by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
I find it extremely satisfying to make things myself, for myself and for others, whether it is upcycling things from what others consider trash or whether it is making things from other source materials such as wood or leather.
Admittedly, in most instance, the leather is being recycled from some bag or such that others have tossed out. “New” leather is rather an expensive commodity, or so it seems, especially in Britain.
Not only does it, in most cases, save money and you get something that you do really want, doing what you want it to do, but it also saves resources and is more sustainable. OK, I admit that you do need the tools and supplies for making your own things rather than buying but the investment in those tools will pay off in the long run, in monetary terms as well as in terms of satisfaction.
On top of that the satisfaction, and even pride, to be able to say “I made that myself” cannot be measured in any monetary terms. And on top of it you, generally, get exactly what you want and, if skilled enough, exactly in the way that you want it.
Often you cannot even buy what you may want or need and then making things yourself, by whatever way, is the only option. Unless, that is, you are willing to pay a lot of money for something custom made by a craftsperson. The neck holster for an Opinel (in this case a No. 6) pocket knife in the photo is an example for such a case, pardon the pun. There are none of those that you can buy off the shelf and thus the only option is to make it yourself.
Not only is that the only case that one could illustrate. There are others. And as regards to living a more self-reliant – notice that I do not say self-sufficient, as true self-sufficiency is not attainable – life making things yourself is and will often be the only way, and not just because the finances may be lacking.
All too often I just cannot find what I need anywhere – next up I need to make a belt pouch that suits my needs – the way I need it and then, as said, there is but one of two options and the second, a bespoke maker, I just cannot afford. So the only option left is number one which is to make what I need and want myself. One then has to consider the source material and get down to business.
At times making the things that I want means simply adapting and improving something that can be gotten cheaply at a charity shop or car boot sale (thrift store of flea market for those in other parts of the world) or using items that have been thrown away, that is to say trash, or that have come from other sources. It is all a case of horses for courses, as the saying goes.