You may remember the days when schoolteachers seldom shopped for “new” craft materials. Our schools taught crafts, as they still do, and clever projects came out of many classrooms. Teachers knew how to save money on craft supplies, however, as you can do today.
How to save money on craft supplies can be as simple as …
Making creative use of stuff you already have.
- Styrofoam packing sheets make wonderful floating crafts for your swimming pool such as trays, toys, and kickboards for kiddies.
- Wood flooring that’s leftover can produce awesome crafts on a larger scale such as an accent wall, a wooden chest, etc.
- Worn-out sweaters / afghans can be raveled – untwisting crocheted or knit stitches to create balls of usable yarn for crafts such as ornaments, pom-poms, and headbands.
Considering how to save money on craft supplies can lead to …
Visiting local / online thrift stores with an imaginative mind.
- Thrift stores often sell worn-out yarn items like those I mentioned above for a handful of change. Our daughter buys all she needs for making dozens of one-of-a-kind doggie sweaters.
- Thrift-store socks quickly become sock monkeys to please children.
- Thrift-store tee shirts and jeans supply your craft cupboard for future pet toys, throw rugs, hats, tote bags, and many other projects.
Save money on new craft supplies at favorite stores by …
Planning specific projects, creating supply lists, and shopping wisely.
- Ask about store coupons, and policies for using them.
- Make purchases off-season, i.e., buy supplies for next year’s holiday after that holiday season ends this year.
- Buy separate materials instead of higher-priced craft kits.
- Befriend retailers and ask advice on economical substitutions.
Surprisingly, you can save money on craft supplies by …
Looking for craft supplies in all the wrong places.
- I once looked for craft supplies in an ice cream shop’s dip cabinet! A craft class planned to make 3-to-4-gallon wastebaskets, but we had no source for the basic container. The big cardboard ice cream tubs would be perfect. The manager agreed to put them aside for the class until they had enough. They were a success!
- Brainstorming will help you realize that your craft may not need those new, more costly supplies sold at the craft store. A little ingenuity gets you out looking in unlikely places for supplies that will save you money while giving just the results you want.
- Sometimes, you can expand a larger household purchase to include what you need for a craft. When we purchased a sofa and loveseat, we were able to add on extra yardage of the upholstery cloth at a bargain price. That extra yardage later became beautiful background for a large, framed wall hanging.
You can enjoy learning how to save money on craft supplies by …
Browsing creatively at garage sales or “varage” sales.
This may seem to contradict the advice to plan specific projects, create supply lists, and shop wisely – but it really doesn’t.
- Pre-or-post pandemic ~ ~ ~ You wear a mask, take your imagination along and wander through a large garage sale together. Suddenly, you see a vintage item that gives you a great craft idea! Maybe no one else would see how awesome those old maps are, but your imagination sees it. You buy them, and hurry home to get busy.
- During the pandemic ~ ~ ~ You discover varagesale.com and grin. Hooray! You need no mask. A simple app brings local virtual garage sales to your home. You browse the items, and see a full-sized vintage house door. It once had glass windows, but not now. You picture craft-filled hours of restoring it to create a large photo wall. Sold! Actually, you get it free because the owner’s simply cleaning out Grandpa’s garage.
You can save (or lose) money on craft supplies if you …
Overbuy and return regularly.
- I hate running out of nails or screws or paint before I’ve completed my project, don’t you? I think I inherited the “need” to buy extra, just in case. Everyone in my family did it. If you needed only 1 oz. of half-inch nails – you bought twice that amount just to be sure. Overbuying (buying more than you actually need) ensured you had enough – and it often saved money.
- There’s a catch, though. If you rarely use that size nail, you may have an unopened package for your descendants to inherit.
- That’s why I recommend that you combine with your overbuying practice a habit of returning unused supplies. Check with the store ahead of time to be sure they will accept returns at the full price you paid – and save your receipts.
Finally, you can save money on craft supplies by …
Making your own craft supplies.
- If you’re the crafty DIY type, you should be familiar with polymer clay. With it, you can create many things such as costume jewelry, figurines, or ornaments. You can buy polymer clay at craft stores – but you can save money by making your own. Try this recipe for Baker’s Clay (aka polymer clay).
The how-to of saving money on craft supplies works out in large part along the lines of an old adage: “Use it, wear it out, make it do or do without.”
“Use it” ~ Know what usable supplies you have before buying new ones.
“Wear it out” ~ Recycle still-useable objects to extend your craft supplies.
“Make it do” ~ Be satisfied with less than top line craft supplies.
“Do without” ~ Switch to a more affordable craft
It’s always best to control our crafts rather than let our crafts control us.