How to Craft More and Pay Less
We all have TOO many craft supplies!
We can't help ourselves…when we go into a craft store we're like a kid in a candy store. We just can't get enough! Everything looks so pretty and exciting and all kind of creative ideas starts flying in our heads. We just know we'll have time for all those projects and we just know that we NEED all those supplies!
DO WE? Really?
I think not! I’m here to tell you we all have a craft store in our house!! We just need to use it wisely! There are so many projects hiding among those papers, fabric squares, paints and craft supplies. We just need to get smart! Craft More and Buy Less!
We can all save our money and still enjoy crafting if we do two things:
1. Shop for crafting supplies in our own stash!
2. Find more affordable ways to buy supplies or get them IF we really need them!
Shop for crafting supplies in our own stash
How many of you have so much stuff you don’t even know what you have and don’t have. Once I bought something I was so happy I found only to discover I had the same thing in my studio. I have a new way of organization to offer you in order to avoid that. Organize your supplies according to their “age”. Move all your old supplies to the front so you will not overlook them. I can hear what you're all saying…”all my supplies are organized by color”, “I arrange my supplies according to themes”. You can continue to do that, just rearrange those piles/drawers/shelves. Keep your papers according to each color but move all your old red papers for example to the front or the top.
Once you have identified all your old supplies challenge yourself to use them! Get one or two items for each project and use them. Once they'll be used in a project with newer supplies they'll look much better!
Many times we don't use supplies because they don't have the right size, color or shape. Alter your supplies. If you have a green chipboard flower and you need a red one, paint it! Instead of buying it create it!
Create a Kit
Pull coordinating supplies from your stash and create a kit. Assemble kits with color coordinating and/or theme coordinated supplies. Next time you want to create something use a kit! It'll be much easier to create something when everything is coordinated and matching!
Find new ways to use old supplies. Let’s face it…we don't use much of what we buy because after a while we get newer more popular stuff, that looks nicer. Let’s find creative ways to use old supplies so they'd still look fresh!
Manage your Stash
Even after creating lots of projects from old supplies there are still supplies we don't need. Maybe we do different kind of craft now, maybe we just bought too much or maybe we just couldn’t find how to use it. Don't keep it! Donate it, give it to someone who will use it instead of it cluttering your space. Schools and kindergartens, children hospital wards, old age homes, youth groups…the list goes on and on.
Decide on how you want to store everything and if the bin/shelf/drawer is full don't buy/get any more. This will make you plan ahead and only get what you really need and not what you want. It will also help you avoid clutter and help you be motivated to finish projects so you'll have room for new stuff.
Find more affordable ways to buy supplies or get them IF we really need them
BUT only if you really need them! At some point you need to make a decision and take responsibility. We are all adults and can decide if we need or just want something. The point is not to replace the supplies you’ve given with new ones…
Ask for Gift Cards
When people ask you what you want for your birthday or Christmas ask for gift cards to a craft store. This way they'll buy you something you like and you'll save money. They have to get you something anyway right?
Hit Thrift Stores
Yard Sales, Craigslist, etc. Almost every town has a quilt guild or a flea market. Don't miss a yard sale that advertises “years of craft supply accumulation” or “fabric, books, and craft supplies” and always hit the fabric/craft sections of the thrift stores. Also use e-bay, craigslist, and freecycle for crafting supplies. The dollar store can also be a source of surprising craft supplies.
Use found items
Found items don't cost anything. I get cogwheels and mechanical parts at the industrial area in my town. I just go to garages or little factories and ask for stuff they don't need. You'll be amazed what they give me. For them 10 rusted cogwheels are trash for me it’s gold! Use old books and atlases as a base for an art journal or scrapbook or cut the pages to use in other projects.
Trade unwanted supplies with friends or other groups. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure!
Here is a round-up of great tips from leading names in the craft industry: