Unfinished Projects (UFO’s) and What to Do with Them All

We all know how this story begins. Shopping at your local craft store and something catches your eye. Impulse buy, in a manner of speaking. You get it home, you open it up, you even organize and begin the project only to find its more than you may have bargained for! So you put it away for now and go on about life as usual. Projects come and go and you get to the bottom of the project bin and there it is again, the Unfinished Project (Object)! You take it out, look at the parts and wonder will it ever be done?

How does a project become a UFO? Well, usually it’s something that was too time consuming. However there are many other reasons as well. It could have been more difficult than it first appeared and you needed to learn more before continuing it. It may have been larger than your eyes perceived. Perhaps the pattern is difficult to read. Maybe the directions aren’t as concise as you would like them to be and it leaves you wondering.

We’ve all done it and we’ve all had them. Now the question is what do we do with them?

I had a UFO for about 2 years, then one day as luck would have it my curious toddler lost some of the floss and a page of instructions for me ~ and the first thought in my mind was GREAT, I can Finally throw it out! Which is exactly what I did with it, threw it out. This is our first option for your dreaded UFO ~ throw it out.

Now you may think this is harsh but if it’s been hanging around long enough to down right annoy you its time to part with it. If your stitching (or any other craft) for relaxation and you dread even looking at the project that is hiding in the bottom of the project bin then it is defeating its purpose. We want to enjoy our crafts, relax and relieve daily stress.

What else can I do with my UFO?? I’ve gotten too far to throw it away now! This is an excellent questions. Below is our list of suggestions and ideas for cleaning out your project bin and either getting rid of or finishing all of your UFO’s.

1. TOSS IT! As we covered above the easiest option is often to just throw it out.

2. Put it in rotation. Work on it every few weeks, or for so many hours in between your other projects, eventually it will become a finished project.

3. Donate it! ~ Many times I’ve seen just started or half finished pieces for sale at the local thrift shop for a few bucks. Someone will pick it up and hopefully it will bring them enjoyment and relaxation!

4. Ebay it! ~ I have also many a UFO up for auction at Ebay! Yes Ebay, the worlds largest marketplace has a large array of unfinished handwork. In these cases the seller is generally trying to recover some of their supply cost. They still sell dirt cheap though.

5. Share it! Give it a friend that may be looking for a new project or that might like to try something different.

6. Turn it into something new! This is the most flexible option of all! Create something totally new and different than what it was supposed to be. Examples: Were you making it a quilt and just couldn’t take it anymore? Make a pillow with the pieces you have done. Knitting or crocheting a sweater and just cant look at it anymore? Use the finished part to stuff a pillow and save the left over yarn for another project. Stitching a piece you just cant bear anymore? Find a small portion that is finished on it if any, cut that out and use in a patch work quilt or put it in a small frame.

Now of course if you are really determined to finish the project go ahead and stick back at the bottom of your project stash. ;) I wont tell. Maybe next year it will be less stressful for you.

Most Importantly: Whatever you do, enjoy your craft!


Loretta Oliver, EzineArticles.com Basic PLUS Author

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About Loretta Oliver

I’ve been a cross stitcher since I was 8 years old. It was something I learned as a Girl Scout when we did a project for a badge related to crafts and the group choose to cross stitch a holiday design on a red sweatshirt using waste canvas. (Talk about hard first project, that was such a pain!) I was one of the first ones finished and I’ve had a needle in my hand almost every day since then.

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