Monday, February 21, 2011

"I could make that"

^^that phrase is probably the most common thing I say when I am shopping in any store that isn't Savers or Goodwill.

It is a phrase that has been ground into my head my whole life. Never pay (especially over-pay) for something that you could make for yourself. My grandmother and mom both say it all the time. They will flip through magazines and browse through store racks announcing that they could do it themselves. (or better yet, my mom will often say "bella, can you make me this/one of these/this thing/etc").

It is so true though. I am an artsy and creative person from a family of people who are also artsy and creative. We make stuff. I think you have all noticed that I make a lot of things- crocheted, knitted, sewn and otherwise. I think of it as art. It makes me incredibly happy to take an idea in my mind and create a real-life, 3D thing. It makes me even happier if I get to do that and I can also save money. I do so as often as I can.

If you've been around my blog for any period of time you've probably also noticed that I love the store Anthropologie. But I don't mean I love shopping there. I love STANDING in it (and I often do). I don't think I even so much like the merchandise as much as I like the store atmosphere. They do sell wonderful, artistic things, but they are SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO overpriced. Maybe non-artsy people like to pay hundreds for that sort of thing, but I know I could probably like 60% of what that store sells myself. And it would be cooler because I did so. Also a good lot of the stuff I couldn't make I could get somewhere (even thrifted) else for a lot, a lot cheaper. Funky sweaters, sundresses. vintage glass wear, old looking jewelry? Oh for sure! I take it as a challenge. People pay for brands. People pay for convenience. Silliness, I tell you.Maybe I am weird and very cheap, or maybe I am really smart and frugal. You pick.

I was in the store this past week, soaking in inspiration and artfulness and afterward I went on the website and composed a list of things that I could (though I don't necessarily ever want to) make. Here it is some of what I found.

Ahmara skirt. $68
I could make this, in a different pattern but same shape. Couple fun fabrics. Done in like an hour or just a bit longer. Way cheaper.

Convergence Skirt- $78
I could pull this off in an afternoon out of a men's XL dress shirt.
Which by the way I am going to do.
Cost probably under $10.
 Zuma shopper bag-$275
If I found a nice fabric I could make this in a day. For like $8.

Knotted Tagalong Tote-$498 (!?!?)
Not that I would ever want a bag with a giant bow on it, but it someone else did I could do it. 
For so much less that $500.
Sometimes always I wonder know if that women are absolutely insane!

Study of Shapes Dress- $158
The colors in this are great, but other than that it is a simple dress.
If I set my mind to it I could pull it off. 
I'm sure I could find a cheap curtain or bed sheet to use as fabric at some place like Ikea.

Merveilleux Necklace- $428
I don't know why ANYONE would wear this weirdness, but even more so 
I don't know why they would pay that much for a ribbon and 5 plastic beads.
I could seriously make 98% of the necklaces listed (though most are unattractive).
Firecracker Necklace-$428
This one is kind of cool. I like all the random stuff.
But what is super random is that PRICE!
I could do that. In a half hour. With stuff I already have. 
I think I will!

Dutch Wax Collage Cuff-$38
So ugly...?
But if I wanted something like that I could buy vintage stuff from Savers, 
all for about $6, stick it on a cuff and get the same effect.

From a Seed Clip-$18
These I have already made.
Scrap fabric, button, glue gun, bobby pin, half hour.

Ombre Gardenia Pillow-$128
Do these all the time. 
Scrap fabric, or better yet, dinner napkins, with some stuffing or existing pillow. 
Probably like $12 at most.

Sari Throw- $198
This is nothing but a loosely crocheted combination of miscellaneous yarn.
Could do it if I wanted to...

Climbing Vines Curtains- $108-$168
I could easily make most of the curtains on there in an afternoon.
The only thing unique about them is the fabric patterns. They are just simple panels.
This would be so simple to duplicate with fun patterned king sized bed sheet.
Like $20.

I hope I just challenged you in your way of shopping. I do understand that not everybody has the craft skills I do, or even the willingness. But maybe next time you are in a high price store take a better look at what you are paying for. The actual product, or the store label? Could you make it yourself? Could you get it elsewhere? I promise you that it is so much more fun (and money saving) that way. And you also get bragging rights. Stuff, saved money and ability to brag? What more can you ask for!?

All that being said I am now off to the 50% off, President's Day sale (clothes for sale, not dead historical figures) at Savers!

1 comment:

Renee B. said...

I love this post!!! I too am a fan of standing in the middle of Anthropologie.....for inspiration purposes only. (Ok I lie. And a quick browse through the clearance section).
You're right. Random stuff at RIDICULOUSLY random prices.
Maybe we should start our own "knockoff" Anthro. :)


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