Gifts that people have made have always been more special to me than those purchased in a store. Giving the gift of time and talent makes something extra special. While crafting for family and friends can initially sound like a way to save money, all those trips to the craft store can add up quickly. Here’s how I have been able to acquire craft supplies on a budget:

 

 

  • Use Coupons: Of course! I receive coupons for multiple craft stores in my area in my Sunday paper. I also learned that Michaels and A.C.Moore will sometimes accept competitor coupons. Normally they will accept percent-off coupons for one item (but not your whole order). 
  • Think Sheets: Instead of purchasing fabric off the bolt, I sometimes use inexpensive sheets to make gifts. Recently I found a polka-dotted sheet in a thrift store that I used to make baby blocks and toys for a shower gift. Even purchasing sheets in a retail store (hopefully on sale!) could get you a lot more fabric for less money, especially if you are looking for character patterns for children.
  • Recycle: Take a look at clothing in your own home that you are thinking of getting rid of. Some items may be able to be cut down and used in a craft project. Maybe you could turn that skirt that no longer fits into quilt squares or make sock animals from those mismatched socks hanging around your laundry room.
  • Save Those Scraps: I had some scraps of fleece left over from Christmas blankets in my house. With the scraps that were left, I was able to make some children’s hats and mittens too. Sometimes after making a skirt or dress, I’ll make a purse or headband with fabric that’s left over.
  • Know When to Stock Up: Back-to-school sales are usually a good opportunity for stocking up on markers, paper, and other craft supplies. Also, it’s good to check out the after-holiday sales — plan ahead and think about what you’d like to make next year. I’ve found silk flowers discounted up to 90 percent off at my local craft store after Valentine’s Day.
  • Look for Patterns Online: Patterns in craft stores can easily run you 10 dollars. Save that money and print patterns from the Internet! I’ve found many great patterns for purses and aprons online, and they’re just as good as the ones that I would’ve spent a small fortune for in a store.
  • Have a Craft Co-Op: Network with some of your friends and make a date to craft together. Not only is it a fun night out but also a way to share resources, ideas, and save some money.
  • Stay Organized: Just like we “stockpile,” not “hoard,” it’s important to keep your craft supplies organized so that you know what you have and what you need. This way you’re not spending extra money on things you already have in your home.
  • Don’t Be Afraid to Ask: If you’re looking for craft supplies for schools or Scouts, many businesses are willing to give you a discount or even give away items that you could use. A home improvement store may have old wallpaper books that you could use for a scrapbooking project…you never know until you ask!
  • Check Online Communities: Join a local crafting group on facebook and see if there are other crafters you can trade items with. Check Craigslist to see if there are people getting rid of items that you could use, or check out yard sales where you can really score items for a steal!

I hope these suggestions give you some ideas that help you indulge your crafty side…without breaking the bank!

This is a guest post by Renee of Scranton, PA
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