I was reading a post over on The Simple Dollar recently that discussed whether making your own clothes could actually save you money. It’s been interesting to read the comments, and it got me thinking about how many of the same points could be made about crafting in general. It essentially comes to the conclusion that someone should make their own clothes if they enjoy it, because they probably won’t save much money doing it. I agree with the conclusion, but I want to flesh that out a bit more.
Crafting often takes a lot of time which could be used for anything ranging from working to spending time with family. The supplies usually aren’t cheap, and the same item could sometimes be bought for less money and far less time. So why even bother?
Creating something yourself means that it’s one-of-a-kind. If you’re making this for someone else, this makes it even more meaningful, especially with the time input required to make something instead of buying it.
This is also great if you have trouble finding something that you want. For instance, in the warmer months I like wearing skirts with leggings to work since I’m often running around outside with kids. I had a very hard time finding just some simple, cotton skirts, so I finally broke down and made some.
A yard and a half of fabric (always leave room for mistakes), a zipper, some searching on Google, and a few seams later and I had several new skirts. Particularly pleasing to me was the moment when I realized that by changing the fabric and the shape, I could also make nice pencil skirts to wear into the office for meetings.
There’s also the possibility to upcycle or recycle items, so that the supplies are inexpensive and without the added ecological cost of producing more supplies. For instance, I’m a fan of hitting up my librarian mom for magazines that they’re about to recycle so that I can use them for papercraft projects.
All this to say, crafting shouldn’t be done just to save money. If someone’s doing this to save a couple of cents, not only will they be miserable, but what they make will probably suffer as a result.
Craft because you like making things. Craft when there’s something that you can’t find to buy and you think you could make it yourself – or craft when you look at something and think “I could make that myself, and I bet I could make it better!” Craft because you want to make the world a little prettier, or want to transform something from garbage into something useable and/or aesthetically pleasing.
Craft because…. well, because you want to.