you don’t have to buy ‘extra’ to buy handmade

It turns out, we all stink.

And we all need to use soap. Who knew?

According to my recent – albeit unscientific – Twitter & Facebook polls, soap is hands down the favorite essential purchase that people choose to buy handmade. And with good reason! Commercial soap is full of nasty chemicals, unnatural (down right icky…) scents, and unnecessary packaging. Handmade soap is generally sold in a brick & mortar store near you, it smells awesome, and it’s full of ingredients you could actually eat – not that you should.

Two weeks ago, during the creative tithing discussion, many of you expressed that you don’t have the budget to buy extra things that are handmade. I understand that – but can you find a few extra dollars to buy a necessity – like soap! – that’s handmade? Something that you’ll use on a daily basis? Something that costs a few dollars more because it’s worth a few dollars more?

Having just completed a grueling cross-neighborhood move (that’s a joke…), I am more keenly aware than ever all the things that are available handmade that you can use in your home:

  • dishes
  • side tables
  • laundry detergent
  • picture frames
  • curtains
  • pillows
  • even wall decals!

Did I purchase all these things handmade? Unfortunately, no. But I’m proud to say that each room of my house contains functional & beautiful craft items that not only make my own home more beautiful but support the home of another maker out there somewhere.

If home decor isn’t your thing, you might consider purchasing your next purse from an independent maker. Or maybe some make-up. Or even a handmade journal. The wonderful thing about craft is that function can be beautiful and art can become necessity.

You don’t need to budget for extra stuff to buy handmade, you just need to budget a few extra dollars for the things you’d like to purchase handmade!

{image credit: lauren b photography}

9 thoughts on “you don’t have to buy ‘extra’ to buy handmade

  1. Tara you convinced me ( even though i didn’t need convincing)
    Matt’s mom sent us some cute handmade soap she found at a craft show near her because it reminded her of us!

    Another great way to be able to buy handmade for the everyday stuff of course is gift-giving. Holidays, birthdays, graduations! I can honestly say the things that I would save in a fire (aside from this laptop of course) are all handmade things that were given to me by some very thoughtful people!

  2. I don’t have the budget for buying a lot of extra stuff either. When I do, I’m trying to focus on original artwork or prints directly from the artist. But, I do try to buy homemade whenever I can for things that I would buy anyway. Gifts are a wonderful thing to buy homemade. I’ve had to buy several baby gifts lately and they’ve all been purchased through Etsy. I also try to buy all my cards homemade.

  3. I made the switch to handmade soaps New Year’s Day 2009 and I haven’t gone back. Fortunately, I know a lot of awesome soap makers so it’s easy to stock up and switch things around. It’s also my first idea (handmade items that is) for gift giving although there are some people in my life who just can’t appreciate those types of things so I do what I can. :)

  4. Now that makes sense! I think we all have different tastes and passions, so it makes sense to spend on those things we love the most…work in the handmade how it fits into our lives.

  5. i voted for soap in your poll! i love that connection to the passionate craftsperson who takes the time to lovingly prepare this absolute necessity and cares to keep it pure and luxurious! plus i couldn’t make it myself at home. with 8 kids? and caustic lye? no way.

  6. Soap is an excellent choice for someone who wants to buy handmade!

    I know many people who will regularly go to Walmart or Target and buy plenty of stuff on impulse, things they didn’t plan on buying and then turn around and say they don’t have enough to buy handmade. There are many affordable handmade accessories, small art work, or other things you mentioned, the purchase of which could help an artist or craftsperson stay in business. The purchase of certain handmade items can be included in just about anyone’s budget.

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