Friday, March 2, 2012

Mass producing projects

Hi all! I can't believe it's been almost a month since I shared here. Time is flying! We have been so busy around here. I guess that is what happens when you have children and fun things to do.

Today I wanted to talk about mass producing projects. I have done this several times in the last month. I have done it quite a lot in all the years I have been stamping.  It doesn't have to be overwhelming or unenjoyable. I think sometimes when there is a large project to do we all get feelings of being overwhelmed or wanting to procrastinate. I am a classic procrastinator!!  I am learning after all these years to break things into chunks and then it is much more manageable for me. I don't know if these things I do for myself will be helpful for you, but check it out and maybe you will see something you already do, or learn something you never thought of. 

The first thing I do when I know I have big project where I will need to mass produce is decide on the number of completed projects I will need. This helps me plan what the project will look like and how much paper and other things I will need.  If I have a budget to stay within this is super important. Also when I purchase the supplies I want to make sure there is enough of what I want available.  If there isn't enough, let's say a certain color of card stock, then I can either plan to use another choice or start the search for more of what I want.

This step is so important. When I sold Stampin Up, and worked at a scrapbooking store I witnessed this step getting messed up a lot. If the number of cards or invites you are making changes, that is sometimes out of your control. If you just assume that what you want will be available, magically, then you might get yourself into trouble. 

This month I made 50 baby shower invites for my sister. We went through some prototypes and talked about what they should look like.  We started by planning what they should say. We then planned what they would look like. When I went to the store to buy the paper I used the calculator function on my phone to figure out how much of each paper we would need. I bought one sheet extra of each paper. This comes from experience. If I make a mistake I do not want to get back in my car and pray they have more. I want to have a little extra. If I don't use it for the invites I use it to make a baby shower card for her or use it to make a scrapbook page about the shower.  I will use it eventually. Also extra adhesive is super important. The craft store isn't open at midnight when I am making things in my jammies. ;-)

Once it was all planned I started by cutting the papers. As I said earlier, I break the project into chunks. I cut all the pink pieces of card stock and the piece with flowers on it, pictured below, all at once one evening. The next time I had time to work on the project I printed all of the white pieces, on my home printer, and then cut them out.  

Later that day I had time to start assembly, so I got out my adhesives and punched out a few of the butterflies.  I put everything into piles and was ready to get started.

I stamped all of the printed top piece at the top and piled them carefully to allow them to dry. 
 Here is another project I did a few days ago drying  in the same way. These yellow cards had some glitter applied to the center of the flowers.   I find if I do it this way I can let it dry while I go do the laundry or some other thing for awhile and then I dont' mess it up. If I stand there waiting for something to dry I will fuss with it. That always ends in me messing it up, so I have to walk away.
 After the stamping on the invitations was dry I assembled the pieces and used a pop dot to adhere the butterflies.  I had time to do it all at once that day, but in the past I wasn't afraid to break that process up either. It's OK to do a small step and then come back the next day.

I am blessed to have a desk/table to do my crafts on that is dedicated to this purpose. If you don't have a place, setting up a folding table just for a large project can be super helpful.  This way you can walk away when other things in life come up and you can come back to it later.  Just watch out for curious cats and small curious children! :-)

Here is a pic of the finished project. I am intentionally keeping the words blurry for privacy, but you get the idea. It is simple and colorful, just like the expectant mother wanted. This makes the project easier too. If you need to make a lot of something and each one has heat embossing, glitter and other time consuming techniques you will need more time. That can be fine, just give yourself more time to get it done in and break it into manageable chunks.  When you are done and see the completed pile you feel so satisfied and proud of your creations.

What do you do when you mass produce? Do you do the same things that I do?  Do have any hints that I missed?  Leave them in the comments. I would love to hear. Remember, I love to share. :-)

1 comment:

Barb said...

this is great! my process is similar, although glossy accents is my 'fuss with it' problem. i HAVE to walk away from that...i always end up touching it to see if it's dry, then i mess up my project ;) lol

just a heads up too...the word verification that blogger now uses is really hard to read. i tried 3 times to leave this comment. is there any way you can update it to turn off verification and use comment moderation instead? just makes it easier for those who want to leave you some kind words :)