Anyone who crafts knows that shopping for all of the supplies and materials you need for your projects can get pricey. Luckily, that's no reason to keep you from expressing your passion. With a little creativity and some bargain hunting, it's possible to get cheap craft supplies almost everywhere you look.
Your Own Home
It may seem obvious but you have a lot of craft supplies in your home that you probably wouldn't consider as crafting materials at first glance. Scour your recycling box, kids' rooms, office, and kitchen to find unique items that you can use in your projects.
Here are some items that you can upcycle to use in your new craft projects. These work especially well for kids crafting projects.
- Toilet paper and paper towel rolls
- Egg cartons
- Glass containers that once held food
- Cardboard (cereal boxes, shipping boxes, packaging)
- Water bottles
- Milk cartons
Step outside your home and visit some yard sales and estate sales to get some cheap craft supplies. I frequently find craft supplies and fabric at garage sales in my area.
A great way to narrow down your search is to visit the garage sale section on Craigslist and use the search box to find craft supplies. Type in "craft supplies" or specific craft items and you'll be shown what garage sales near you will have them.
Besides yard sales, there are also a few ways to find cheap and even free craft supplies near you. Here are a few websites I use to find craft supplies in my neighborhood.
Search on each of these websites to find general craft supplies, fabric, patterns, yarn, craft books, and more.
Thrift stores are great places to find used and sometimes brand new items that you can use for cheap craft supplies. Check out the craft supply area but also keep your eye out for these treasures:
- Large blankets, tablecloths, or clothing to use as fabric
- Purse hardware and handles for bag-making
- Magazines for decoupage or scrapbooking
- Clocks for clock parts
- Jewelry for beads and hardware
- Craft books and magazines
Also, check for reuse stores in your area. There are more and more creative reuse stores popping up around the country and these are great places to find just about anything you need for just about every craft you can name.
Dollar stores are great places to pick up cheap craft supplies for just a dollar. They have a craft section you'll want to check out but don't forget to check out their office supply, glassware, and party supply sections.
Here are some of my favorite items to pick up there:
- Wooden craft sticks and clothespins
- Tissue paper
- Decorative craft tape
- Glues and other adhesives
- Foam paint brushes
- Vases and candle holders
- Floral foam
Craft Reuse Centers
Craft reuse centers are stores that accept donations of crafting supplies and then resell those supplies to customers who visit the store. The goal of these centers is to keep crafting supplies from filling up landfills. You can find a ton of different supplies here for just about every type of crafting you can think of. You can find a craft reuse center in your area so you can visit.
When you're looking for cheap craft supplies, don't forget to check discount stores in your area. These include Big Lots, Five Below, Wal-Mart, and Dollar General, just to name a few.
Some of these stores have actual craft supply sections while at others you can look for raw materials like glassware, fake flowers, frames, and anything else you might want to use in an upcoming craft project.
There are also some specialty stores that are great places to find discounted craft supplies even though that's not what they're intended for. Here's where I like to go to look for them:
- Harbor Freight Tools (storage containers, magnets, rulers, tools, drop cloths, hooks)
- Office Depot (paper, adhesives, scissors)
- Pharmacies (discounted seasonal items, tissue paper)
- Antique stores (old and new crafting supplies)
Craft stores are the obvious place to go for craft supplies but there are some key ways to save when you make a purchase there. Most of the craft stores offer coupons and have sales that can save you up to 70 percent off the original prices. Check out their websites and apps for sale details and coupons.
You can shop online for just about every store now, but there are some online-only stores where you can get great discounts on craft supplies and materials. Here are some websites that will give you the most bang for your buck: