Mindfulness Hacks to Quiet the Overthinking Mind and Start Creating

Last Updated: May 6, 2024

Are you a card maker or a paper crafter who finds yourself overthinking every project? Do you constantly worry about making mistakes, not having enough supplies, or not being “perfect”? You're not alone!

Rainbow themed celebration themed card with gold foiled background

Many crafters tend to overthink, hindering their creativity and enjoyment of the crafting process. In this blog post, we’ll share some tips to help you stop overthinking and start creating with joy and confidence.

2 handmade cards with gold foiled floral images and polka dot designsRainbow handmade card with colorful glittered cardstock strips and the sentiment "have a good day"

8 Effective Tips to Stop Overthinking and Start Creating

1. Embrace Imperfection

One of the biggest hurdles for many crafters is the fear of making mistakes or creating something that isn't perfect. But here's the truth: imperfection is beautiful. Embrace the imperfections in your work and see them as unique and special.

Monochromatic card with yellow flowers and foliage and the sentiment "you are somebody's reason to smile"

Remember, handmade cards and crafts have a personal touch that mass-produced items can never replicate. So, don't be afraid to let go of perfection and embrace the beauty of imperfection.

These blog posts by top designers will show you how they embraced imperfection and pivoted from crafting boo-boos!

Handmade floral card with pink blooms and some leaves and foliage and the sentiment "you are precious"
  • In her card above, Debby Hughes stamped multiples of the peony images because of an “ink smudge” and “forgetting to put a mask in place.” Read more here.
2 handmade cards with the same stamps and dies but different layouts, colors, and designs
  • Erum didn’t like how her florals looked so she pivoted, made new ones, and created another card for the original florals. She ended up with TWO cards instead! Read more here.
DIY bookmarks with butterfly designs3 DIY bookmarks with butterfly designs

2. Start with What You Have

It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking you need the latest and greatest supplies to create something amazing. But the truth is, you can make stunning cards and crafts with the supplies you already have.

Clean and simple miss you card with floral die-cuts colored in with alcohol markers

Take a look at your existing stash and challenge yourself to create something using only what you have on hand. You'll be surprised at how resourceful and creative you can be when you work within constraints.

 Did You Know? Jaycee’s Perfect Pairings with Jaycee video series on our YouTube channel shows you how to combine older Altenew products with the latest ones! Here’s the latest video to inspire you.

3. Set Realistic Goals

Instead of putting pressure on yourself to create a masterpiece every time you sit down to craft, set realistic goals for each project.

Elegant mother's day card with a floral backgroundFriendship themed card with dark and moody colors and folk art designs

Maybe your goal is to try out a new technique, experiment with a different color scheme, or simply enjoy the process without worrying about the end result. By setting achievable goals, you'll relieve some of the pressure and allow yourself to focus on the joy of creating.

4. Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment and fully engaging in whatever you're doing. When it comes to crafting, mindfulness can help you stay focused on the process rather than getting caught up in overthinking.

Purple paper flowers made with Altenew's Craft-A-Flower layering diesPurple paper flowers and leaves made with Altenew's Craft-A-Flower layering dies
Try to cultivate a mindful crafting practice by paying attention to each step of the creative process, from choosing paper and embellishments to assembling your project. By staying present and mindful, you'll find more joy and satisfaction in your crafting. Learn Why Crafting Is Good for Your Mental Health and Wellbeing.

5. Take Breaks

If you find yourself getting overwhelmed or stuck in a cycle of overthinking, it's important to take breaks. Step away from your crafting space, go for a walk, do some stretching, or engage in another activity that helps clear your mind. 

Motivational DIY greeting card with a blue background and colorful leaf die-cutsTaking breaks not only gives you a mental breather but also allows new ideas and inspiration to flow in. When you return to your project, you'll feel refreshed and ready to tackle it with a renewed sense of creativity. Find out how Erum takes a “break” in a crafty way!

6. Connect with Other Crafters

Feeling stuck in your own head can exacerbate overthinking, so it's beneficial to connect with other crafters who understand what you're going through.

Online cardmaking workshops and retreats by Altenew are great for meeting and connecting with other craftersA group of crafters happily showing off their handmade cards at Altenew's Meet and Greet in New York

Join a local crafting group, participate in online forums or social media communities, or attend crafting events and workshops. Sharing your experiences and ideas with fellow crafters can provide valuable support, inspiration, and perspective. Plus, it's always encouraging to know that you're not alone in your creative journey. Read more on The Power of Community: Finding Inspiration and Support in Crafting Groups.

7. Let Go of Comparison

In today's age of social media and endless inspiration online, it's easy to fall into the comparison trap. You might find yourself comparing your work to that of other crafters and feeling inadequate as a result. 

Clean and simple encouraging handmade card with a 3D embossed white background and the sentiment "you are special"

Remember that everyone has their own unique style and creative journey. 

Instead of comparing yourself to others, focus on celebrating your own progress and growth as a crafter. Your creative voice is valuable and worthy of expression, regardless of how it measures up to others.

The Altenew team with a few crafters taking a group selfie at the Altenew Meet and Greet and warehouse tour

8. Celebrate Small Victories

Finally, remember to celebrate the small victories along the way. Whether it's mastering a new technique, completing a project that challenged you, or simply enjoying a few uninterrupted hours of crafting, take the time to acknowledge and celebrate your achievements.

CAS greeting card with a gold foiled background and a light bulb imageDIY congrats shaker card with a blue ink blended background and a light bulb design

Recognizing your progress and successes will boost your confidence and motivate you to keep creating with joy and enthusiasm.

Stop Overthinking and Start Creating with These Handy Tips!

Overthinking can be a major roadblock to creativity and enjoyment in card making and paper crafting. By embracing imperfection, working with what you have, setting realistic goals, practicing mindfulness, taking breaks, connecting with other crafters, letting go of comparison, and celebrating small victories, you can stop overthinking and start creating with confidence and joy.

Nature themed handmade card with a mountain scenery and the sentiment "hope your day is happy"

Remember, the process of crafting is just as important as the end result, so embrace it wholeheartedly and allow yourself to experience the pure delight of creating something beautiful with your own hands. Drop by In the Craft Room for more crafting inspiration, ideas, and tips! Happy crafting!

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