In this blog I want to write about all the things that you can make at home that you thought were only available commercially. For the most part I will not be writing about food as I already have a few sites dedicated to that. What I will be concentrating on is everyday household items, some of which we cannot do without (soap, for instance) and others that might be seen as a "luxury" item (such as candles).
Why am I doing this? What is the appeal of spending your time making things that can be purchased so easily, and often cheaper? It breaks down into the following reasons:
1. Cost. Sometimes, not always, it is possible to make things with stuff that you were going to throw away anyway. Soap falls partly into this category; in fact it is possible to make soap with nothing but stuff you were going to toss away. Of course, it you were to buy all the ingredients you could never compete with commercially produced soap, so this reason pretty much applies only if you have the ingredients on hand, and had no other use for them.
2. Quality. In order to compete on price, manufacturers will often use lower-quality ingredients to make products. This can lead to a less desirable, and for some people an unusable product. By making your own things you can control the quality that goes into them. The same applies to the process you use to make things. You can choose to spend as much or as little time as you want because you are not paying cash for your time.
3. Selection. Our choices of what to buy are obviously limited to what manufacturers decide to make, so if you want something that no one is making then making your own is your only option.
4. What if? I am not a doomsday predictor, and I don't think there will be such an economic collapse that it will spell the end of society as we know it. But who really knows what might happen? The very nature of unpredictable events is that they take us by surprise. So knowing how to make things could very well come in handy one day. Self-sufficiency is always a good thing.
5. Gifts. This goes hand in hand with both Quality and Selection, but there is an additional factor of personalization. If you know that a particular person on your gift list likes certain smells, flavors and colors, then you can make something for them that matches those likes. Spending your time making something for someone shows that you care, but making something that shows that you were really thinking of them -- well, that's really what giving is about, isn't it?
6. Fun. Now we come to the real reason that I like to make things. I am always curious about processes and methods and how things are made. I know I will never manage to make everything, but I would like to think I will get a good portion of it. Some things I will make only once, whereas others I will never buy again because I will only make my own. And I hope you have fun trying some of these as well, or at the very least reading about them.
I am looking forward to comments from people too, both about the things I will write about, as well as requests for items that I have not yet written about. I expect I will learn as much as I teach in this blog, and if that happens then I shall consider it a success!