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Topic: 101 Ways to Continue Crafting Without Breaking The Bank  (Read 21635 times)
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shadowsofadreamer
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« on: August 16, 2009 08:32:52 AM »

Ok, so I don't have 101 ways yet, but maybe with a little community additions, we could get that far?

I don't know about everyone else, but I've really been feeling the recession. My friends are losing there house, my job didn't give out raises, the cost of my college went way up, prices of just about everything seem increased, local businesses are closing.....and I've decided to craft all my xmas gifts this year to help save money.

I still buy from craft stores etc, but I'd like to think I've become a greener, more thrifty crafter now. So here, I will share my ways to save, and hopefully you'll add some too (please use numbers?).

1. Pressed Flowers - I've been pressing lots of flowers lately...what better way to create beautiful decorations for free! I simply put the flowers flat, between paper towels, and but them at the bottom of a pile of books, or a heavy object I know I won't touch, and come back a few weeks later...
2. Feathers - I'm constantly on a feather hunt for clean feathers (we have chickens, and live near forests full of pretty feathers) which I use to decorate cards frequently!
3. Craiglist.com - The free section - one man/lady's trash is another ones treasure after all
4. Freecycle.org - A great way to recycle and reuse
5. Garage sales - nuff said?
6. Lowes/Homedepos Free Paint samples cards - don't hurt me...but everyonce in a while when I go, I'll pocket a few cool colors for later use. Great for inchies, cards, scrapbooking, and ATCs
7. Friends/Family - Set up trades of craft stuff you don't want/need (I do that with stickers/embellishments)
8. Craftster - not a source I've tapped yet, but I've seen some pretty cool supply swaps
9. Shells - I've seen shells for sale in stores, as well as shell stickers and pre-holed shells for jewelry. Why not pick up a bunch for free at the beach on your next vaca or ask a friend to bring some back?
10. Rocks - I've taken up rock painting as a great way to make some free ornaments
11. Bottlecaps - Jewlery to name one use - check out this site for lots more!
12. Mason jars - Many uses, many ways to decorate! Seems everybody has a few lying around collecting dust
13. Old Clothes - I almost gave away some clothes that I thought were too small, but then I eyed the buttons, and the fabric....and got some great ideas from the forums
14.  Goats milk - This one isn't possible for everyone, but my boyfriend is a goat farmer, and the owners agreed to let me have some milk for free to make goats soap with! yay.
15. Reusing candles - Ever burn a candle down really low? Well when they get to a certain point (throw away point), sometimes I'll take the wax(just the wax mind you) and scrape it into storage jars. When I have a bunch, I'll microwave it (in separate layers) till its melted, put a wick in a glass jar, then pour each layer . Now I have a beautiful new candle!

Ok...heres a few, you go now.... Grin
« Last Edit: August 16, 2009 06:14:34 PM by shadowsofadreamer » THIS ROCKS   Logged

Bongmistress
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« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2009 03:54:59 AM »

Oh wow what an amazing thread!  Shocked I love this!

You've given us all so many brilliant ideas, I actually love this thread so much that I can't think of anything to add to the list!

Ooh, ooh wait - I got one  Smiley

16. With autumn on the way, keep your eyes peeled for nice leaves/skeleton leaves. these are really useful as embellishments but can be quite expensive to buy  Grin
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lovesclutter
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« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2009 04:41:48 PM »

17. Magpie, look down, you will find all types of shiny stuff, ephemera
18. Dumpster Diving (one of my favorites)
19. Basement or Attic, look at things in parts and pieces instead of as a whole, and you will be able to see them with different purposes.
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« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2009 01:40:49 AM »

20 When the children declutter their bedrooms for oncoming birthdays or christmas. Check discarded board games with pieces missing (use the pieces left) or doll accessories that child has grown out of... (my daughter grew out of barbie and I've never been so pleased as I wanted all of her shoes for a project!)
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« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2009 09:03:02 PM »

21.  Newspaper!  I love using newspaper to layer on objects, such as vases, lamp bases, even the bottom of clear plates, or decorate greeting cards.  Really, the uses of newspaper are endless and the variety of prints make it versatile, with straight black and white text or bright colored photos, ads, or comics.  Also, it's fun to color or scribble on to add color. =]
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Knowledge is power.  Power corrupts.  So study hard and be EVIL!

Have a little one on the way and will craft and swap for anything handmade and baby-friendly Cheesy

Will be going through my clothes and stuff soon so I'll be ready to give away some craft-able materials!
Girl_onThe_Ferry
« Reply #5 on: August 25, 2009 03:46:30 PM »

Auctions!  we were working with a guy who was doing food auctions in Binghamton Ny for a while, and the auction houses would usually have a bunch of different stuff going off the same night. By the end of the auction they'd be selling off two or three big ol' cardboard boxes of all kinds of random stuff for like a dollar! Best part, people who bought em would take a couple things they wanted and just leave the rest behind! So, not only can you buy cool stuff cheap but you can actually groundscore a lot of goodies at the end of the night if you stick around. It's not like this everywhere but check out different auction joints around where you live. It usually doesn't cost a thing to get a number and see if you wanna bid on stuff.

Just don't get carried away, because auctions are like gambling.It can be pretty addictive if you are wired that way.

Another suggestion is actually behind the thrift store they often throw stuff out if it doesn't sell, so I go in the store in the daytime, and behind it at night Wink
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lolaforpresident
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2009 12:17:22 PM »

Quote
Another suggestion is actually behind the thrift store they often throw stuff out if it doesn't sell, so I go in the store in the daytime, and behind it at night

Sad. I have a hard time believing that thrift stores really want to help rather make a profit, when they throw out useable stuff and don't give homeless people free backpacks (Believe me, I have been there.)

22. The library often has shelves of free books and people often put magazines and ads on there. Also, they have big sales where books, magazines, and such are really cheap. If you go on the last day, they are usually a lot cheaper.

23. Ask your family and friends for old sheets for sewing. They are good to practice on or for embellishments. Also, you can make yarn out of them by cutting into strips. There is a good tutorial somewhere on this site.

24. Look around in nature. Grass and flowers are good for paper crafts. Cottonwood cannot be used to make yarn Sad But there are millions of cool rocks waiting to be turned into something. And long grasses and supple sticks are good for weaving. There are also lots of bones to find if you are morally okay with it. And tons of other stuff I can't think of right now.
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MAmadurk
« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2009 06:45:05 PM »

Church rummage sales often have hand knitted or crocheted items that can be unstitched for yarn.

Just ask--friends family co-workers.  If you are in need of whatever, just spread the word.  Usually it won't be long till you are swimming in widgets or whatever you need!

MAmadurk
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« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2009 02:05:15 AM »

These are for knitters and crocheters:
26. Unravel old ugly or sagged sweaters to reuse the yarn.
27. T-shirt yarn. Cut the fabric into strips. Not just great for rugs, I make bags, bowls and much more.
28. Plarn. Cut plastic bags into strips. Then crochet or knit reusable grocery bags so in the future you can refuse those bags at the shops Smiley

How I get 26 and 27 was mentioned before: dumpster diving or trash picking plus don't be shy to talk about it. Friends and family come with bags full of stuff.
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minowisbitt8lo
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« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2009 11:43:01 PM »

 Cheesy

29. Get caught knitting/crocheting/working embroidery on you lunch break at work.  I have scored 2 large black rubbish sacks FULL of yarn that way
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