Photo credit by maaco
Many hobbies can be very expensive, and crafting is no exception. Whether you're a knitter, stitcher, or generally crafty person, you may find that supplies for your projects are sometimes out of your budget. But there are several ways to find free craft supplies for nearly every craft.
One good way to get free craft supplies is from individuals. Often, you can find craft supplies being offered up for free online from people who use Freecycle. Crafting groups in your area may also be a source of free craft supplies, as you can trade with other members for their unwanted or extra supplies. You may also be able to trade services or other unwanted items to other crafters in exchange for free craft supplies or gift cards to craft stores. Be sure that loved ones know about your craft preferences as well, as they may opt to buy craft supplies for your birthday or other gift-giving occasions.
You can also get free craft supplies from businesses, either craft manufacturers or retailers. For example, DMC, a manufacturer of embroidery threads, offers free cross stitch kits through its mentor program. These kits include a simple beginner's pattern, fabric, and threads. If you need free craft supplies to teach a cross stitch class, the DMC program is a great resource. Online craft retailers sometimes hold contests for free craft supplies. Sometimes the contests are for specific items and other times they are for shopping sprees or gift certificates. Either way, your final cost is $0.
Look to nature for free craft supplies. In fall, you can find gorgeous leaves on the ground for harvest crafts. Make a mini Christmas tree out of clippings from an evergreen tree or shrub. Use flowers from your garden to make potpourri or dried flowers for crafts. Mother Nature has plenty of craft supplies if you look, and she never charges.
Finally, remember that items you already have are free. You may not realize it, but your home may be full of free craft supplies. You just have to think outside the box. You can easily make clay from common kitchen ingredients such as flour and salt, for example. Brown paper grocery bags can be used in place of heavy craft or construction paper-just use the inside of the bag which is not marked with the grocer's logo. You can also use leftover supplies from other projects around your home in crafting. Leftover gift wrap and plain white glue can be used to decoupage a festive holiday picture frame. Just cut out the motifs from the gift wrap and glue onto the frame. Recycling items you already own is also great for the Earth since those items will not end up in the landfills.
With a little thought, research, and ingenuity, you can find free craft supplies in all sorts of places. Getting free craft supplies will allow you to enjoy your favorite craft without breaking your budget. Your finished projects will also be more creative and unique if you use alternate craft supplies that you found for free.