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:
- 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!
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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!
- 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
- 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!
- 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!