ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Cutting Costs On Arts And Crafts Supplies: How To Get More For Your Money

Updated on February 4, 2011


Let’s face it - sometimes do-it-yourself projects can get pretty expensive. Such is the case when it comes to arts and crafts supplies.

How to do something yourself and not blow a great wad of money?

There is a solution. It's all about knowing how to find bargains or alternative ways of getting arts and crafts supplies for a fraction of the cost.

Let’s look at some ways to trim the cost off obtaining arts and crafts supplies!



  • Shop on-line. Online prices are traditionally less than bricks and mortar store prices. You can often find sweet deals especially if you buy in bulk. I scoured bricks and mortar fabric stores for pillow inserts when I was making a bunch of pillows and ended up saving $3 per pillow. This was quite a savings since the material cost me next to nothing! I had them shipped to my house with free shipping.....a huge savings.

  • Buy in bulk. As in most cases, when you buy in bulk, you save money. If you can go to larger stores, you’ll usually find better deals but again, online and smaller stores can also give you a great return on your dough.

  • Shop the ads. Look in newspapers, magazines or online to see if there are any sales or coupons available or coming up soon. Even call stores to see what they might be offering. Michaels is famous for their 50% off coupons which apply to goods and services. It’s really the best time to buy anything when you can save at least 50%....that’s a savings! If you can use the coupon more than once, do that as well to save even more money.

  • Be a scavenger. You can find freebies when it comes to art or craft supplies. You can find paper, posterboard, cardboard, plywood, glass, fence boards, and mirrors to name a few items - in the trash or at garage sales for pennies. Picture frames are available in most thrift stores. You can pop out the picture and reuse the frame for little cash outlay. Find baskets, containers, etc. for your craft projects at garage sales and thrift stores. You can even redo arrangements and save the container. Consider old clothing for fabric pieces. You can usually get old clothes at garage sales or thrift stores for next to nothing. Check out curbside "free to a good home" signs!

  • Check out odd places. Look at office supply stores online and in the bricks and mortar world for drawing supplies. Check Costco or Sam’s club for supplies like rolls of paper or even cleaning supplies for art materials. Hardware stores can supply you with items like wood, lights, wire and tools for cheaper than you’d probably pay at an arts and craft store. Check stores like Walmart or Fred Meyers for supplies and compare prices. You can even buy rolls of newspaper paper (without the printing) at the local newspaper plant. The paper is perfect for many things from arts and crafts to making patterns to packing dishes!

  • Freebies. Don’t forget Craigslist – check their free listings and don’t hesitate to post an ad that you’re looking for certain materials. You never know what might turn up. Also check your local paper for giveaway materials or supplies. Think about registering at your local freecycle and get more freebies.

  • Demolition. The ultimate recycling venue but make sure that you’re legally collecting supplies. You can find great woods, doors, paneling, glass, etc. at demolition sites but the contents of the building might already be spoken for. Make sure you’re legally collecting and if you are, you’ll probably have quite a find!

  • Use common sense. If you’re going out looking for materials like driftwood, petrified wood or rocks, think about safety first. Don’t put yourself at risk for arts and crafts! Take wildlife into consideration and safety precautions like time of day, weather, terrain, etc. Don’t trespass on someone’s property to get materials! You can end up getting fined or even thrown in jail because it’s against the law. Always ask permission if in doubt. Ask the local Bureau of Land Management if it’s legal in your state or your county to pick up materials anywhere. Be specific – often it is – but you still need to ask. Tell them which roads you plan to be scavenging on and when and get permission (written if possible) to pick up materials for arts, crafts or decorating. Don’t stop to gather cattails on the side of the highway! Try to figure out a safe location to collect things and again, always check with local law enforcement personnel to make sure you’re legally collecting anything.

  • Ask for offer matching. If you do find something on line that’s cheaper, print it off and then take it to a bricks and mortar store or even approach other online sellers to match the price. Most often, they will because they want your money!

  • Shop off season. If you’re planning on doing Christmas crafts, the best time to buy your supplies or some of them anyhow is right after the season’s over so a little planning ahead is worth its weight in gold – literally.

  • Think outside the box. No matter what art project or craft project you’re doing, there’s probably an alternative medium you could use or a different kind of material that’s cheaper. Some of the best projects have been born of trying to save money! Be creative because after all, isn’t that what arts and crafts are all about? If you have instructions for doing it one way, think of another way to do it that will be totally unique and it may just end up saving you money but also leading you to create something even more beautiful. Then write a hub about it and post it on hubpages. You can sign up here.



In short, there are many ways that you can save money when it comes to buying arts and crafts supplies.

Learning how to maximize sales or bargain hunting are great ways to save money and even get more for your hard-earned dollars.

Don't be afraid to barter or negotiate for the best price.  The money you save is worth it!

Most people doing arts and crafts themselves want to not only create something of value for themselves or someone else but they also want to do it for less than the cost of purchasing it ready-made.

Repurposing materials like old frames, doors, windows, etc. is a fantastic way to not only save money but also recycle.  Old things can be made new again by a savvy arts and crafts collector.

Think of some alternatives like collecting nature's bounty to create some of your projects, reeds on the side of the lake or driftwood pieces from the beach. Again, just have a care in your collecting that you stay within the law and above all, be safe.

These are just a few suggestions on how to save money on arts and crafts supplies. If you have more to add, please enrich my hub by leaving your educational comments.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      8 years ago from Washington

      Definitely, Om - great point on the thrift stores...I usually plan on spending a while in there looking - kinda like at TJ Maxx!

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 

      8 years ago

      Nice hub! I'm a big scavenger when it comes to art supplies. I get free stuff (sometimes) from a friend who's an art student hehehe....And I agree yard sales and thrift stores are great, but they're usually not well-organized so we might need to devote some time to searching through piles of stuff. :)

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      8 years ago from Washington

      Thank you, Hanna~!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      That is a really helpful hub and well put together.

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      8 years ago from Washington

      The List Lady - isn't it absolutely the truth! Everything costs too much but I think with a little creativity we can all save something. It isn't that much sometimes but it is something!

    • TheListLady profile image


      8 years ago from New York City

      So true about costs. I have decided it's time for me to return to some wonderful arts and crafts and good grief - everything is so expensive. I think the only hobby I can enjoy is walking - providing that I have the right shoes - that aren't too expensive.

      Online shopping has been great - you can easily comparison shop - whew!

      Rated up! Thanks$$$

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      8 years ago from Washington

      I love crafts, too - mostly these days sewing and cross stitching but unfortunately, I need more time! Oh to just live a life of leisure and do all the things I love to do - wouldn't that be cool? Glad you liked it and I agree with you....homemade gifts are the best!

      Leah - That is too funny on the grandparents and why didn't I think of that??? Thanks for the addition of the Dollar Store too - they are marvelous!!! I shop there all the time and get the coolest things for my baking projects and my decorating on a shoestring budget projects!

    • leahlefler profile image

      Leah Lefler 

      8 years ago from Western New York

      We go through a bazillion craft projects every month in my house (I'm sure bazillion is a real number, lol). We go to the dollar store for items like pipe cleaners and sticker rolls (kid's crafts), and it is often cheaper than Walmart. Of course, we've found the cheapest method is to make sad eyes at the grandparents, who send bucket loads of craft materials to our house!

    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 

      8 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      My sweet friend, I sure do love my crafts and to be honest it is costing more now to make things then to buy them. That home made give is just the best for your friends. I love to give a special hand made item over. It makes me happy and many times they can use it every holiday. Rate this hub up, rate you up your fan, and friend darski

    • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Kirchner 

      8 years ago from Washington

      No, BJ - I haven't found any yet but I truly would like to have a whole bunch of them lined up! Let me know if you want to start a line of I'm poking you and I mean it - I'm on board!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      8 years ago from south Florida

      Do you have an inexpensive source for witch crafts, Audrey. I'm looking for those little stuffed dolls that you can put pins in to make real people feel pain. And not know who is making it happen.

      I tried Home Depot, Office Depot, Toy Depot and the railroad depot but no luck so far.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)