Friday, October 9, 2009

The dilemma with being cheap

I had a little time yesterday to FINALLY start working on some of my Christmas things for the kids. I know it is only October, but I feel like I am behind, so I was happy to have a chance to get started on some of my projects. It turned out I was only able to work for about an hour and a half, but at least I got started.

Here is the problem:

I am cheap. Part of the reason I want to do the homemade Christmas is because it costs almost nothing. I have so much fabric and so many craft supplies, that I can make a lot of stuff without spending any money. I like that a lot.

So I got started, and then had to stop. I am making some little fabric dollhouses. Or, more accurately, a train house, a monster truck stadium, and a campsite. They will be SO CUTE. After the kids were in bed, I went back to look at what I had done, and I realized something. They will be fine as-is. The kids probably won't care, they will love them however they are. But because I am just using fabric that I have on hand, some of the choices are... well... less than ideal. Some don't match, some look a little weird together. I think I could spend $10 on new fabric and make them darling. They could be gorgeous, with the right fabric choices.

Arguments in my head:

Just buy the fabric. $10 is almost nothing, and you will be much happier with the result. If you are putting forth all the effort to make something, you should make it good and not just look weird.

Don't buy anything. What you have is just fine. The kids certainly won't care, and if you buy more you will have to re-do all that you have already done. If you spend money on it, you will get mad when they rip it, tear it, step on it and throw it in a puddle. If it isn't that cute, you won't care as much when it gets destroyed.

My inner self is conflicted. What would you do?

12 comments:

Katie said...

I'm totally cheap too, so I would just make do with what I have. Usually though I end up wishing I had just spent the extra money. I am always more proud of my projects when I give them my very best.

ali said...

oooh-- good arguments for both sides!

I think a good question to ask yourself is how long will they last? Would you like them to be something that survives their childhood, and/or is that possible?

I tend to agree that if you are putting the time and effort into something you should do it all the way, but that doesn't always hold for kids that are rough with things, and I do agree that it might bother you when they are really rough with them (This is almost physically painful for me). You could leave them how they are and make one or two other really nice things that they play with less, or just save that for when they get older and are more careful...

So, did that help at all? ;)

erika said...

I'm not a particularly cheap person, but I do say save your money and keep the "weird" material :) I think you will be glad in the long run.

Kayleen said...

I'm with the other comments, if the kids truly don't care and there is a potential for destroying, just go with what you have. Plus all that valuable time you'll have saved! I'm all about valuing time by myself!!!

Lisa said...

I say buy the nicer fabric and make them the way you'd really like them to be. (But I'm not cheap...)

Jennifer said...

Or buy the nice fabric and make something nice for yourself, or an adult on you list that won't be so rough on what you made.

Katie said...

Oh, I like that last comment. Make something nice for your friend Katie;)

Lisa L. said...

If I were you, I would get frustrated and shove it in the office where I didn't have to look at, along with all my other unfinished projects and go start something else.
Does that help? :)

Kelly said...

Definitely buy the fabric. I love making things more complicated, adding more work to my load for kids who could care less. It is what I live for.

Valeni said...

If your taking the time to make something make it the best you can. Buy what you want so you can feel good about it. Now I hope I take my own advice...I am really bad about using what I have and not liking it!

Rachel said...

Just reading these posts...I want to know what you decided. I think it is very funny that not only is your inner-self conflicted but so are all your readers. And I don't know what I would do...I'm cheap but I'm not that talented to guarantee that if I bought the other fabric that it would be much better. sad sorry me :(

Shanna said...

I plan to post soon, with pictures of the houses, but it might be a while. After reading all the comments, I went back and took another look at the fabric. They each had one "perfect" fabric that I was trying to match without success. Like for Aidan's train house, I had a beautiful green that I wanted to use for the grass under the tracks. It was the perfect shade and pattern. However, it didn't match any of the other choices, and was making the overall project look terrible. So I traded the 'ideal' fabric for one that matched the other stuff better, and it looked better overall.

It still isn't the best, cutest fabric selection, but on the whole they look fine, esp. for kids who really won't care that much about them!