Rubbish. What’s it worth to you?

While the world outside is  covered with fluffy, white & slippery stuff, indoors we’re getting ready for the spring and summer craft fairs.  It’s awesome.  While the world outside is frozen, we can just hunker down by the fire, throw on some Disney films and get busy making stuff.  (The kids are responsible for the choice of film, but I’m on board because every now and again they just randomly burst into song without realizing.) But once we have a pile of cool stuff to sell, we arrive at the crafter’s dilemma:  How much do we sell this stuff for?  We apply a number of different approaches to answer the question.

Creator’s pride: “It’s so pretty!  It’s the prettiest thing I’ve ever made.  One million pounds?.”

Logical:  “Well, if we take the cost of supplies, then break down how long it took to make it…”

Mates Rates:  “She’s our friend.  We like her.  How about one pound?”

More Logic:  “Don’t forget packaging costs, We need to buy boxes and bubble wrap.

Insecure:   “If it’s too expensive nobody will buy it –They’ll go to the pound shop instead.”

Artistic Integrity:  “We are way cooler than the pound shop.  These are like, limited editions. Fifty Pounds?”

Practical: “We just need to get it sold.  My husband’s gonna kill me if I don’t get this stuff out of his garage!”

Still insecure:  “It’s made from rubbish.  You know, the stuff people throw out because they don’t want it?”

Hungry:  “How much do nachos cost?  That’s how much we should charge. Plus an extra pound so we can buy a drink.”

This debate can rage on for hours without a conclusion in sight.  Apart from sorting out the tax returns, it’s the hardest part of our job. We just aren’t impartial.  Where a customer sees an end product, we see a whole windy afternoon spent picking up discarded ringpulls along the road, or a week spent mastering a new skill.

So, to avoid fisticuffs, we have to seek outside opinions.  This is where you come in.

We need feedback to help us decide how to price up our stock before we can sell it.  So we’re going to post photos and descriptions of our favourite upcycled items, and you get to tell us in the comments what you think they should cost.  Undiscovered masterpiece or garage sale fodder?  You decide!  And, if you’re a crafty so-and-so and have a particular system or handy tips for pricing up your stuff, we’d love to hear from you!

As you’re commenting furiously below,  we’ll putting sample items up for auction.  Although you can usually find our stuff on Etsy and DaWanda, this time we’ll be listing the items on ebay to get an idea of what the wider public thinks about them too.  All proceeds will go to the group’s “We want to eat at Nando’s fund”.  We’ll link to the auctions, so if anything takes your fancy you’ll have a chance to get your hands on it too!  So, without too much more rambling…

Item 1:  Bicycle Chain Ring Wall Clock

This clock was made by combining an 8.5 inch bicycle ring and recycled packaging materials with a new clock movement, for an end result that’s both functional and funky!  The clock runs on a single AA battery and has a hanger fitted on the back.  Because it’s made from used and upcycled materials, the finished clock may well have a few dents, scratches or imperfections–these are intended as part of the design.


chain ring clock





Item 2:  Bicycle Chain Beaded Bracelet

This lovely piece of work is made from bronze coloured acrylic bicone beads combined with salvaged bicycle chain links.  The beads are woven onto four strands of elastic for a strong and comfortable fit.

bike chain beaded bracelet DSCN7144_3831

Item 3:  Ring Pull Bracelet

These bracelets are simply woven from discarded ring pulls and ribbon, and fastened with a single button.  We always have a variety of colours in stock, but we also make to order.  Bracelets can be customized  to your chosen colour and length.

etsy 018 etsy 020

Item 4:  Stained Glass style jar lantern

Made from a combination of paint and sweet wrapper decoupage, these jars are one of our trademark creations.  Measuring 7.5 inches tall, this size works well as a vase or a tealight holder.

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5.  Wine Bottle Hurricane Lamp / Candle cover

Made by removing the top and bottom of a wine bottle, these are a beautiful way to shelter your candles from the breeze, and make a pretty decoration for your garden table.  Each comes with a terracotta base and the bottle on the left has been etched with a rose pattern.

DSCN6573_3266 DSCN6574_3267

6.  Wine Bottle LED lanterns

Made by inserting LED fairy lights through the base of a used glass bottle, we make these in a variety of styles. Some bottles are beautiful in their original state and some take a bit of “prettying up”.  We can personalize with initials or pictures, as well as using tie dye and tissue paper to make a creation that’s entirely unique.

bottle lantern, painted bottle upcycled bottle lanterns DSCN6610_3303

7.  Bottle Cap Keyrings

Pretty self explanatory, our favourite version is set with a 2p coin and topped with a dome of resin.

bottle top keyringAnd last (but not least) our most recent endeavor:

8.  Tile coasters

Start with some spare/salvaged tiles, add felt to the bottom and cover with something pretty:  Book pages, maps and most recently wax-resist watercolours, we sell these in sets of 4 or 6.

DSCN5539_1481 DSCN7134_3821


The photo above is what we got up to yesterday–these coasters are going to be so cool when they’re finished!  And there you have it:  some of our favourite creations for your perusal.  Please do let us know what you think.  If you were bidding on The Price is Right or had to run our stall tomorrow–how much would you sell these things for?

*ebay auction links will be added when the items go live


3 thoughts on “Rubbish. What’s it worth to you?

  1. I love your creations – especially the wine bottle hurricane lamps, and the bike chain ring clock – I would buy either of those if I saw them in a craft shop.

    Pricing them is so difficult – I don’t think I am very good at it (I’m not sure I have a good handle on what a craft shop would charge, but I particularly don’t want to undervalue your beautiful items) – but I would pay at least £15 for either the clock or the lamp.

  2. I too belong to the upcycling-crafty-goddess-refashionista-club and have a helluva time pricing my work…

    You want to sell your fabulous one-of-a-kind, handmade, cannot-be-found-elsewhere items for what they are actually worth (+ get a lil’ something for the hours involved in scouring charity shops & recyclable rubbish for materials, the hours of ‘creation-time’, photographing, editing said photographs, writing the product descriptions & getting it all online…and let’s not forget the additional fees involved in selling through an online shop + those pesky paypal percentages)

    Sadly, the general public non-creator customer simply doesn’t realize the amount of time/work /money that it takes to make & attempt to sell each item & when they stumble across your online shop will always compare the price of your products to that of something sorta similar (but in no way unique or handmade by a single person using one-of-a-kind materials ) found in the massive, internationally famous, worth-a-bazillion-dollars chain stores…you simply can’t compete…nor should you have to…if Ikea charges 25 – 50 pounds for a mass produced desk clock why should you accept a pittance for your handmade only-one-in-existence time piece of fabulousness?

    I’ve found the best method is to first decide who you want to sell to then strategically market to those potential customer groups. *Unfortunately until your unique ‘brand’ is known (through an insane amount of hard work & self-promotion – or – by some amazing stroke of internet-sensation-causing luck) to get your wondrous products seen & start generating a bit of cash flow you’ll have to compromise on pricing & cleverly gift-away or trade items with those who can help create a buzz & send potential buyers to your shop – exchanging crafty creations with your favourite bloggers for reciprocal reviews & links is a groovy start – just remember that swap-goods & blog reviews need to be created, delivered & written in a timely manner.

    My product prices are presently a mixture of don’t-make-a-penny, just-break-even & hooray-a-bit-of-proft …and as all price levels sell I’m finally comfortable enough to upload new creations at break-even & hooray-profit prices…

    At the end of the day it all comes down to you and how much time & energy you’re willing/able to put into the marketing required to bring in the customers & upcycling fans who appreciate your unique products, the work involved & the story behind it all…

    zero marketing = zero customers = nothing sold no matter how cheap or expensive your prices are

    *a wee bit longer than intended but I hope my ramblings helped a bit =O)

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