Tag Archives: craft supplies

Recycled Jars: The Perfect Storage Containers

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originally posted September 2011

Hello. My name is Jennifer, and I’m a jar hoarder.

It all began innocently enough. I bought some pasta sauce and liked the shape of the jar so much that I could not bring myself to part with such a nifty container. Pretty soon a pattern developed. Each week I bought that same pasta sauce, whether or not pasta was on the menu, just for the jar. Soon, I branched off into different foods – olives, salsa, jelly, pine nuts – and before I knew it a small collection of jars accumulated.

I soon realized something needed to be done with them. These lovely glass vessels were taking up precious space in one of my kitchen cabinets, so I decided to start putting them to good use as storage containers.

The larger pasta sauce jars were perfect for storing dried beans, lentils, and grains like rice and barley. The screw-top lids afford an airtight closure, so these items stay fresh for a long time.

An added bonus is the organization these jars provide. I no longer have to sift through bags of beans, rice, and lentils to find what I need.

Storing craft supplies is another great use for recycled jars. In addition to being a hoarder of jars, I’m also a craft supply addict. It’s probably safe to say that most crafters have almost as much fun buying craft supplies as they do making crafts.

Most of my supplies are housed in boxes that sit in stacks on the shelves in my craft room. I wanted a way to display some of these items as well as easily access some of my supplies. The jars provided the perfect solution.

I use them for buttons…

beads and sequins…

and rhinestones

These particular jars serve a dual purpose in that they are both practical and decorative at the same time.

Just about anything you can think of can be stored in a jar. So, if you’re not currently hoarding them like me, it’s time become a member of the club. You’ll be reusing something your hard-earned money paid for and creating less waste at the same time.

Supplier Spotlight: Dover Publications

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originally posted July 13, 2009

Dover Publications has been around since the 1940s. If you’re not familiar with Dover and you’re a crafter, then you need to check out their website. They offer publications on practically any subject you can think of, and the place is a treasure trove for crafters. Dover offers a huge selection of royalty-free/permission free clip art in both book form and on CD. There is a wide variety of clip art to chose from that can be used for your craft projects – nature themes like butterflies, flora and fauna, birds, architectural designs, fashions, old fruit crate labels and travel posters just to name a few. These clip art CDs are great for anyone who does collage art, makes cards, and does scrapbooking. If you’re a seller/crafter who utilizes clip art designs in your crafts, keep in mind that Dover does have a limit on the images used in items that you sell. You’ll need to contact them regarding rights and permission and ask them how you can use their images in art work that you sell.

 

Other categories of publications you can find on Dover’s website are games and puzzles, coloring books, craft how-to books, stained glass patterns, woodworking, holiday crafts. There’s so much more to be found on their website. You can also sign up to receive free catalogs in the mail, and you can get free samples via email. So the next time you need some clip art, are interested in learning about a new craft, need a puzzle book, or are just bored and have some time to kill, go to Dover’s website and check out all the cool stuff they have.

 

Happy Crafting!

Penny Pinchin’ and Craftin’

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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
Herrschners
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!

Supplier Spotlight: French General

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originally posted 05/28/2009

If you’re into crafting or decorating with a French flair, you must check out French General. This is one of my favorite websites, and it’s very easy to spend a couple of hours browsing through all of the vintage and vintage-style goodies they have. There’s a fabulous notions section where you’ll find a wide array of items including beads, threads, feathers, sequins, buttons, chain, clasps and other jewelry–making supplies. Everything is categorized and most of the item descriptions will give you an idea of how old the items are and where they’re from. I’ve ordered beading supplies from French General before and have not been disappointed. Even their packaging is great. The beads come in these wonderful little tins that are jam packed with supplies.

If you’re looking to start collecting vintage beads, I would recommend the notion kits to start your collection. They’re categorized by color or theme and you get a good variety of beads. They come in a large square tin that houses 20 small round tins filled with wonderful vintage beads.

Beads aren’t the only thing you can find at French General. They carry jewelry kits (there’s even a jewelry kit club you can join), paper and stationary products, textiles, home goods and even bath and body products. So my suggestion is to grab a snack, a cup of tea or coffee { or a martini or two }, and plan to spend a bit of time perusing French General’s website. You surely will not be disappointed.

Happy Crafting!