The Creative October Challenge is running for the fifth time in a row! (Well, sixth actually if counting the time I did it on my own.) I’m writing this post in English since this challenge has been around for several years on my old platform and has participants from all over the world.

In 2015 I decided to challenge myself with a one month long creative no-buy challenge. I wanted to see how I could find some new sparks of creativity through restricting what I was buying and only use materials I already owned. I had been gathering up so much stuff for crafts and instruments and equipment for making music, but I was rarely doing anything with it. That’s when I decided to restrict what I was buying and set off time after work to try out different crafts techniques, play music, take photos and much more.

Needless to say, I got a lot more done that month than I had for months and I really found new inspiration in trying to make things without feeling the need to buy certain materials or tools to get it done. If I ran out of thread of one color I would have to choose another. I went out into the forest to find materials that I could use for crafts. I picked up some old fragments of songs I had started to write and finished them.

Sharing your creative pursuits with others

Once the month was over I was so happy that I had done this and wanted to share the project with others. That’s why I decided to start a Facebook group for more people to join and share what they were able to create within the same restrictions. In 2016 we were around 25 people and over time it has grown to around 40. I hope people will join this time around.

Read some more about the challenge below and click on the picture to join the Creative October Facebook group. The group is ”Private” but I’ll let you in if you send a request. 🙂 It’s OK to post in any language you feel comfortable. We’ll make do with the Facebook translations to understand each other if needed. (I speak Swedish, English, German and Portuguese + can understand a few more languages quite OK.)

Creative October Challenge Facebook Group

This is what the Creative October Challenge 2021 is all about:

Being creative with what you have.

This is the main idea behind the project. We tend to gather a lot of possessions, buy more and more materials and tools that sit on shelves, in cupboards and drawers while we try to figure out the perfect project to use them for. What we should do is to get started – to do something with what we already have. It doesn’t need to be perfect. Getting started is usually the hardest part. That’s what this challenge can help you with. In the group you can ask for ideas and suggestions if you can’t come up with anything or just set out your own goal and use the group as your accountability partner – a place where you can share your progress and struggles with others.

Which creative pursuits are welcome?

Anything creative goes! It doesn’t matter if you’re a musician, film maker, writer, love to draw, do paper crafts, sew, knit, paint, make pottery, love welding, carpentry, upcycling or garden design. All kinds of creative pursuits are welcome here. You’re also most welcome to try out something new that you have wanted to do for a long time, but didn’t have the time for or didn’t dare to do earlier. We’re here to cheer you on!

What are the rules?

There are a few simple rules we want you to follow:

  • Don’t buy anything new. Use what you already have available. If you run out of something you need to figure out another way to solve it.
  • Trading is fine – if somebody in the group or elsewhere has something you need and is willing to trade for something you have, you’re allowed to do that. Trading of skills is also highly encouraged. Maybe somebody in the group knows exactly the thing you’d like to learn and you might have some skill you can share with them.
  • Foraging and dumpstring are permitted (as long as they are permitted in your area = this is your responsibility to check up first).

The point is to find creativity within restrictions. Having too many options tends to stop us from getting started. Pick up a few items and see what you can do only using that. 

Who can join?

Everyone are welcome! Right now we’re mainly women in the group but we would all love to see more diversity in this project. Anyone who likes this idea, wants to share and support others in their creative pursuits are welcome. If you’re kind and helpful we’d love to have you along for the ride!

Join now!

The simplest way to join the Creative October Challenge is to join the Facebook group. If you’re not on Facebook or don’t feel like you have time to participate actively you can just use the hashtag #CreativeOctober to share your projects on other social media or your own blog. We’re all looking forward to see what you’re up to during the month!

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