Friday, February 24, 2012

What Do You Do with Your Arts and Crafts?

I really enjoy creating things, but I still haven’t figured out how to avoid being buried under the mountain of my creations. It used to be that I made useful things for specific purposes, like home dec projects and greeting cards. Then I branched out into mixed-media art, bookbinding, apparel sewing, and embroidery.

There’s no space left on the walls to hang art, I’ve given every one of my family and friends more books than they could use in a lifetime, and my closets are already full of clothing.

I have dozens of canvases in various sizes, stacked under beds and hidden in closets:

I tried selling the little books on Etsy, with zero success:

And I have many of the covered notebooks left, even after bestowing them on everyone I could think of:

The obvious answer is to STOP making so much stuff, but it’s the main thing I like to do!

What do you do with your “excess” projects? Rotate them through different rooms? Spring them on friends as “just because” gifts? Sell them at craft fairs? Rent a storage facility?

I would love to know!



  1. Some lovely creativity - the books are great, I really like them.
    I've tried to sell things I made - limited success. Not had a go at etsy yet, just in local art/craft shops. Very difficult to know what to make that will sell and also what to charge.

    I had to stop with the wool tapestry pictures - how many do you really want on your walls?

  2. What beautiful projects! I was going to suggest Etsy, but oops, you tried that : > Maybe eBay? I'd probably donate a few to a women's shelter, they need lots of beauty there.

  3. I love the books! I would list a few on Etsy; new people join every day, and there is always a market for them. It doesn't always happen quickly, but at 20 cents for a four month listing, there is no real downside!

    I like Patti's idea of a woman's shelter donation, also. Particularly one that is focused on teaching life and job skills; it would be a nice gift for women starting the journey, to keep her notes and ideas.

    I would also list the wall art. More people are turning away from mass produced toward hand made every day. They are a great alternative for the average person who cannot afford gallery quality pieces but don't want to hang mass market crap on the walls.

    What do I do with mine? I'm one of those people who can never have too many clothes, so no problems with my sewing projects! I am also pretty focused on couture finishes on dressy things, so production time is long, and output low. I get many requests for embroidery, especially the usefully pretty hand towels, dinner napkins and tote bags I make. I had planned to sell some on Etsy, but so far I have not run out of anxious recipients.

    Good luck; I hope to see some of your creations make the front page of Etsy!

    xo, Anita

  4. Not really a way to get paid for things you've already made, but a couple of ideas...

    As a non-income-producing way to distribute some of them, what about senior living centers?

    Continuing along that theme, and at the risk of turning fun into work, have you thought about teaching some basic classes? We see lots of senior arts and crafts at the leisure center when we take K for ballet and drama.