For so many of us, our love and passion for paper crafting is based within a hobby. And for that reason, we limit our budgets for many reasons. This time of year, all around the world we hear that there is a decline in sales. The pre Christmas buy up, the focus on back to school items and catching up on household bills always take priority before we allow ourselves to enjoy new products.
Recently through discussion with local stockists in home based businesses, market sellers and store owners I’ve become concerned as they expressed grave outlooks for their own livelihoods and future in the industry with the lack of support from manufacturers and/or customers.
But as the cost of living continues to climb, should we be leaving this to the last on the list? Crafting is more than just a plain old hobby for the majority of us. It is a creativity release, it is a therapy, it is an escape, it is capturing memories for the future generations.
With some paper and glue we create beautiful works of art that last for many years. This is more than a hobby for us. This is our life.
We have been programmed to put everyone and everything before ourselves and our well-being. Male crafters seem to be a little more relaxed with their budgets, but the female population tends to be stricter than sometimes needed. Just in case.
We buy the cheaper glue and tools. We stroll the aisles of the discount mega stores for subpar products and scroll the online sales for hours instead of just buying the best quality product that will last longer. Instead of just buying that actual item we wanted to begin with.
There is no other sport or hobby that allows for this to be the normal. We don’t attend sporting games with boots that are falling apart, or balls that are deflating. We don’t use a fishing line without hooks, nor do we bake with dented pans.
We put ourselves last, we put our mental health on the back burner, but why? Our crafting is not less valuable or important to other activities.
We should be allowing ourselves to grow with creativity without the overly restrictive budget. Of course we should always make sure our bills are paid first and make sure there is food available, but does the crafty cart cost more than therapy? I am diagnosed on the OCD scale, with some anxiety and sensory issues thrown in. It affects most areas of my life, however the only place that I am safe from any triggering symptoms is my craft room. It’s a safe place for me, it brings me joy and I know I get more value and hours from $100 of new goodies than I do from a $230 per hour session. Plus I then have a physical product to show for my time and efforts.
When we put aside our creativity, so many aspects of our life can start to decline beginning with our mental health and overall happiness. So let’s start thinking of our crafting as more than a hobby. It brings us peace and relaxation. It’s a way of life. It’s our crafty life.
Toni Herron is from Queensland, Australia. She has been writing for TPC since 2023. Toni grew up crafting all through her childhood, but enjoys focusing on scrapbooking and cardmaking the most without a traditional style. Her designs vary with themes and projects to fit her mood or creative flow.