The Importance Of Building A Craft Stash (And How To)

My craft stash has helped me to produce many items on the cheap. But how does one build such a stash without a massive outlay of money to begin with? The short answer is time and a little effort.

Unless you have a lot of money to spend (and let’s face it, if you are reading my blog there is a good chance you don’t) a stash needs to be acquired  over time with a bit of patience (ok, I lied, a LOT of patience).  There are a few different ways that you can acquire items for your stash so I will break them down into different categories.

RECYCLE/REUSE/REPURPOSE:

This is a wonderful way to feel good about doing your part for the environment. A lot of household “junk” can be repurposed for craft. I have recently become fascinated with items made from the ring pulls of drink cans. I pinned a whole lot of ideas on Pinterest for jewellery, clothes and handbags made from ring pulls. But pinning ideas on Pinterest isn’t enough, now I have to collect the ring pulls. I have my brother and some friends also collecting them for me too… and with the cans they are pulled from, my brother collects those to recycle.

The start of my collection of ring pulls, gathering and awaiting to be crafted into wonderful creations.
The start of my collection of ring pulls, gathering and awaiting to be crafted into wonderful creations.

I wish I had a completed example to share with you but at present I don’t, however I will sometime in the near future.

You can recycle/reuse just about anything, just have a think about things before you toss them out. A bit of contact paper added to tin cans can make attractive pen/pencil/texta holders or seed planters. Plastic takeaway food containers can be used for craft storage or also dress up for holding other treasures. Some plastic can be used for shrink plastic items (only certain types though). Scrap paper can be used to make new paper or for decoupage. Wine corks can be turned into cork boards. I really could be here til the cows come home listing items that can be recycled and how, so I won’t, I just want to prompt you to think before you bin rubbish in future, as to how it could possibly be repurposed. Same goes for old/broken furniture… look to Pinterest, or do a Google search for inspiration.

OP SHOPPING:

I think American’s call them Thrift Shops but here in Australia we call them Op Shops (Opportunity Shops). Op Shops are a great source for the following items: fabric (I can find enough fabric to make several outfits for around $5.00), vintage clothing for upstyling, sewing patterns, yarn, craft magazines, crockery (can be upcycled using paint pens etc), old furniture that can be refurbished with the aid of some decoupage or woodworking, and many more items all at low prices.

Example of glasses purchased at an Op Shop and upcycled.
Example of glasses purchased at an Op Shop and upcycled.
Mug purchased at Op Shop and decorated by my daughter using paint pen and Sharpies to make a gift for her grandmother.
Mug purchased at Op Shop and decorated by my daughter using paint pen and Sharpies to make a gift for her grandmother.

USING SPARE CHANGE WISELY:

In my local area there are a lot of discount/super saver stores (once upon a time we used to call them $2 shops). In the cooler months I can pick up a ball of acrylic yarn for around $2.00-$2.50, in the warmer months they can be as low as a dollar as the stores attempt to clear their winter stock. You can’t even buy a cup of coffee that cheap these days. So next time you find a couple of dollars in your pocket and think about purchasing a snack at work with it, maybe give some thought to what that spare change could potentially come- a stash that in the long run saves you money. I purchase a ball or two of this yarn most times I pass one of these stores and over time have accumulated quite a stash.

Part of my yarn stash (yes, only PART of it)
Part of my yarn stash (yes, only PART of it)

These stores are also usually a good source of cheap art supplies, gift cards and wrapping, other craft supplies, cheap crockery, mason jars, and some household cleaning items and groceries among other things.

EBAY:

Out of each pay I put aside a few dollars for ebay purchases. I get some of my craft supplies from ebay for two reasons- firstly you can often pick up items for low prices, and secondly because I live in a regional area and some items can only be found in major cities. I will usually purchase one item fortnightly for around $5.00 give or take, this helps to build my stash.

GIFT VOUCHERS:

Make the most of family and friends that insist on buying you a gift for your birthday or Christmas- ask for a gift voucher to your local craft supply shop.

OTHERS TO CONSIDER:

Keep an eye out for and check out the following where you can:

  • Garage sales
  • Trash and Treasure markets
  • School fetes and fairs
  • Online social media groups for used items
  • Bartering groups

If there is anything you can think of that I should have added then please leave me a comment in the comment’s section below. Happy hunting 🙂

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