Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Crafts On A Budget

I love crafting!! I crochet, make cards and other #papercrafts, make jewelry, try to paint, and am always up for trying something new, but it can get expensive. If you buy every tool, paper, yarn, stamp, ink, paint, fabric, and gizmo you see used in the gazillions of projects online and in print it would cost a fortune!! I, unfortunately, don't have a fortune to spend so I try to save money on craft supplies when I can. I'm a crafter on a #budget, and if you are too maybe you'll find something here to help :)

Finding great deals!!
--- One rule I always follow is only shopping at the "big" craft stores (yes, Michael's and JoAnn's) with coupons.  If you have their apps or go to their websites you can almost always find a 40 or 50% off coupon for 1 full price (non sale) item. If you have a couple non sale items that you absolutely must have, you can use multiple coupons. You can also find smaller, usually 15-25% off, coupons for your total purchase, which includes sale items...$$cha ching$$. You can use this in addition to your other coupons for even greater savings. Be sure to check the items at the end of the aisles for discounted products. Then, find their clearance section (my local stores have them in the far back corner). I have found inks, products with damaged packaging, and clear stamp blocks for less than $1!! Don't forget the dollar bins on the way to the register for seasonal stamps and embellishments. They're not fancy or brand name items, but can add variety to your stamping for little cost.
--- Don't forget about discount stores. You will find stamps, embellishments, decorative paper, glue and other miscellaneous supplies at these stores for a fraction of what you'd pay elsewhere.
  • #Walmart - letter stamp sets, embellishments, twine/cord, paper and small bottles of acrylic paint (which are sometimes less at the big craft stores with a coupon) for $1 or less. They have a much greater low price selection in store than they do online. Don't forget to check their clearance section in stores for big savings too.
  • The DollarTree - (or your local dollar store, Dollar General or Family Dollar) for hot glue sticks, pipecleaners, Sharpies, stencils, stickers and other embellishments, craft foam, staples and kraft paper wrapping paper rolls for $1.
  • #TuesdayMorning - Name brand (Martha Stewart, Xacto, Fiskar, etc.) adhesives, cutting mats, craft kits, washi tape, paper and embellishments for various prices, but well below the "big" craft stores.
  • Office supply stores or office supply sections at your favorite stores are a great place to look for card stock and other heavy weight paper, envelopes, decorative tapes, brass brads in large quantity (you can match to your projects with permanent ink, paint or nail polish), paper punches and various organizing items. Of course, don't forget to check out the clearance section too :)
  • Ollie's Bargain Outlet - Their stock changes all the time. I have seen name brand discontinued matstacks and paper pads, decorative paper punches, xacto paper cutters, stickers, journals, craft kits, and other various supplies for a fraction of the retail price elsewhere. I recently purchase a ream of white and a ream of blue, 8 1/2 x 11 card stock for about $5 in their office supply/paper section.
  • The Thrift Store - last, but not least, and definitely my favorite!!  Where do people take their unused card/envelope packs from the cards or invitations they made or never got around to, yarn and needles, buttons, beads, paper, craft books, rubber stamps, ink pads, embellishments, tools, frames, any number of craft destash items?!?! Yes, the thrift store :)  I have found sizzix cartridges, bulk bags of premium yarns, a carrying case full of ink pads and embossing powders, unopened high quality blank card/envelope sets, vintage fabrics and more.
If you're an online shopper, be sure to check out:
Papermart - for adhesives, packaging, cards/envelopes, ribbon, etc.
Trendy Tree - for ribbon, mesh, cording, wired tinsel
Craftsy - great sales on premium yarns, other craft supplies, project ideas and classes
Oriental Trading - kids craft supplies, beads, craft foam, seasonal crafts, craft kits, packaging
Amazon - well, you know, pretty much anything :) Sometimes their add on items are rock bottom prices.

Get creative!!
  • That beautiful fabric or wrapping paper is exactly the pattern you're looking for? 
    • So why not use it? Save time, aggravation, and probably some money too! You can #ModPodge it onto furniture or storage containers, use it as a background for the cards, invitations or scrapbook pages you're creating, or use it for whatever project you're dreaming up. There's an adhesive for everything you know ;)
  • Love that vintage dress or sewing items rubber stamp, but cant justify the cost since you're not sure you'll use it that often? 
    • I always see old patterns and sewing items/packaging at the thrift store.
    • Look online for images that you can download for free.....try The Graphics Fairy or Just Something I Made for great graphics and project ideas.
  • Just love those flower embellishments?
    • Can you make them yourself with a paper punch and some glitter/bling or a scrap of fabric that you already have?
  • Some specialty supplies (color/sparkle misting sprays, glittery beads, paints, gesso, alcohol inks, blending tools, adhesives, etc.) are just too expensive to justify right now?
    • Watch for sales and coupons.
    • You can also check pinterest, youtube or do a search for DIY versions.
  • You just love that card or craft but don't have the exact supplies or think you don't have the talent to pull it off?
    • Nonsense!! It doesn't have to be an exact replica. Make it your own, use what you have. That's even better :)
    • My son was doing some crafting with me and when I tried to help him do it right, he repeated something I've told him. "Art doesn't have to be perfect." I really do believe that. I don't have any official art training and probably couldn't make something exactly like someone else's even if I wanted to. I try to find inspiration, use what I have on hand, and make my version. I make what I think is appealing and I'm tickled pink when someone likes my creations. I try to keep in mind that it's my art. It's not perfect, but it's mine :)

*********************************************************************************Go find some deals, get creative and have fun!!  I'd love for you to share your thoughts.  What's your favorite place to find crafty bargains?  Do you have any frugal tips to share?  What was your best "find"? Let me know in the "Comments" below :)   *********************************************************************************

Thanks for stopping by,

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This is not a paid post. These are stores I shop at or products I use.


  1. I love crafts shop but I never know what I should choose.
    Thanks for sharing My favorite Things

    1. You're very welcome :) I know exactly what you mean. It's like being a kid in a candy store. That's why I try to find crafty goodies at places other than the big craft stores. I can get more by spending less :)

  2. Great round up of resources! Thanks for sharing at My Favorite Things party! Hope to see you again this week. Theresa @DearCreatives ;)

    1. Thanks, I'm glad you liked them :) Craft supplies can get so expensive and I think we all appreciate saving money when we can.

  3. Thanks for linking up a great and informative post for TTF!

    1. Thank you, I'm so glad you liked it :)