Let’s face it, the internet has cut down the costs and efforts of starting your own business significantly, but this doesn’t mean that it’s free or cheap even. Materials are expensive and they will drive up the costs of your finished products. Just because you know how much the materials cost does not mean your consumer will, and higher prices might mean fewer sales. This is where a little ingenuity and thriftiness come into play. By no means do you want to down-grade the quality of your product, but if you can and you’re smart about the materials you’re using you can save some money and keep costs down by re-purposing things you use every day!
Do you make jewelry? There are probably hundreds of items in your home right now that can be upcycled to create gorgeous beads and baubles. Beach glass is literally just broken bottles that have been worn down. If you have a tumbler you can create your own! Plastic, metal, and glass containers also can make great backings for mixed media pieces.
If you sew, make sure you’re using all your scraps! Given enough tiny pieces of fabric, you can make some beautiful quilted pieces. Thrift stores are also a great source of salvageable fabric, buttons, and zippers.
There are lots of ways to still get quality items from repurposed materials. It just takes a little creativity, which we’ve all got!
If I haven’t convinced you yet, I found this great article with the top 10 reasons that you should be using upcycled items in your handmade business. Here are the highlights:
- It’s greener than recycling. – Great point. No energy wasted in taking the items through the recycling process or transporting them through the landfills.
- Upcycling stirs up your creative spirit. – Like I said, you have to be creative!
- You throw away less stuff.
- It decreases your bottom line. – Being green saves green.
- Upcycling allows you to practice your skills with new materials. – Challenging yourself is always good!
- You can add a new personal touch to your products.
- You celebrate history in each of your creations.
- You’ll attract a new customer base. – This is never a bad thing.
- You can get attention by sharing what you’ve done.
- You can feel good about yourself.
If you don’t normally reuse materials, it can be a little challenging to get into that mindset. Here are some great green crafting blogs with tons of tutorials and inspiration to get you started!