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Create Something Cool - 30 Day Challenge

Updated on September 9, 2014

Challenge: Make Something Every Day for a Month (or a Year!)

You don't have to be an artist, a sculptor, a writer, a chef or a tailor to take up this challenge. You don't have to be clever with your hands or a wizz-kid on a sewing machine. You don't have to be an intellectual or an inventor. You don't have to be a crafter, a scrapbooker, a baker or a candle maker. You don't have to have any talent in anything at all. All you need is enthusiasm, a camera and a blog, or some other means of documenting your progress.

This page will help you get inspired to make something every day.

© This page was created by TheRaggedEdge. All rights reserved.

Creative Commons CC.BY.2.0
Creative Commons CC.BY.2.0 | Source

I Want to Make Something! How Does it Work?

The challenge is to make one thing every single day for a month. Every day. Okay, every day within reason; there are obviously somewhens that prevent you from being creative. For instance, there was no way I could face my daily challenge when our cat was hit by a car the other week. He's fine, btw, and I did make a journal page the next day, asking the universe to make him well again. If you are upset or terribly busy or away from home, then put the challenge to one side and simply extend the 30 days to take care of it.

Why choose a theme? Having a theme to your project gives it continuity and encourages you to explore many more options. There's nothing to stop you going off-theme now and then, but it really is better to stay on target.

So I make something... then what? Each day, you make it, photograph or scan it and upload it to a blog or perhaps a Hub page like this one. The website "Make Something 365" will allow you to share your project there but only if you are doing the year-long version. Or how about making a short YouTube video to record your progress? Alternatively, you don't have to share your creations with anyone. Perhaps you could keep a photographic journal record or simply write it down in a book.

Why would I want to do this? So many reasons! To learn something, to expand your skills, to get into the habit of making, to explore new ideas, to get your brain working, to achieve a goal, to unlock your creativity, to tune into your right-brain hemisphere, to have something to look forward to, to impress your friends, to express yourself... there are many more, I'm sure but the main one is to have fun!

My Personal Challenge - Make an Altered Book

Altered book
Altered book | Source

My own challenge began when I bought 365: A Creativity Journal by Noah Scalin. I loved the idea of making something every day. I loved that it could take 5 minutes or five hours. I loved the challenge. At first I thought I would do a Zentangle a day and draw them in the book - there is space for you to record your 'makes' each day. However, being used to working in art journals, I didn't really like the look of them on the page. So I decided that I would alter the book itself. I would make use of what was there and then try to create a complete new page or a background every day.

After several days, I realized that it might be impractical to restrict myself to working in the book so I do allow myself to record any other 'creative achievement'. For example, I made a quilt for a friend's daughter's birthday, so that was the blog entry for that day. If I make a beautiful cake (unlikely), then that might be the entry for that day. I'm not going to beat myself up for not sticking (s'cuse collage pun) to the book exclusively - besides, I'm going to run out of pages long before the year is up.

My son, Alex as a 'mini-me'.
My son, Alex as a 'mini-me'. | Source

Ideas to Inspire Creativity

You Can Easily Make Something Every Day!

Collect your junk mail and make a ten-minute collage.

Take selfies and turn them into a Mini-Me paper doll. Put the doll in a different place and take a snapshot.

Try a new-to-you recipe every day. Upload the recipe to a blog like this one. The film Julie & Julia was based on a woman, Julie, who set herself the challenge of making all of Julia Child's recipes, all 524 of them in 365 days. You could limit yourself to cookies or bread or simply the family meal. There is endless inspiration on the internet or take your cue from Julie and work through a book - personally I would choose Nigella or Jamie.

Write a poem. Try haiku, or a simple ditty. Put it on the fridge using magnetic letters. Take a photo, upload it. NaPoWriMo is held in April but you can set yourself this challenge any month of the year.

Draw a face - a different one every day.

Marieke crochets a daily flower and pins them around her city, then photographs them with her phone. If that's too much, then stick to a blog.

Restrict yourself to one material, such as paperclips or paper or string. Placing restrictions on your daily creations helps you to think way outside the box.

Hang a stick from a tree with a daily message. Make it pretty with pebbles and feathers. Change the message and alter the decoration slightly every day. It doesn't matter if it gets taken, simply make a new one.

Take a daily photo of a tree in your garden - document the changing seasons, take macro shots of leaves and bark. Hang stuff in it (see previous suggestion). Get family and friends to pose in front of it. Draw a picture of it. Paint colorful card birds and arrange them artfully in the branches. Make imitation fruit, flowers, nuts. Oh you could do lots with this one!

More ideas further down the page.

365: A Creativity Journal - Noah Scalin

This is the book that started my self-inflicted, create-something-each-day challenge. For a year.

Be aware that it is a journal, so has a lot of empty space to record your 'makes'. There are daily prompts that suggest unusual and innovative ideas for your creations, though you are free to mix, match or ignore completely. There are also examples of what other people decided to focus on for their challenges and projects. Noah Scalin's own self-challenge was to create a skull a day. He drew skulls, knitted a skull, made a huge one out of black and white video tapes, he made them out of food, made them on the floor, carved one.... you get the idea.

You don't need this book for your 30-day challenge but it might help you define, focus and spark some ideas.


Daily Creativity Links & Blogs

Noah Scalin's website

Skull-a-Day blog

A Year of Slow Cooking starting with 60 hotdogs.

Inventing Trees: Making A Paper Doll A Day

The Year of the T-shirt

The original Julie Julia Project

365 Project Photography blog.

365 Take a Photo a Day

Clouds 365 Project Blog

High Existence: 30 Challenges for 30 Days.

Journal Fodder 365: Daily Doses of Inspiration for the Art Addict
Journal Fodder 365: Daily Doses of Inspiration for the Art Addict

Themed chapters, personal mythologies, connections, relationships, symbols and more.

Polymer clay creations
Polymer clay creations | Source

More Ideas for Making Something

One of These Might Inspire You to Greatness!

Take a photo of yourself every day in a different outfit.

Make a drawing from an inkblot. Repeat for 30 days.

Post a Twitter rhyme.

Look for something interesting on the ground while you are out and about (or in your house), photograph it and write a creative sentence about it.

Photograph the sky from your yard and describe it.

Change your hairstyle every day.

Write a 50 word story.

Make a plasticene model using the same lump of plasticene each time. OR make a polymer clay model - how about a clay heart every day? By the end of the month you'll have a lovely collection to hang on a twig tree.

Paint a pebble animal or a stone cottage.

Wear an unexpected object as jewelry - be imaginative, look for found treasures.

Draw a daily Zentangle.

Up For The Creativity Challenge? - It's Only 30 Days!

Are you going to make something every day?

See results

What Could You Make With These?

Potential sculpture? (CC.BY.2.0)
Potential sculpture? (CC.BY.2.0) | Source

Photo courtesy of Ross-Elliot under a Creative Commons license.

"Imagination is the key to creativity. Take all the possibilities you've ever noticed and weave them together." ~ Abe-Hicks.

Ready to Take up the Challenge? - What's Your Theme?

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    • Alyssa DeBoer profile image

      Alyssa DeBoer 3 years ago

      this is so cool!!

    • FastSecrets profile image

      FastSecrets 4 years ago

      I really love your lens.. Pleasant colors & theme.

      Challenge to accomplish is to publish as many lens

      as possible within first six months

    • profile image

      Echo Phoenix 4 years ago

      Awesome idea, thanks for the challenge and yes, I am in! I will have to think about the theme or rather sleep on it:) yet it seems logical to incorporate this into the creative work I am presently engaged in somehow... hmmmmmmm??

    • athomemomblog profile image

      Genesis Davies 4 years ago from Guatemala

      Love this idea! I'm currently doing a 30 lenses in 30 days challenge, but I might try a sketch one after this.

    • Caromite profile image

      Caromite 5 years ago

      I like the idea of making a piece of art on a daily basis. Thenk you for this wonderful lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I keep on attempting the 365 Photo a Day Challenge but I keep failing. Grr! Oh well, after reading this lens I might attempt making something a day for 30 days... I'll start with 30 days before I move on to attempt a year!! Great lens. =]

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Just working on making it through each day!! I am in awe of your creativity-keep inspiring usx

    • profile image

      WelshTeg 5 years ago

      Wow, you should open up your own art gallary!

    • profile image

      Qualitee 5 years ago

      The first thing I thought I could make with the colourful paperclips was "an organised filing cabinet"! Then I remembered that half full jar of large colourful paperclips I have on my shelf and realised I have a half organised filing cabinet!!! You may have inspired me to spend 365 days creating a filing cabinet that looks like a work of art:)

      Fab lens as always. You are always so colourful, creative and inspiring.

    • Cari Kay 11 profile image

      Kay 5 years ago

      I think this would be great but know myself too well. I wouldn't follow through. I could see my daughter doing this though. Really fun page!

    • microfarmproject profile image

      microfarmproject 5 years ago

      Looks like fun! Thanks for sharing.

    • BlueObsidian profile image

      Kimberly 5 years ago from Oregon

      What a fun challenge! I think I'm going to have to take it on. I've been neglecting many of my creative hobbies (scrapbooking, knitting, and quilting in particular). I might have to challenge myself to get things going again!

    • profile image

      Quirkyart 5 years ago

      Interesting lens. The 365 Fodder book does sound enticing.

    • LeslieMirror profile image

      LeslieMirror 5 years ago

      It was one of my New Year resolutions, to have something New every day: to know something new, to make something new etc. But after few days I've got tired of it , I started to distort the facts and make deals with myself. Your lens really gives a new impulse of inspiration! Thanks

    • alexis84 profile image

      alexis84 5 years ago from Kent, UK

      Wow, what a fantastic lens! I'd like to think of myself as a creative person, but never to the extent of trying something every day for a month! I'm actually feeling really inspired to try something similar now. So many thanks for so many fantastic ideas!



    • profile image

      trendydad 5 years ago

      this is great, an excellent hands on

    • profile image

      getmoreinfo 5 years ago

      I love this idea of making something everyday, especially keeping a journal of all our art inspirations. I am ready to get started. Thanks for the challenge.

    • CCTVwebmaster profile image

      CCTVwebmaster 5 years ago

      I'm inspired, fantastic lens!

    • profile image

      linkreggie 5 years ago

      thanks for sharing your creativity and imaginative ideas.. I will try make one of these if I have time....

    • SheilaMilne profile image

      SheilaMilne 5 years ago from Kent, UK

      I would love to take part but it can't be this month because I'll be away a lot. But I won't forget.

    • profile image

      vBizeso 5 years ago

      As a Graphic Designer Thanks

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I think this is a great idea, and am definitely thinking about doing it. I love arts and crafts, drawing and such. Great lens.

    • GaelicForge profile image

      GaelicForge 5 years ago

      I want's compelling..... ugh! I made an effort today, I made a mistake or two, I made eggs for breakfast for me and my cute little wife, I want to make things everyday but find it easier to make lots of things a few days a week and skip a day or two in between.

    • KathyMcGraw2 profile image

      Kathy McGraw 5 years ago from California

      My newest thing besides writing kids ebooks is making art out of old rusty cans and other rusted things I find in the desert. I am making a wind chime right now, and love it. You have a lot of good ideas on here.

    • Grasmere Sue profile image

      Sue Dixon 5 years ago from Grasmere, Cumbria, UK

      I'm feeling inspired just reading this. Blessed x

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      What a wonderful idea! I am going to try this. Squid Angel blessed.

    • ArtByLinda profile image

      Linda Hoxie 5 years ago from Idaho

      I love crafting and really enjoyed the spirit of your lens, crafting can be very therapeutic. Blessings to you, and May the forth be with you (May 4th, 2012)

    • siobhanryan profile image

      siobhanryan 5 years ago

      Great lens and a great ideas for people like me who are not very creative

    • Mary Crowther profile image

      Mary Crowther 5 years ago from Havre de Grace

      Great lens and oh so creative! Thanks for taking the time to share this.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      What a fun idea! And I just read about an artist who makes something every day (Debbi Crane of Mixed Mania, a book I recently reviewed here on Squidoo). Fun Idea!!

    • howdoyouspellst profile image

      howdoyouspellst 5 years ago

      This lens is so inspiring and beautiful!! I love the ideas and inspiration you gave.

      SquidBlessed for beautiful creativity and general awesomeness!!

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 5 years ago

      Each day is a creative work of art wherein we make memories that leave a legacy of joy.

    • danielmccarthy lm profile image

      danielmccarthy lm 5 years ago

      Really cool lens. I tried 2 years in a row to write 1 song per day, ended up getting about 200 songs per year out of it. Could be a really good idea to take on something new.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 5 years ago

      Right now my art is my garden and I try to devote just a few minutes each day to improving it in some way. It can be overwhelming to do a lot at once. My reward is creating a tiny habitat for birds, butterflies, lizards, and a host of night critters.

    • RachelDillin profile image

      RachelDillin 5 years ago

      I'm thinking about it. I think once summer gets here I could get my kiddos involved too.

    • MelonyVaughan profile image

      MelonyVaughan 5 years ago

      Plenty of fun ideas here!

    • Gayle Dowell profile image

      Gayle Dowell 5 years ago from Kansas

      Great ideas here! I try to create a page in my altered book journal everyday. Most of the time I get too busy, but I think that the objective is to do as much as you can to keep your ideas flowing in the creative process. Blessed.

    • ItayaLightbourne profile image

      Itaya Lightbourne 5 years ago from Topeka, KS

      Oh my but you do inspire me! Not sure what my focus will be on. Maybe I'll alternate between writing and painting. Oh the possibilities are endless aren't they?! :)

    • flycatcherrr profile image

      flycatcherrr 5 years ago

      "Inspiring" is the best word for this lens!

    • kimbesa2 profile image

      kimbesa 5 years ago from USA

      Awesome! Makes me want to get out the pencils, crayons and paints.... Oh, wait, I can't leave out the fabric and fancy papers... Thanks!

    • LouiseKirkpatrick profile image

      LouiseKirkpatrick 5 years ago from Berkshire, United Kingdom

      Your creativity as ever, leaves me gobsmacked in awe! The limit of my creativity is attempting to put my eyeliner on and even then it looks like Picasso is my make-up artist :)...however, that pic of coloured paperclips reminds me of when I worked for the Civil Service...the stationery officer (yes we really had someone with the official title of "stationery officer") went mad one day and ordered boxes of coloured paperclips instead of the usual plain silver ones. This riot of colour in my drab and boring Government issue paperclip tray (which of course was grey), inspired me into a rare bout of I made paperclip necklaces for my colleagues and little twisted wire paperclip people...and then I got told off for "wasting resources" and my embryonic self-expression was squashed like a bug...and remains squashed to this day sadly! There's not much scope for creativity managing a driving school and running my own business takes up all my time...but I like looking at other people's creative projects and I even dipped my toe very briefly in the water of Zentangling a few months back thanks to you - the result surprised me and I'm thinking of taking some paper and pens with me when we go on holiday next month and I don't have constantly ringing phones to distract me - you're ani inspiration Bev :)

    • greenspirit profile image

      poppy mercer 5 years ago from London

      Fun and inspiration for me on a wet Tuesday morning. Thanks Bev. Angel Blessings.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      One might say I have 365 reasons to love this, a fun and refreshing creative challenge! Congratulations on front page honors and that lovely purple star!

    • gatornic15 profile image

      gatornic15 5 years ago

      What a great idea! I always feel better when I feel like I have accomplished something.

    • HealthfulMD profile image

      Kirsti A. Dyer 5 years ago from Northern California

      I seem to be happiest creating things. I don't know if I could create something every day. Strangely enough I find making Squidoo lenses to be a creative process.

    • myraggededge profile image

      myraggededge 5 years ago

      @WildFacesGallery: Thank you, Mona... I think YOU are one of the most inspiring people on Squidoo.

      People - go check out WildFacesGallery's lenses by clicking on her link above.

    • WildFacesGallery profile image

      Mona 5 years ago from Iowa

      I've always wanted to set myself the challenge to do creative work everyday. But I am too chicken. The daily running of my gallery is so much work thast in truth my creative time is a small portion of my year. But what fun. And I think so good for the soul.

      Your work is wonderful, imaginative and inspiring. Blessed.

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