6 Steps to Creating your own Creative Retreat

craft staycation1

Do you struggle to find the time to be creative? With hectic lives and jobs and everything seeming to rush past us, sometimes it is very hard to find the time to be creative – to be you. I heard about the concept of stay-cations and retreats and decided that would be the perfect way for me to take a little creative me time and jump-start my creative journey.

This is a really fun exercise and I’m sharing the way I structured it and everything I did in a step-by-step manner over the next three blog posts. I hope you’ll join me for the ride!

Let’s Prepare

1. The first step is to actually make a list of all the projects that you wish to make during your stay-cation and to estimate the amount of time they will take. I am extremely fond of all sort of papercrafts; from scrapbooking and altered art to mixed media and mini books. This is why my craft retreat mostly focuses on projects involving paper. So first I made a list of all the projects I wanted to make, here is my version. Grab a pencil and some paper and make yours too!

  • Inchies and ATCs
  • Paper Shoes
  • A Mini Book using CDs
  • Cards
  • Recipe Scrapbooking Layouts
  • Experiment with Dictionary pages in Mixed Media
  • Altered Jars
  • Paper Beads
  • Old Magazine Art

Since my craft stay-cation is going to be two days long I think these projects will be quite enough to keep me occupied.

2. Next up I estimated the amount of time each of these projects will take. I also inserted small breaks in the middle so that I could rest and do something a little different during that time. For me the something different is finishing Season 3 of a series called Being Erica in the two days of my stay-cation. I think it is a great idea to have one other activity that you pursue, could be watching TV or reading a book or anything else your heart desires. It helps to take a break even from creating since too much of a good thing at one time can also get boring.

3. After I had figured out how much time each activity would take I went ahead and split them up into two days. I start my days at 11:00am (I love getting up late during the holidays) and end them at around 12:00am. Once a rough schedule was made I went ahead and used word to create a template for my stay-cation. I am sharing the pdf file with you here so that you can download it and customize it for your own stay-cation.

staycation staucation 2

My Version

Your Version

4. Next up we will look at gathering relevant tools. Since we already have a stay-cation program ready, all we have to do is go over the program and make a list of all the tools and materials we will need. All my projects are mostly paper projects and here are the tools and materials that I had assembled on my work table.

• My die-cutting machine complete with all dies and embossing folders
• A few favorite stamps (I think narrowing the choice down helps one to craft, otherwise I sit for hours trying to figure out which stamp will look best. Making this decision before really helps!)
• Inks and Embossing powders
• Glue
• Scissors
• Acrylic Paints
• Embellishments and Ribbons
• Decorative Scissors

5. The other materials that I wanted to use were all assembled project wise into little kits.

For example my Card Making Kit contained:
• A Few Blank Cards
• A couple of CDs with Cases
• Scraps of Paper (I wanted to use up scraps instead of cutting by 12 by 12 sheets)
• Stickers (All birthday themed since I wanted to make birthday cards)
• A Few Stamps (Again all birthday themed)
• Pop dots

My Victorian Paper Shoes Kit contained:
• 2 Sheets of Coordinating Papers for each shoe
• Template
• One Sheet of Card for each shoe
• Some ribbons and brads for embellishment

My Inchies and ATCs kit had:
• All Sorts of Fabric Scraps
• One Large Sheet of Card for the Background
• Felt Backing for the Inchies

My Scrapbook/ CD Book Kit had:
• Lots of Old CDs, both clear and the usual kind
• Some Chipboard Pages
• One Binder Ring
• Coordinating Sheets of Paper – You can also use up your scraps for this project

This kit contained no embellishments or stickers since I wanted to make a blank book and wanted to customize it closer to the end of the year when I want to turn it into a ‘Year in Recap Book’.

Now that you have all these examples you can see that it is pretty easy to assemble craft kits according to the projects you wish to do during your stay-cation. It helps a lot to actually pick the materials you want to use before you start a project as it cuts down considerably on the time it will take you to make a project. Otherwise I usually sit and stare at my crafting pile for hours trying to match paper and embellishments. Sometimes striving for perfection can be very tiring and takes the fun out of the creative process.

6. After I assembled my kits I started making a list of all the music I wanted to listen to. Since music is a subjective matter I will leave it to all of you to make your own playlist. But be sure to make one since it is highly relaxing.

In the next blog posts we will go over a recap of both my days!

I hope this blog post will help you plan your own relaxing creative retreat. Remember you’re the boss. You can make this stay-cation shorter and choose the genre of crafts you enjoy. Put on the music you love and let’s start creating time for creativity.

If you want a guided course to start your creative journey, check out my free doodle course right here! This course will have you creating immediately with nothing more than a black pen and paper. 

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4 thoughts on “6 Steps to Creating your own Creative Retreat

  1. suellap says:

    What no breaks no meals? This is far too much for me.

    Being creative is very tiring. I have ME as well so I’m afraid I’m very put off by your schedule.

    Sorry to be negtivebut I’m disappointed not to be able to participate in much of it.

    • Mahe Zehra says:

      I’m sorry you find that you can’t follow along. It’s totally up to you to make any changes you like to this. As you can see I added video breaks for myself and since my meals were prepped before I used to eat while watching the telly. That was my break. You could use that time for other things too! That said, this is just an example and you can use the idea and make it work for you.

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