Get the most out of your craft budget by learning to be a smart needlepoint shopper with these three simple tips. Armed with the knowledge you will have gained from these savvy shopping strategies along with the money you plan to spend, you can either visit your local needlepoint shop or browse online to save money and maximize your shopping experience.
If you are an experienced needlepointer, you probably already have a few good tips of your own and know how to shop for canvas, designs and other tools and supplies needed to complete a project; however, there's always room to learn something new.
If you are new to needlepoint, it's easy to get overwhelmed by the huge variety of "everything needlepoint" you'll find in a shop; so these tips will help you sort it all out so that you have what you need to successfully stitch your first project and all the others that will follow.
Smart Tip #1: Shop for Quality Needlepoint Supplies
Savvy needlepoint shoppers are always on the lookout for new needlepoint designs and items to replenish their stash. They don’t wait until they are ready to start a new project; but make it a point to visit local shops and online to buy what they need. Here are a few strategies to keep in mind.
- Although it is great to shop for bargains, make sure that any bargain basket needlepoint supplies as well as backroom sales, markdowns and clearance items are of good quality. Depending on how deep the discounts, you can easily be tempted to purchase what appears to an unbeatable deal, but turns out to be a waste of money because of poor quality.
- Some threads and fibers like Persian and Tapestry wool may have been of good quality when first purchased by the shop owner; but are now on sale because they have been in the store’s inventory for years, and have become dry and are no longer supple. Other threads may have been discounted because they were displayed in a store window and have been damaged by the sun and outside temperature. Although you think you may be able to salvage a few strands; the effort required to do this ends up not being worth the sale price you paid.
- Good quality needlepoint canvas is often sold at bargain prices in pre-cut pieces. These are usually remnants from the end of a bolt of canvas the shop owner previously purchased in bulk. You should definitely buy as many pieces of this needlepoint canvas as your budget will allow; but check each one carefully to make sure there are no knots, and that each piece has the proper amount of sizing.
Smart Tip #2: Search Online for Discount Needlepoint Supplies
Online shopping for needlepoint has become increasingly popular, and not only for specialty or seasonal items. Online bargains are also a smart way to stretch dollars and replenish a needlepoint stash at a fraction of the cost.
Most needlepoint shops have an online store as well to advertise exclusive weekly or monthly web-only deals. These include everything from discontinued needlepoint threads and fibers, booklets and last season kits, to leftover designer hand-painted canvases, stitching supplies and sample merchandise. Try these savvy shopping tricks to take advantage of online discount needlepoint supplies.
- In November and December, needlepoint stores tend to offer deep discounts online for summer and Halloween themed needlework in order to make room for Thanksgiving and Christmas merchandise. Take advantage of these deals for future projects and gifts.
- You can also find limited selections of designer needlepoint kits and canvases as well as hard-to-find needlepoint accessories that are not available inside the store. In many cases, store-brand and proprietary needlepoint tools, threads and supplies you can’t get anywhere else are offered solely on the website.
- When purchasing online, sign up for newsletters, mailing lists and rewards clubs to get exclusive email savings and coupons along with limited time deals, unadvertised specials and final markdowns available only to registered customers on the lists. Some online needlepoint sites offer free gifts with purchase events to help you get the most out of your stitching budgets.
- As a shrewd shopper, you should do some comparison shopping at online outlets and websites that don’t have storefronts. Some online needlepoint outlets have ongoing sales with reduced prices on needlepoint items you would typically find inside a specialty boutique or store; so check the web first before going to the shop.
Smart Tip #3: Shop with a Needlepoint Project in Mind
Do your homework before going to the store. Check out online consumer reviews from local Better Business Organizations like Yelp to get an idea of what to expect from owners and sales personnel.
- Come prepared with a planned needlepoint project in mind, or at least with a few new ideas. Use shopping time to buy what you need, get inspired about the next needlepoint project or to think about how you will use a new specialty or novelty thread.
- If the shop is large enough to host classes and workshops, observe the current class for a bit, and then sign up for an upcoming class or two.
- Fortified with cash and your needlepoint budget just for this kind of shopping, browse the shelves in a relaxed manner--giving each item of interest a thorough examination before choosing which one to buy. This savvy shopping behavior will help you make wise needlepoint decisions instead of spur-of-the-moment impulses you may later regret.