Here’s a list of tips you should use to avoid and declutter unfinished beading projects.
Do you have a pile of unfinished beading projects stored somewhere? Jewelry you’ve been meaning to get back to someday but it just never happened.
You are certainly not alone. Almost everyone I know who has been beading for any length of time has a collection hidden away. I definitely do.
So, today I thought I would talk about how to avoid these unfinished pieces of jewelry piling up and how to declutter your stash.
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How To Avoid Unfinished Beading Projects
In order to avoid having a ton of incomplete beaded jewelry lying around, you need to determine why you don’t finish them in the first place. Only then, can you eliminate the problem.
There are many reasons that I can think of why you may not finish jewelry:
1. You ran out of materials
During the time I owned my bead shop, people frequently came into the store and explained what they wanted to make. I usually gave them an estimation of how many beads I thought they would need and some customers bought less than I suggested in an effort to save money. They just didn’t think they would need as much as I said they would.
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Nine times out of ten, they usually returned because they ran out of beads and needed more to finish the project. Unfortunately for some, the specific colour they wanted had sold out. When that happened, disappointment set in and then, panic. If they couldn’t find the colour elsewhere, how would they finish the jewelry? They would need to select colours and start all over again.
When you’re making jewelry, check to see if the beading pattern has a materials list. Most should have this. Take this list along with you as you shop to avoid buying less materials than you will need.
2. You Got Frustrated
Another reason you might have unfinished beading projects is because you got frustrated. Maybe you tried a technique that was a little too advanced for you at the time or maybe the tutorial didn’t have clear instructions.
Make sure you take the time to learn the basics of beading techniques before you move on to more advanced variations. It is certainly tempting to skip ahead but you don’t want to get annoyed because you don’t understand the stitch.
Secondly, stick to tutorials for your skill level. You can check the details of a pattern you wish to purchase or contact the person who created it and ask a question.
Avoid buying beading tutorials with unclear instructions by checking the reviews first. Even if there is no review for the particular pattern you’re interested in, you can have a better idea of the overall shop by the number of reviews. For instance, in my Etsy shop, there are 100+ 5-star reviews. That’s a good indication that the tutorials are easy-to-follow. (Shameless plug.)
3. Boredom Set In
Creative types sometimes have a bit of a magpie problem. You’re working on one piece and then, you see another shiny new project that seems more interesting so you move before you’ve finished the old one.
Set a rule for yourself that you will not move on to a new piece of jewelry before you have finished the one you’re currently working on.
Even though this will help you avoid unfinished beading projects, don’t get so caught up in following through with this rule. If you start a project and you’re not enjoying it anymore or you simply don’t understand the instructions after sometime, let it go. Remember beading is supposed to be enjoyable.
Ways To Declutter Unfinished Beading Projects
If you’re like me and you already have a pile of unfinished jewelry sitting at home, here are some ways to declutter them.
1. Cut them Up
Break down the jewelry and reuse the beads for other projects. Beads can be expensive. I never waste mine by throwing them out unless the colour has faded or the beads have cracked etc.
As you watch TV or have something else to distract you, pick apart your unfinished jewelry and set the beads aside. If you used various colours and don’t feel like separating them. Mix them up and use as bead soup for another project.
2. Finish Them
If you ran out of supplies, see if you can get what you need and finish the jewelry. If you just moved on to a new project before you completed one, go back and get it done.
It can be a challenge to declutter unfinished beading projects because you may feel guilty. After all, you spent good money and time on those, right? Don’t let that stop you from going through yours and getting rid of anything you know you’re not going to complete.
Do you have any tips for avoiding or getting rid of unfinished beading projects? Let me know what they are in the comments below.
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