Art and craft supplies can be found in so many other places besides buying new from the store, AND for a much lower price, or for free. Depending on your source, you can not only saving money, but also help the environment by recycling items that are likely headed for the landfill. Try one these 13 alternative sources for your next project.
Find cheap or free art and craft supplies:
You local schools – At the end of the school year, some schools may have leftover supplies available for other teachers or students to keep, like markers, paper, classroom decor, etc.
Consignment stores – These shops sell new supplies and kits at a discounted price.
Creative reuse centers such as UpCycle– Materials are donated to the centers by the community, and can be purchased for a low cost.
Salvage shops – Find a wide range of items at architectural salvage stores. The shop near us has everything from stained glass, textiles, knicknacks, really anything you can think of.
Thrift stores – Find clothing that can be taken apart to use the fabric, jars for holding supplies, sewing machines, yarn, etc.
Public libraries – Many libraries offer weekly crafts and provide the supplies for free.
Little free library – These gems are popping up all over the country and are no longer just for books. Some little free libraries are used for other purposes, including craft ideas and supplies.
Free book banks such The Maryland Book Bank – Find books on countless subjects including arts and crafts, as well as activity books, for free.
Mis-tint section of paint stores – Paint that was tinted the wrong color is sold at a deep discount at paint/ hardware stores and big box home improvement stores.
Your local Freecycle sites – Community members both give away and get free stuff in their neighborhood. Our local site had bookcases and scrapbook supplies listed at the time I posted this.
Facebook marketplace/ Craigslist – Find literally anything you can think of on these sites.
Garage sales – Some towns have a designated yearly sale day, so check with your town and surrounding areas. Sale days are great, because often the town will provide a map to all the participating houses, making it faster and easier to locate good stuff.
Hold a swap with friends – This is a fun afternoon where you can bring everything you are trying to clear out of your house and bring it to one place to swap with your friends. Bring ANYTHING – clothes, books, cooking utensils, craft supplies, all of it. Whatever doesn’t get snapped up by someone can be donated to your local Goodwill.
Happy hunting – sometimes finding unusual supplies will take your project in a direction you never expected and that’s part of the fun. Find supplies at a source not listed above? Drop your favorite hidden gems in the comments!