Save Money, Make Handmade Gifts

Now in theory making gifts is supposed to save money.  It takes more time but it's not supposed to cost you an arm and a leg.  Well let me tell you people there is a craft industry out there who wants you to buy craft supplies.  They don't sell small bags or amounts of stuff.  You need 4 beads for a project you have to buy a big bag.  Then you are left with all those beads.

I am constantly reading about people saving money by making things and then they post pictures of beautiful things that they made.  I look at these things and then think how I'd make them.  I'd have to spend money to make them and when I price the items out well lets just say I'm not going to save any money making crafts unless I have all the craft supplies given to me free or they are made of things that are pretty much free.

Yes, handmade gifts are wonderful.  That extra time and effort spent making them is worth it but not cost wise so lets be truthful.  There is a craft supply industry and they want us all to buy into the idea that making your own crafts is cheaper and better than buying something. 

One would think sewing would save you money on clothing but not so.  We have a chain store fabric store here.  My daughter had to make some pj pants in her sewing class.  That meant we had to buy the fabric and thread for her project.  We walked out of that store some $30 out of pocket and that was with the student discount!!!!  She had to make a t-shirt next and for t-shirt material and thread once again $30!  I could have bought some flannel pants and a t-shirt for less than $30.  The fabric we bought was no nicer or better quality than the clothing we can buy.  Unless you live in a large city where you can find discount fabric or have access to good quality second hand stores sewing your own doesn't save you money at all.

Next, the daughter has to make a hoodie.  I'm frightened about how much that is going to cost.  It's not like we can not buy the fabric because she has to have it for her sewing class.  She chose to take sewing as an elective and I think its a good thing to be able to sew.  What I didn't realize is how much the cost of fabric had gone up.

We have lots of craft supplies from when the kids were little.  Lots of leftover craft supplies that we'll never use.  I've donated most of them to the daycare down the street.  I'm sure those kids will enjoy making stuff with it.  But what gets me is that we could never buy just what we needed we always had to buy way more.  And this is why making crafts is not cheaper than buying something.  You can't just buy two googly eyes and a couple of pipe cleaners.  You always have to buy a bag of googly eyes and a bag of 50 pipe cleaners to make just that one thing and thats why it never saves you money.

"But I have all that stuff at home already so I won't have to buy anything." you say.  Sure you don't have to buy anything new but you had to buy those supplies at some point and that's why you have them at home now.  Unless someone gives you supplies for free making anything is not free. 

And with that said I'm off to make some Christmas ornaments.  The supplies cost a fortune but what the heck it's almost like getting the ornaments for free because I don't have to buy them at a store.


You are so right about the cost of craft supplies - it can really be expensive! I don't think anyone makes things because it is truly less expensive - unless you make a big batch of the same thing for everyone on your list - but because they enjoy the process of making things. I know I wouldn't bother making quilts for any other reason - it's depressing how little money a new-made-in-a-factory-in-China quilt costs by comparison for the the supplies to hand make one yourself.
Erin said…
this made me laugh... I vowed to do handmade this year and as a consequence, nobody got a gift LOL!!!! I have unfinished stuff all over the place :)

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