Being a crafting addict can be quite frustrating for those of us on a budget. We love to build our supplies up, but the cost can be damaging to our bank balance. This is even true when we are crafting household items we hope will save us money. Here are a few ideas I have used to cut back on the amount I spend on crafting supplies.
Many fabric stores usually end up with small scraps of fabric after cutting yards of fabric. What can you make from these scraps? You can make hair supplies. You could make doll clothes. You can use them as quilt squares. Bean bags can be made from them. Depending on the size of the scraps you could even make covers for throw pillows. My local craft store sells a bag of scrap fabric for $2.99.
Buttons, Beads, And Charms
Buttons, beads, and charms that are decorative can be pretty costly. Instead of buying each separately, buy them in the form of inexpensive jewelry. There are many stores that have a inexpensive jewelry section. Look for the colors, shapes, or themes you are interested in. You may even find pieces that have both charms and beads you want to acquire. As for buttons buy old clothing from a thrift store instead. Not only will you end up with some pretty buttons, you will also end up with fabric to work with.
Instead of buying a set of crochet needles, buy one or two in the sizes that you usually work with. Instead of buying large packs of thread, buy one large spool. Often in our excitement we buy supplies or tools that we don’t need or won’t need for months. Instead pick one item for a few dollars rather than a set for ten dollars or more.
Nature is one of the best craft stores known to man. Most of the things in Nature’s craft store are free. There are seashells, petrified wood, drift wood, rocks and a variety of feathers and grasses that can be used to create decorations for your home.
Seashells are beautiful and come a large variety. There are sand dollars and clam shell. There are conch shells and the traditional scallop shaped shell. The can be added to a plaster to form a shell mosaic or put in glass vases on display. Some shells, such as the conch, can even be a stand alone piece.
Drift wood and petrified wood can make some great decorative pieces or crafting supplies. They can be carved into boat or fish like shapes. If the water is not your motif, try making a little wooden zoo. It can also be sanded down and polished to create some very beautiful decorative pieces.
Rocks aren’t always just gray elliptical pieces of mineral. They come in all sorts of shapes and colors. They can be found all over the place. There is coral, lava rocks, granite, and semi precious stones. A rock collections made of the right types of rock, stone or mineral can usually stand on its own when displayed for decoration.
I’m not just talking about pretty flowering plants or the cactus types of plants, although those are beautiful too. I’m talking about long grasses, such as heather or cattails. They can be used both inside and outside and look great in crafts.
For those frugal gals who are concerned with removing a part of an eco system, pictures are for you! Gone are the days when you have to develop film and keep track of negatives. Some of the best photography is nature photography, whether in back and white or in color. Instead of taking items from the woods or beach take pictures and start a nature photo gallery in your own home. You could display on walls or in scrapbooks alike.
What natural elements have you used for crafts in your house?
I don’t like to throw too many things away. I am finding more and more uses for things that I would earlier in my life discarded as useless. In the spirit of frugality these items have found new lives in my crafting.
Blankets, curtains, sheets, and towels that are past their usefulness make a great replacement for crafting fabric. Old pillows can be opened and the filling can be used to stuff something else. An old worn quilt can be used in place of the batting for a new quilt.
One of the things that I loved doing the most to a favorite dress I couldn’t wear anymore was to take a seam ripper to it. I would take out all the seams and then use the resulting pieces as a pattern to make a new dress. What I loved most was I knew I would get a comfortable fit, but the dress would be in a new color or pattern.
I also use socks to make anything from stuffed animals to cleaning supplies. I use old pantyhose to make soft balls and rackets for indoor games of tennis for rainy days.
I used to think that I had to buy art supplies like chalk, play dough, paint, or crayons. I have since learned that I can make these items in my own kitchen using things like cornstarch, salt, water, and flour. It’s less expensive for me because I can make these supplies in bulk for what it would cost to make two or three cakes, they last for quite a while. and I know that they aren’t toxic to my children.
Junk Mail And Trash Items
Paper mache is fun but I wouldn’t want to spend money on newspapers just to rip them up. I use old ad circulars that are sent to me through the mail. I also use wrapping paper and toilet paper tubes, tissue boxes, and shoe boxes. My toddler and I can make all sorts of creative crafts just by adding some construction paper, paint, or the dreaded glitter.
If, like me, you have saved up this stuff, but don’t know what to use it for be sure to check out ideas on the internet (hello Pinterest!) or in your local library. Some ideas I have come across have been great for my children. Others have been great for me to save money. The best ones have brought us together over a project.
What are your favorite recycled craft supplies?