Category Archives: Crafty Tidbits

Penny Pinchin’ and Craftin’


originally posted June 17, 2009

So right now times are tough and you may think you just don’t have that extra cash to spend on craft supplies. Well, with a little creative thinking there are ways to get discounted craft supplies and even free stuff…you just have to know where to look.

For the free stuff, the first place you need to look is in your own home. If you’ve been crafting for a long time, chances are you already have tons of arts and craft supplies on hand. Crafters tend to be hoarders – we LOVE to buy craft supplies, whether we need them or not.

If you’re short on supplies though you might want to try the following: Raid your closet. Instead of storing old clothes that you know you’re NEVER going to wear, tear the clothes apart and use the fabric for sewing projects. Better yet, try restyling the old stuff into cool new threads for your wardrobe. Don’t forget to check out the garage and attic for hidden craft treasures as well. Look for items like jars, old hardware for jewelry and mixed media projects, magazines for collage art and decoupage projects – just to name a few things. Recycling is the best way to get free craft supplies, and it’s good for the environment.

Another way of finding free craft supplies is trash picking and, dare I say, dumpster diving. Now, I suggest doing this at YOUR OWN RISK, particularly the dumpster diving, but you can find some real gems {or in most cases, diamonds in the rough} driving around your neighborhood on trash day. You know how the saying goes – One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

Another way to find cheap craft supplies is checking out your local craft stores like Joann Fabrics, Michaels, AC Moore, Hobby Lobby, etc. These stores always have sales and occasionally have fliers in the Sunday paper with coupons. Always check out their clearance items and dollar bins, you’ll find a treasure-trove of supplies. At Joann Fabrics, you can go into the store and get on their snail mail mailing list for their monthly fliers. They almost always have a 40% off coupon in their fliers for either in-store purchases or online at their website. You can also sign up to receive coupons and sale info via email through their website. And check the websites of other chain craft stores to see if they email weekly coupons.

Here’s a list of some online craft retailers that offer inexpensive supplies:
Oriental Trading Company
Sunshine Crafts
Create for Less
Denver Fabrics
Factory Direct Craft
Just 4 Fun Crafts  website no longer available
Knitting Warehouse
Scrapbooking Warehouse

These are just a few that I found by way of Google, but I’m sure there are more online craft stores to be found. Your days of crafting don’t have to be over because the economy isn’t the greatest right now. A little creative thinking and ingenuity will help you find cheap craft supplies right under your nose.

Happy Crafting!


Getting Your Work Published

one of my necklace designs in Bead Trends Nov 2008
originally posted June 11, 2009

I don’t know about you but I’m addicted to craft magazines. Every week when I go to the grocery store, the first place I stop is the magazine stand to see if any new mags have come out. I also subscribe to a couple of jewelry making magazines. Did you know that a lot of the craft magazines accept reader submissions and publish articles from everyday crafty people like ourselves? Well they do. In fact, I’ve been published twice in Bead Trends magazine. It was pretty simple to do – I just followed their submission guidelines, emailed pics of my items, and waited until I received a reply from them letting me know they wanted to publish my projects. If you have a project you’d like to see published in your favorite craft magazine and want to see if they accept reader submissions, either check the page of the magazine that has its publishing info (usually somewhere on the first couple of pages of the mag) or check with the magazine’s website for submission guidelines.

my vintage style bracelet in Bead Trends May 2009

I have compiled a small list of magazines and their websites that do accept submissions for projects and articles:

Quick and Easy Painting
Paper Creations
Interweave Crochet
Create and Decorate
Crafts ‘n Things
Stringing (jewelry)
Step by Step Wire Jewelry (this is a PDF file)
Paper Crafts Magazine

• Northridge Media publishes 4 magazines – Bead Trends, Scrapbook Trends, Cards, and Simply Handmade – Guidelines for all 4 magazines can be found here – scroll down the page and you’ll find info for each mag

• The guidelines for the following Interweave Press magazines can be found here – Quilting Arts, Quilting Arts Gifts, Cloth Paper Scissors, Studios, and Stitch magazine

Here is just a small sampling of magazines that accept reader submissions. Check the websites of other craft magazines to see if they accept submissions and see what the guidelines are, read over the guidelines carefully and begin submitting your work. Who knows, pretty soon you may see yourself in print!

Happy Crafting!