knowing your creative mindset will help this process go more smoothly. For me, I like to think of creative mindsets in three different categories:

  1. I know what I want to make mindset = I know what I am looking for and what I want.
  2. I kinda know what I want to make mindset = I have an idea, but am not certain.
  3. I have no idea what I want to make mindset = I have absolutely NO IDEA what I’m looking for. (this is probably the funnest yet most overwhelming mindset to be in–especially if you have a deadline)

Once you have defined your creative mindset, you are going to set out to get ideas.

Step 2: define a way of finding inspiration

Another way I like to get my inspiration is by taking note of what’s around me whenever I am out shopping. Sometimes I even just go window shopping. Often times, I call this “inspiration shopping”. My favorite place to go is to Home Goods (oh no! this could be disastrous! I usually end up with more than I need when I go there). I also like to visit Hobby Lobby or the local craft stores, any home decor store, or pretty much anywhere I can look around and see other people’s creativeness. {I do enjoy this one very much, because I like to get out, it’s just not as easy with children. They don’t find it nearly as fun as I do!}

Another way I like to get ideas for my crafts is through Pinterest. If you’d like to learn how I do this process read my article: How to get ideas for crafts using Pinterest.

Step 3: Browsing for inspiration in an actual store

When I enter a store, I pay attention to the creative mindset I am in. I begin looking around and observing what is I see. I will be using a birdhouse as my example.

If I am in the creative mindset of:

“I know what I want to make” mindset

I think of my birdhouse and how I want it to be a simple design that is blue with a textured roof.

I set out looking for birdhouses and pay attention to the designs they have. I notice the roofs they have. And I also notice other wood crafts or decorations and what kind of texture they might have, and what they are made of, so I can find the texture I am looking for. I make note of anything that I find that fits my ideal design for my bird house. I either literally make a note in my phone or jot down a drawing in my notebook (yep, I still roll with notes in notebooks) or snapping a picture so I can look back at it later to recreate what I saw.

While also on the hunt for this particular birdhouse I have somewhat designed in my mind, I pay attention to the different shades of blue that flood my vision from all the displays. Maybe that pillow or that blouse is a super cute blue that might work for my birdhouse.

To sum it up, I know what I am looking for and I search my surroundings for what I want!

“I kinda know what I want to make” mindset

I know I want to make a birdhouse but I don’t know what I want it to look like.

I begin by finding the birdhouses and look at all the different ones they have. Taking note of the details that catch my eye on one, while another detail might catch my eye on another. I like how that one has a knob for a perch and this one has a star for the opening, I really like that. And how this one is made to kinda look like a little town home. I like the roof on that one, but I like the texture on that one. Etc.

I also pay attention to the colors that catch my eye as I walk throughout the store. I notice what colors look nicely together or are displayed together. And this is how I find my color scheme. I pick something that catches my eye while I’m walking around.

I again make note of everything I find that I like and want to incorporate in my birdhouse.

To sum it up, I have an idea of what I want and I get to fine tune it while I am browsing the store.

“I have no idea what I want to make” mindset

I really am not sure what I want to make. It’s Spring time and so I think something Springy might be a good idea. I head for the Spring displays. My attention is caught by some cute flowery wood cut out thing-y’s, but it is not quite what I want to make. Next, I see a nice display of multi-colored Easter eggs, some ceramic birds, and a sign in a beautiful shade of blue. I really like the birds and I stare at them a little longer, hoping an idea will jump out at me. I then see a birdhouse in the display among the birds. That’s it! I am going to make a birdhouse yard stake to put in my flower garden! It’s a perfect idea.

Now, I know what I am going to make and I look around for ideas on how to design it.

After I reach this point, I then have entered into the “I kinda know what I want to make” mindset and I follow the steps in this mindset mentioned above.

I choose my color scheme from the collection of Easter eggs I saw and I find a great texture design from some of the wood cutouts that I saw earlier. I mix a few pieces from a few different designs I see, I sketch it out and I am ready to make my birdhouse yard stake.

See! Following these easy steps can help you design great crafts, too. First, discover your creative mindset, next, decide the way you want to find your inspiration or ideas, and then, begin searching your surroundings. This process is so fun and you will learn that really you are more creative than you thought!

You got this!

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