Like many of the best things in life, creativity can be nebulous. It is hard to pin down and say, “This is what creativity is. This is where it comes from. This is how you can have more of it.” And yet, we know it when we see it, and the more it speaks to us the more beautiful and true we find it to be.

So, how can we (us accomplices in using our creativity in beneficent ways), cultivate a more creative mindset? There are so many ideas out there put forth by creative people, such as: surrounding yourself with beautiful things, keeping a journal of inspiring ideas and quotes, making a point to expose yourself to artistic expression that you may not encounter normally, being in nature, etc.

IMG_9121So, I’d like to give you an idea for something you can try this week to help expand on your creative horizons and cultivate an eye for creativity. Give yourself a creative challenge: find materials you already have and make something from them. What can you do with plastic cups, glue and yarn? Crayons, popcicle sticks, and fishing line? Scraps of colored paper, an old lampshade and hemp string? I’ve made pictures from cutting and pasting colorful foil wrappers from Easter candy; art for my living room wall from melting leftover crayon stubs from my children’s crayon stash; and a lampshade from paperclips and beads from broken jewelry.

Finding ways to use what we already have can save money on creative projects, but it also forces us to become more creative due to limitations. Having a limited number of materials to work with can help us be more ingenuitive and exercise our creative muscle. The end result is always unique, and if it isn’t exactly as professional looking as you want, you still got some great creative stretching out of the project.

What do you have? What could you do with it? Make something new and display it proudly!