Arts & Crafts Magazine

How to Craft on a Budget

By Alison_wood @midnight_eden

How to Craft on a BudgetIt all starts to add up. The sewing machine. The serger. The endless yardage of fabric. The drawers full of notions and buttons and scrapbook papers and ribbons. And more types of glue than you probably once knew existed.

All the craft supplies we use on a daily basis can not only start to crowd out our space, they can start to take a real toll on our pocketbooks. Have you looked at the prices on scrapbooking notions these days? It’s not pretty.

Before you start trading food for beads, consider these easy ways to craft on a budget:

Use Found Objects

Why pay $4.99 for a pack of pine-scented pine cones dusted with glitter when you can probably walk right out into your back yard and find an assortment of real pine cones for free? Why pay for shiny marbles to fill a flower vase when you can search for smooth pebbles in your own neighborhood? There are plenty of items for sale in craft stores that you can find for free in your own environment if you just set out to do a little searching. Pliant sticks and small branches can easily be woven into rustic wreaths. Shells from your beach vacation can be used for all kinds of fun crafts. Feathers, stones, sand, and other objects found in nature can all be used in your crafts. If you want to make it a family affair, recruit your kids for a treasure hunt.

Reuse and Recycle

Like most families, you probably round up a collection of old clothes, toys, jewelry and other objects in your house that you no longer want or use and take them off to the local thrift store. Before you take these items in, take a second look. Most of the fabric from your own clothes can probably be used in your crafting projects. The zippers and buttons are certainly very valuable. What other items can be dismantled for their parts, or can be refurbished to create a new item?

Next, take a look in your closets. What else can be recycled for your crafts? Old magazines are perfect for scrapbooking. Old Christmas and birthday cards can be cut up to create new greeting cards, gift tags, or even special wrapping paper. Take a look at these old items with a new eye, and you’ll be surprised at what you can save.

Once you’ve exhausted your own stash of recycled materials, check out your local thrift store and yard sales. Materials can be purchased for a fraction of the cost, if you look closely.


There is a growing movement known as “freecycling” in which local citizens give away items they no longer want or need — for free. The idea behind this movement is to reduce waste. Use this to your advantage and look for craft supplies (or other objects that can be repurposed). Sewing machines and other crafting tools can also be found on these e-mail lists. You can also make a “wanted” request for items that you would like to find.

If you don’t have Freecycle in your area, look for a local scrap exchange. These shops allow crafters to trade supplies with one another. Have some fabric you don’t need anymore? Trade it for some beautiful glass beads. You get what you need without spending more, and you help someone else in the process.


Finally, the best way to save money is to never buy retail. There are many ways to save on your purchases, including buying wholesale or in large lots, shopping online, or using coupons. Most major retail chain craft stores have at least a weekly coupon offering 40% percent off or more. Don’t ever buy something without the coupon, which can be obtained online, by signing up for a mailing list, or by asking the cashier.

Alexis Bonari is a freelance writer and researcher for College Scholarships, where recently she’s been researching sickle cell scholarships as well as providing advice on selecting a college essay topic. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • July 4th Craft for Kids

    July Craft Kids

    Kids are on their summer break and are having soooo much fun with friends and family. But then there are the dull days when we just want to stay home and enjoy ... Read more

    By  Chandnis80
  • Whats HOT Wednesday: Craft Room Ideas

    Whats Wednesday: Craft Room Ideas

    I have a craft room but its lacking in organization and cuteness. So I decided to do today's Whats Hot Wednesday on craft room so that I can get some good... Read more

    By  Curdsnwhey
  • Wooden Bead Necklace Preschool Craft

    Wooden Bead Necklace Preschool Craft

    It gives me immense pride to share this craft with you all. This is my daughter's first attempt at bead craft. Both of us are so proud of this project. Read more

    By  Craftideas
  • 2011 Parents Best Craft for Kids Blog Nominee

    2011 Parents Best Craft Kids Blog Nominee

    It gives us immense pleasure to get the nomination for The Best crafts for Kids blog from Parents Magazine for the year 2011. We have been a great fan of Parent... Read more

    By  Craftideas
  • Inspiration and Tips for Organizing Your Craft Space

    Inspiration Tips Organizing Your Craft Space

    The better organized and pretty your craft space, the more you are going to get out of it. Below are a few tips for getting it back in shape and lots of eye... Read more

    By  Decorology
  • Crazy Incredibles Pumpkin Craft for Preschoolers

    Crazy Incredibles Pumpkin Craft Preschoolers

    Like last year this year also we participated in the Pumpkin decoration activity for kids, organised by MichaelsMy 3.5 yr old daughter was so excited for the... Read more

    By  Craftideas
  • Help Your Local Animal Shelter While on a Budget!

    Help Your Local Animal Shelter While Budget!

    So, you already have two dogs and two cats, or 1 dog and 3 cats, or 3 dogs and no cats. There is no more room at the Inn. You know that bringing home another... Read more

    By  Immydog