5 Ways To Save Money On Craft Supplies

Speaking of creativity, I want to share some ways I am able to stick to my budget and monthly allowance of $50 while still being crafty.






1. Used Bed Sheets - Fabric can be expensive. Save some money by purchasing used bed sheets from the thrift store, estate sales, or garage sales. All of the sheets in the first picture were $2 or less. Some were large dresses, which are nice because then you can reuse the zippers, buttons, and other parts. White sheets are great because they are blank slates that you can make your own.

2. Branch Buttons - I do a variety of things with branches (which is why my future shop is called  A Fallen Branch) but one thing I do is make wood buttons. Simply use a hack saw and a drill for the holes. Voila, buttons.

3. Stuffing - This one may be controversial but I’m putting it out there anyway. Stuffing is also very expensive. One day I saw a couch near the trash. It was missing some pillows but in good condition. So I went back, got some reusable bags and my Gerber knife and cut the couch, pulling out all the stuffing. If it was raining, the couch looked gross or smelled of smoke then I wouldn’t do that. I think we forget how much fabric protects what’s inside and that our handy dandy eyeballs can check for bedbugs. I did get a few looks, cutting open a couch, but I do now have 8 full bags of fresh looking stuffing to make some pillows with.

4. Repurpose - What do they say, ‘one person’s trash is another’s treasure.’ When you see something by the trash ask, can you break it down and use the parts? Fix it up? Or heck, resell it and use that money for craft supplies? The fourth image is the tray I use for my laptop when I’m in bed. I took the top of a tv tray, sanded it, sealed it and now have myself the perfect sized repurposed tray for my laptop.

5. Work with Nature - Similar to the tree branch, one of my favorite necklaces was made using an acorn I found. I love collecting acorns. Not that long back I collected feathers and plan on doing a project with them. Nature inspires me. I get out every day, otherwise I feel a bit disconnected, and have come to love the beauty of working with it.

There are loads more ways to save and I hope to share some more projects in the future doing so! I also realize that all of these suggestions are repurposing, but I wanted to get specific on some.

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5 Ways To Give to Strangers

My 5 is a new series where I share five things on any topic that excites me. Ever since we began to give freely and learned the benefits of doing so, I find it fitting to do a post on giving to strangers. Why give to strangers? Why not? We all share this space and if we can’t show a little honest generosity, then all hope is lost for connection and community. If there is anything I think can make this world a bit better, it’s some more community.

1. Grow a Garden, Give it Away


When you buy a lemon, orange, avocado or anything else with seeds, keep the seeds. Plant them. Grow them. Or take your chives, garlic, pineapple tops/ends and plant them. There are numerous tutorials on Pinterest for doing so. I find the toilet paper roll method to be the best for seeds. Then once your seeds are the size of starter plants, like you would buy at the store, put them some place for the public to see and label them free. Afterall, the seeds didn’t cost you much of anything and a lot of times you can even find dirt for free on Craigslist. I have plans to do this in my apartment, set up a tiny table near the mailboxes and put up some free herbs and veggies.

2. Make Something, Bring an Animal Joy


We can’t exclude the non-human animals in the category of strangers, for we share this space with them too. Try making a toy or sewing a quilt and donate it to your local animal organization (be it a shelter or foster center, sometimes vet clinics are looking for this stuff too). This photo is from a non-profit no-kill cat shelter that Matt and I used to volunteer at. From working there, we learned just how helpful it was for people to donate beds, toys, and the like. Every day we came and opened up those gates, they darted out and skidded across the floor, chasing balls, flicking toys with their little feet and curling up on blankets. So you can either give a blanket or toy you already have or make one. Since sometimes money isn’t all they need. Sometimes a place to curl up, eat out of (so if you make pottery, try a little food dish!), and toss around is just as good. And if you don’t want to make something or have something to give, go to the free section of Craigslist and you’d be surprised some things on there that could make your local furrballs (and non-furry) quite happy.

3. Save Your Jars, Put Them on Craigslist


Though recycling is good, salvaging is always better. So save those jars. The best way to remove the labels, and this is what I do, is to: 1) soak them 2) scrape off as much as you can 3) mix one part baking soda to one part vegetable oil 4) spread it over the remains of your label, let it sit for about an hour and then rub it off using a towel and rubbing in circles. At one point I had 16 of these little puppies (apparently we like the Food for Lovers queso a lot). I removed the labels and posted them in the free section of Craigslist. I had 8 phone calls and 5 emails in that day (and that was before I quickly took down the ad because I had enough requests). The person who got them said she’d been wanting to organize for a while but just didn’t want to pay for jars to organize. So, save a stranger some money.

4. Find a Rock, Send a Message


Inspire people in unexpected ways by leaving a message on a rock. This is something I’ve been doing more of. It gives you a chance to do something fun and put a smile on someone’s face or merely give them hope. And the bonus – it’s no cost to you, with the exception of your creative energy and scouting out places to put your messages.

5. Visit the Library, Leave a Note


Grab a book. Write something nice. My favorite is to pick a book that inspired me and write something in it. Try not to use anything too thick for the note, otherwise it will start to damage the spine over time (a little tidbit I learned working at libraries). I prefer to use a skinny piece of scrap paper and a bit of tape. A post it note would work just fine too because they are thin and automatically stick-able. *I wrote this one in one of my favorite writing books, On Writing by Stephen King.

I’m working on another way to give back to strangers that I’m super excited about, but it will get its very own post!

What ways do you give back to strangers?