Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Saving money when crafting

This post is different to my normal posts, as there is no tutorial. This post is purely about my thoughts (and some of my tricks) for saving money when being creative. I have decided to do this as many people let their creativity slide due to not thinking they can afford to be crafty.

If you have any tips and tricks to add, feel free to comment below.

-If you are the kind of person who likes to sketch out their ideas before creating something, unless you are a professional, high quality pencils/markers and expensive art books are not necessary. A pack of cheap kids pencils and some office paper will work just as well. Another alternative is to go digital. Recording and sketching your ideas on a computer is a great idea if you come up with lots of ideas, as you can easily store and recall them.

-Recycle and use natural items when possible. If, for example, you love charcoal, you can easily and cheaply make your own at home. Old clothes, bedding and offcuts are a cheap source of fabric and are all just projects waiting to happen.

-Organise your supplies. If you know where something is, you will be less likely to go out and buy it again for your current project.

-Shop online for supplies. Often buying in bulk online will save you a lot, as the seller does not have as many overhead costs such as a shop, etc.

-Get together with some of your crafty friends and buy in bulk to split the cost. Many items are cheaper the more you buy, and if you are splitting the cost with others you can get more variety for the same price.

-Shop last of line and end of season stock. You may find your local fabric store sells out fleece cheap at the end of winter. Buy it cheap and save it for next winter, or get started early on next years projects. Pick your shopping battles, and know when to spend more and when to go cheap.

-Join loyalty clubs for your local craft stores. Often you get rewarded with discounts and vouchers just for doing the shopping you would normally do.

-Visit second hand stores/thrift shops/op shops. You never know what you will find in them, and you may even be inspired to make something unique with the materials you find.

-Shop at asian import stores for some of your supplies. Not all of their items will have the same quality as their more expensive counterparts from craft stores, but you don't always need the best quality. 

-Swap supplies with your friends. This is another great way to get a bigger variety of supplies at little to no cost.

-Consider hosting craft parties, where everyone brings one type of supplies. This way you can buy in bulk and save, and you also have the inspiration of being around creative people.

-Find inspiration on the internet. If you find a pattern you really like, buy it, but you will find a quick internet search will produce more free patterns and tutorials than you could use in a lifetime of crafting.

-Look for inspiration and supplies in unusual places. As an example, I have a pasta shaping cone which I use as a plaster mold, and a nail art tool which I use to engrave on glass. Be creative not only with what you make, but how you make it. Just because something was made for a specific purpose does not mean it cannot have other uses.

-Know your creative style, and buy supplies that match this style when they are cheap, even if you don't have a project to use them for at this time. 

-Don't buy more than you can store. Having random boxes of stuff in your crafting way means you have less space to be creative, and will probably end up either leaving much of the stuff in boxes and never using it, or doing a big cleanout and just getting rid of most of it.

-Keep a copy of any patterns you really liked or templates for any projects you created in a binder folder, so you know where they are when you want to use them, and you don't have to buy/find another pattern.

-Make patterns from your favourite well fitting clothes rather than buying new patterns where possible. This way you can be sure your new clothes will fit you well.

-Keep some scrap/cheap fabric for experimenting with when trying something new. Once you have mastered your new skill or confirmed your idea will work, you can then move on to your more expensive supplies.

-Learn how to make basic alterations to patterns. I have a top pattern I brought years ago which I have altered to fit and, due to the cut of the fabric, I can make singlets, t-shirts, shirts, jumpers and dresses from this one pattern.

I hope some of these tips and tricks will help you to carry on crafting no matter how much you have to spend. 

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