I received a letter from my aunt telling me that she was creating a beautiful fireplace screen out of old shutters. She was rummaging around in an old barn and ran across the shutters and put her artistic mind to work and came up with a unique idea! The price was right as well: FREE except for a couple of hinges!
She took the shutters home and after careful examination determined that they were made out of worn barn wood that had never held a coat of paint or varnish. When the hinges were installed and she placed the shutters in front of her fireplace she was dismayed to see that the lovely character of the barn wood clashed with the finish on the mantle and bookshelves that accentuated her fireplace.
Another idea came to her mind that she should paint the shutters and then apply a chemical to crackle the paint, hence an antique finish. By the time her “free” shutters were completed to her satisfaction, they cost her well over $300!
If you are like me, you go to a craft store or sale and look at items and say “I can make that!” You certainly can, but can you make it for the price that the vendor is selling it for? Can you make it better than the vendor? Will you even get around to making it?
I used to be just terrible about the “I can make that” syndrome. I would find something in a craft store that was just adorable but pricey. I would memorize the details and when I left the building I would take a notepad out and design the item on paper with as much detail as my wee mind could remember. When I had the opportunity, I would rush out to my craft supplier and purchase everything I would need-including many items I already had at home but I wanted to be sure I had enough and didn't want to have to run out for supplies again! Then I would begin the project.
That's all I would do, the beginning. Time was usually the biggest factor in my not finishing the project, but nonetheless, I quit before finishing and went to another craft show!
After we moved six times in three years, I finally had the gumption and incentive to clean out my craft stash. I could not believe the number of “I can make that” projects I had started and never completed! Some lucky person received at least a dozen dish-pack moving boxes full of supplies for their next “I can make that” project that week!