You can enjoy a variety of crafts without going into debt by using a few frugal techniques for acquiring craft supplies and patterns.
1. Before you purchase new items, assess your current stock. Crafters have a tendency to be “supply hoarders”. Chances are, you may have supplies and patterns in your closets that you have forgotten about.
2. Join an online craft forum or follow a well-ranked blog. From digital scrapbooking to crochet enthusiasts, there are hundreds of online forums and blogs that can provide you with free advice and technique tips, as well as deal alerts on craft supplies.
3. Check out the weekly newspaper ads. Craft and fabric stores often advertise deals that can save you 50% or more on supplies.
4. If you enjoy doing multiple crafts, consider buying supplies that can be used for similar types of crafts to save even more money. For example, if you enjoy cross-stitch, you might also want to consider embroidery or other types of needlework crafts. Scrapbooking, altered art, decoupage and collage art are all crafts that use similar items and supplies.
5. Consider crafts that use recycled items and supplies. A cardboard cereal box can become a magazine holder, a old dress can be deconstructed to use the fabric and buttons for new handcrafted items.
6. Scour yard sales and swap meets for craft supplies. An experienced frugal crafter can save 80-90% off the retail list for supplies purchased at these venues.
7. Search online for free craft patterns and instructions. Many of the popular craft, decor and supply web sites offer free patterns in a PDF format that can be downloaded to your computer.
8. Instead of purchasing craft books, save money by visiting your local library. You can check out a variety of craft books and scan the pages to add to your own craft resource library.
9. Look for craft supplies on online auction sites like eBay or on free ad sites like Craigslist and Pennysaver. Sellers on these sites can be other craft enthusiasts looking to offload their own stock, or dealers that purchase and resell large lots. If you find a large lot of supplies that is of interest or a necessary item that may be priced out of your budget, consider pooling funds with other equally frugal crafty friends and share the spoils. It’s possible to find even large ticket items at a significantly reduced price using these resources.
10. Start a craft co-op or