If you’re looking for the Sew Mama Sew Giveway, you’re in the right place, but we’d love it if you took a few minutes to read about our new project before entering!
During our 30 days of Earth Day celebration I started to feel a little bit guilty. It started when I used a water footprint calculator to figure out how much water my stuff uses. It grew when April wrote about being a conscience consumer. It escalated as I wrote about reducing how much we buy. It reached DEFCON 1 when April posted about green crafting projects.
Like most of the crafters out there, I have a ton of craft stuff. I am proud of my ability to make things that are practical and look great. I look forward to the time that I have to craft, and I love surfing the internet or cruising the aisles of fabric stores looking for inspiration.
Many crafters joke about stash acquisition beyond life expectancy. Some of us go on yarn diets, but we always seem to give ourselves all sorts of outs. (Sock yarn doesn’t count! I can only buy fabric once a month! Days that end with “Y” are fair game!) I suspect there are a lot of reasons for this, yet among a large portion of the crafting community there seems to be this attitude that rampant consumerism doesn’t count if it’s for crafting. It’s a bit ironic coming from the do-it-yourself community. I saw a perfect example of this recently when I was at the craft store and I saw a display of Mason jars for sale, surrounded by suggestions for how to “upcycle” them. What?
It’s an inescapable truth that the materials we use for crafting have an environmental impact, and we consume a lot of them. (According to the Craft and Hobby Association in 2010, 56% of households in the U.S spent a total of $29 billion on crafting.) So from now until December, April and I have decided to embrace a post-Earth Day green Challenge: Don’t buy any new craft supplies. We’re choosing to call it the Destash Bash.
Our goal is to be greener by finding alternatives whenever we are tempted to run out and buy something. For this reason anything found in thrift stores, free boxes, dumpsters, or our existing stash is still fair game. We’re also going to share at least two crafts following these parameters each month until December.
However, like all those other yarn diets, we are allowing one big out: We both realized that we value our crafting time too much to make crap. If a project absolutely will not work or look good without something and we can’t find it anywhere else, we are allowed to buy it. For example: I’m not going to finish a quilt I spent weeks on with the wrong color thread just because I’ve run out of the color I need. In these cases (and I do think they will be rare) We are going to document what we’ve bought and how much it cost.
This means we are going to have to sacrifice the thrill of seeing a project on Pinterest and dropping everything to get the stuff to make it. It means we’re going to have to give up having everything exactly the way we want it when we design a project. It means we will have to resist the siren call of fabric stores. But we’re hoping that this challenge will help us declutter our houses and revisit some of the great projects we’ve abandoned. It will force us to be more creative by working with what we have, and it will be better for the environment.
We’d love to see if anyone else is interested in joining our crusade. We’ve never done a blog ring or anything before, but if you’re interested in trying this out with us and blogging about it, drop us a line in the comments and we’ll try to get something organized. Here’s to experiments!
In the spirit of Destash Bash, I decided to use repurposed materials for our giveaway. If you’ve ever purchased a pair of those ubiquitous Tom’s shoes, you know they come with a drawstring bag / flag that you’re supposed to wave proudly in support for your favorite canvas shoes. In my experience, these bags usually end up somewhere under my bed never to be seen again. I recently purchased a pair of Tom’s, and I saw a cool tutorial on Pinterest that demonstrated how to turn the bag into a wallet.
I did experience my first wave of desperation about our experiment when I realized that all of my bobbins were occupied by thread – and not the color I wanted. After quickly fighting down the urge to purchase a new set of bobbins before this challenge went into effect, I wound up the bobbin with the least amount of thread and continued quite easily with my project.
If you’d like to win this wallet, let us know how long you think you could last without buying new craft supplies. The giveaway will close at 5 PM PST on May 10th. Sorry, we will only ship to U.S. and Canada for this giveaway. Be sure to visit all the other giveaways and find new blogs to follow this week!
~Robin & April