Editor’s Note: Today, I want to welcome Megan, from Rappsody in Rooms. Megan does all kinds of different DIY and decorating projects on her blog, but I am always impressed with her craft projects. I asked Megan to contribute to a series called “Craft Tips and Tricks”, realizing a more seasoned crafter might have a thing or two to share with the rest of us. And, today she is helping us get ready to craft. I totally agree with Megan, nothing zaps my creative energy more than having to run to the craft store just to get a project started.
I believe that everyone approaches crafting differently. Sometimes it is highly anticipated, with time carefully carved out of a day to spend gluing, painting, and creating. For others, the crafting urge can come spontaneously. Sometimes life just needs to take a backseat while you fire up the glue gun and craft your heart away. Whether you fit into one of those categories or somewhere in between, I bet you feel like your crafting time is some sort of release. A time where you let your creativity flow and it is just you time – or a special “us” moment shared with a friend or child.
When Craft Time Turns Ugly
Crafting is a special time to just relax, let things go, and let the creativity flow from your fingertips.
You don’t have the supplies you need to start crafting!
Suddenly, your relaxation turns into frustration and creativity comes to a crashing halt!
Huffing and puffing, and a few choice words might even happen. Buh-bye special time.
Sound familiar? (It does to me!)
The best way to avoid the frustration that comes from not having the supplies you need is to be prepared with an arsenal of go-to craft supplies, so when your project urge hits you can get right to it.
Here is a fun little checklist to get you started building your craft supply arsenal:
So, now that you have read through the list, don’t freak out! There are a lot of supplies on that list…38 to be exact. You may be starting to see dollar signs flowing from your pockets. Don’t worry. There’s a way around that.
How to Shop for Craft Supplies on a Budget
First, print off the crafter’s checklist and go to a dollar store. Yes, many of these supplies can be found there, and it’s okay to buy them cheap. A glue stick is a glue stick. I’ve put a star next to each of the items you can typically find at a dollar store. After one quick trip, you will feel like you have quite the craft supply and probably spent under $20.
All the other supplies can be found at craft stores and big box stores. Here are some tips on how to score these items as cheap as possible:
- Never buy anything at craft stores for regular price. Plus, remember they take competitor’s coupons, so look at all the store coupons and use the best coupon.
- Download Joann’s, Michael’s, and Hobby Lobby phone apps (or scour the Sunday paper). They release weekly coupons. The phone apps are great, because you will never forget your paper coupons at home.
- Before getting all excited to use a coupon, make sure to check the coupon dates. Not only do they have expiration dates, they have start dates, too. The craft stores like to put out a few coupons at a time, but some may not be valid for a week or two.
- I don’t like to buy everything at once at these stores because you can only use one coupon at a time, meaning you can’t double up discounts and you can only use a coupon per item. My suggestion would be to pick an item on the list that you think you will use first. Go to the store to buy that item.
- While at the craft store, check around to see if any of the other checklist items are on sale. Look for sale prices that are 40-50% off (which is equal to the weekly coupon price). Stock up when you see high sale prices, because you can usually buy an unlimited amount at the sale price.
- Do this once a week to check things off your supply list without breaking the bank.
More Creative Ways to Get Craft Supplies Cheap
- Take advantage of back to school shopping in late summer/early fall. When back to school time rolls around, it’s time to stock up on glue, colored pencils, paper, markers, etc. All the stores are competing for your business on these items; therefore prices will be at their lowest.
- Shop post-holiday sales. We all know that holiday items are deeply discounted after the holiday is over. Think about the types of materials that go with each holiday. Stock up on glitter after Christmas, because everything is glittery for that holiday. Supplies in certain colors will be on sale after specific holidays, like black and orange stuff after Halloween and pink and red after Valentine’s Day. Sometimes you will be surprised to find general craft items in the holiday clearance section with their prices slashed.
- Don’t forget about online shopping. It’s easy, you can price compare, and it saves you gas money and time riding around town. It is also easier to buy items in bulk online. Some great online sources for craft supplies: Etsy, Amazon, Save-on-Crafts, Hobby Lobby, and Oriental Trading.
Now that you are armed to the max with craft supplies, all bought on a budget no less, get crafting! And, don’t forget to enjoy it along the way!
Megan began crafting at a young age – with her go-to supply of glitter (she had a very patient mother) since everything looks better with a little sparkle. Now she can’t get enough of creating crafts to bring a personal touch to her and her husband’s home. Don’t worry, there is still quite a bit of sparkle along the way (now she has a very patient husband).