DIY Considerations: Introduction

The craft bug bit me, and it bit me hard.

I should have been more productive during Spring Break, but I'm so sick of school at this point that I decided to take the entire week off to indulge in March Madness (it was very satisfying to watch Duke go down in flames), catch up on household chores, and make a lot of jewelry.

Making jewelry...where'd that come from?

It all started in January, when I saw a necklace I really liked from a boutique sale. I thought it was $10 or under, like everything else in the pile (and $10 is my limit as far as fashion jewelry goes). The sales person told me that the necklace wound up in the clearance pile by mistake, but she would give it to me for, oh, $30--as if $30 was cheap. I really wanted it, but it's ridiculous to pay $30 for such a simple necklace. In fact, I thought it looked so simple that I can make it myself! I examined the necklace closely to see how it looks like and feels like, then the cogs and wheels in my head started churning. A few days later, I bought floral wire and a spool of ribbon from JoAnn's for under $5. Add 3 hours of labor and voila, I got my necklace. The quality was obviously not great, but no one could have noticed from a distance.

That initial success got me thinking about crafts in general. I guess the idea of making things isn't so far fetched since I've always had a knack for coming up with creative solutions to problems big and small (I know I don't sound very modest here, but bargain shopping, writing, and creative problem solving are the only few things I'm capable of doing, so I take pride in that). Now it's just a matter of translating creative thinking to creative works. It took a lot of baby steps. I found a way to recycle old barettes and use them to make clippable hair flowers. Then, I started dreaming bigger and thought about stenciling t-shirts. When I realized I didn't have much time for that, I kinda filed that away for the future. After that, I started having an interest in earrings because my sister recently got her ears pierced. I don't have pierced ears, but I was inspired by someone on StyleDiary who made her own clip-on earrings. That's when I found out about clip-on earring components--while I didn't have time (or so I thought) to make my own earrings, I could just get the findings, buy some cheap earrings, and swap out the ear wires and replace them with the clip-on findings. I got several pairs of earrings for $2-$4 each (cheap!), but it was hard to find exactly what I wanted, and I realized that $2 here, $2 there, and things were starting to add up. All of the sudden, making my own earrings seems like a good idea after all.

It might sound like a good idea to you too, but as with any project, there's always a caveat: don't jump into it without careful thought. Otherwise, it'd be a waste of money to buy lots of supplies and not know what to do with them. In the coming weeks, I'll be writing about various projects and issues to consider when deciding whether or not to make something on your own.


BrownEyedGirl said...

It's nice to read your story about making jewelry, I make it too! I kind of just fell into it and love it. I'm hoping to branch out into other crafts, but as you said after a while it gets expensive, not to mention time consuming. Looking forward to reading more in the future!

Sales Rack Raider said...

Thanks! You make great stuff =) Keep up the good work!