1001 Ways to Use Mason Jars: Controlling the Pinterest habit

How Pinterest makes you feel bad - and ways to stop that

Have you heard of Pinterest? … Well, really, who hasn’t?

Pinterest is a big reason this blog happened, but the inspiration wasn’t in the form you might expect. Pinterest didn’t inspire me to craft. In fact, it was quite the opposite.

If you’re a crafter and use Pinterest you probably know what I mean. Bombarded with hundreds of brilliant craft ideas, tutorials, patterns, blogs, and even shops, it’s a wonder any of us get anything done. ‘Pin now, read later’ is a common comment on the pins.

Are you really going to read it later?

How many of us actually click through to the link before we repin something? Has anyone else noticed how so many of the ‘brilliant’ Pins are actually reposted images on spam websites? How many of us have repinned the same thing multiple times without even realising?

(I know I’ve been guilty of that. Whoops.)

But no, no, no – it’s a good thing, of course. Hoarding ideas is a fast way to become brilliant yourself, right?

Yet there you sit, an hour of pinning later, no more productive than you were before.

Instead you’re wondering if your work is even significant as you scroll endlessly:

‘1001 ways to use Mason Jars, even though they’re really expensive alternatives sometimes’

‘A billion ways to make your house cleaner, because you needed to feel worse about it in the first place and reading this totally counts as cleaning’

‘Super cute baby/wedding photos that make you feel like yours were inadequate’

‘100 ab workouts you could be doing instead of reading about’

‘Unrealistically orderly craft studios that took 5 hours to tidy before photos were taken’

‘How to repurpose t-shirts that you probably just donated but now wish you hadn’t, so now you’ll hoard old clothes even though you’ll completely forget about this pin’

… Yeah, you know what? Ideas mean nothing if you don’t use them.

And so Crafting Fingers was born. Because I don’t want to just hoard ideas. I want to make things. I want to live a life more meaningful than ‘pinning now, reading never’.

It’s just visual bookmarking

The idea of Pinterest isn’t a new one. It’s the old-school method of pinning photos and articles on a the wall mixed with social bookmarking. Inspiration boards were something personal, meant to inspire the collector. They were the sort of things we had in our offices and on our bedroom walls. Now, we’re sat on a website turning personal inspiration into social networking. It can go marvellously right or horribly wrong.

Here’s some tips to help turn Pinterest into a tool:

Pin after viewing the source.
Don’t support spammy sources by repinning from them. You might even find photos you find more inspiring or memorable than the original pin. If you’re pinning as your business or brand, you might be especially motivated to be sure your Pin sources reflect your brand.

Make time to Pin deliberately.
I pin in the morning when I have coffee because I love having a colourful way to start the day. But when the coffee’s gone, Pinterest gets closed! If you use Pinterest for marketing, this is a great way to keep it under control and compare time spent to your statistics.

Try making a brand board.
Use images, articles, and videos on your board to invoke the feeling you want your brand to have. Use colours, quotes, materials, people, books – whatever you feel inspires the same ideas as your business. Don’t have a business? Do the same for other personal projects, or even to plan your wardrobe or home decorating. The point is, pin deliberately.

Don’t pin and forget.
Go through your old pins and likes every once in a while. If you have hundreds or thousands of pins, I really doubt you remember them all. Look at the things that have inspired you in the past. You might be reminded of half-forgotten ideas or think of new ones now that you’ve gotten some distance.

Don’t be afraid to have small boards full of things that truly inspire you, instead of trying to pin everything amazing under the sun. Let Pins take you on a creative journey: explore the sources some more. Network with the cool people you find. Step back when you feel overwhelmed.

Remember: our brilliance isn’t measured by how many ideas we have, but rather by how many things we actually do. Pinterest is not a numbers game.

Lots of crafty love,

How do you use Pinterest?