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Garage sales are great. There is such an endless variety, and you never know what you will find. If you're into crafting the garage sale can be a goldmine. The goldmine is the joy you feel when you see a table full of fabric, a box filled with skeins of yarn, dozens of frames and pictures, and all priced from 10 cents to a dollar.
I found these little frames 4/$1.00, in perfect condition. I could have put little pictures in them, but opted to place my pressed flowers in them and use them on top of gift boxes, in place of cards. It was a pretty touch, and cheaper than a card or a bow.
By Deb from East Brunswick, NJ
Being an avid crafter, I often make projects that require a circle cut from something. I would search through the house, finding an item that was the correct size circle, such as a can of soup.
I finally took a few moments one day and armed with scraps of cardboard I had saved from empty cereal boxes and such, (one never knows when one needs a piece of cardboard!), I roamed through my rooms tracing different size circles onto the cardboard. I then measured each and wrote the size inside the circle. I cut them all out and keep them as templates.
Now when I need a circle of any size, it's right there within reach. Works great!
By maryeruth from Palm Coast, FL
Don't throw away any old or unwanted makeup and nail polish that you may have. They are a wonderful alternative to crayons, paint markers, or coloring pencils.
I use mine when making cards with stamps. The eyeshadow blends very well in place of colored pencils. Blushes and powders work well also. The glitter polish and eyeshadow work very well when you want to add some shimmer and glitter to a card or craft.
Use your imagination and you will be using all of your old makeup instead of trashing it.
By Great Granny Vi from Moorpark, CA
A very inexpensive way to get a wreath form is to buy the pipe insulation that has a slit in it in the size you need and form it in a circle. This insulation is firm and is a dark charcoal gray. Duct tape the two ends together to form whatever size wreath you might need. Then cover it with whatever material you wish.
By laniegirl from Belle Plaine, IA
Have the wrong color lace for your project? No problem if you have food coloring. I often use different colors of lace in my projects. If I don't have the color I need, I just put it in a disposable cup with water and several drops of food coloring.
Some laces will come out lighter than others, because of the material they are made of. If you have 100% cotton lace it will always retain the color you soak it in. Also many of the polyester laces will as well. Sometimes if you take a minute and wash the residue out of the lace you can get a better dye color out of it.
Be sure to lay the lace flat to dry after you color it. I also recommend wearing rubber gloves so you don't come out looking like a smurf or some other kind of creature. LOL!
By Gem from VA
Here's a way for crafters to save money. I use wallboard joint compound as a dimensional paste in crafting. You can buy it at hardware or home improvement stores. At Lowe's I bought a 3 lb. container for $2.
I do a lot of card making. Stock paper isn't really cheap, so if I have left over sentiments or papers from cutting out projects. I put them all in a basket next to my computer desk. Then if I need something, it is usually right there in the basket.
Tips for saving money on beads for doing beadwork. If you make costume jewelry using beads, consider shopping in thrift stores. Some of the best quality beads, such as crystal, can be found that way for restringing. All are much less costly than in craft stores.
As an avid crafter, I am always looking for ways to save money on supplies. I often experiment with ideas in hopes that I can recreate an item that will last longer and cost less.
This is a thrifty sewing tip and a word of caution. The second hand store is a good place to pick up sewing supplies. I bought a one gallon bag full of miscellaneous supplies. I got at least $30.00 worth of usable supplies in a bag I paid $2.00 for.
Save on craft supplies by shopping at thrift stores. If you like to craft or have just a single project to make, you can't go wrong by checking out some thrift stores before purchasing new supplies.
I am a jewelry "remaker". I buy old and create one of a kind "new" stuff.
I recently purchased a tank top sweater with beaded fringe around the bottom edge at a local thrift store for $3.75. When I got home and carefully inspected it, I noticed that two strands of the beads were missing.
I love to do crafts, but on a tight income it is often too expensive. Then I hit on the idea of entering them in the county fair. I use the premium money for more craft materials to enter the next year.
Next time you buy a pair of kids' shoes, keep the elastic string that keeps them together - don't throw it away! Just untie the knot and you've got a wonderful piece of craft string for bracelets and things.
I just found a way to get free copper wire. I went to a construction dumpster. The contractor has to pay by the pound to have it hauled awayl
For those of you who use polyester stuffing to make animals or pillows, look in the Christmas section after Christmas when they put all of it on sale. I got bags of polyester fill for 75% off last year.
Some of the fat quarters that I purchase, especially those from Jo-Ann Fabrics are folded around a thin cardboard square.
Save money on paper and canvas by using a paper bag instead. I found creating art to be an expensive process, so I began using paper bags to save money in place of canvas. They are free and a great form of recycling.
I find that a great deal of things sold at thrift stores are 2nd hand but not used. I have found zippers still in their sleeves for .25, or a savings of about 900%.
Hubby plays the guitar, and I found some of his discarded metal strings in the trash. I thought - hmm! I could use the wire for my craft projects, especially the jewelry I am putting together, so I kept it for future use!
When going to thrift shops or yard sales, I look for craft kits that have beads, sequins, embroidery thread, etc. Even if the kit is outdated or ugly, I use the materials inside to create my own crafts.
Keep the used baby wipes and dryer sheets, for great backing for appliqueing. They should be washed first, by putting them in the mesh bag that you use for delicate clothing in for machine washing.
Do you remember the beaded car seats that were popular quite some years ago? My tip is for using the beads. I bought a couple of the seats just to tear apart for my crafts, and still have a good supply. Perhaps you have some in your storage area.
Alert all your crafter friends and family about a years end "craft de-stash" to clean out odds-n-end items or things you bought on sale and have no real need for. Swap the items by the bag or boxful by weight or item-for-item.
To cut your craft costs, it's best to stock up at Target during the summer when they have their back to school sales. White glue bottles, crayons, markers, rulers, and kid scissors are all the best price.
When you need templates for any kind of crafting; plastic sheets are available at most craft stores. However here's what I discovered: go to any "dollar" store and buy a pkg. of cutting board sheets.
Hold a monthly party and invite all your crafty friends to exchange items they no longer need or use. This can save hundreds of dollars and you can get fresh ideas as well.
This is a shopping tip for beaders and other crafters who use beads in their craftwork. I always try to hit the after-holidays ornament sales and stock up on beaded ornaments. You'd be surprised how many beads you can get from garlands and ornaments after taking them apart.
I'm a professional artist and like Cheryl of Misssouri I have found another use for the plastic hangers you can receive from purchasing clothing.
If you sew, go to your local quilting shows and visit their boutique shop. You will find many discounted items for sale such as sewing patterns, notions, yarn, fabrics, books, and magazines. They also have some nice handmade items other than quilts such as table runners, placemats, purses, etc.
Snatch up Christmas craft supplies at dollar stores as soon as they come out. If you wait til closer to the holiday, you might have to go to a craft store and pay full price.
After going to the post office to buy stamps, sometimes they put them in one of their envelopes. They are often made of a material very similar to tracing paper. Keep these to use for when you need to make a pattern or tracing of some item, either for your child's school work or a craft project.
Spray your child's art work with hairspray to keep it from fading or getting dusty. By ElectricChameleon
Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
Does anyone know of any places I can go to for really cheap beads and clasps? I've looked up the prices for clasps and they are so expensive!
Depending on the kind of clasp you want, if you have a few simple hand tools and some wire, you can make your own. I make jewelry, and I prefer handmade findings. Generally, they will end up costing less than buying clasps. If you don't have any tools and you need only a few clasps it might be cheaper to buy ready-made, but if you're making many pieces it might be worthwhile to buy a few tools and learn how to make them.
If you enjoy working with metal, you can even buy sheet and get yourself a jeweler's saw and make more substantial pieces. I made a really cool toggle to go with one of my bracelets that way.
If you scroll down this page to the Wire Working Techniques section, you'll find instructions for a simple clasp.
You can also do your own search and find other instructions. Jewelrylessons.com has a lot of tutorials (some are free).
As for inexpensive beads; what kind are you looking for? I have a sales tax license and usually buy mine wholesale. I mostly buy stones (never plastic, and very rarely glass). If I want Swarovski crystals, I usually order online. I try to make it to the Rings & Things bead show when it comes to our city (once a year), and load up. "Cheap" is going to be relative.
Sometimes you can get nice quality beads at a good price, but then sometimes "cheap" quality beads cost too much for what they are. If you have a Hobby Lobby or Michael's in your area they routinely have sales on beads/jewelry making supplies and coupons online or in the newspaper.
I'm looking for anything that has to do with sewing and quilting. I'm trying to start projects making blankets and bibs for Alzheimer patients. I don't have a lot of money as I'm doing this free for our local elderly. Please help me with ideas for where to find supplies. Anything will work thread, fabric, buttons, scraps, I mean anything. Even books on sewing would help as I'm always willing to learn new projects. Thank you very much for any and all help and just for reading this.
By Nicole from Roseburg, OR
If you have a local quilters guild, they may be able to help with this. Our local quilters guild is a service organization and makes quilts for all kinds of charities. It's fun and you can sew with other people. All or almost all of the material is donated.
Hancock fabric is involved in a lot of charities. Try your local store.
Another thing you can do is contact your local churches. The can get supplies from their members. I used to take my quilt pieces to a cancer research hospital where the patients used them.
Freecycle can sometimes be a good place to try. I have received lots of fabric this way for a project I do.
Also if you have any locally owned fabric stores talk with them. Sometimes they get fabric that doesn't sell well and will donate at least small quantities for special projects like yours.
I get free things often from freecycle.org. Try joining a local group in your area and around your area. All they ask is that you give something, (old clothes, shoes, yard sale stuff) and then after that you can ask for what you need.
It is a great way to keep things from going into the trash that other people can use!
I got a free ferret cage. Those are expensive.
Go to the garage sales and ask for donations of unsold clothing or fabric. You will be surprised how many people will give stuff away for a great cause! Especially if they aren't able to restore it or recycle it and are bound to throw it away instead.
I have no money, am handicapped, have seizures, and have not worked for a year.
Where can I find costume jewelry that people are giving away?
By Finao I.
Tips for finding craft materials at thrift stores from the ThriftyFun community. Post your own ideas below.
I just love the idea of NOT wasting but even making use of left over scraps for blankets for animals at the shelters! What a great idea! Oh, and you could make little stuffed animals to, maybe even put a little cat nip in a little stuffed mice for the kitties!
The back panel of a thrift store or outgrown shirt, folded in half and stitched and stuffed makes an excellent throw pillow for a kid's room. I used to make them out of favorite shirts which no longer fit.
I need help getting fabric and shoe boxes and any craft or art supplies. The reason I'm asking is I'm disabled, and making things makes me feel useful and happy. We are on a limited income. So I am asking for help.
By Emma F. from Selma, NC