Ask CRAFT: Embellishing and Selling

Becky Stern

Becky Stern (sternlab.org is a DIY guru and director of wearable electronics at Adafruit. She publishes a new project video every week and hosts a live show on YouTube. Formerly Becky was Senior Video Producer for MAKE. Becky lives in Brooklyn, NY and belongs to art groups Free Art & Technology (“release early, often, and with rap music”) and Madagascar Institute (“fear is never boring”).

47 Articles

By Becky Stern

Becky Stern (sternlab.org is a DIY guru and director of wearable electronics at Adafruit. She publishes a new project video every week and hosts a live show on YouTube. Formerly Becky was Senior Video Producer for MAKE. Becky lives in Brooklyn, NY and belongs to art groups Free Art & Technology (“release early, often, and with rap music”) and Madagascar Institute (“fear is never boring”).

47 Articles

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If you have a question for Ask CRAFT, shoot me an email at [email protected], or drop us a note on Twitter! We’d love to answer your crafty questions on any topic: technique, projects, crafty culture, or anything else! Each week the answers are here; include your name, where you’re from, and your website or blog if you have one!


Allison in Washington, DC, writes:

I am wondering if I purchase a ready-made clothing item and then embellish (e.g. through applique or embroidery), can I ethically sell it as my own work?

You certainly can sell it as your own work, but I’d make it clear in any online listings that you didn’t construct the garment itself. Look on Etsy for things tagged “embellished” or “applique” or “refashioned” or “upcycled” for some examples of how other people list these types of items. In my opinion if you’re adding something valuable and creative to the clothing, then it certainly is your own work. Pictured above is Madrigal Embroidery’s hand-embellished upcycled necktie on Etsy. What are your thoughts on embellishing garments to sell? Share with us in the comments!

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