Is DIY always cheaper?


I've always love DIY, mainly because it gives me a sense of satisfaction and allow me to customise the size/designs. I don't always succeed but you'll always get something out from the process of making.

However, a friend of mine asked me if I think it's worth it making DIY packaging instead of buying one from gift shops?

Honestly, I've never thought about it. I just DIY when I feel like it or when I need something more customised.

For example, the cake box below, I used about 2 pieces of A4 size kraft paper and one piece of transparency.

A packet of 50 piece of A4 kraft paper (230gsm) is about $16. A packet of 50 sheets of transparency is about $12.

So the total of making the box is:

Kraft paper: $0.32 (per piece) x 2

Transparency: $0.24

Total: $$0.88

I did a search online and found that on Shopee, you can get a bundle of 10 cakeboxes (similar size) for $12 (plus $1.49 shipping), so it's $1.20 each. If you buy just a single box, it will usually cost more.

So for this case, yes, it's slightly cheaper. Moreover, the leftover materials can be use to make other things.

I recently made some custom size display boxes for my "legos".

I used 2x30cm wood sticks, 1 A4 PVC sheet (for the 'glass') and 8x8cm wood plank for the base.

I bought 10 wood sticks for $7.30 and 5 piece of 10x10cm wood plank for $5.30. 20 piece of A4 PVC sheet for $14.00.

So 1 display box cost $0.73x2 + $1.06 + $0.70 = $$3.22. (If you make a taller or bigger box, you'll need more materials)

However, you can get a plastic display box from Daiso for $2.14. But of course, if you've better skill, you can cut all the needed materials from a single board and save some money. 

DIY doesn't always mean cheaper, especially if you include the time taken to make just 1 box. I did a rough estimation, the display case took about 2 hours and the packaging box, about 30 minutes.

However, it can be a really fun experience that help you gain some satisfactions. So whether to DIY or not, depends on what you wish to achieve.

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