I am so excited to share more about my next birthday project plan.
If you've been here awhile you're familiar with the birthday project idea. If you're new (greetings!), basically, I like to pick a creative project and work on it throughout my birthday year. My most recent was super business focused and called MAKE29 where I produced and sold 12 projects in editions of 29 or 290. The original was a project called The Daily Card where I tried to decorate a playing card everyday.
Here are the cliffnotes for MAKE&GIVE30 : I am going to complete (and share!) 30 DIY projects and give them (or a portion of the proceeds) away over the course of a year.
And if you're like "Screw the cliffnotes, I come to this blog for you to over-explain everything!"... here you go:
This project idea came about last fall when I was wondering how I could "beat" MAKE29. I'm not doing MAKE30. The idea behind MAKE29 - limited, varied monthly editions was killer. It was successful financially and truly fun for both my business and creative sides. I loved it. But part of what made it rad is that it was just the year. It would be awkward and boring to drag it out longer than that. It would be like taking a short book and splitting it up into multiple movies. (Only kidding, The Hobbit, you were fun, just too long.)
SO. I thought about what my favorite project from the past few years was and I really loved the 26 Projects. I made some great stuff that year. Big stuff and little stuff. I had good DIY blog content and remember feeling inspired and motivated. I really believe that was the year my blog "took off" (if you consider slow and steady organic growth "taking off.")
The trouble is I don't need another 30 DIY projects in this house. We are pretty decently "filled up" around here (and that's a good thing!). I love my Elise Blaha National Craft Museum (first ever referenced here) and am happy to live in it, but we've sort of reached the edge of the line and I'm okay with that.
Enter the GIVE aspect. I realized if I make stuff and GIVE IT AWAY, I still get to make stuff. I still get to try fun DIYs. I still get to be creative and learn from the process. I still get to share the process with you. I still get to enjoy the making aspect. You, the reader, still get to see me attempt some random crafts. A few of you will actually win the random crafts. This, to me, feels like a #winwinwin.
Here are a few questions you might have that I have recently asked myself.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN GIVE?
I'm still thinking on this point. Right now I see "GIVE" meaning at least five things:
The first is obvious... let's say I make a cool indigo died scarf. 1) I would share the project/tutorial on the blog then I would open up the comments, draw a random winner and ship them the scarf. (The comments will be semi-related to making like "what's the next project on your list?" or "tell me your favorite thing you've ever made.")
But there is more than that. 2) I might, for example, make a quilt, share it on the blog and then "auction" it off to the highest bidder. Then I would donate a decent portion or all of those proceeds to a charity. Another thing I thought of is that 3) I might make something to GIVE to a friend (or my mom/MIL) as a gift. I would still share it here with a tutorial to make your own. (This is inspired by the Quilts by Christmas project.)
4) I also might make something like a DIY screenprint (like building the screen). Again, I would share the process here on the blog, give a few away and list more (for sale) in my shop. Last, it's possible 5) I might partner up with companies for a project or two (say if a fabric company wanted to sponsor a post) then I would donate a portion of those earned proceeds and giveaway the project.
THAT SEEMS LIKE A LOT OF LOOPHOLES FOR GIVE.
Yes! It is. I think that's a good thing. The main point here is to make some new stuff. It's to try some new crafts I have not before OR to give some old ideas a new spin. It's to play with new concepts, hopefully inspire you and NOT bury myself Elise DIY projects.
BUT YOU HATE GIVEAWAYS.
Hate is a strong word, but yes, I think giveaways often don't hold enough content as a stand-alone blog post. So I'm looking at this as 30 project posts, not 30 giveaways. I'm hoping that this becomes a collection of 30 (ideally) really cool ideas that you'll be inspired to read about and try. The giveaway is just a thing at the end, not the focus AND you don't have to retweet or follow or mention or like or regram or hashtag or love or pin or anything. (Though if you want to do all that jazz...thanks!)
MAKE29 WAS A MONEY MAKER, HOW WILL YOU MAKE MONEY THIS YEAR?
MAKE29 was a money maker. A good one. I imagine that my income will breakdown very differently in 2015 and I am (obviously) hopeful that the planner will contribute to my bottom line this year.
AND IT SEEMS LIKE THERE'S A CHANCE TO MAKE SOME MONEY FROM THIS GIVE PROJECT, NO?
Yes! There is. Probably not tons, but some for sure. While this is not business focused the way MAKE29 was, right now I can imagine a few projects where I'll be able to giveaway a few and sell many. And who knows? A year is a super long time. Something will come up from this project (an ecourse idea, a teaching opportunity, an amazing product) that makes sense from a financial standpoint. I have found that these "just for fun" creative projects almost always develop into something I can save in a bank (or spend on coffee beans).
I FEEL LIKE THIS HAS GREAT POTENTIAL FOR BURN OUT.
Yes, but so does blogging. So does everything. This is why the rules are flexible and the concept is tremendously broad.
DID YOU THINK ABOUT HOW SOME PEOPLE DON'T LIKE DIYs?
Yes! But there are always going to be some posts I write that people are not interested in. If all goes as planned, I'll right 312 posts in the next year. This just means at least 30 are guaranteed to be craft/DIY focused.
ARE YOU WORRIED?
A little. I think part of why I love my DIY projects (coming up with them, working on them and ultimately finishing them) is because I am so excited to HAVE them in my house. I am curious to see what my energy level will be for this project when I know these things are headed out the door. I'll keep you posted.
ARE YOU EXCITED?
I AM SUPER EXCITED. I am looking at this project as a really great way to use up some of the supplies I have around here that I've been saving for a rainy day. I'm looking at this year as a rainy year. No hoarding. No "saving" projects or ideas. Let it all out. Get it all out. SHAKE it all up and MAKE it all up and GIVE it all away. Sounds fun, no? I hope you'll follow along. Look for PROJECT 1/30 the last week of February, right after I've hit the big 3-0.