Many of the things we consider hobbies today were necessary life skills in the not-even-that-distant past. Nowadays we can quilt, and sew, and carve wood for fun. Our crafts are not going to determine if we survive the winter or not.
So why bother making anything, if it’s not strictly necessary? We have a global marketplace that doesn’t even make it that horrifically expensive, in money anyway, to buy anything we need. (The human and environmental costs of said marketplace are another matter.)
For me, there are several reasons.
- Fun and Joy
I’m glad I don’t have to knit every pair of socks my family needs, but damn, it’s fun to try! Learning new things with such a tangible result is delightful.
- Stress Reduction
While there are occasional frustrating evenings of pulling out stitches or swearing at my sewing machine, overall, I find crafting relaxing. It’s nice because it can be meditative and often requires just enough focus to stop me from thinking about anything else.
- Make It How You Want It
When you buy things, you’re limited to what is offered. When you make things, it can be exactly how you want it. Want a 1940’s style sweater with the Rebel Alliance insignia on it? It’s yours!
I get a lot of personal satisfaction from making things. I don’t know when I decided to base my self-esteem on knowing I wouldn’t be the first to die on the Oregon Trail, but it happened, and that’s how I am now.
- Sticking it to The Man
I am by no means a perfectly ethical consumer, but I like not buying things from jerks. Making things isn’t the only way to avoid giving money to jerks, but it’s often the cheapest.