Did you know that just by marketing something as “craft” the mark-up on it goes through the roof? That’s why I have such a huge problem paying full price for craft supplies. Some tools are totally worth it for their usefulness and/or long lasting investment return (like my top 10 DIY craft tools). As a general rule, however, I always want to get the best deals on supplies and I know you do too. Here are my top 10 ways to save on craft supplies!
Affiliate links may be used in this post. Ordering a product through these links may result in a commission. Read the full disclosure here.
1. Word of Mouth
Let friends and family know the types of things you are looking for and chances are when they come across items in their house that they don’t use or need any more they will offer them to you. I have gotten tons of sewing patterns, cloth, scrapbook supplies, paint, etcetera all because my friends and family knew how much crafting I do. My best friend’s mom actually let me go through 2 giant boxes of sewing patterns that she was getting rid of to take my pick to keep before she did so. Let’s just say my collection grew substantially that day!
2. Thrift Stores
I love thrift stores and I find all kinds of things there that can be used in my crafts. Some of the best items to look for in thrift stores are frames, baskets, fabric, and books. These are all used frequently in DIY projects and these are by far the best deals you will find on them. When shopping at thrift stores, be sure to adjust your thinking so that you are open to all of the possibilities an object can have for your specific project idea. Read How to Save Money on Practically Anything if you need help.
If you keep your eye on clearance sections, you’ll be able to find some of the BEST prices in the store. I also do it to help inform you about which clearance prices are worth it. Sometimes, just because an item is clearance out doesn’t mean it is a good deal. Know what a truly spectacular price is for something before buying it and always ask yourself, “What am I really willing to pay for this item?”
Ebay has changed a lot over the years. It used to be THE place to go to get deals on things that people didn’t want any more. Now, a lot of stores have taken over and just because it’s on Ebay doesn’t make it a great deal. I see a ton of auctions that start the price well over what I’m willing to pay. This doesn’t mean Ebay isn’t a good resource still, depending on what you’re looking for. Shop here for craft supplies, people. I have gotten a box of zippers for six bucks on here. I’ve gotten tons of beading supplies for crazy cheap. There are awesome craft deals to be found on here. If you’re willing to buy wholesale lots, you can save even more. I love getting supplies from Ebay.
5. Yard Sales
I love yard sales. To me they are the perfect system. One person gets rid of items they no longer want to make space for the ones they do. The other person gets amazing deals on items they can give a good home and/or turn into something amazing. It’s a symbiotic beauty. A lot of crafters end up with an excess of supplies and when they finally realize it, they get rid of it at bargain prices. I started my rubber stamp collection at a yard sale. The lady had been a Stamping Up! consultant for years and she was getting rid of the old to make way for the new.
6. Construction Sites
Did you know that a lot of the ‘waste’ at a construction site just gets pitched? This includes scrap wood, tiles, and hardware. Instead of watching it get thrown away, bring it home for your own projects. Always ask if you can take it though. Chances are they won’t care at all but it is still theirs and asking is the right thing to do and also protects you. Word of caution: Be careful whenever bringing anything from a construction site home. Depending on the project, age of the building, etc. it can contain traces of lead, asbestos, and/or other harmful chemicals. Always be safe and always use you best judgement.
7. Armories and Posts
Did you know that armories and small military posts clean out their inventory annually? Sometimes these items go to auction and sometimes they just go in the trash. Send them a letter and ask if you can take a look the next time they are getting rid of things. I have gotten some crazy things from armories, from 3-ring binders to huge rolls of Velcro.
Never, ever just go through the dumpster of an armory. This is for your protection. Always ask someone in charge and get their approval to do anything at the armory, including go through the trash. Remember, these are still military installations and should be treated with the same respect and sensitivity that a full post or base would.
This is one of my favorite ways to save on craft supplies. It is free and it is good for our planet. This is a win-win in my book. I will reuse the Styrofoam from my produce (like for these Kid Made Mother’s Day Cards) or even old cereal boxes (such as in this DIY Family Command Center). The creative possibilities here are endless.
A lot of supplies can be found in nature. Bleached wood is great for projects and flowers can be pressed and then sealed for use in all kinds of projects. Leaves, twigs, and rocks can all be used in super creative and beautiful ways. Challenge yourself to come up with unique ideas using just what is in your yard or local park.
This one isn’t a secret. We all know how much you can save on Amazon.com (on just about anything if you’re patient). Did you also know, however, that if you put something in your cart and leave it there that Amazon will let you know if it reduces in price or if they find the item cheaper through another seller? This doesn’t work if you need the item right now, but if it’s something you can have a little patience on (typically a few weeks at least) you can get some even more amazing deals. Remember the Hello Kitty timer I mentioned in $3 DIY Sanity Saver? About 2 weeks after putting it in my cart I got an email from Amazon.com showing me the same exact timer for only $3! It was originally almost $9. I could have purchased it for a third of the price. This is seriously worth trying.
So there are my top 10 ideas to save on craft supplies. I’d love to hear what ways you save on craft supplies in the comments!
Don’t Forget to Pin It!