Last night, I finished my felted silk/wool bag. I hand-sewed the lining, sewed on the handle tabs and handles, and trimmed the long strands of silk sticking out. It would appear the bag is completely done. I like it. I was discouraged as I was working through it, frustrated with the felting process and not sure the lining would go well enough. But now that it’s done, it pleases me. I think it will become a knitting bag for ME.
Sure, I could try to sell it. It’s attractive, striking, unusual, handmade, handy. But I’m really not sure I could get anyone to pay what it’s really worth. Here’s a glimpse into the struggle of pricing handmade items:
- Silk Yarn $16
- Wool yarn $9
- Lining fabric $5
- Wooden handles $7
I’m already at $37 just in materials. But what about time?
- Finding the right shade of blue wool to match the silk: 1 hour
- Knitting the bag: 4 hours (approx)
- Felting the bag: 2.5 hours (1 hour hand-felting, 2 cycles in the washer, stuffing & shaping the bag)
- Prepping and sewing the lining: 2 hours (longer because I’m a sewing machine novice)
- Hand-sewing the lining into the bag: 1 hour
- Hand-sewing the handles into the bag: .5 hour
That’s 11 hours of labor. If I give myself even minimum wage (Missouri: $7.65) that’s $84.15. Add in the materials, and I should price the bag at $121. Whaaat? Sure. It’s technically worth that. Hard to argue with the facts. But where do I find the person who’s willing to pay that?
So here’s my question to you, fellow crafters: How do you price your items? Do you use a formula? Do you peruse Etsy or other sites to see what others are pricing similar items? Do you go with your gut?
I don’t think there’s a right or wrong way. This is an ongoing struggle for me, and I’m trying very hard to stop undervaluing myself and what I create. But at the same time, I do want to sell things. Not just for the money, but so other people can have things they love, so that I can share the joy of handmade.