10 Ways to Craft on a Budget

10 Ways to Craft on a Budget

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.

  1. Consider buying kits. They give you just what you need without overbuying.
  2. 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.
  3. Search the internet for how-tos. Daphne says to include ‘tutorial’ in your search. I’d recommend trying ‘how-to’ too.
  4. Think simple. When feeling crafty on a budget, find a project that doesn’t necessitate buying a bunch of tools.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

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DIY Maven on Jan 27, 2010:

Ravenna--What EXCELLENT finds!!

Ravenna on Jan 27, 2010:

You can also buy patterns at yardsales for next to nothing often times some have not even been cut.  Craft supplies can also be found at estate sales, though the material may be vintage or out of date but you can always find something to do with it, aprons are always a safe choice with it.  I am happy to say that I bought 28 skeins of yarn at a yard sale for $5.00, 10 yards of fabric for $4.00, and a bag full of zippers of all sizes and colors at a thrift shop with 3 skeins of yarn for $2.18.

DIY Maven on Aug 14, 2008:

lilyrose, don't you just love ravelry?! I could spend hours browsing about, looking at what people have made. Gotta love those search capabilities too!

lilyrose on Aug 14, 2008:

What a great list!  I couldn't agree with you more about never paying for patterns.  With a bit of patience and a few queries on Google and Ravelry you'll have more patterns than you could ever hope of finishing.  It is better to spend your money on craft supplies!


The problem is that many of the people who are interested in needcrafts seem to be internet newbies that are clueless about running a simple Google search.  They flood online communities asking simple questions that a few seconds and a keyword query to a search engine would solve...

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