You may have noticed that I really like making things. I like sewing, crochet, embroidery, cooking, fixing up old furniture, making accessories, the list goes on… One of the things I really hope to achieve with this blog is to encourage other people to have a go at making things by hand, too. So here are 9 good reasons to make stuff!
- It’s fun. I really enjoy taking the time to make things. I get a lovely sense of creative satisfaction seeing a completed project that I have made. The sense of fun and enjoyment is increased if what I have made is useful or has incorporated some element of reusing or recycling things that would have otherwise been thrown out.
- It’s good for your wallet. You can save money by making things by hand. For example, it’s much cheaper to by some fabric and make a shirt than it is to buy a shirt of comparable quality. (While you can buy very cheap clothes these days, the quality is often poor so they don’t last long and end up being thrown out). Other examples such as baby wraps, cushion covers and gift cards can be quite expensive to buy, but are cheap and simple to make. You can save even more money by incorporating recycled materials into the things that you make, which leads me to the next point…
- It’s good for the environment. Many projects can be made using recycled or thrifted materials. Incorporating vintage or recycled materials into your projects gives those items a new lease on life and prevents them from heading straight to landfill. Also, when you are aware of the time, love and effort that has gone into making something you are likely to value it more and keep it for longer than a purchased item that has little or no sentimental meaning. Similarly, handmade items are often of superior quality to mass produced items so again, you’re likely to keep them for longer. When we buy cheap, disposable stuff (be it clothes, accessories etc), they tend to not last long before they are just thrown out.
- It’s good for the soul (cheaper than therapy!) There is something quite therapeutic about crafting. I’m not sure whether it’s because it takes your mind off everyday stresses, because it’s creatively satisfying or because some crafts (such as crochet) can be almost meditative. But whatever it is, I’ve heard a number of people (who enjoy all sorts of different crafts), say that their craft helps to relieve stress and makes them feel happier and more positive.
- Crafting helps you to connect with people. Making things or having a ‘crafternoon’ with a friend is a great way to spend time with someone you care about. It seems that knitting groups and craft clubs are gaining in popularity and I think they’re a great way to catch up with friends or make new friends. You can also share your skills with a beginner, or learn a new craft from someone else – perhaps someone from a different generation to you. This is a lovely way to get to know someone or build connections and a sense of community.
- You can avoid questionable companies. Some big companies are great, others are not so great and are rather unethical in their practices. Sometimes it can be very tricky to know whether the company that made the dress you’re buying treats their workers well or not. I certainly don’t have all the answers in dealing with this very complex issue, but at least I know that when I make something by hand I know it hasn’t come out of a sweat shop – it’s come out of my little studio where I can have as many cups of tea and toilet breaks as I like.
- Crafting keeps your hands busy. If you’re anything like me, you have a hard time sitting still unless you’ve got something to keep your fingers busy. I really struggle to just sit and watch t.v. unless I’m doing something else at the same time. Having a simple project on the go, such as some embroidery or crochet, allows me to relax in front of a movie with my husband without getting antsy or feeling guilty for not doing anything productive.
- Celebrating uniqueness. The things you make will be unlike anything else on the market. You are limited only by your own creativity and can make things that express your own personality and point of view.
- You can use your skills to make gifts! One of the loveliest things about making stuff is giving the things you make to the people you love. Your friends and family will always appreciate the time and effort that has gone into a homemade gift.
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