Disclosure: Links on Simply Shoeboxes may be affiliate partners or referrals.

Got Instructions? No Thanks! ~ Why I Like to Design My Own Crafts for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes

I hate following instructions!  I would rather re-invent the wheel than follow the original designer's instruction manual.  That is why you will see craft instructions here at Simply Shoeboxes for things I have designed and made for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes....ummm, and no, I don't make very many of the same one, I often design a new one rather than follow my own instructions, too.  Now if I have the instructions memorized, I'll keep making some, but, not too many usually.  And once in a while I do follow another's instructions, but not very often and again, not too many of the same thing.

Marble Bag.
Could I accomplish more by just following instructions someone else had written?  I don't think so.  You see, I get energized when I design something.  I enjoy the challenge and the feeling of conquering the obstacle before me -- such as needing a container to put the gift of marbles in for an Operation Christmas Child
shoebox. It literally energizes me, making me able to accomplish much more.

Reading and following directions on the other hand, drains me.  I literally feel energy draining from me.  And besides, I could make a mistake, LOL, and while I am creating there can be no mistakes because the road has never been traveled before. That's not to say everything I set out to design turns out the first time, but at least I didn't do it "wrong" because there is no right way when there is no way at all.

Items my daughter and I designed and made and displayed at a local craft store.

I always wondered why I am like this.  Am I rebellious?  I don't think so because when it comes to rules I'm a stickler for following them.  There was a commercial once (I think for Burger King) that said "rules were made to be broken." That's one rule I didn't follow.  I would drive a mile below the posted speed limit when I drove to be sure I didn't go over it.  As a couponer I abide by the letter of the "intended rules" not what really works in the system.  But put an instruction manual in front of me...well, I just ask that you please don't.

A few years ago my family and I attended an AWANA conference and there was a speaker who addressed this type of thing.  He suggested there are things in our lives that energize us and things that drain us.  If we can find what those are we can find what we can work best at and accomplish more--especially pertaining to where we fit in the AWANA program at our churches.

He said there are basically five kinds of people:
  1. Designers
  2. Developers
  3. Sustainers
  4. The combination of 1 & 2
  5. The combination of 2 & 3

His example was if a church wanted to start a soccer program which would you want to do?
  1. Design the program?
  2. Develop it after someone else designed it?
  3. Come in after it is designed and week after week run it (sustain it)?
  4. The combination of 1 & 2
  5. The combination of 2 & 3
In our family this proves to be true.  I am not a SUSTAINER by any means!  I top out at Designer; and Developer I enjoy, too, but not as much--but I would say I am #4.  But give me a sustaining job and I'm dragging all day long!  My eldest daughter is just the opposite--she loves a sustaining job.  Which works great in crafting for shoeboxes--she'll follow the craft patterns I design and make us lots of great shoebox gifts.

My one of a kind owl pocket library bag.
I will most likely never make another.

Three patterns I do repeat often are the Pillowcase Style Dress, Pencil Pouch and Library Bag.  But I use my designing personality in the combination of fabrics & trims.  And if I have a few yards of the same fabric, I don't make all I can out of it since I am easily bored with repetition, I do just a few and move on to another fabric.

I love taking "raw" supplies and designing something new.
These became Marble Mazes.

So I will continue to design items to tuck into Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts, share them here at Simply Shoeboxes (also a designer/developer activity) and hopefully some crafting sustainers will come along and enjoy following the instructions.

You can find all of my crafting tutorials listed here:

Crafting tutorials for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.

Of the five types of personalities listed which are you?

~ Cheryl


Unknown said...

What does your gift tag say?

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

The tags were for display purposes--they were removed before packing. The craft store supplied the materials for free if I shared the pattern with the customers. So I shared the patterns here and attached the labels that said: Made for an Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Gift. Free directions at SimplyShoeboxes.com. This way I could introduce OCC to people who may not be familiar with the ministry, help my friend's store and get free items to pack more boxes. It was fun to do.

Disclosure: Links on Simply Shoeboxes may be affiliate partners or referrals.