Having a creative hobby can have great and positive impacts on your mind, mood and overall happiness. But if you love crafting and creating things with your hands then you’ve probably noticed that craft supplies aren’t cheap and the costs can quickly add up. The good news is that there are actually many easy ways to save money on craft supplies to make it much more affordable.
I combined my love of crafting and my love of good deals into this extensive list of ways you can save money on craft supplies, whether in stores or online.
While coupons are the most obvious way (and a great way) to save money on craft supplies, there are many more smart ways that I’m excited to tell you about.
Save a penny earn a penny.
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Use Ebates/Rakuten every time you check out (online purchases)
Ebates (recently renamed “Rakuten”) is one of the easiest ways to save money when shopping online. If you’ve never heard of it before, Ebates is a shopping portal where you can earn cash back on most online purchases and couple them with coupons. You get money back for shopping at tons of retailers, including some craft stores. You can even get up to 5% cash back on Amazon (everybody’s favorite online shopping place, right?).
Before buying anything online, I always check out Ebates (either with the browser extension or on Ebates.com). I find the store name, click the current deal for that store and complete my purchase. You can also type the name of the item you’re looking for if you’re not set on a specific store.
When completing a purchase through Ebates you earn cash back that you can have mailed to you or sent via Paypal. If you download the browser extension, Ebates will even find coupons for you and apply them automatically before checkout.
If you would like, click here to sign up for Ebates/Rakuten, and RIGHT NOW when you sign up, you will receive a $10 cash welcome bonus when you spend $25.00!
Since you were already going to complete your purchase online, why not get some cash back on things you planned to buy anyway! Every little bit counts.
My favorite websites to find good deals on craft supplies
You can pretty much find all the same items online, if not more, than in a store. Plus, it’s also really convenient if you don’t live near craft stores, or if you simply don’t want to go out shopping every single time you need something. Here are my favorite websites to find good deals on craft supplies.
Amazon: Amazon offers many items in their Art, Crafts and Sewing section. You can basically find anything there. Since many independent sellers use Amazon to sell their products, prices vary and you can often find good deals.
Websites with flash sales:
Peachy Planner Deals and Peachy Cheap (paper crafts): every day each website offers a great deal on a kit of supplies for planners and/or paper crafts: papers, embellishments, stamps, stickers, die cuts, journals, markers, etc. The deals are only available for 1 day, while supplies last. You’ll want to check their website or your emails (if you sign up for their newsletter) daily to check out the 2 deals of the day. The discounts are really good: usually, the price of the daily deal is around 10$, at least 50% off. I find this concept fun (like a daily surprise) and refreshing.
Zulily: Zulily has daily flash sales on many different categories of items, and lucky us, they frequently offer great flash sales on big brands of craft supplies! It really is a fun website where great deals can be made. Deals only last a few days so I recommend you subscribe to their newsletter or check the website frequently. I love that you can also combine shipping with the other sales going on that day.
Websites with bundles of graphic designs (fonts, SVG files, clip arts) and weekly freebies:
Craft Bundles: here you can find bundles of SVG files (up to 90% OFF) and freebies
The Hungry Jpeg: on top of their many digital goods and reduced-price bundles for sale, they also offer a new free digital file every week and at the moment you can even score a free pack of 20 fonts.
HP Instant Ink: to print for free or super cheap
HP Instant Ink is a great way to save money if you print lots of images, stickers, or photos while crafting. You can find many free printables online that could help you save money in the long run: sewing/knitting patterns, cards, party decor, planner stickers, home decor signs, banners, etc. Save money printing rather than buying.
When it comes to printers, there’s one thing I recommend more than anything else: Get a printer that is compatible with the HP Instant Ink program(prices start as low as 40$). With this service, you can print for free forever using their free printing plan (up to 15 pages per month), or print big quantities for free for months using HP Instant Ink promo codes (several plans available – up to 300 pages per month).
What I love most about HP Instant Ink, besides the super affordable price and the 7 months of FREE INK I got when I signed up, is that I no longer need to worry about “saving” ink (and therefore never daring to use the best printing quality), nor need to ask myself “is it really worth it” before printing something.
I can just print a lot with the highest quality printing settings, for free or for really cheap, and that totally changed the way I used my printer. I’m explaining why I love HP instant Ink and how to get many free months in more detail here.
Get a library card to access free books, Ebooks, audiobooks & magazines
Did you know that a lot of libraries give you access to “digital libraries” when you get a library card?
For example, with my library card number, I’m able to access (completely free) services like Hoopla, Cloud Library, Total Boox (all 3 offer Ebooks and audiobooks), RB Digital (magazines), and Kanopi (Streaming service).
It’s great because I can now easily access and “borrow” many eBooks and audiobooks at any time, from the comfort of my home on my tablet or smartphone. I can even get music, magazines, and videos from some of these libraries! You can also access a lot of the items you borrow offline, which is great if you’re traveling or commuting a lot. There is no need to pay for a subscription service like Audible or Scribd when you have access to such comprehensive and free digital libraries.
This tip is a good way to save money no matter if you’re into crafting or not.
But if you’re into creating things, you’ll be happy to see that you can actually find many useful resources for yourself: calligraphy/lettering, recipe books, scrapbook, paper crafts, decoration, weddings, sewing, knitting, home decor magazines (old and new magazines of HGTV magazine are available on RB Digital for example)...
I found out about these digital libraries recently and I’m honestly super impressed by them. And best of all, it’s completely free. Check out what your library offers! Even if your library doesn’t offer access to digital libraries, being able to borrow physical books rather than buy them will, of course, save you money.
Shop off-season and clearance items to save money on craft supplies
Most craft stores sell a lot of holiday decoration items. The best time to save a lot on those items is right after each holiday has passed. You can score crazy deals (70-80% off) on Christmas items right after the holidays and the same goes for every season!
That doesn’t mean you can’t score good deals at any other time though. Always make sure to be on the lookout for clearance items. Most stores have a clearance section, but you can also find clearance items throughout the store. These items would usually have a special colored label with a discounted price on them. Make sure to check them out.
Buy Basic Craft Supplies at the Dollar Tree
You can find many cheap items to use in your crafting projects at the Dollar Tree (or other similar dollar stores), so I suggest you check this store first before going to Target or Walmart and end up paying more for basics.
Here are a few examples of items you can find and use for DIY projects: glassware, containers, foam boards, large poster boards, sequins, artificial flowers, markers, stickers, beads, planters, mirrors, floral foam, wreaths, seasonal items, etc.
You can even find a lot of inspiration online from people sharing “Dollar Tree Craft Ideas”.
Use the internet to find free or cheaper alternatives
If you ask me, I think the internet is wonderful for us crafters. You can save a lot of money by using the resources available online.
Learn new skills online
You can learn all types of skills online for free (or an inexpensive subscription) instead of paying for a physical course/workshop:
- YouTube (Free)
- SkillShare (2 months free with my referral link)
- Creative Bug
- Scrapbook.com offers great crafting courses for free (presented by famous designers and artists)
- Groupon: you can even find certification courses online (graphic design, event planner, etc)
I’m not saying that a video course is better than an actual class, but it’s a great alternative. Video courses are usually cheaper or even completely free, are available anywhere (not everybody lives in a city where classes are offered), anytime (Want to take a class at midnight, from your sofa, wearing your pyjamas? You sure can!) and you get to go as fast or as slow as you’d like and get to the point (skip through what you already know and specifically learn what you want).
Save money by choosing printable and digital over physical items
As you can see on my blog, I share A LOT of free printables. And I’m far from being the only blogger to do that! Many bloggers share incredible free printables that could save you money in many different areas:
- find free knitting/sewing patterns online rather than buy some (magazines, printed patterns, books)
- choose free printables to organize your home (calendars, binders, checklists) rather than buy them
- find free planner stickers than you can reprint as many times as needed rather than buying physical ones that you can only use once
- find free invitation templates and printable party decor
- lookup free recipes online rather than buy overwhelming recipe books that take space and collect dust
- printable home decor signs that you change as often as you’d like rather than buy them and never dare to change them
The list goes on and on. You’d be surprised by all the things you can find online for free or for a low price. You’d also be surprised by the high quality these free/inexpensive resources can be. You don’t necessarily have to spend much to get the good stuff. Being frugal doesn’t mean being cheap, it just means you’re being smart and creative about how you spend your money.
To find the printables you need you can simply Google it by describing it (ex: free printable functional planner stickers), search Pinterest (lots of free printables are easy to find there) or Etsy (lots of inexpensive printables are available).
Good to know: Did you know that Simple Stories items are available as digital elements? You can browse their digital store to grab your favorite paper and embellishment collections and print them as many times as you need, in whatever size you need, which can save you money and make more projects possible.
Golden Rule: There is (almost) always a coupon you can use in craft stores
Last but not least: Michaels, Hobby Lobby, and JoAnn Fabrics all offer great coupons that you can use at all times. They also offer weekly sales on many categories of items. Sales tend to change every other week or so. You may want to download their app and/or subscribe to their newsletters to get easier access to their coupons and be updated about sales.
Pay full retail price? Ain’t nobody got time for that.
I mean, with so many coupons available every week, I really make it a point to never (or very rarely) pay full price for craft supplies. I understand that you may have a last-minute gift project that requires you to purchase an item right here right now no matter the price. But other than those cases of absolute necessity, I strongly urge you to take advantage of the many coupons and sales available in big craft stores.
I sometimes see people purchasing something without a coupon, paying full price, at those stores and I just don’t get it. I’d like to tell them all the awesomeness that they’re missing out on, but I’m too much of an introvert for that.
I hope you find these tips helpful and that you manage to save a bit of money on craft supplies by applying some of them!
Feel free to share your tips in comments so that I can add them to the list.
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