Why Don’t Crafters Finish What They Start? 3 Reasons Why You Leave Projects Unfinished

Crafting should come with a warning label.

Throughout your crafting career you will hoard craft supplies that you will never use, and you will start countless projects that you will never finish. But relax. It’s just part of what crafters do.

It’s “just part of what crafters do.”

But why?

Why do you start so many projects but never finish them?

Why do you stock up on supplies for projects that you might never start?

To be honest, I do it myself!

Here are a few reasons excuses that you might have:

Reason #1

You had every intention of starting that project, you just lost it under the piles of other “never actually started projects” and thus forgot about it.

Translation: You hoard so many notions, fabrics, papers, skeins of yarn, stamps, punches, ribbons, inks, you get the idea, that you are overwhelmed by your craft stash. Thank God you can close the door to your “craft closet.” This helps you feel a lot less guilty about your piles of unused craft supplies when you can’t see them!

Reason #2

It’s not your fault. The pattern writer clearly has never made the project they’ve attempted to provide the instructions for. Carol Duval couldn’t figure out what the heck this lady is talking about!

Translation: You tried really, really hard. You honestly did. But you can’t figure out what you’re supposed to do next. You’re disappointed because you really wanted to make it, but at this point, you’re so frustrated with it…You need to walk away for awhile. (And sometimes you never come back.)

Reason #3

Wow, this project is going to cost a ton of money and require a huge time commitment! You decide to pass.

Translation: You’ve lost interest. Plain and simple: all of your projects are expensive, whether you’ll be investing money or time…that’s part of what you love about them. The pieces you make are your own personal works of art and many become instant family heirlooms. When you leave a project in progress and give the cash or commitment excuse, in reality it’s because that project just doesn’t do it for you.

Do these sound familiar?

Could you add to the list?

You buy supplies and start so many projects, but leave many unfinished.

It’s kind of sad, isn’t it?

You look at your pile of unused (often unopened and still in the package!) supplies like it’s “The Island of Misfit Toys.” They tug at your heart strings….calling your name. Begging you to make something, anything from them.

What are your reasons for stashing away supplies?

Why don’t you finish projects that you start?

I’m sure you could add to this list. In fact, I’d love to hear your reasons excuses! Give them to me and maybe we can work together to stop the cycle and change the thinking that it’s “just what crafters do.”

Nikki, In Stitches

PS…You can certainly just leave a comment to add to the list, but if you’d like to send your reasons directly to me, just email them to Nikki@NikkiInStitches.com. Your reasons excuses will come right to me, and only me!


10 Responses to Why Don’t Crafters Finish What They Start? 3 Reasons Why You Leave Projects Unfinished

  1. susan hatfield says:

    I have a hard time understanding directions.I am a self taught

    knitter with a grand mother there to tell me what i need to do

    and I get confused on what and how to do. that is my excuse. I

    also have acquired brain injury blessed576@yahoo.com

  2. Diva Silva says:

    I am in love with so many projects and a few will be unfinished…

  3. Marny says:

    Being curious about everything and with no one in my family to teach me the how-tos — my uncle’s wife sewed gorgeous clothes for her granddaughter (my second cousin) but never for me (whose mom couldn’t afford more than to hand down my brother’s clothes) — and so, my first attempt was a gingham apron with chicken scratch embroidery – and it was hung on the hall bulletin board in my elementary school.

    Then Big Sister taught me how to knit at 13 yo … but mom didn’t approve. I taught myself to do embroidery and worked only when on the bus and gave everything away.

    I taught myself crewel, needlepoint, and crochet (in order to seam knit items).

    A friend taught me bobbin lace while I was visiting her in Germany. I play around with Tunisian Crochet …

    People my whole life said: When are you going to finish … (even though I finished a lot they never saw that!) and then my new husband told me what I needed to hear:

    “You don’t have to finish, but you can never quit.”

    I’m happy being curious.

  4. Dawn says:

    I have craft ADD. I get focused on a craft, go buy supplies and the move onto something else (Pinterest doesn’t help). So last month, I decided to implement some level of self discipline. I won’t start a new yarn project until another one is done and only 2 projects in progress at a time. And I have to STOP buying yarn. No more yarn purchases until next year.

  5. Renee says:

    For 10 yrs. I entered quilts & other sewn items in my local fair. The fair cones to town every summer, so by ENTERING something it FORCED me to actually FINISH what I started!!! I won a ribbon every yr. My first entry was already made the yr. Before & just entered on a whim & got 3rd place. My kids starting at 4 yrs.old occasionally entered the kids divisions. A deadline is a great motivator. I haven’t entered on @ 6 yrs…..but I probably should cuz I don’t hardly start ANYTHING now let alone finish!!?

    • Nikki says:

      I’ve never entered any of my quilts…I’ve always been too scared!
      But I absolutely LOVE this idea! You are so right. It would be a great motivator!
      Stay tuned…I may just give this idea a try!

  6. Renee says:

    Nikki, DONT be SCARED. I have had no formal training in sewing since one class in 7th grade!! Just make something you really love & see what happens. Its exciting to see your stuff on display to share w others. Even if you don’t win , you Will get a project completed & that’s gratifying by itself!!?

  7. Renee Bromfield says:

    Nikki, I FINALLY entered a plein air painting contest at my local fair!! I had never done that type of painting before. I sat on my chair & painted for 6 HOURS without stopping!! I didn’t win anything but I challenged myself ( doing something new) & BEST of all I FINISHED the painting. Now if I could just finish a painting I started 6 months ago…..i just lose interest too easily. Time & $ are not my issue….

  8. Mamie says:

    I am 72 yrs. I love sewing and crafting “by thoughts”…I even venture into trying projects, but just before I finish: I quit. I finish very few things. I have always had this behavior. I have tried to stay focused: but can not. I look at projects and say say to myself: that doesn’t look good like it should and stop. My mother use to belittle me on most things I did. I believe this may be my deal…breaker. I can not finish for fear others will judge also. Why should I at my age. Although now I unable to do as much; I can not get focused …with attitude and greet my creativeness with “gusto and pride”. Now I must>sell thousands of $ of merchandise I buried myself in “hoping for a brainstorm” which has never came. My attention span has sprung a leak. But guess what: I still search the web for ideas to start. ” doesn’t appear to be in the race with creativeness”. Sign me a willing dreamer…in the dark.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.