Although I’m easily seduced by yarn, glue and paper punches and such, I do live by a few craft-buying money-saving rules. Daphne’s list of ten things to keep in mind when crafting on a budget pretty much sums up my approach.
- Consider buying kits. They give you just what you need without overbuying.
- Don’t buy patterns; get them free off the internet. Daphne suggests knitty.com, Sew Mama Sew, Purl Soho, Flickr (for embroidery patterns) and the Hoop Love group. I’d add joining Ravelry as well.
- Search the internet for how-tos. Daphne says to include ‘tutorial’ in your search. I’d recommend trying ‘how-to’ too.
- Think simple. When feeling crafty on a budget, find a project that doesn’t necessitate buying a bunch of tools.
- Rent a sewing machine. If you don’t have a sewing machine, which is one of the most expensive craft supplies you can buy, call your local sewing and craft stores to see if you can rent one before making that big investment.
Sign up for mailing lists. JoAnn Fabrics, for instance, sends out special coupons to the people on their mailing lists, and Michael’s now sends out e-mails with printable coupons. Even your small local stores most likely send out updates of sales as well.
- Go to the library. Craft books can be very expensive. Instead of buying books–especially for a craft you’re just starting–check them out of the library first to take them for a test drive. Also, charity book sales are a great place to find instructional books. Even yarn-project-type-books. The patterns may be out of style, but the basics never change.
- DIY your own supplies. Daphne suggests that if knitting is in your plans, you can make your own knitting needles out of doweling! The point is, a little imagination can save you cash.
- Shop sales (of course) and thrift stores. Yes, you can find craft supplies at thrift stores. And, don’t forget, you can cannibalize clothing for fabric and even unravel sweaters for yarn.
- Pay cash. If you’re on a strict craft budget, pay in cash only. Taking a 20-dollar bill into your favorite sewing shop or craft store is the best way to insure you won’t over-spend!
For more craft-budget hints, check out Craft Stylish.
Image courtesy of The Old Craft Store.