Why I buy my craft supplies at thrift stores
Less Expensive Hobby and Craft Supplies
by Christine Stephens
Low Cost Creativity
Organizing Craft Supplies
Crafting Without Spending Money
Affordable craft supplies got much harder to find when Wal-Mart dropped fabric and needle work supplies, but there is a solution. A hit-and-miss collection of treasures can sometimes be found at your local thrift stores.
First, thrift stores are the recipients of many estate and garage sale craft supplies. They also see many more treasures of the truly too busy who purchased craft supplies yet never got around to start their project.
These treasures include new skeins of expensive yarn. A whole gallon-sized bag of DMC cross-stitch floss. Big pieces of Aida cloth, plastic canvas, and ribbon can be had. Many stores even offer kits; some may have just been opened and forgotten. Many thrift stores have a good collection of sewing patterns too. Even tools, such as crochet, latch hook and knitting needles, can often be found in thrift stores for less than one-third of discount store prices. There's no guarantee you'll find what you need in unopened packaging, but it can and does happen.
Second, thrift stores are wonderful sources of recycled materials. Where else can someone find two yards of faux leather for $5, a complete set of drapes big enough to recover your dining room chairs, tons of bed sheet cotton in any color and yards and yards of flannel for $2 a sheet? For the truly experienced crafter, there are endless sweaters to recycle for crochet and knitting projects.
Most thrift stores offer sale days where certain items are discounted. One chain of stores offers Outlet Centers where one can pick up recycled materials by the pound for reuse in your next project or maybe home crafting business.
Thirdly, thrift stores are also excellent sources of used furniture. Any experienced refinisher can spot a laminate or real wood treasure from 20 yards. Laminate isn't an option for a stripping job but makes a wonderful surface to paint once thoroughly cleaned and lightly sanded. A quick scan of the Internet will list a wonderful variety of faux paint effects that can be cheaply reproduced. Real wood furniture has endless finish possibilities and is truly a treasure. Upholstered furniture items can be easily reupholstered with a little self-study of library materials on the subject. Dining room chairs are a wonderful first project. Then work your way up to redoing chair cushions and making slip covers. The same thrift store can be a wonderful source of recycled curtains, drapes, and expensive sheet sets that provide more than adequate materials for just a few dollars.
Fourth, every crafter needs a place to work and store materials. As spare room varies greatly from crafter to crafter, one may start with a shoe organizer on the back of a door, a tackle box, and a plastic storage container all purchased at the thrift store. A crafter with more space can find recycled shelving, plastic storage boxes, tackle boxes, and desks at the same thrift stores to outfit their crafting area.
Despite the scarcity of affordable craft supplies and equipment in some towns, thrift stores remain an excellent source of materials, supplies, equipment, and craft room furnishings for people in any town or city.
Christine Stephens is a single, frugal woman living in the Midwest. She graduated from the Elliott School of Communication with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Print Journalism. She has been a devoted Dollar Stretcher reader for eight years. She enjoys the hobby of needlework with second-hand materials, supplies, and equipment.
Take the Next Step:
- What will you create? Visit our "Crafty Savings" board today!
- Visit our Hobby section in the Dollar Stretcher Library
- For more ways to find affordable craft supplies.
- For more on the great things that can be found at thrift stores including craft supplies.
- 50,000 brand name craft, sewing & scrapbooking supplies at 30-50% below retail. CreateForLess.com
Discuss "Ways to Save on Crafts" in The Dollar Stretcher Community
Share your thoughts about this article with the editor: Click Here
Trending on TDS
- Using coupons at The Dollar Tree
- Talking to aging parents about finances Expert Interview
- Baby toys you can make
- How to reduce the cost of lunchmeat
- 5 tips for working at home with kids
- 6 ways to control your back-to-school spending
- 5 big bills you can cut fast
- What you shouldn't (and should) buy in July
- 5 ways kids learn and earn from Minecraft
- 5 ideas for a kid-free mom cave
- In your 30s with kids? You need life insurance
- 4 steps to a simpler (and more frugal) life
- What is the cost of raising a child?
- Spouse income calculator
- Should my spouse work, too?
- College savings calculator
- Home budget calculator