Crafting a Fun Frugal Life

I'm a creative person, and I like to learn about new ways to express myself artistically. I don't like to rush out and buy a ton of expensive materials before I start a new hobby, so I have found it's worthwhile to take a sample class or visit a craft store for a demo of something I'm interested in trying before I jump in all the way. When I'm at the craft store, I scan the calendar for demos on art projects that interest me.

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In this way, I've learned about art journaling, altered books, duct tape purses, scrap booking, card making, and watercolor drawing. Some of the hobbies - like watercolor - I've continued to pursue for years. Some have fallen by the wayside, but all of them have been fun to learn about.

Sometimes, I experiment in different ways. For example, a few years ago I met a woman who had lived in Japan where she learned Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging. After talking with her, I got so interested I got online and read up on the craft, visited a free exhibit hosted by a local Ikebana club, went to the Japanese flower gardens in my city, and then tried my hand at my own arrangements. The only investment was my own time and effort. The supplies I needed were right in my garden and the kitchen cupboard.

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My grandmother taught me to knit as a child, and although I never graduated beyond the basics, I still like to knit uncomplicated things just to relax. I found an informal knitters group in my community that meets weekly, and started showing up occasionally to meet with other enthusiasts and learn about new projects. Now I knit only simple scarves, and I donate the ones I make to a women's shelter, but I get a lot of satisfaction out of working with the yarn and seeing something pretty and useful come out of my needles.

Finding new ways to express myself creatively has added so much enjoyment to my life, for very little cost. I guess the old saying is right: the best things in life are (almost) free!

By CEBush from Phoenix, AZ

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April 16, 20120 found this helpful

That is wonderful that you donate to charities that can use what you create.

I am the same with crocheting. I love to do it, and it relaxes me even if I only know a few stitches to do, it is great fun for me.

I love to encourage the kids to express themselves and I am always happy to read the stories and plays my daughter writes. It is wonderful to see artists develop into their own favorite ways of expressing themselves.

I really enjoyed reading your post. Thank you so much and a thumbs up for you!

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April 23, 20120 found this helpful

Hi Claire
You really are an inspiration to others. You are right that you don't have to spend lots of money to be able to produce works of art and other things that are both pleasing to create and that are useful to others.

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Sometimes it's just the motivation we need (by that I mean me!) to start looking into a craft in more detail but I will take a lead from you and try to be more proactive and creative in my thoughts.

Thanks so much for sharing and long may you create and share.
Carol
Shropshire, England
U.K.

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April 24, 20120 found this helpful

There is also SO much information on thee internet on how to do crarfts (& patterns, too). I also get craft materials from thrift stores - & have picked up knitting needles, crochet hooks & yarns - very inexpensively. I have also then knitted hats/scarves/mitts to give as Xmas presents! ( A further savings!)

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