Thrifty Craft Supplies That Spark Imagination

By: Andrea Bullock

A healthy stash of craft supplies can make the rainiest of days seem sunny summer play days for kids of all ages. Yes, the big kids in the world enjoy doing all manner of crafts as well. The problem is that craft supplies do not necessarily run on the cheap side. If consumers aren’t careful the price tag for that sunshine in a craft box can add up quickly.

A few great craft supplies that are small on budget and big on fun

Old Buttons

Children grow out of clothes fast. Adults outgrow clothes over time in a way no adult cares to face in the mirror. Clothes get ruined, go out of style, shrink (wink, wink), and sometimes do not look as good in the mirror as they did on the hanger. Many of these clothes hit the garbage pile without a second glance-buttons still attached.

But, take a few seconds to make a snip here and there with a pair of scissors and those buttons can become eyes for mismatched sock puppets, noses for hapless snowmen in winter months, or even the windows to the soul for one giant purple people eater on paper. Little girls love stringing buttons together to make bracelets and necklaces. They can become the centerpiece for beautiful fairy flowers and even be glued to picture frames for a little added pop or pizzazz.

Don’t discard another article of clothing without first checking for buttons. Additionally, thrift stores and garage sales will often have large packages of buttons on sale for a steal. Check them out if help is needed getting a fantastical button collection started.

Recycled Goods from the Kitchen

Take a look around the kitchen for a moment and think with the mind of a crafter. Paper towel rolls can become pirate looking glasses. Egg cartons can be transformed into a garden of flowers, and potato chip cans may be transformed into musical instruments or rain sticks.

Empty coffee cans provide a wide range of crafty pleasure including gift tins that can be filled with small treasures for friends who are shut in; organizational tools to hold pens, paperclips, etc.; or a beautiful bird feeder for neighborhood birds.

Thrift and Second-hand Stores

Another great source for frugal but crafty ideas, that all but guarantee indoor fun for all ages, is the local thrift store. There are tons of great bargains on craft kits and supplies that can be mixed and match for even more crafty pleasure. The idea is to find a wide range of supplies that are versatile and encourage creativity.

The real beauty about thrift or second-hand stores is that many of the items are in mint condition. They are simply the unwanted castoffs of another crafter who created too large a stash of supplies.

A Walk around the Neighborhood

Children are amazing creatures. Perhaps it’s the nearness to the ground but children can spot all sorts of neat craft supplies that most adults would miss just by walking outside. With the right child, a blade of grass could become a paintbrush.

Simple things that can be found without paying a penny for crafting include things most adults pass by every day without a second glance. Pine cones, river rocks, sticks, and leaves are all fabulous crafting tools that won’t break the budget.

Crafting can be very expensive if people allow it to be. It doesn’t have to be. There are too many great bargains available to crafters to limit personal pleasure due to budgetary constraints. During these troubling economic time who couldn’t use a little crafty sunshine?

Andrea Bullock is a freelance writer for Crafts for Kidlets, a fun craft idea blog for moms and dads who need something creative for the kids to do.

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