Destash Bash and Giveaway Day

6 May


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.

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.

I literally had no cash to display in the upper pocket.

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


41 Responses to “Destash Bash and Giveaway Day”

  1. Susan May 6, 2013 at 12:15 pm #

    I think I could go a month. I could just use up some of the stash that is slowly taking over my basement.
    mcintoshsusan@hotmail dot com

  2. needledd May 6, 2013 at 3:05 pm #

    I can last a very long time. I like to barter!

  3. mrsunclefuzzy May 6, 2013 at 5:33 pm #

    Maybe I could go 3 or 4 days….I am so bad. Thanks for the chance to win.

  4. Jennifer Gail May 6, 2013 at 6:21 pm #

    Two weeks tops.LOL

  5. Georgia May 6, 2013 at 8:12 pm #

    I’ve probably gone a month without buying craft supplies. I’m not saying I was happy about it. 😉
    peachstateme (at) hotmail (dot) com

  6. Faye May 6, 2013 at 8:31 pm #

    I don’t last very long… every now and then I can go for a few months’ stretch without a new purchase, but then I’ll buy new supplies every couple of weeks for a while after that!

  7. Kim Stewart May 6, 2013 at 11:24 pm #

    Oh, about a month

  8. Mara May 7, 2013 at 9:25 am #

    This is no problem for me as it has been my goal to for years, since my career choice encourages frugality through a lower paying job compared to traditional education (and poverty-level compared to the Silicon Valley wages!). In any case, I can go indefinitely with the exception of running out of glue. No worries though, I buy it on sale and usually have a pretty good stash. Now I am trying to get rid of stuff I realize does not fit into my “skill set for crafting.” For example, a colleague is getting my assorted collection of broken bracelets, earring, necklaces that have cool beads and such. She then makes them into new jewelry.

  9. Chacoy May 7, 2013 at 9:28 am #

    This is really cute and actually quiet genius!
    I could go a long time! I am a craft supply hoarder, I should just set it up like a craft store and ct like I am purchasing new things….thanks for this post to make me realize I need to use what I already have(;
    Thank you for the opportunity!

  10. Kate May 7, 2013 at 10:14 am #

    I have no idea, but probably way longer than I think — I have way too big of a stash. Thanks for hosting!

  11. calikisses May 7, 2013 at 12:08 pm #

    That’s a good question. I think I could probably go about 3-5 months, but that’s just because I just got a new job and literally have no time to sew anymore LOL

  12. Beth May 7, 2013 at 1:09 pm #

    I think I could go quite a while – I actually have gone a couple months before. But then I go to a class or something at the quilt store and it is all over!

  13. Christine Sherman May 7, 2013 at 1:13 pm #

    Well technically I could go about 6 months, but I’m not sure I could..

  14. jenpelto May 7, 2013 at 1:20 pm #

    I could last…easily six days. By the seventh day I’d start to get itchy and probably sick to my stomach. It doesn’t help that I live practically next door to a quilt shop! :/

    Thanks for the chance to win! Very cute little wallet.

    jenhelene (at) yahoo (dot) com.

  15. Heather Braun May 7, 2013 at 5:31 pm #

    I think 3 months would be my max. I’ve gone 2 months but then all this great fabric and sales started. But I’ve been put on a fabric diet again! lol We are getting ready to move so I need to wait until we get to our new place! 😦 Thanks for the giveaway!

  16. Holly U May 7, 2013 at 6:03 pm #

    Hmm, good question. Right now I”m nearly out of white thread for my sewing machine and I quilt, so not too long. But overall I prefer to make from my stash, use thrifted supplies when possible and repurpose too. If buying secondhand doesn’t count, I could (and have) go a few months. If not — a month or so when it’s not garage sale season!

    My husband’s name is Tom, so this giveaway kinda has me chuckling. 🙂

  17. BreannaS May 7, 2013 at 7:38 pm #

    When my husband and I were planning to sell and purchase a new home I didn’t buy any crafting supplies for 8 months. I thought I was going to die. After we moved I went on a binge

  18. jessicac May 7, 2013 at 7:56 pm #

    I think I could last 6 months. If I pushed it maybe 10 months. I have quite a backstock going on!!

  19. Holly May 8, 2013 at 6:24 am #

    I actually made this sort of a New Year’s resolution: to only use the materials I have on hand. And I combined that with an attempt to stop obsessively ‘pinning’ new projects and instead try to make the things I’ve already pinned or use the books and patterns I already have. I think I’ve purchased a bit of ribbon or a zipper here and there, but largely have stuck to it.

  20. p.s.phyllis sews May 8, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

    Wow! I like your destash bash and I had put myself on a no-spending diet because I say I am a fabric rescuer so I want to see how many projects I can finish from my stash alone! So I don’t know how long I can go without buying more fabric?!?!?!

    I have to tell you that I just finished making 2 pieced tablecloths from a piece of fabric my friend brought back from Canada which I showed her yesterday. “Oh” she says, ” well if you need more, take this. [a WHOLE BOLT of cotton striped fabric!] and see what you can do with it.” I had to laugh!!!!

  21. Brooke May 8, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

    I think I could go until I ran out of elastic- about 3 months. I use LOTS of elastic to make my kiddos clothes!

  22. disneyfam May 8, 2013 at 3:10 pm #

    probably quite a while. I am so super slow that I could go years before I finish everything in my queue.

  23. scrapgirl1467 May 8, 2013 at 10:42 pm #

    Of course I am tempted by all sorts of lovely craft goodies, but being on disability and trying to find a way to survive, I know I can, and do, go long periods of time without buying any new supplies. It does make one get creative about using what they have and learning to make do. I have found lots of YouTube videos that have helped me, for instance to make my own modeling paste or ModPodge knockoff. Thanks for bringing to light an important issue, whether you have to do it (like me) or simply should (like others) we all need to look at how much we spend on this area in particular.

  24. Lisa B May 9, 2013 at 6:50 am #

    hmmm… a week?

  25. carriem May 9, 2013 at 7:43 am #

    Since we don’t always have discretionary fund, I know I can go for months!~

  26. connandvansmom May 9, 2013 at 9:46 am #

    I can last a very long time.The key is to avoid temptation. Do not go to the stores. If you keep looking at it you will want to buy it. I decided to start collecting all the scrappy pieces from my Moms alterations shop. Chopped off pants legs and shirt sleeves and dress & skirt and shirt tales. I almost have enough blocks sewn & assembeled from them to make a full sized quilt. I have been makeing mug rugs and table toppers from them as well. I have allways been on a very tight budget my entire life and I have always had to makedo with less so if I was in a bind It would be no problem you just have to get really creative is all.

  27. littlehouseonthedairy May 9, 2013 at 7:20 pm #

    Since thrift stores don’t count I could probably go a while!

  28. cons May 10, 2013 at 12:03 am #

    I think I could last six months. I like to use what I have as well.

  29. 64colorbox May 10, 2013 at 12:40 am #

    I could probably go 6 months without buying supplies for new projects. I may need to buy thread, zippers, or buttons to complete the many projects I already have to complete.

  30. charlotte l May 10, 2013 at 6:39 am #

    I think I could last a year! My family has de stashed to me several times 🙂 I love this idea and plan to keep checking out your blog. Thanks for the chance to win.

  31. brandi May 10, 2013 at 8:02 am #

    well… since i have a couple hundred pounds of fabric i think i could make it for a while… maybe 6 months? probably more depending on how much procrastination was involved in sewing! this is a fantastic wallet and i definitely want to make one for myself out of toms flags that i have stashed here and there. thanks!

  32. kathy h May 10, 2013 at 8:10 am #

    I could go for a few months, especially if I could use my stash and go to the thrift store.

  33. lynn May 10, 2013 at 10:02 am #

    i could last maybe a month…

  34. jbsews May 10, 2013 at 12:57 pm #

    oh, at least 6 months, if not more. I think this is a wonderful, thoughtful post. Thank you so much for bringing it up.


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