If you want to save on crafts, then you definitely need all of these tips, tricks and ideas to find cheap craft supplies for your next craft or DIY project!
Friends, I have a confession…I am a total cheapskate. And an obsessive deal searcher. I rarely buy anything online without a coupon code and I will totally go home and come back another day if a sales associate tells me something in the store will be on sale tomorrow.
Is it a sickness? Or a strength??
And one thing I buy a lot more of than the average person is craft supplies. So I’m always on the lookout for cheap craft supplies and the best craft stores.
I’ve learned quite a few things and found some great ways and places to save money and discount craft supplies so I thought that today I’d share some of my favorite tips, tricks and craft stores with you all!
Note: All of the recommended craft supply resources, coupon sites and stores in this post are my personal favorites. This is not a sponsored post, a few of the links are affiliate links, but my opinions are always my own!
Shopping for Cheap Craft Supplies in Person
The Big 3 Best Craft Stores
The big 3, and what many consider the best craft stores are Michaels Arts and Crafts, Joann, and Hobby Lobby.
My number one tip for shopping in the big 3 craft stores? GET THE APP.
I’m serious. You should never ever buy most things in those 3 stores without a coupon or sale and the app is the easiest way to get coupons and know they’re valid. If you don’t use a coupon, then you should wait until the item you want is on sale because things are always on sale. This site even studied the sales schedule at Hobby Lobby so you know exactly when your item will go on sale again!
Basically, don’t buy anything full price in these craft stores. The exception of course is some of the bigger specialty brands that are excluded from coupons and rarely on sale like Silhouette and Cricut.
Other tips and tricks to save money at the big 3 craft stores?
- Take a friend, child, or spouse/partner and have them buy some of the items so you can each use coupons.
- Load your coupons on your phone before you go in the store, sometimes the internet isn’t great in those giant buildings.
- Ask about price matching and coupon matching. Michaels accepts competitor’s coupons AND price matches, Joann price matches (I can’t find any statement on competitor’s coupons, but you can ask!), Hobby Lobby price matches for exact items but does not accept competitor’s coupons (make sure you bring the ad with you!)
- Sign up for the online newsletter and/or text notifications and get notified about sales and coupons that way.
- Shop for holiday items the day after the holiday! It will get discounted further if you wait but it will also get picked over.
- Never ever pay full price for frames or custom framing. It WILL go on sale or have a coupon (I happened to check my email while writing this and there was a coupon right there for 70% off custom framing, ha!).
- Take the survey on your receipt for an extra coupon.
Other Brick & Mortar Craft Supply Stores
- Don’t forget other chains like Utrecht, Blick Art Materials and Paper Source, they don’t always have deals but they might have specialty items other stores don’t.
- Check out the craft supply department in department stores like Target and Walmart, they don’t have everything but you’ll definitely be able to get good prices on what they do have!
- Look in the discount “dollar spot” at Target, you’d be surprised how often they have really cute craft supplies mixed in there!
- I always forget, but the dollar store (we have Dollar Tree in our area) has a craft supply section! Talk about saving money! My friend Bre has this handy list of which dollar store craft supplies are worth it.
- Don’t forget to look for local stores that sell craft supplies. We have an adorable stationary/drafting supply store in my town that has EVERYTHING and if they don’t have it, the owner will order it for you. We also have a wonderful beading store. Keep an eye out for local sales. Even tiny stores do things like Black Friday and other holiday/seasonal sales!
- There might even be wholesale or discount craft supply stores in your area that you can only visit in person. For example, here in Chicago we have several discount fabric and sewing supply stores with are SO worth a visit. My favorites are Vogue Fabrics, Fishman’s Fabrics and New Rainbow Fabrics. These are all giant stores with ridiculously low prices. You never know quite what you’re going to find, but if you’re willing to dig, you might get very lucky!
Finding Cheap Craft Supplies Online
Oddly, I do not recommend using the big 3 craft stores’ websites. In my experience they have limited inventory, high shipping minimums and some even require you to purchase multiples of an item (for example, online you can only buy skeins of yarn in a package of 3 skeins, not just one)
Luckily there are tons of other discount craft stores online, here are a few of my favorites:
- Amazon – Seriously, don’t forget about Amazon, I was shocked to see how many craft supplies they carry. And they’re pretty good about price matching other stores automatically. Plus if you have Prime you can get your goodies super fast! I have bought everything from wreath forms, to crafting blanks, to paint from Amazon.
- Create for Less – They have tons of craft supplies with everything from general crafts, to beading, to knit and crochet. And they have a huge clearance section!
- Save On Crafts – This site leans a little more towards decor crafts with lots of crafting blanks like candleholders, vases and wood slices. They also have a huge floral section. This is a great site for wedding crafts and wedding decor supplies at a huge discount.
- Factory Direct Craft – Pretty much everything they sell at the big 3, but for less.
- Oriental Trading – You might think Oriental Trading only sells party supplies, but they actually have a big craft section. This is the site to go to if you want a big discount on MULTIPLE craft items (think lots of 12 or more). I bought the blank canvas hats and bags there that I decorated for this birthday party.
- Fabric.com – Of course this site only sells fabric and sewing supplies, but I love it, I think they do such a great job of taking photos of the fabric and adding a ruler for scale so you really understand what you’re getting. They have a GIANT clearance section all the time and they have sales and coupons often. Sign up for their newsletter for the best deals.
- Papermart – leans more towards paper crafts and ribbon but they have a huge selection.
- Expressions Vinyl – If you’re into vinyl craft projects, this site has vinyl for way better prices than the big 3.
- Beadaholique – Sooooooo many beads.
- Loveknitting – they have sales on yarn ALL the time.
Tips & Tricks for finding the best price on craft supplies online
- Before you purchase a craft supply from an online craft store, google the item you’re planning to buy and see if it shows up in the google shopping search results cheaper anywhere else.
- Don’t forget about shipping. Sometimes shipping will turn a great deal into a not so great deal. If that happens, try the google trick above and see if you can find the same price at a different store with free shipping.
- Consider store pickup, if you’re shopping at one of the bigger online craft stores, sometimes they will offer store pickup for free. That way you’re saving money and you can get your craft supplies sooner!
Other Ways to Save Money on Craft Supplies
- If you are looking for something specific, be sure to check Etsy and Ebay. This works great if you want a specific print, color or shape of something. For example, I was making Baby V’s nursery quilt and wanted the best price on a specific fabric print in a specific colorway. By searching the fabric name and designer on Etsy, I found it by the yard in an Etsy shop that happened to have it on sale that week and got a way better deal than any of the big fabric stores!
- Buy in bulk. When we bought many yards of one fabric to make table runners for our wedding, I reached out to an Etsy seller who stocked that fabric and they gave me a bulk discount.
- Consider buying directly from the company. Brands like Lion Brand, Red Heart, DecoArt and even Crayola have their own online stores and run their own sales so it’s possible, they might just have the best prices!
- Don’t forget to look for coupon codes. I’m a fan of Retailmenot, I also recently tried the Honey browser extension that inputs coupon codes for you after seeing 900 ads for it at the gym, and let me tell you, it is amazing (again, not sponsored by either, I just love a deal).
- See if you can get money back with a rebate program like eBates. I am so bad at remembering to do this, but I usually do when I make larger purchases and it is pretty nice to get that rebate check in the mail later!
- Be creative about what constitutes a craft supply! For example, I once made pillowcases out of a shower curtain because I liked the pattern and the fabric was cheaper as a shower curtain than the same amount of fabric would have been by the yard. Other ideas include using tea towels or placemats as wall art, using shoelaces instead or twine or ribbon, or even using things from nature like sticks and stones in your craft projects!
- Don’t forget to check out local neighborhood sales sites, garage sales, and thrift stores! People get rid of craft supplies they bought and were intending to use but then never got around to, all the time! In fact I just donated a huge bag of craft supplies to our local thrift store. You might even find yarn and fabric!
- If you’re willing to wait around for what you want, you might want to check out some daily deal sites that carry craft supplies. Peachy Cheap and Pick Your Plum are two good ones!
I think I have exhausted my cheap craft supplies knowledge, but if you can think of a resource or tip that I missed, let me know! Happy crafting, friends!
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