Crafting can be expensive. Very expensive! I should know. Apart from bills and rent, craft materials are probably my next highest outgoings! And the more crafts you do, the more expensive it gets! So with that in mind, I have put together this little guide to thrifty crafting! Enjoy!
Charity shops are a great place to look for craft gear. Granted, a lot of the time they wont have anything at all, but sometimes they will have huge stashes! Unfortunately, this is usually due to the passing away of a crafter, as their family usually have no idea what to do with such items, and since they have little value they often give them to craft shops. this can lead to some true gems. My mum and I were wandering up the high-street a few weeks ago when I spied some yarn through the window of the RSPCA shop. I ended up buying 4 balls of ‘Istex Alfoss Lopi’, a beautiful natural wool yarn all the way from Iceland! Usually retailing at around £5 per ball, I got it for just a fifth of that – Just £1 a ball!
My mum also picked up 6 balls of funky baby yarn, at just 50p a ball! Bargain! They can also be a great place to grab bargain clothing for alterations. I bought this dress for just £1 in the Cancer Research Shop, and altered it into this vintage number!
Bootfairs are another great place to look. I cant get to any myself, but my Nan and granddad frequently head to boot-fairs and they are always coming back with crafty bargains. Lots of people at bootfairs are just having a clear out. These people may have started a craft then not got into it or they may just have too much stuff, which is good news for you, as it means there are bargains to be had! My sewing machine came from a bootfair, as did this box of embroidery floss, which is great because it means that if I don’t perhaps enjoy embroidery as much as i hope I will, I haven’t spent lots of money out on equipment I will not use!
If you receive some nice wrapping paper keep it. If your food comes in a mason jar, keep the jar. If You receive something in a sturdy box, keep the box. If you can think of an alternative use, go with it. I have turned food jars into pretty caddies and chocolate tubs into yarn tubs, to name a few.
Sales and Promos
When you find a website selling crafty awesomeness, make sure you sign up to their mailing list! That way, you will be the first to receive promo codes and notifications of sales – no more bargain hunting for you – just sit back and wait for the bargains to find you!
I follow a lot of crafty networking pages on facebook, and often they will share a page that is sadly closing and is selling of their equipment, or maybe they are just having a clear out. Either way, there are bargains to be had. I recently purchased around 30m of assorted polka-dot yarn for just £3. Perfect for all sorts of crafts!
This is very similar to bootfairs and charity shops – you can get job lots at bargain prices if you look at the right time.
As an extra tip, you can save money by shopping savvy. Sometimes, sellers will list items twice, selling some of their stock at a fixed buy it now price and some of it as an auction. There could be 2 reasons for this. It is possible that they are just hoping someone wont do their research and will commit to pay more than the reasonable price, but often a seller will put something to auction to gauge how much value the consumer would put on the item. If it goes for less, they may reduce their buy it now price, if it goes for more they may increase their buy it now price. Whatever the reason you can get a bargain. Just set your max bid just under the buy it now price. You may get outbid, in which case you can just get it on buy it now, but you may find you don’t get outbid, and you have made a saving. I went searching For Sakura Quickie Glue Pen’s and found that the seller had listed it twice. For three pens the buy it now price was around £8. So I put a Max Bid of £7.50 and actually only ended up paying around £6. Result!
Gumtree and Freecycle aren’t as great for little bits and bobs, but if you need some craft storage, or a sewing machine or a die cutter or something this is a great place to look.
So there you are. I hope you have found some of this useful! Maybe I have given you something you hadn’t thought of! If you think I have left anything out, please leave me a comment. I am always happy to hear more money saving tips!