I saw this sumptuous looking cedar ladder planter on Pinterest and fell for it hard.
The project came Ana White’s website, which meant it was designed for easy-to-source materials, included materials lists, project costs, cut lists, and directions for building. In short, it looked so… doable.
Except, I’ve never done anything like this before.
Now, my dad is pretty handy around power tools and would have easily banged out this project for me in no time when asked. But where is the fun in that? I was going to build it, and I did.
Thinking over this project now, I realized the reason I had the confidence to tackle this new hobby was because teaching others to sew has taught me how to be a successful beginner.
Want to learn to watercolor? Recover furniture? Knit? These tips will have you rocking that new hobby in no time.
#1 Get Yourself A Mentor.
In this case, I held off on starting this project until my dad came for a weekend visit. (As a bonus, this meant my mother was available to watch my offspring. Thanks, mom!) My dad is an engineer by trade and enjoys practical home projects like this one. He appreciates detailed plans and measuring. (We seem to be kindred spirits that way.) It made him the perfect mentor for this project.
There is no way any project tutorial can include all the tips and advice that working with an experienced mentor can provide. Don’t worry, you won’t need this sort of handholding forever. Working with an expert will give you early success to boost you up the learning curve. Within a couple of projects, you will have learned enough to wander out on your own.
If you can’t find one locally (which is ideal), find a mentor online. Instagram and Facebook are excellent ways to connect over common interests. Most people are more than willing to share what they have learned.
#2 Choose A Project YOU Are Excited About.
Not everyone gets excited about crocheting wash rags, or sewing pillowcases. Find a project you will be passionate about, because you are going to hit a few bumps in the road and the desire for the finished product is going to be what gets you through. I wanted this planter so bad, I was practically drooling.
#3 Use A Tutorial/Pattern From A Reputable Source.
Pinterest has been around long enough now that we all know that “Anybody Can Do This Easy DIY” projects frequently end in tears. Do your research, and get your projects from a expert source that is aimed at beginners.
Ana White has been doing here thing for years and I knew I didn’t need to second guess her directions or advice. This project was also labeled “beginner” and was completed by one of her beginner level contributors. It is an impressive looking project, but it was truly beginner friendly.
Now go forth and craft, my young Padawan.
Have you tried any new hobbies? To what can you attribute to your success (or failure)?