Want to try out a new craft, but don’t want to invest a lot of money?
Try Dollar Tree first. The company has really upped its game in the crafting department. They offer wood shapes, paints, stickers, vinyl, fat quarters, beads, flowers, yarn and all the tools you might need for various crafts, Need drawing paper, crayons, markers and colored pencils? Coloring books? Visit the school/office supply aisle while you’re there.
After watching some MakersGonnaLearn tutorials, I picked up some extra tools to use with my Cricut Maker at a fraction of what similar supplies would cost elsewhere.
If you have a Tuesday Morning in your area, be sure to stop in and check out their craft supply offerings. Depending on what you’re looking for, you may just find that expensive name-brand product at super close-out prices.
I purchased a 15″ TravelPro wheeled underseat tote that I use to transport my Featherweight and Elna STAR machines on the plane.
There’s always Walmart. Product offerings vary from store-to-store, but you can generally find what you need across many product categories. Want to learn sewing? You can pick up a machine, sewing supplies, patterns and fabric to get you started. Many Wal-Marts have now gone to selling pre-cut lengths of fabric instead of offering it on the bolt. Waverly branded fabric in 3 yard lengths works well for backing fabric. Don’t let the quilt police deter you from using fabric that comes from somewhere other than a quilt shop. If you like it, put in your quilt. That’s all that matters!
I use Waverly pre-cut polka dots as backing fabric on my kid and donation quilts. I found Cricut stencil vinyl here when the big box stores were out.
If you have access to a Joann’s, Hobby-Lobby or Michael’s, check the sales flyers to plan the best use of your crafty/sewing dollars. Download the store’s app AND if going to Joann’s – print out the online coupons to take with you. Use those plus the ones in your app to maximize your savings. Here’s a great discussion on sale policies by category among the 3 crafty retailers over at Krazy Koupon Lady.
Hobby Lobby is typically my first stop when I need something simply because there are two locations within 15 minutes of my house. Joann’s allows Sadie in the store, so we visit at least once a week – even if it’s just to walk laps around the store. I rarely shop at Michael’s.
For books, borrow them from your local library. If you decide you really need a copy for your personal library, buy new from amazon or try used books from alibris and better world books. Do you really need a print book (pattern pieces, templates, etc) or will an e-book do?
I’ve started buying more e-books to save space on my shelves.
Yes, you can also find craft supplies and books at yard sales and thrift stores. Two of my sewing machines came from estate sales. My cutting table came from Craig’s List. My Horn sewing cabinet was bought second-hand from a retiring seamstress. There’s just something about the thrill of the hunt. However, if you need a specific item NOW, you’ll have better luck trying to find the item in a store (unless you can borrow from the stash of a crafty friend!).