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The US creativity market is a 44 billion dollar industry, if you can believe it! If you love to craft, you can easily find yourself spending more than you ever intended for a project! But it doesn’t have to be that way, let’s take a look at 10 steps to more sustainable crafting!
Crafting is such an important part of running a homestead and/or being sustainable! But it doesn’t have to put a strain on our budget!
Most crafters are inspired by a picture that they see. The next step is usually to run straight to the craft or hardware store to buy all the supplies you’ll need. Then, once the adrenaline wears off, the project and the supplies will be shelved for another time. Sure, I’ve done it and I’m sure you have as well.
May I suggest more mindfulness in our crafting?
Sure, it’s fun to buy new materials for a project, whether it be fabric, yarn, wood, stone, etc. and there’s nothing wrong with that! However, what if we slowed down just a bit and looked around us for our supplies?
What if we began to look at items that we no longer need, and use our creativity to make it into something more useful?
- Pallets can be made into everything from art to furniture to structures!
- Sweaters can be “unwound” for their yarn and be made into something else, even more beautiful!
- Unused clothing can be used again by salvaging the fabric!
- Old tools and metals can be made into yard art and so many other things!
1. Be a Stash Buster!
Whatever your creative endeavors are, commit to using what you already have! This winter, I committed to blasting through my fabric/yarn stash before I bought any more fabric. After donating much of my un-used yarn, I’ve been going through my boxes of fabric stash and organizing it into quilt projects. As I’m finishing my third “stash” quilt, I finally feel in control again of my craft area.
2. Shop at Estate Sales
The previous generations more were committed to making their own clothing and draperies, so it’s not uncommon to find a wonderful assortment of fabric, yarn, tools, draperies and even lumber at estate sales. Here’s a website to help you locate estate sales in your area.
3. Shop Thrift Stores and Garage Sales in Better Neighborhoods
If you aren’t already, get familiar with your local thrift stores and frequent them! Get to know the workers and let them know what you’re looking for, they might just set things aside for you!
Scour the garage sale ads for sewing notions and fabric, so you don’t waste gas and time. I have a drawer full of thread that will last me close to forever that I’ve picked up at garage sales.
4. Join Groups for Your Niche
Don’t limit yourself to on-line groups, although they’re awesome. Find guilds in your area for your niche by searching “*your niche* guild locator”.
5. Use Bedding and Table Clothes
Sometimes all you need for a sewing project is a flat bed sheet in the right pattern or color! Or even a tablecloth! Don’t overlook these handy items, they might be exactly what you need.
6. Organize a Swap
I love this idea! Organize a swap with like-minded friends at your place and get some great stuff!
7. Free-cycle, Craigslist, “Buy Nothing” Pages and Facebook Marketplace
There is no shortage of options on-line! You might just find more than you ever needed. If you don’t find exactly what you need, put your request out there!
8. Community Projects
Put your skill to good use by helping others! Community projects often provide free patterns and materials, so you can still enjoy your craft with no “out of pocket” expenses. You can search for “*your niche* community projects” and find lots of information for your area.
9. Become a “Test Knitter”
This is a wonderful way to try a new pattern and yarn, at little or no expense to you! Check out how to become a test knitter here!
10. When Buying New, Make Good Use of Coupons and Sales
Watch for sales and coupons at your favorite fabric stores, that’s a given. However, understanding coupon policy for stores such as Joann Fabrics, Michael’s Crafts and Hobby Lobby can save you some serious money! As of this writing, Joann’s, Michael’s and Hobby Lobby all accept each others coupons.
So, if you have at 50% coupon for one cut of fabric for each of the stores, you may well be able to use them all at just one of the stores.
I often use Joann’s coupons at the register with their app on my phone, but then I switch over to my Hobby Lobby app and use their coupons as well. They don’t really promote this, but they do accept them.
(I want to thank Carina H. from the Gently Sustainable group for her input from years of experience for this post!)
What are some ways you save money when crafting?? Let me know below in the comments!