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Topic: Tips for Building a Craft Supply Stash on a Budget  (Read 1155 times)
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bunnicula
« on: December 28, 2007 06:30:57 PM »

I am new to crafting and I am finding it to be very costly to buy all of the supplies that I want/need. Does anyone have any tips for amassing craft supplies on a budget?
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« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2007 07:09:32 PM »

1.  Tell everyone you know that you are looking for craft supplies.  Pretty soon, someone's grandma may give up sewing or whatever craft, and you can get hold of the stuff.

2.  go to freecycle.org and join your local group.  People are often giving away cool stuff you can use.  Don't just be a taker, though: give away some stuff through freecycle also.

3.  other crafters are also doing this, but you might find good stuff by using the thrift shops, recycling centers, and garage sales in your area.  Sometimes such places even have free bins.

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« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2007 07:50:13 PM »

I agree with Therisa.....hit the resale/thrift stores. I go all the time and I never fail to find all kinds of goodies.
Be opened minded too. For instance; I bought ugly beaded candle covers for 50 cents a pair and then stripped the beads off for other projects.
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« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2008 11:53:18 AM »

I always go to the clearance section of whatever store I'm in.Be willing to sort through baskets and bins of misc.stuff.I've had good luck at Big Lots.Any store with a toy dept.may have craft kits-sometimes clearanced.I once found several sealed packages of bias tape at the thrift store.Also old craft books for 50 cents each once.Word to the wise-stuff like pliars and wire may be cheaper at a hardware store or "-mart" store,than at a craft store.Checked out the Reuse/Recycle/Recraft board here for good tips.Freecycle does rock.
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« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2008 12:04:26 PM »

I just told everyone I wanted Hobby Lobby gift cards for christmas Wink
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« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2008 02:43:47 AM »

Look at everything without predjudice as to its original purpose. As with the beaded candle holders, old clothes are new fabric, junk mail is paper ephemera and anything can be a bead as long as you can put a hole in it. This way you just have to slowly start collecting the findings and basics to start.

Oh, and only buy what you need at the time if you are reeeeealy broke.  If you need glue and glitter hold off on the pom-poms untill you have a specific use for them.

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« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2008 08:36:45 AM »

Having lots of storage room helps, that way when you come across supplies, but have no specific project in mind, you can still hold onto it (and do regular purging so you don't end up with a huge mess).

Have crafty friends, family, or ex-crafty ones?  Trade small items, and share bigger ones - like if someone you know has a shop with power tools, see if they will let you use it, and you let them use your sewing machine, or somesuch.

I love Freecycle, got a few great things off them, before politics caused  schism in my city - but a great source for misc things.  For sure keep an eye out at thrift stores, etc.  Dumpster diving helps too - keep an eye out in neighbourhoods around garbage day - especially after things like neighbourhood garage sales, or when you know houses have been sold and people are moving in/out, at the end of the month at apartment buildings when people may be purging junk as they move.  Near the end of the school year in college areas as students move too.  You never know what people may throw out that you can use.

Liquidation clearance centres - in my city there are stores called Liquidation World, or XS Cargo and they can carry various items useful for crafting - storage items, tools, yarn, things that can be remade, like furniture.  I love the bookstore I go to because it is the clearance centre for the gift sections of the other franchises of that chain.  I have bought discounted gift wrap, bags, spice mixtures, great metal containers, etc there.  I also keep an eye out for warehouse sales for gifts and materials.  I know that there are a couple of companies around Toronto that have general sales where they sell anything from gift wrap to stereo equipment, to make up, to power tools. 

Definitely get the word out that you like to <add craft here> and you would be amazed how many people, especially when the urge to spring clean and purge comes, want to (or knows someone who wants to) get rid of old tools, sewing machines, fabric, yarn, etc that have been sitting around unused.

If there is a recycled housing materials store near by - check that out.  Like if there is a Habitat for Humanity Re-store or somesuch if you want larger materials - like an old door to make into a table, or headboard.
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« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2008 06:47:27 PM »

my hubby just picked up a huge box of free matboard from a a frAMING SHOP FOR ME. oops, sorry, didn't mean to hit the caps lock- but yeAH, a huuuuuge box  of matboard scraps for free! The stuff people throw away is just crazy. i now have a lifetime supply of board to mount things on. i agree, you just need to tell people you are looking for supplies and they will manifest.
good luck!!
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« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2008 07:02:58 PM »

anything can be a bead as long as you can put a hole in it.

that is so true...and awesome.

and freecycle is great.
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« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2008 02:59:36 PM »

You can build your yarn stash by unraveling sweaters. 

Build your felt stash by tearing apart wool coats, the pieces can be used for felt or you can cut the wool pieces into very thin strips and blend the crap out of them in a bit of water to get "re-wool" that you can felt with a felting needle.

Clothing of course, fabric, and the beads and buttons can be embellishments.

If you start telling friends and family members that you want their old clothes then you'll be surprised at how much material you can get for free.

Many people are basically lazy and toss old clothing in the trash instead of donating to places like good will, but if they know someone that will want it then they will bag it up for you to pick up. 

You can also volunteer a few hours per week at your local thrift store in exchange for "trash" rights, meaning that you get to pick over the things they toss in the trash that do not sell.  You'd be surprised at what thrift stores, goodwill and salvation army throw away in order to make room for more donations.

It's against the law in many states to dumpster dive, but by volunteering you won't have to dig in the dumpster to get all kinds of goodies.

Broken dishes for mosaics, curtains for quilt backings etc.

Also look at nature around you, smooth rocks are perfect for painting on or to use as weight for dolls that sit up, dried sticks, pine cones and fruit peelings make great potpourri.  peelings can be dried on a sunny day by simply placing them on newspaper in the sunshine.

For low cost supplies, dollar stores have glue, many have yarn, as well as bunches of hair bows that can be taken apart for the beads, ribbons and elastics.
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