Mar 7, 2012

How to create a craft/DIY project that goes viral!

make a craft that goes viral

There are SO many craft and DIY projects on the web these days.  Some are amazing, some are ok, and some are just blah.  I personally spend a lot of time searching for these projects and trying to come up with I think is unique and original.  Now, I realize craft and DIY projects might not be the next Rebecca Black video or Ryan Gosling meme, but they can get a LOT of traction (and you might just prove me wrong)! Here's a few observances I have collected that may help you get your next project pinned, stumbled, and shared all over the web!


floor
My friend Kathy's glitter floor, a truly brilliant idea!

Come up with a truly original idea
Now this can be a tough one! Seems like these days, coming up with an idea that hasn't been done before is a major challenge.  Believe me, though, it can be done! You just have to be more innovative and forward thinking than the next person!  Now, how exactly do you come up with this stellar idea?  Put your thinking cap on and do some brainstorming.  Let's say you have a fuzzy concept or niche craft idea in mind, but don't have it fleshed out. Well, write/doodle all your ideas down into a notebook.  Spend time actually thinking and developing the idea.  You'll come up with a few pretty good ideas, but push yourself even further than those first two ideas.  The big "Aha" idea is usually in the 3rd, 4th, or 5th ida.  You can thank my friend Crafty Chica for this philosophy, she uses it when she creates her projects.  One of her recent projects that got a lot of attention on sites like Craftzine and Apartment Therapy was her amazing glitter floor!

zebra-mounted-head
This DIY zebra taxidermy on the iLoveToCreate blog using a stuffed animal is so original! All it took was Jennifer Perkins to think outside the traditional box!

Give it a twist
There are hundreds of thousands of cool ideas out there and you may think, "Eh, that idea is already done."  But there might just be a cool spin you can give to it that no one else has done! Here's a little list of questions to ask yourself when you're contemplating that next project...

1. Could this project be enlarged or miniaturized?
2. Could the project be totally changed by altering the color scheme or creating it in just 1 color?
3. Could I use alternative materials than what someone else did?
4. Could this material/substrate be used in a different way than it was intended for?
5. Could I do this in a different shape?

Snooki from Jersey Shore pumpkin
Snooki...as a pumpkin.  I thought of the mini pumpkin poof first, but I didn't initially make the Snooki being orange connection.  Duh!

Make it POP
And by this, I mean, make it pop-culture.  People love projects related to current media trends. Base a craft on something going on the media or on one of your favorite reality TV shows. Try to keep it somewhat tasteful, or you might find yourself with lots of negative comments and criticism. If you don't mind that, then go for it!Who knows, you might just end up on Perezhilton like my Snooki pumpkin did! Here's some "Popular" topics to explore...

1. Star Wars, Star Trek, Sci-Fi shows/movies
2. Comic book/Superheros
3. Celebrity gossip/news
4. Timely, just happened that day moments
5. Political or "in the news" topics
6. Hit movies or TV shows like Glee, Twilight, or Hunger Games
7.. Current internet memes


gold-thumbtack-wreath-02
How great do thumbtacks look when done abundantly like on this wreath by Madigan Made?

Do it Abundantly
My friend Pattiewack lives by this quote, "If you're going to do it, do it abundantly!".  And it is sooooo true. For example, if you decorated your wall with one small framed print, no one would really notice much; however, if you decorated your wall with large and small frames from floor to ceiling, it would make an impact that would leave people talking about it!  So think about overloading that next project with buttons, sequins, cupcake wrappers, or thumbtacks. People are going to be amazed that you went the extra mile.

burlapdoily6
These doily wrapped mason jars by Crafts by Amanda aren't intimidating and doilies are so accessible! A super affordable, under $2 bucks each project!


Keep it Simple
Some of the best ideas are those that can be achieved by anyone using readily available materials that everyone has on hand.  People don't want to have to buy fancy gadgets or have certain skill sets to do a project. They want to look at it and instantly know they could create it too!

Picture+16

This DSLR camera  by PJ Linden is unique, unusual, and created with a very skilled hand.  Most of us wouldn't have the skill or time to take on an amazing piece like this!

Showcase your incredible artistry
On the other hand, if you have a particular crafty talent that you're really good at, show your expertise, detail, and artistic talents!  Not everyone has the patience, time, or skill to do a one-of-a-kind work art, but they sure do appreciate and share amazing talent when they see it!

Other things to consider
 – Always spend a little extra time on your photography, styling, and color correction. This can make or break your project!
– You have to utilize your social media skills to give your project legs. Post it on your personal social media sites and share it with influential brands on Facebook, Twitter, and through email. If people don't know about it, they can't share it!
– Also, a major lesson to be learned that I've personally experienced...if you think you've got something viral on your hands, always brand your photos with your site name.

Hope this helps you in planning your next craft project for your site! If you have any additional ways to create a unique project, leave a comment below. I'd love to get your thoughts on the subject.

Until next time Swellions!
Alexa
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4 comments:

Amanda said...

What a great post Alexa, tons of great advice! i have a similar philosophy to Crafty Chica. If I have a general idea but can't quite form it in my mind, I'll sketch it. Sometimes it'll take weeks before it hits me. Other times, like with my doily jars above, it hits me immediately. Thanks so much for featuring me!

Sarah Hemm said...

Great info! Thanks!

Shannon MadiganMade said...

Thanks so much for including me in this round-up. Great post!
It is hard to come with truly original stuff... your examples are perfect for what appeals to people. I've always strived to keep my projects simple... but now you've given me another way to look at my work. Sometimes, repetition and 'doing it abundantly' can also lend a lot of impact. Now I want to go back at my popular posts and see what fits into these categories. (and how I can find my 'next great idea'!)

MaeMae said...

Great post, thanks for sharing your tips!

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