Keeping your eyes peeled for free craft stuff is a great way to reduce the cost of your favorite hobby. Whether you're interested in sewing, beading, or card making, there are plenty of ways to find free supplies and help keep project costs to a minimum.
Resources for Free Craft Stuff
Crafting on a budget requires patience and creativity. Instead of purchasing products for their convenience, look for cheaper alternatives. If you need alphabet stencils for a project, for example, ask yourself if free fonts found online would be a suitable alternative.
Common resources for free craft supplies include:
- Incorporating memorabilia into your projects
- Recycling items from around your home
- Asking local businesses for their unwanted items
- Taking advantage of freebies from your favorite crafting Web sites
- Hosting supply swaps with other crafters in your area
Memorabilia is a wonderful resource for the thrifty crafter and a great way to make projects that have a special meaning. Here are some items you may want to get in the habit of saving for scrapbooking, decoupage, and other craft projects:
- Old greeting cards
- Newspaper clippings
- Copies of photos
- Travel brochures
- Children's artwork
- Love letters
Recycled Home Objects
Recycling is good for the environment and your pocketbook. As a thrifty crafter, you'll find plenty of items around your home that are suitable for kids crafts as well as more adult-oriented projects. Frugal craft supplies commonly found around the home include:
- Glass jars in pretty shapes to use as containers for candle-making
- Tin cans for children's projects or as a base for decoupage
- Ribbon trim from gift baskets for scrapbooking and card-making
- Fabric scraps cut from stained or worn clothing for sewing and quilting
- Beads and charms from broken jewelry for recycling into new beading projects
- Plastic grocery bags cut into strips and tied together to use as a strong yarn alternative for crocheting
You should ask your friends and family to get in the habit of saving these items for you as well. Most people, even those who have no interest in crafting, hate to throw away items that may be useful for someone else.
Businesses can often be great source of free supplies for your project. For example, thrifty scrapbookers have been using paint chips and laminate tile samples from the hardware store to make homemade layout embellishments for years.
However, many other types of businesses also have supplies that can be used for frugal crafting. Seasonal decorations can be taken apart and reincorporated into your holiday craft projects. Promotional posters and brochures featuring interesting artwork are another fabulous source of inspiration. So, if you see something you like at a local business, don't be afraid to ask.
The Internet is a wonderful resource for thrifty crafters. Free patterns and project ideas are available for almost any type of craft project you can imagine, ranging from kids crafts to sophisticated home décor items. Digital scrapbookers, card makers, and paper crafters will find a variety of people generously offering free printables for use in a wide range of projects. Additionally, many stores selling craft supplies often host contests in which the prize is a gift certificate you can use to pick out the items of your choice.
Hosting a supply swap can be a fun way to gather free craft stuff for your projects. Ask everyone you know to invite all their crafty friends and family to one central location. Bring your unwanted items to trade with other participants or assign each person a certain amount of "credit" to use on their mini-shopping spree.
Additional LoveToKnow Resources
Can't decide what to make first with all your free craft stuff? Check out LoveToKnow Crafts for tips, tutorials, and project ideas.