Valuing Arts & Crafts

I follow quite a few embroidery, quilting and craft blogs.  There has been a big influx of posts recently discussing the value (or rather, lack of value) people place on handmade items.  After reading several posts on this subject in recent weeks, I am planning on keeping track of my next few projects – the materials used and time spent on the projects.

I encourage you to take a look at these few blog posts to get a feel for the apparent new “movement” creating waves in the craft worlds, particularly Sam Hunter’s We Are $ew Worth It campaign.  Even if you never intend to make a handmade item yourself, I am sure that most of you have been given a handmade item and this may just open your eyes as to what actually goes into producing something unique and handmade, both the materials used as well as the maker’s time and loving care in creating it for you.

I am planning on attempting to sell a few handmade items in the near future, and I intend on using a worksheet to keep track of my materials used and time spent to go along with the items.  I am prepared to hang onto the items until a purchaser comes along who is happy to pay the appropriate price, rather than just selling something way, way below “cost” just for the sake of it.

Of course, I am also continuing to make items as gifts for special family and friends – even though, in the past, I have had a few extremely underwhelming responses to rather time-consuming handmade gifts (thankfully this is rare but it has happened!).


2 thoughts on “Valuing Arts & Crafts

  1. Wow – when I think of the number of hand embroidered baby’s blankets I have just given away to friends and then later see the state of them after they have been blithely thrown in the washing machine or dragged around outside as a comforter I might actually have a rethink and make something a little less costly. I think the last one I made the blanketing cost me $50 add say $30 for Appleton’s and DMC threads and then the hours that it actually takes me to embroider the blanket – conservatively it would be 7 x 8 hour days – 56 hours at $25 per hour is $1,400 = $1480!!!!! Yep they are definitely just getting a bib or something from now on.

    • It certainly has been an eye opener! I tried a couple of weeks ago to keep track of some dressmaking projects when I made about four items in a week, but I was a bit slack with my time recording. But I am planning on concentrating on one particular thing from scratch next week, and focussing solely on that – it will be interesting to see the time involved!

      I don’t mind making things for loved ones when I know it will be appreciated. BUT in saying that, there have been a couple of things I have made (particularly a couple of quilts) where the recipient really would have and should have known the time it took me, let alone the cost of the fabrics and long-arm quilting being outsourced, and their response when opening the parcel, and subsequent use (or lack of, to be more precise) was extremely underwhelming to say the least.

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