Crafting is great fun but it can be an expensive hobby. Today I’m sharing 10 tips on how to save money when buying craft materials and even how to get free craft supplies!
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1. Get Paid to Buy Craft Supplies!
Have you ever dreamed of getting paid to craft? Well I’ve found a way to get free money when I buy craft supplies. When you shop online, make sure to always use a cashback website. Websites such as Quidco and Topcashback make deals with brands and every time you shop with them, the cashback website gets paid a recommendation fee. You then get a cut of this fee. (You can get £5 in your account by signing up through my links above) All you have to do is log into your cashback website, search for the online store you want to buy from, click though to their website and shop as usual. It doesn’t cost you any extra and the cashback website looks at how much you have spent and gives you money into your cashback account. I do this on all purchases throughout the year (even my takeaway pizzas!) then I use the money that I’ve built up to buy Christmas presents. Another website I recommend is Honey. You load Honey onto your internet browser and it monitors which brands you are shopping with. If Honey finds a coupon code for that brand, it’ll pop up when you go to the checkout and save you some money! You can also earn points for shopping with certain brands, then turn the points into gift vouchers!
2. Look at Charity Shop Websites
I love browsing charity shops, and you can often find really cool vintage craft supplies in them. I’ve seen boxes of retro knitting and sewing patterns and baskets full of crochet and knitting needles. Lately the non-essential shops here in the UK have all been closed and I’ve been missing my charity shop fix! Then I found that certain charities have online stores. Often they save a lot of their best stuff for their websites. I got some amazing fabric that I plan to make a coat with. I wouldn’t have found it in a normal fabric shop and even better, I got cashback on the purchase by shopping through a cashback website!
3. Get Craft Materials for Free!
Freecycle is a great website where people offer things they no longer need for free! This could be anything from cardboard boxes and garden pots, to sewing machines and printers. There are local groups to search through from all over the world, so your sure to find something. You contact the person offering their items and arrange to pick them up from their house, so always make sure you feel safe about doing so. Also, remember there’s often an expectation that you have things up for offer, as well as getting things for free.
4. Craft Room Clear Outs
Sometimes when you are starting a new craft, you need a lot of tools and supplies to get going. How would you like a ready made kit at a bargain price? This is where I look to eBay (don’t forget to use a cashback website!). However instead of searching for individual tools and supplies, I search for things like Craft Room Clear-out, Craft Bundle and Craft Supplies Job Lot. This is people who no longer want to do a certain craft, getting rid of a load of their supplies. If you want to search for something specific, you can add keywords such as Jewellery, Crochet, Cardmaking etc. It’s also something to keep in mind if you want to make money from your own unused craft supplies!
5. Garage Sales or Car Boot Sales
The same sort of idea as buying bundles off of eBay, is looking for garage sales or car boot sales. Again, this is people who want to get rid of large volumes of stuff and just want a bit of money back. The advantage of shopping for these bundles in person is that you’ll have the chance to haggle over the price. If that sounds scary, you could try collecting a number of items off a stall, making your own bundle and see if the seller will agree to a price you name. It’s worth a go and remember, people don’t want to take this stuff home with them so if you offer a cheeky price, they might just accept!
6. Get Cheap Craft Magazines
I love magazines, but they can be so expensive, especially some of the specialist craft titles. A great way I’ve found to save money on magazines is to buy a subscription. This always saves money on the cover price. I’ve found that Pocket Mags, BuySubscriptions, Magazines Direct offer all the creative magazines I want to read such as Mollie Makes and Style at Home. An even more cost effective purchase is a digital subscription. I bought a years worth of Inside Crochet magazine for the price of 3 or 4 physical magazines. OK, so you don’t get the free gifts but it’s so handy having all those patterns on my phone. If I happen to go somewhere and spot a deal on yarn, I can just look up the patterns I have bookmarked and see how much yarn they require. Oh and don’t forget to purchase through a cashback website!
7. Get Craft Patterns Sent Straight to You
Rather than buying a paper copy of a sewing or knitting magazine, you can buy an electronic version and have it sent straight to your email. Buying PDF versions of patterns from somewhere like Makerist (use my code: makerist12-awin to save 12%) or LoveCrafts means that you can get crafting straight away. In the case of sewing patterns, they are so much cheaper and unlike a tissue pattern, you can cut them out multiple times. Either print them on your home printer, or have a company like NetPrinter or PatterntoPaper do it for you.
8. Get ‘Free’ PDF Sewing Patterns and Magazines
If you enjoy sewing and dressmaking, then you probably already know and spend a lot on PDF patterns. I really recommend a subscription service where each month you get a digital magazine, choice of PDF pattern, classes and video tutorials. You get all of this with a Seamwork subscription. It starts at only $7 a month, which is the cost of one physical magazine, so you’re already getting so much value. Plus if you sign up using my link you get $3 off your first month! I really enjoy my subscription, their patterns are very modern and there are many hack tutorials to make your garments unique.
9. Loyal Crafters Get Discounts
Something that may sound obvious, but I’ve found that many people don’t take advantage of, is loyalty rewards. If the craft store you shop at has a loyalty card scheme, sign up to it! They offer things like vouchers, coupons and discounts that aren’t available otherwise. A lot of them will also send you a free gift on your birthday (I get £5 free each year from Hobbycraft). This isn’t just physical stores, sign up to your favourite websites newsletter and create an account. You’ll get notifications of sales before they happen and try adding things to your basket, then clicking off the website. They might email you a discount code to encourage you to buy.
10. Follow Craft Designers for Bonuses
Whilst you’re looking for PDF patterns on Etsy, Deramores or Minerva Crafts make a note of who designs the patterns. If you find a favourite crochet, knitting or sewing designer, make sure to follow them on social media. Designers are always interacting with their followers and they’ll be the first to know when new patterns are released. They might also offer a discount code when the pattern is first released. You could even get the chance to be a pattern tester and try new patterns for free in return for your feedback.
These are just some of the ways I save money when I buy craft supplies. I hope you find them helpful. You can also look at my guide to shopping at craft shows. I have a list of all the places I love to shop and any discount codes on the Shopping page. If you have any other money saving tips, please leave a comment.