The Art of Creating Your own Handmade Gifts

dan-cook-WonqUWzKfn8-unsplash.jpg

Investment is greater than you think and totally worth it

Many have been there - after an hour on Pinterest and then consecutive hour on Instagram, inspired by too many DIY projects, you realise - the time is now.

  • You can quit your full time boring job and start a promising career

  • Be your own girl-boss/ man-boss

  • Travel the world and post heavenly photos from an exotic beach

As we are laying foundations of our new born business I am wondering about expectations most have when starting a DIY project.
That includes creating a business out of it, and having to manage all aspects of it.
So now you find yourself stuck with piles of yarn, knitting and crochet needles, self-starter kits and knitting loom sets, and what not. Now what?

The reality vs Expectations: your handmade crafts against inspirational posts

The reality is:

  • You will need to invest more time and money than you thought

  • It is not as easy as it looked

  • This requires a certain mindset to persistence and not-getting-stuck in this phase.


You are probably comparing yourself with others too much, you might remind yourself that the market is oversaturated and perhaps your work is not good enough.
We all have a natural tendency to make comparisons as a system of developing logic and reasoning.

The goal for you is to change the comparison to focus on yourself instead of comparison to outside world. Redirect your thoughts and pay attention to what you are doing.

  • Why am I starting the project, what is my goal and intention

  • Prioritize the time, your energy and efforts to it

  • Reflect on the process to appreciate improvement

  • Raise the benchmark for your own work

You will have to learn, try and test over and over again, the same pattern because you probably missed a minor but crucial detail from the tutorial you have seen too many times.

Your friends and family might be softening their reviews on your DIY projects because they love you. Second opinion from those who might be less politically correct is advisable.

How to find your passion project?

My husband loves collage and he can work for hours on a project. He uses canvas from his painting experiments, he cuts them into smaller pieces and plays with it. My attention span for collage does not last longer than few minutes.

However I have spent hours online watching numerous videos in English, Russian, Spanish and Portuguese on how to crochet with t-shirt yarn.
I have consulted with my mom in Latvia, with my mother-in-law in Brazil. I have continuously attempted to create the perfect seamless line in my round basket for plants or things.

You need to find yours - where does time stop when you get your hands on the project? The only way to find - is to try!
There are plenty of crafts in the sea! Find the one you are mediocre at and the true passion will come from you improving the skill by doing it. Worst case scenario - you will learn something that you can apply to another project at a later stage but you will know that as you will reflect on the past months down the road. So keep up the work of trying and testing crafts and stuff!

Get past the newbie level

No wonder they talk about 10 thousand hours invested in perfecting a skill. You might have a natural talent for something but unless you invest time and energy in it, the results will not be there.
What is even more important, the inner evaluation might suffer if you will always seek on how to hack the system. The slow long way is always better and much more rewarding, perfect a skill is a marathon and not a sprint.

Consider this, this holiday season it is possible that your friends will not get ´cannot believe you made this gift.¨ It is possible that your new hobby will only deliver ¨how cute, you made it yourself!¨ gift, but hey it will be worth the try. And this might give you an insight on a better project because of conversations this cute DIY project started.

What is even more important  - this practice, also known as "constructive embarrassment" it is worth doing to change the way you perceive situations. This is a mind shift that will help you to stop thinking about situations in such black and white terms. When you practice these tasks, be sure to have a positive and open frame of mind. Smile, laugh to yourself and relax.

The dopamine rush of finished work, even imperfect will be the key to future success. Make sure to do shitty first project, put it aside, get to the next one and you will be amazed by improvement, as well as the benefits of persisting at one project will bring.


After several projects you will notice the progression more clearly. At this stage it will probably get harder - you will notice even more imperfections of the work. This will require you to fight the desire to give up even more so, however you will be in a momentum of creation. This can only mean that you might be on the right path to discover your calling any minute now.

It is quite possible that the end result will be a discovery that you do not want to be a creator but that you have the skills and desire to built the best marketplace on selling DIY or you are the perfect manager to guide others to create while you sell the items. The benefit of having to gone through creation process will help you to appreciate the skills needed, to price it right as well as will give you the right product knowledge to romance the items to buyers.

You only loose when you do not try, when you allow your fear to drive your choices. Instead empower your courage, enthusiasm, curiosity and imagination. We would like to hear from you - what was the moment when you had en epiphany of enough, no more corporate job, dull days, no joy of life or waiting for the luck to come. Write to us and share your story - hello@contagyou.com



rafa coelho