Monday, 3 January 2011

Crafting on the Cheap

A fabric or craft store may well be a one-stop shop if you have a crafty project in mind, but what with the credit crunch and Christmas, everyone is feeling the pinch.
Sometimes, it’s kinder on the purse strings to seek out cheaper, alternative sources for non-specialist craft items.

This little guide looks at where to buy these cheap craft supplies--and the occasional unique gem!

Charity shops
Good for: buttons, fabric, wool, beads (usually in form of jewellery!), zips (check they work before buying), retro paper patterns, miscellaneous embellishments
Notes: Remember to check out the bedding and curtains for fabrics too. If you’re feeling cheeky, ask in charity shops if they have any broken jewellery you can take off their hands in exchange for a small donation!

Pound shops/discount stores
Good for: card, artificial flowers, sewing kits, ribbon, trims, miscellaneous embellishments, reels of cotton, card-making supplies, beads (sometimes in the form of jewellery), findings boxes.
Notes: The Works has a fantastic selection of ribbon/trim/embellishments for card & jewellery-making at 99p/pack (99p Stores also sell them!) Pale-coloured artificial flowers can be painted another colour with watered-down acrylics.

Jumble sales/car boot sales
Good for: everything--especially buttons and old jewellery you could break up.
Notes: Never be afraid to haggle (but don't be rude--if the seller says no, ask for their best price!)

Good for: almost anything, if you’re lucky!
Notes: Family and friends are handy to ask if you’re looking for something in particular. But remember, they may well require payment! (My nanny is a constant provider of ribbon, broken necklaces, buttons and the occasional zip from her collection. She’s awesome.)

Other suggestions
  • Save excess fabric, trim and ribbon from projects!
  • Ditto card
  • Ribbon from classy boxes of chocolates is also worth keeping.
Extra tips
  • Be aware of normal retail prices--that way you know what you’re saving! (And also if something is overpriced.)
  • Shop around. Some places are cheaper than others. Just because you find something in a pound shop doesn’t mean you won’t find the same thing down the road for 79p!
  • Build up a stash of creative bits and pieces. Then when you find yourself needing something, lo and behold, it’s there!
cheap craft supplies
All the items in the image above have been bought/gained cheaply--
Silver-coloured charms: 99p Store
Glue and plastic box: Poundland
Broken faux-pearl necklaces: Charity shop
Beads: Charity shop/from family member 

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