Sunday, September 24, 2017

Can Handcrafting Cost More Than Buying From A Store?

One of the major upsides of handcrafting over buying from a store is the price. Look at any blog that involves talk of handcrafting, or ‘how to make’ guides that proliferate the internet. Almost without exception, they will involve some mention of how cheap the materials are, especially when compared to store-bought items.

To someone who has a crafty side and wants to be thrifty, this money saving is undoubtedly of huge benefit. Why would you want to spend money on a throw blanket when you can make one for yourself, and save money? What’s the point in buying a birthday card when you can spend a few hours making one, not only saving your money but making the end result more personal? Handcrafting is perfect.

Or is it?

If your interest in handcrafting and DIY is based on wanting things to be personal rather than mass-produced, then there’s no arguing with that. However, if the thrifty aspect is a vital component to handcrafting for you, then you might want to read on.

Getting Started Is Expensive


When it comes to buying all the items you need to be able to effectively handcraft, then you might find yourself in need of to borrow to fund your new hobby. Crafting is expensive. Sewing machines, fabric, needles, good scissors, chalk… the list goes on, and on, and on. When you have built up a good stash you can then make do with what you have, but it’s often tough to bite the urge to spend when you see something you really love.


Factor In The Cost Of Your Time

One thing that people always forget to budget is the price of their time. Let’s say you want to make a Christmas gift for your friend; some soaps perhaps. To buy a similar set of soaps would cost you 684₱. You can buy the materials to make the soaps for 450₱. So obviously, it’s cheaper for you to make the soaps for yourself… that is, until you factor in time.

If it takes you three hours to pay the soaps, then how much would you earn in three hours at your work? Factoring in this amount is going to take you way over the 684₱ that you’d pay if you just bought the soaps from a store. If that discrepancy is worth it for the enjoyment you’ll get from making the soaps, then that’s fine, but it’s important not to always assume that you’ll be saving money by making something for yourself.


Materials Can Be Deceptive When It Comes To Price

When you look at a list of ingredients or materials used for your latest project, the amounts will usually be very small. However, what this tends to ignore is that it’s rare you can just buy the amounts listed for that price -- you have to buy in bulk to get the saving. It might only be a few pesos of yarn for a knitting project, but having to buy the entire ball (as you must) will be far more expensive. Investing in bulk materials, fabric, yarn or similar items is very pricey. They might then be cheap to use on a project-by-project basis, but nothing negates the upfront cost.

There are many good sides to handcrafting, but when it comes to the financial aspect, make sure you know exactly what you’re getting into.

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