Is Crafting A Frugal Hobby?

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The Complete Tightwad Gazette, by Amy Dacyczyn, is my personal finance bible. So, when Amy advised switching to frugal hobbies, she got me thinking. Is crafting a frugal hobby?

The answer is a loud and resounding…maybe.

Here’s why –

– An everyday sweater, made from yard sale wool, is thrifty. A cashmere sweater, that was never finished, is not.

– Homemade orange peel candies are thrifty. Homemade chocolate truffles are not.

– Quilts made from fabric found in your scrap bag are thrifty. Quilts made from fabric bought at an upscale specialty store are not.

– Scrapbooking with acid-free paper and a lot of imagination, is thrifty. Scrapbooking with acid-free paper and store-bought embellishment kits is not.

– Creating mosaics from chipped Salvation Army dishes is thrifty. Creating mosaics from glass tiles purchased at the craft store is not.

Here are a couple of tips to ensure that your next craft project is thrifty…

Use free materials whenever possible. Out­grown cloth­ing, dis­card­ed lin­ens, or don­at­ions from friends can be made into won­der­ful fin­ished proj­ects.

Never buy full price. If you must pay for craft materials, try hard to save money. Check out your local thrift shop and yard sales. Shop ebay and Craig’s list. Comparison shop at online craft shops.

Make sure your crafts have a purpose. Before you start a new project decide what you will do with the finished product.  Will it be a holiday gift? A knick knack for your living room? Will it actually be used?

Don’t take on more than you can chew. Unfinished projects are a waste of money. Be sure, before starting a new needlepoint, outfit or craft kit, that you actually have the time and skill to complete it.

In general, like most of life, crafting is what you make it. You can make the kind of decisions that make crafting an expensive and frustrating activity. Or, you can make choices that make crafting economical and enjoyable. You decide.

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