Guest post by Stacie Nelson from Motherhood on a Dime
Encouraging my children’s creativity and taking time for memory-making activities is a priority of mine. One of my favorite ways to do this is by keeping several well-stocked craft boxes available at all times!
Unfortunately, if you are not careful, purchasing craft supplies can be an expensive undertaking (especially when you’re drooling over the latest and greatest gizmos and gadgets)! But with a little bit of planning and a tad of creativity, you can stock a craft box very inexpensively. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Shop Back-to-School Sales
Now is the perfect time to stock up on supplies for your craft box, because prices are at the lowest you’ll find them! Don’t just buy what the kids need for school — plan ahead and buy what you’ll need for the whole year at home, too. It’s much less expensive to fill your boxes now with crayons, gluesticks, notecards, scissors, pencils, pens, paper, etc.
(Warning: Once you’ve been doing this for a while, you’ll feel sticker-shock when you run out of something in the middle of the year and have to replace it!)
Raid the recycling bin
Before you throw something away, think about adding it to your craft box! If you don’t consider yourself crafty or you aren’t used to thinking about items in this way, it may be challenging at first. But the more you do it, the easier it becomes! There are so many items that can be repurposed. Here are just a few ideas:
cereal boxes • coffee cans • toilet paper rolls • plastic trays from various packaging • jars • lids • tissue paper from gifts • old cards • milk cartons • rubber bands from newspapers • tin cans • junk mail magnets • cloth scraps • drink carriers • seeds • beans • scrap paper • egg cartons
(You can find a more complete list of ideas here.)
Shop garage sales or dollar stores
Keep your eyes open while garage sale shopping and you can find amazing deals on craft and educational supplies! I’ve found flashcards, bags of fabric, scrapbook supplies, alphabet stamps, lunch sacks, and more for much less than $1. Garage sales are also a great place to find storage containers for your supplies.
Also, consider looking for inexpensive craft items like fun foam, pom-poms, frames, and stickers at a dollar store or in the dollar section at Target.
Host a craft supply party or swap
One of my favorite places to buy craft items is online. Shopping through a bargain site like Discount School Supply can save you money when you buy in bulk — but who really needs 1000 crafts sticks or 25 bottles of glue?
A great (and fun) solution is to gather some friends, pool your resources, and make an order of the supplies you want. Later, you can have a party to divvy up the goodies!
Another simple idea is to have a craft swap with items you already have. Trade those supplies you aren’t using — someone else may love them!
What are your favorite ways to save on craft supplies?
Stacie blogs about her quest to find balance and bargains at Motherhood on a Dime. You can also find her sharing simple activities for little kids over at The Amazing Mess and pinning all of her favorite kid’s craft, homeschooling, and organizational ideas on Pinterest.