blue-purple paper orchid

The precious art of Capsule Craft Collection

We all know about the philosophy of the Capsule wardrobe – a great idea from the “past”, when clothes were made with very good quality, named and modified by the London boutique owner Suzie Faux.

two baby girl greeting cards in pink and gray, made only with the materials from my capsule craft collectionIn the past, people, even the rich ones, didn’t buy so many clothes as we do now. I remember my grandmother teaching me to always choose the best quality of fabric – maybe it is very expensive, but it will last longer and will keep its shape. “With one simple dark blue dress you can have countless ensembles only by changing the necklace, the scarf, the belt, the gloves, the bag or the shoes. You can have thousands of dresses, but if they are bad quality you will always be poorly dressed”. In her life, both during the rich and the poor times, abundance and the war coupon system came one after one, but I never saw her inelegantly dressed – not in her last days and not in earlier photos whether a girl or a grown woman.

That was Suzie’s Faux idea – not a lot of elements, but very good quality in every detail even the very small.

Think about your craft as yourself. You want to look good, always to have something fine to wear and everyone to be excited by how elegant you look all the time? Maybe you want your work to be similarly appreciated, people to be excited and always to have a lot of orders? Ok, adopt the capsule wardrobe ideas for your craft space and create a Capsule Craft Collection.

Last year I wrote a book about my personal journey through the darkest side of craft collecting and cluttering. It is a very personal book about craft materials shopping addiction, craft hoarding, uncontrolled spending, neglecting my personal and family life. All of these started with a misunderstanding of creativity and the crafting process. If you also have these issues or think you need some support to fight your “enemies”, you can check out my book – The Healing of a Craft Hoarder and realize you are not alone.

My Capsule Craft Collection

After I realized I am literary buried under kilograms of paper, wool, textile and every other craft supply you can imagine, I started a war against my collecting addiction. Cleaning my craft space and deciding to keep only the best materials was not easy at all. The hunger of addiction grows stronger with “feeding”. But donating a lot of my materials for charity workshops “washed” the mud from my souls, made me feel light and more creative. You can try the same – it is beautifully releasing.

Depending on your craft style, try to choose specific, but a limited number of materials and work only with them. As an example – for me, as a paper crafter and scrapbooker the materials are:

  1. paper – white (high quality watercolour paper I absolutely adore it) and natural brown (from all the packages, paper bags and boxes you can find at home);
  2. HB black pencils;
  3. markers – black, white and gold colours (preferably traditional ones, which you can use mixed with water and work with the Watercolour marker technique);
  4. acrylic pain – white and black plus the colours from the CMYK colour model: Cyan, Magenta and Yellow;
  5. universal transparent gel glue with no smell.
  6. As you see I am not talking about instruments at the moment, only about materials which are actually the biggest source of clutter in every craft space. If you treat one type of paper with 5 different instruments you will have at least 5 different elements. And if you mix these instruments on each piece… just imagine! Of course, you can treat your materials with other materials – colour the paper or “lacquer” it with the transparent gel glue. Everything is possible.

Let’s make a greeting card…

With the white watercolour paper we already have a great base to build our decoration. If we want this base to be coloured, we can use the Marker watercolour technique or the acrylic paint in many ways to create a transparent watercolour effect or more thickly for solid colouring. Or we can draw our own design with flowers, dots, waves, etc…

greeting card background floral design in blye, black and purple made with blending and stamping
an example for a greeting card background, made from white watercolour paper by using blending, stamping and watercolour technique

With the HB pencils we can draw or copy any element or detail we want to make, colour it with the markers and the acrylic paint, cut it and stick it to the base. We can also use a gold marker to create a lot of interesting shiny details and accents. Actually we can make as many layers and elements we want.

blue-purple paper orchid
detail – I was using only white watercolour paper and simple colour markers (Watercolour marker technique)
paper roses made with white watercolour paper and pink, red and green watercolour pencils, using Heartfelt creations Rose shape tool
paper roses made with white watercolour paper and pink, red and green watercolour pencils, using Heartfelt creations Rose shape tool

The accessories

Of course, every Capsule wardrobe has its elements to create more ensembles, so our Capsule Craft Collection will have the same too.

  1. Paper – Clear white rice paper and pure white tracing paper. We can treat the white rice and tracing paper the same as the white watercolour one – stamping different elements, drawing flowers or birds, printing images… The possibilities are countless.
  2. A pack of Cellophane bags for shaker cards.
  3. Watercolour pencils. I prefer them because they are easier to use and suit two different techniques.
  4. Some more acrylic paint: cadmium red, ultramarine, burnt umber, cadmium orange, burnt sienna and green gold. This is not my discovery. I found this secret in the YouTube video from Chuck Black in his channel ChuckBlackArt, where he shows the huge range of colours you can create by mixing only these colours and the white, cyan, magenta and yellow which were in my core capsule list. Just watch this video and you will realize that your craft area is full of unnecessary colours which are literally “eating” you space and air. Chuck Black and his channel – ChuckBlackArt, are absolutely amazing. And no, he is not paying to me to say this.
  5. Some textile elements like satin ribbon, cotton lace and simple white satin pieces for all the flowers you can imagine using as decorations for your greeting cards. In response to my decision to fight with craft supply clutter and overcoming my craft supply addiction, I had to donate all my beads – a huge collection. It is better to make someone happy, than to keep “dust suckers” in your craft storage. It is always easy to go and to buy a small number of the beads you need, instead of keeping dozens of colours you don’t use for years.

But, of course, if your craft style is to use a lot of beads, then keep the collection and rationalize elsewhere.

The “accessories” of your Capsule Craft Collection must be organized according to your style!

two baby girl greeting cards in pink and gray, made only with the materials from my capsule craft collection
the elements of the two greeting cards above are made only with the materials from my Capsule Craft collection – white watercolour paper, watercolour pencils, HB pencil, black marker plus Sizzix floral die

These are some simple steps to declutter your craft space and to create a minimalist Capsule Craft Collection. Enjoy and don’t forget the old Japanese wisdom: “When the space is empty, ideas come to fill it”.  This is it – let your ideas flow!

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    • Thank you, Ann! ♥ A year ago I couldn’t never have imagined myself as a minimalist crafter. Sometimes I still can’t 🙂 🙂 🙂

  1. Wow… I’ve never encountered an article within the crafting world like this. I’ve just recently realized that I have a problem with hoarding crafting “supplies”- and I’m really struggling trying to figure out how to move forward.
    I do not want to stop crafting- actually- JUST the opposite! I want to START crafting, and STOP shopping- Start creating, and stop always “needing” the next latest and greatest supply before I can create again. But, WOW, the marketing gets me! Or, it DID, but now that I recognize it, I can be real about it.
    Like I said, I’m just at the very beginning of this journey. I’m just so relieved to find that I’m not alone. Thank you so much!

    • Hi, Jen! ♥ Thank you very much for your comment.
      The problem is the marketing is a whole science, it is very difficult to overcome, it is brain washing and these guys are so good at their work! 🙂
      But you are absolutely right – when we recognize what happens, it is easier to deal with. And also – there are great materials and instruments which make our crafting easier and more precious.
      Enjoy your craft journey and don’t worry to experiment! ♥ xoxo

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