Anyone who is a crafter, whether hard-core or novice, knows that yarn, needles, and patterns are super costly, and if you've ever tried to sew something by hand, you know that the pattern alone can rival the cost of a readymade dress. Don’t worry – we've got tips to help you save money on plenty of hobby gear as you embark on a brand-new craft.
1. Sewing: one-yard wonders do the trick
If you're a novice sewer, you may have already been surprised about the cost of fabric and patterns. If you want to reduce your outlay, grab a pattern book and look for “one-yard wonders.” These patterns use small amounts of fabric to create pretty little blouses and accessories, and because they are fashioned from one yard of fabric, you save a lot.
Remember that your pieces don’t necessarily have to be made from scratch, either. Pick up too-long skirts and hem them; grab t-shirts and lop them into fun workout muscle tees with a few patches added from Forever21.
2. Knitting: yarn can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be
HOW many skeins? If you decide to tackle knitting, you know that yarn varies wildly in cost and can add up when knitting chunkier pieces. To save money when you’re experimenting with something cool, look for second-hand sweaters that you can unravel and use as raw material. If you’ve taken up crochet, you can use the same pro tips to save you a bundle. If it sounds too ambitious, remember that shops like Interweave have great sales.
3. Quilting: don’t pay retail – get remnants
To whittle costs, refuse to buy fabric that's not in remnant form. Remnants, or leftover fabric, can save you a ton because they're considered unwanted scraps. Whether you are doing a crazy quilt or are working on a keepsake piece, you can save a bundle with little cute scraps in your color scheme. If you’re planning on a remnant quilt, we recommend shopping for the perfect guide on Keepsake Quilting.
4. Scrapbooking: invest first and scrimp later
There are lots of scrapbooking doodads that increase the cost of your hobby, but that isn't really necessary for the desired effect (decals and stickers feature highly). If you're a paper scrapbooker, invest in a better book and let creamy paper, a nice binding, and a pretty cover speak volumes about the quality of your work. If you scrapbook online, use free online photo editors and ask photo-editing wizard friends to help out instead of investing in expensive photo-editing software that you *still* don’t know how to use.
5. Candle and soap making: quick tricks
This enjoyable hobby can be compromised due to the absolute necessity of using particular ingredients, but there are ways to keep your hobby on the cheaper side. Use a recycled mold, for example, that originally held yogurt or cheese. If you use a plastic container, you don't need to line it, either (an added bonus!).
6. General craftiness: play by the rules
Don't forget the cardinal rule of crafting – you should exclusively look for tutorials at the library and online so you can scrimp on books. It will also reduce the cost of patterns, because you can find almost anything online, from knitting to sewing to crochet and quilting patterns, too.