Thursday, June 5, 2014

10 Tips For Being Crafty On A Budget

For me, craftiness is not optional. I enjoy making things myself but it's not just a hobby, it's my lifestyle. There isn't a day that goes by where I'm not creating something or trying to figure out how to create something. I go to sleep and wake up plotting and planning my next project. The majority of my projects stem from one simple idea...I want to save money! If I see something I like and I can make it cheaper myself, that's what I'm doing. Like most families, mine is on a tight budget, which has gotten even tighter this year. Since we have to prioritize our spending, if I want to be crafty, it has to cost little to no money or I can't do it. Period.
10 Tips for being crafty on a budget from Over The Apple Tree

No worries, I have ideas! Most of my projects I post are done on the cheap. Here are my tips for being crafty on a budget:
  1. Finish those old projects: You know what I'm talking about, those projects that you got all the supplies for, maybe even started and never finished. If it's because you chickened out, got lazy or plain old just forgot...do it now! 
  2. Upcycle or Restore: Before you throw something away see if maybe you can re-purpose or restore it! It kills me to throw things away that might be used for something else, especially fabric. Don't worry I won't be on an episode of Hoarders anytime soon, but I do have a small stash of potential future project supplies and I have no problem picking stuff up off the curb that can be fixed up.

    Curbside window turned decorative frame for pressed flowers
  3. Shop smart with coupons! The big craft stores like Michael's and Joann's always have coupons. You can cut them out from the paper, print from their website or have the cashier scan it directly from the store's app on your smart phone! The coupons are usually good for % off one regular priced item or % off your entire purchase. I have literally bought one thing at a time to get the 40% or 50% off each item at Michael's! Sounds crazy and maybe it is, but sometimes it's well worth it. Remember to check online for supplies as well, you can find amazing deals on eBay. If you buy online, shop around and always check for coupon codes before you purchase. You could be missing out on great deals or free shipping if you don't. 
  4. Shop discount: Dollar stores carry a variety of cool things you can use for crafting and their inventory changes all the time. Thrift stores, garage sales, Habitat For Humanity and Craigslist are great places to find supplies and cool stuff to refurbish or upcycle. Never underestimate the power of spray paint...instant makeover! 

    Thrift store framed art turned chalk board
  5. Online tutorials: You want to learn how to crochet, knit, sew, decorate a cake? Instead of paying for a class, just look on YouTube! Just about anything you might want to do or make, someone out there has made a video for it. 
  6. Use your scraps: When doing any project, there are almost always leftovers. Pull 'em out and see what you can do with them. Not enough fabric scraps for a whole quilt? Quilt a pillow instead. Have a ton of different color yarn? Make a multi color blanket. Summer vacation is upon us and within days or maybe even hours you are going to hear the dreaded, "I'm bored!" Beads, glue, paint...give it to the kids and let them go crazy! Check Pinterest for kid's crafts

    Using scrap fabric I made a fun monster patch to repair jeans
  7. Library books: Not everything has to be found online, you remember books right? It is well known that I love my library(you can read about it here) and there is a huge section dedicated to crafting. You can find books full of ideas and patterns...for free! That Martha Stewart magazine subscription isn't in the budget anymore? They have magazines at the library you can check out too!
  8. Buying in bulk is not always smart: Yes, that 2 lb bag of buttons for $4.99 is a good deal but if you only need two buttons, pay the $.99 for the two! Unless you know for a fact that you are going to use them in the future, you just wasted $4, it's just not worth it. A great thing they have now are the sample sizes of paint at the hardware stores. It is completely unnecessary to buy a whole pint of paint if you don't need that much, It will only end up in the trash.

    Princess mirror makeover with sample size paint from Home Depot
  9. Stock up when it's on sale: Ok, I just got done saying don't buy it if you don't need it BUT when I got into extreme couponing I learned that you buy when it's on sale not just when you need it. For items that you use regularly or know you are going to need in the future, stock up when it's priced crazy cheap! 
  10. Sell your finished products: When I started crocheting again I wanted to try so many new things but let's face it, my family doesn't need a different hat for every day of the week and I couldn't justify spending the money on the supplies. An Etsy store was my solution. I can have fun crocheting anything I want, sell it online and make a few bucks to buy more stuff to make! 
I would love to hear about how you get your craft on while staying under budget!

I will be sharing with these great blogs!


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31 comments:

  1. these are great tips. I have used some of them and some I need to remember more. I am horrible with coupons, I always forget them at home...

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  2. Thrift shops are an recyclers best friend!

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    1. I know! Goodwill 50% off Saturdays are my favorite! Thanks for visiting me Chrystal:-)

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  3. Great tips! Makes me want to clean out my "craft closet" to find all of those random projects I've forgotten about. Found you on the Merry Monday linkup!

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    1. I'm actually working on some refashion projects this week that have been sitting in my closet for months! Thanks for stopping by Amanda!

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  4. Great tips Laura :) I am a big one for needing to finish projects and buying the super sized item vs. what I really need. We started an etsy store for the same reason - make what we want, sell it and make more! Thanks for sharing with us at Snickerdoodle Sunday!

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    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by!

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  5. I love your tips! My kids tease me because I have been known to leave the craft stores if I don't have a coupon. Getting them on my phone has made our lives so much easier! :)

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    1. Hey me too! Why would you pay more than you have to?

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  6. I love being creative about using what I have, as well as my craft. Hello from Nifty Thrifty Sunday.

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  7. Love these tips! I always have wanted to decorate but hesitated because of the cost. I now use several of these tips and it makes it fun to DiY and still be frugal. Thanks for the post!!

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  8. The dollar store, library, and your frugal! You sound like a kindred spirit to me.

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  9. Love these tips! I'd add never throw anything that might be useful away - although that doesn't make for a tidy house!

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    1. You just need to find a place to hide it!

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  10. Great tips - thanks for sharing :)

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  11. Thank you for all your great tips! I love the idea of trying to get creative with all the scraps the comes from crafting! You did a great job, we would love it if you linked up with our party this week! http://www.kraftingkreations.com/2014/06/awesome-things-tuesday.html

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    1. Thanks Amanda, I'll check it out!

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  12. The library books is a great tip--I spend hours in the crafts and cookbooks section!

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  13. Great tips! I'm on a tight budget right now and I love using up scraps and upcycling things, too. It's a great way to get a little crafting in with out spending a lot!

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  14. I think you nailed it on the head for me. I would also say that you can find some great deals on daily deal sites like Pick Your Plum and The Plaid Barn (I know there are lots more). Those are great for when you see something you know you will use a lot of. But I totally agree that sometimes you just need to say no! I've also found asking if people have specific supplies that they have in their stash and aren't going to use can be really great too. I've gotten lots of great stuff for free or cheap and helped people make room! Thanks for sharing on Merry Monday link party.

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    1. Asking friends is a great idea, thanks for sharing!

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  15. EXCELLENT tips! Thank you for linking up this very helpful post to Wonderful Wed Blog Hop. Carrie, A Mother's Shadow

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  16. Cute idea! Thanks for sharing on the Creative Exchange link party on Thursdays

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  17. Great tips and ideas! Thanks for linking up to Sweet and Savoury Sunday, stop by and link up again. Have a great day!! Laura@Baking in Pyjamas

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  18. Great tips! My budget really got tight when I retired and I'll be following your advice. Thanks for sharing with Creative Spark Link Party.
    Glenna @ My Paper Craze

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  19. Great post! Thank you for linking it w/ us last week on The Wednesday Roundup! We are featuring it this week. I hope you will come by again today http://foodyschmoodyblog.com/wednesday-roundup-week-30/

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  20. Thanks so much for stopping by The Wednesday Roundup Link Party! These are such great ideas!! Congrats on being on of our featured picks! This is now pinned onto our link up Pinterest Board! Hope to see you again next week!

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  21. Thank you for sharing this post at City of Creative Dream's City of Links on Friday! I appreciate you taking the time to party with me. Hope to see you again this week :)

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