What do you do with your handmade cast-offs?

Quilted Planner Cover & The Saucy Sack

First Confession: The Ikea Effect applies to my sewing.
Second Confession: I am addicted to making purses and other organizational accessories.

So, help me out. What’s a girl to do with her old handmade items when she has replaced them with new ones? Particularly, if she replaces them before the old ones are truly worn out. 

I could throw them away.
What??! You think I hate the planet or something? Nevermind that we’ve lived off paper plates for the last week and a half. I do not want to contribute to the demise of our planet by throwing out perfectly good calendar covers!

I could sell them.
My Etsy shop has sat empty for months awaiting its first listing, and nothing says 100% customer satisfaction like a wobbly-seamed worn-out purse. Or… you know… NOT!

I could donate them.
This would seem the most logical route, but I haunted by a fear that they wouldn’t be “appreciated”. (GASP! The Horror! How could that Thrift Store Bargain Shopper not recognize the artistry in color palette, or genius in pocket design. Barbarians!)

I could give them away to friends.
This would make me happy, and I should probably start searching for new home for my “Saucy Sack”. But then again… it is such a cute bag… and I love the red strap… and it is just the right size for an evening out without the kids…. 


Tell me… What do you do with your handmade cast-offs?

This is not something that is old and worn out, but it is something handmade I never quite decided what to do with, I can’t throw away, I can’t sell, I can’t donate, and don’t want to give away. [tutorial by Trey & Lucy]

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  1. says

    ughhhh i want to know what to do with mine too! I have so so sooo many things i either made and no longer want to use, or just never used as much as i intended to – and i just can’t bring myself to throw them out or donate them or even sell them because of all the hard work that went into them. For now I have some rather large boxes in the basement which i call “the archives”… it’s not a terribly good solution hehehe

  2. says

    Do you have sisters or a best friend you can swap with for a while? You know…the kind that borrow your purses to go with this or that outfit and let you do the same with their stuff? It’s one way to keep it close enough that it’s not gone forever, but you also won’t feel like you’re just hanging onto it for sentimental reasons (although I’m a HUGE fan of keeping firsts or seconds or fiftieths for sheer, sentimental value).

  3. says

    I tend to throw away or donate mine as appropriate, but no one reads my blog. If you have a good number of readers- maybe a give away? You could even ask that winner pays postage. You’d know it would be loved.

  4. says

    Similar ideas here with a little twist? Our local parenting and crafting circles do swap nights and charity sales and auctions. I have put treasured items up to swap and sell where they have been recognized and appreciated as hand-made and not new. With swaps I love getting feedback and seeing my “old” project getting a “new life.” With charity sales I hope someone “out there” will benefit and as the sales are amongst friends and friends-of-friends, etc. I often see these items out and about, even if I don’t know the new owner! Another idea is to sell or auction to you blog readers? Support your favorite charity or maybe support your next new project!

  5. says

    I had a bunch of things that were sitting around – stuff that I made but never listed in my Etsy shop and were never going to get there – so I donated a bunch to the Servants of God’s Love Bazaar. Their prices were so low when I went to check it out (so much handmade loveliness, but prices that would make most Etsy sellers cringe), but I was glad that they were actually being sold (they tend to sell EVERYTHING they have) and the money was going to the women I love and admire. I was very happy that I had decided to do that, and I plan to do it again next time for our mutual benefit (my work area was much tidier after the purging). They do the bazaar every other year and I know they appreciate collecting handmade things at any time. Just a thought :) Good post (and lovely castoffs!).

  6. says

    If I truly can’t part with something I’ve made, I will turn around and give it away to a best friend or sister. Someone that I know will appreciate that item just as much as I have. They usually know how much hard work went into that project and cherish it just as much as I do. I can’t find it in my heart to toss out a lot of the items I’ve sewn up for my daughter unless she totally destroys them. Everything gets placed into a tote box for her to look through when she is older and perhaps give to her little girl in the future.

  7. Brittany Smith says

    I think if you put it up for online auction for free provided and have an online writing contest about the item. Have them write in what they love about the item, how they would use it, and why they would be the best person to receive that item.
    Winner pays postage.
    That way you can always keep a picture of the item and the creative stories that went with it.
    Plus, you know it’s appreciated and the person really wanted the item.

  8. says

    I donate them to Goodwill or give them away to friends. I don’t worry about them being appreciated – I figure as long as they are being used it’s better than sitting around. Plus, we all know how many crafters lurk the thrifts. 😉

    Just the other day my friend said, “I love your scarf!” and I thought “oh good, now I know what to do with this one that I hardly wear.” I can’t wait to give it to her. :)

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