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Topic: stores with free stuff  (Read 13911 times)
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xohilzroxox
« on: January 12, 2005 07:32:09 PM »

i was wondering if any of you knew of any stores that give away free stuff// such as fabric scraps and little extras//

thanks a ton

ciao

<3<3<3 hilary eXc danielle
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« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2005 03:00:36 PM »

i was wondering if any of you knew of any stores that give away free stuff// such as fabric scraps and little extras//

As an official policy, it's rare.  I've come across a couple of secondhand bookstores that had free sections--one place was damaged books open to anyone to take as many as they liked, the other was perfectly good books and you could get one if you spent over $10. 

A lot of places give away things unofficially.  I used to work at a one hour photo center, and we would give out film canisters to anyone who asked.  We would also give away the AA batteries taken from disposable cameras to employees and occasional other people.  Just about every store will give away boxes if you ask.  I've known or heard of other freebies like scrap wood from a furniture manufacturer, scrap fabric from upholstery places, outdated promotional things like posters, and so on.  You have to be willing to ask, of course, and exercising basic courtesy when asking makes it more likely you'll get a yes.
 
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« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2005 06:45:44 PM »

Small or local thrift stores sometimes have "freebox"es.  Same thing goes at garage sales, things that people don't see potential in themselves may have super value in your own personal crafts and add so much individuality!
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« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2005 10:32:32 PM »

here's a big one no one thinks of- movie posters.  non-chain or small movie rental and theatres give them out to whoever will take them.  i live in campus housing and ra's every year go around and get free posters to use as decorations, granted they are usually b movies and left overs but the backs are white and their heavy paper.  good for paper crafts and wrapping paper. and sometimes theyll even have the cardboard cutout displays.

AOL cds- they're everywhere.
My neighbor was a nurse and would always bring home all these medicine bottle caps, in all sizes and colors, they looked like buttons.  they were great to glue on things.  but i have no idea how to go about getting any

ummm...i think thats all i got...oh, for those into dumpster diving- pay attention to college campuses school schedules bc college students tend to throw away things rather than haul them with them- especially wood lofts and beat up furniture, which is always great for refinishing and such.
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« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2005 11:45:27 AM »

the traveler's inn restaurant in CT (I forget what town, but, traveling south from MA, it's the very first exit off of 395.  You can very clearly see the restaurant from the highway & there are signs) give you free books when you eat there - a book per customer.  They also have a nice selection of used books for cheap.
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« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2005 04:54:22 AM »

if you go into an Ikea store and go into the "as-is" section, they will give you all the broken glass you could ask for! It's even divided up into catagories such as mirror pieces, dishes, and clear/ frosted glass. Just ask! they let you take as much as you want!! Grin
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« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2005 06:03:45 AM »

I go to tailor shops that custom make men's suits and ask them for their old fabric swatch books.  The fabric is great (mostly wool suiting material) and since they're all pretty much the same size, they're great for patchworking, among other things. Bridal shops would probably have fabric remnants but I haven't tapped any yet.

Law firms throw out hadbound books, great for altering books, on a regular basis. Many books are superceded by new volumes annually and the old ones just go into the trash. I think a good hard bound volume would make a great purse, there's a tute here somewhere on that.

Like geekmagnet said, campuses are great especially around this time of the year, when everyone is going home.  I'm lucky to live close to a medical school -they have nicer stuff than undergrads and, especially in the case of furniture, they don't seem to use their stuff much. Guess they're never home.

I like using free stuff.
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« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2005 04:48:50 PM »

It's not a store and it's located in San Francisco (of course!) but the Really Really Free Market happens once a month in Dolores Park.  I've literally walked out of there with bags of amazing stuff.  It would be nice if it was a monthly event all over the place Smiley
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« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2005 06:36:48 PM »

Paint stores usually give away discontinued wallpaper books, the usually have fabric swatches in them to. d
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« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2005 10:00:45 PM »

I got a giant bag of remnants from a local upholstery place.  many pieces are too small to be useful but I also got some great large pieces.  I made an awesome patchwork hippie tubetop with some of them.  Definetly consider checkin it out.
Ashley
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« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2005 08:53:31 PM »

I have discovered that this doesn't come easy all the time...
I have found it does when you work at the stores or have friends that do.
At my old bagging job, I managed to get a whole wine shelf to take home, I still have it and it rocks.
I got a broken coffee machine too, maybe someday i'll fix it.
Also, when seasonal things go out of season, then they won't want them anymore.
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« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2005 06:26:02 AM »

Some coffee places give their grounds away for free for composting.
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Summer Lee
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2005 09:58:59 AM »

Go to any ceramic tile store and ask for their broken tiles. They often pile them up outside the store on a daily/weekly basis. They love to give them away to artists or crafters. I used to get a ton of them and use them for mosaic tile work. I used a large pile of shiny cobalt blue tile, broken into small pieces, to put a mosaic in my shower. All you have to buy is the grout and glue. And it turned out great!
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jeweledmonkey
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2005 11:49:16 AM »

My favorite freebies are the wooden boxes at the wine stores. Sometimes they have wooden boxes from cigars too and those are a great size. Oh, and for those old enough, you can get free crown royal flannel bags at bars. </wino>
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« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2006 04:43:42 PM »

Most local theaters will give away those big movie posters if you ask real nice. You can also get those little promotional signs at most video stores by asking. I was so sad to find out someone asked for the rent poster before me.
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DTchick
« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2006 04:51:45 PM »

Most local theaters will give away those big movie posters if you ask real nice. You can also get those little promotional signs at most video stores by asking. I was so sad to find out someone asked for the rent poster before me.

I"ve been ooking for a Rent poster forever. If you buy the DVD at Circuit City, you get a free Rent calendar. I saw it in the paper today. Grin
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« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2006 09:16:00 PM »

Most local theaters will give away those big movie posters if you ask real nice. You can also get those little promotional signs at most video stores by asking. I was so sad to find out someone asked for the rent poster before me.

I"ve been ooking for a Rent poster forever. If you buy the DVD at Circuit City, you get a free Rent calendar. I saw it in the paper today. Grin

Those JERKS!  I totally bought the DVD and I totally didn't get a calendar!  I just might have to go in there and ask them about it. 

Hmph.
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DTchick
« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2006 04:50:57 AM »

Most local theaters will give away those big movie posters if you ask real nice. You can also get those little promotional signs at most video stores by asking. I was so sad to find out someone asked for the rent poster before me.

I"ve been ooking for a Rent poster forever. If you buy the DVD at Circuit City, you get a free Rent calendar. I saw it in the paper today. Grin

Those JERKS!  I totally bought the DVD and I totally didn't get a calendar!  I just might have to go in there and ask them about it. 

Hmph.

I totally bought the DVD the day it came out and asked about it. I still didn't get one. I don't think they ever had them to begin with. I stood there and told the man that the only reason I was in that store was because of the calendar and I could be getting a better deal over at Target. Then I proceeded to yell "I'm really angry" and walk away with my DVD.
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« Reply #18 on: February 25, 2006 08:32:08 AM »

Most local theaters will give away those big movie posters if you ask real nice. You can also get those little promotional signs at most video stores by asking. I was so sad to find out someone asked for the rent poster before me.

I"ve been ooking for a Rent poster forever. If you buy the DVD at Circuit City, you get a free Rent calendar. I saw it in the paper today. Grin

Those JERKS!  I totally bought the DVD and I totally didn't get a calendar!  I just might have to go in there and ask them about it. 

Hmph.

I totally bought the DVD the day it came out and asked about it. I still didn't get one. I don't think they ever had them to begin with. I stood there and told the man that the only reason I was in that store was because of the calendar and I could be getting a better deal over at Target. Then I proceeded to yell "I'm really angry" and walk away with my DVD.

Okay, we'll stop the off topic chit-chat, but I just had to say:  "Hahahahahaha!"
I have one from the show, so maybe I'll just have to be happy with that...  or maybe I'll go visit my circuit city and be all like "I bought the DVD and you guys didn't have the poster and can I have one now?"
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« Reply #19 on: March 08, 2006 06:56:27 PM »

The bicycle shop near my house LOVES to give away bicycle innertubes from the bikes they fix. They have them in three different widths, even. They make great belts and wrist cuffs with the addition of some rivets and a d-ring buckle or heavy duty snaps. If you have a vegan friend, a rubber belt is a nice alternative to leather for them--makes a nice gift. Smiley
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« Reply #20 on: February 11, 2007 10:54:32 PM »

there's always http://craigslist.org!

and if you live in hawaii (more specifically the island of oahu) you should visit the free store at the art building (next to the office) on the UH Manoa campus.  website for that http://www.nomoola.com
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Gwydion
« Reply #21 on: April 01, 2007 04:46:08 AM »

Cigar shops usually have more empty boxes than they know what to do with (some are really well-made varnished boxes with clasps, too!)  If you ask really nicely, most shops will let you have your pick of the boxes.

If you have Craigslist or freecycle in your area, check it frequently.  A lot of people around here post a "curb alert" on Craigslist when they're putting out unwanted but still-usable stuff.

Also, if you or a friend work for a smaller business, they will often give away old office furnishings or electronics.  (My husband's work will often pitch out a computer or printer rather than fix it--and sometimes it's an easy fix!)  The sewing school up the street from me occasionally gives away used sewing machine tables-- needing a little paint or new hinges, but in good shape overall.  And lots of offices close or relocate and get rid of shelving/pegboards and file cabinets--perfect homes for your craft supplies.

If you go in a store or business and they look like they're remodeling, it doesn't hurt to ask about interesting bits of debris--they might be happy NOT to have to haul it to the dump. Do ask before rummaging, though.

I recommend going armed with homemade cookies.  Smiley  Very few people can resist chocolate chips plus a polite freecycler.
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« Reply #22 on: May 06, 2007 12:12:33 PM »

As an addition to the movie theater idea I used to work at Barnes &  Noble and we would get posters for books and music and also some cardboard cutouts.  If you just ask someone they will stick your name and number on the back of it and call you when it comes down.  I got my cardboard Orlando Bloom when Lord of the Rings movies were out, but a friend got to the life-sized one first /sigh. 
Also, bookstores have an agreement with publishers so that when a book has been sitting around too long and it is cheaper not to have the book sent back we have to "strip" the book of its cover and then throw the books away.  People who work there can get free ones but we are not allowed (by contract) to give the books away to anyone- so don't borther asking.  BUT if you don't mind 'dumpster diving' go out the trash and open all the boxes in the dumpster.  You will find all sorts of mass market paper backs, fiction, sci-fi, mystery and romance novels. My favorite time was when we stripped the old travel books, they come out each year so around the new year we would throw out all the previous year and replace them... I have lots of travel guides for all over Cheesy  This idea works best if you have a friend working there who will grab you books, but if you are SUBTLE and go out to the trash you can score too Cheesy 
Also, this all applies to magazines!! Weekly ones will go out every week (duh Cheesy)  as the new ones come in, they are boxed up (without covers) and thrown away.  Just please don't be greedy and get bookstores in trouble!! It would probably be easier to just grab a bunch of filled boxes and then go through them at home Smiley
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« Reply #23 on: July 26, 2007 07:35:46 AM »

I didn't notice if anyone posted this -- doesn't mean it didn't happen, I forgot my glasses today!

I have let upholstery shops know I would like their scraps.  The best is when they give you the old sample books. I love those.  I have the best luck in funky areas of towns I have lived in as far as cool fabric.  I have the best luck as far as willingness in the suburban areas.

Once in Broad Ripple in Indianapolis, I left with 5 big black garbage bags of the best scraps ever.
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lolacat
« Reply #24 on: August 04, 2007 07:57:52 AM »

frame shops are a great place to get free scraps.  i have a friend who has her own shop.  she lets me dig through her scrap bins whenever i want.  matte and foam board make good asseblage surfaces, especially for ATCs.  and the matte board comes in a ton of different colors and textures.  i also get frame and glass scraps.  a small beveling tool smoothes the edges of the glass perfectly for small ornaments and such.
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« Reply #25 on: August 29, 2007 07:31:30 AM »

Along with Craigslist there is also FREECYCLE.ORG Freecycle is an amazing site and you can sign up for a yahoo group in your area. The point is too keep things from going in the trash- and it is all free. You can also list stuff you don't want anymore. A wide variety of stuff is given away all the time, and it is REALLY worthwhile!

Pearl Artist and Craft
supply will probably give you scrap plexi if you ask real nice. The Altamonte (FL) location isn't very fond of giving away boxes, but you can always ask.

JoAnn Fabrics throws a lot of stuff away if you feel like dumpster diving there. When all of the seasonal stuff "disappears" it goes straight to the trash, so for all you dumpster divers out there- go have fun!

I know Home Depot/Lowes will give out their old wallpaper samples, but most of the time they will ask you to leave your phone # and they never get back to me.
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« Reply #26 on: November 01, 2007 10:17:25 PM »

I don't know if this is on topic or not?But in the news they are warning women especially.That if you answer ads in Freecycle or Craigslist to take someone with you.Never go alone to answer any ads!A women that was 25-30 (I forgot which) went to answer a ad for a nanny.The ad was posted by a 18 yr. old who obviously didn't need a nanny.They found her body 24 hours later.So I know there maybe some people here that may use these sites.Just thought I'd give a little knowledge so no one will have a family tragedy. Undecided
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« Reply #27 on: November 24, 2007 06:14:09 PM »

I don't know if it is at all Lowe's but I was at our local one today and they have wallpaper samples behind the doors where the display samples are. They let me have as many pieces as I wanted. I got 26 different sample pieces, each one large enough to make a decorative envelope and have scraps left over for decoupage or covering books or scrapbooking.
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TotallyToTheT
« Reply #28 on: September 09, 2011 05:22:10 PM »

We have several local colleges and universities.  At one, when the kids go home for the summer all of their left behind stuff is gathered up and you can come and take away as much as you can carry.  Jeans for jean rugs, fabric scraps from the theatre students, etc.
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Dinozaur
« Reply #29 on: February 17, 2012 06:57:28 AM »

To anyone in the Baltimore area you should know and frequent the Book Thing (A free book store, take as many books as you like) and the Baltimore Free Store (They are only open every couple months). There are some amazing treasures to be found at both of these places.
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