$5.00 (or less) - Ceramic Tiles for Mosaics
Giant hardware stores such as Lowe's and Home Depot, as well as locally owned flooring companies, always manage to break some of their ceramic tile stock. Sometimes they have just a little bit of a particular tile left over, but it's not enough for a whole job. These companies cannot sell broken or
small quantities of tiles to their regular customers, so they tend to either give it away or sell it super cheap! The Lowe's near my house will sell you an entire 5-gallon bucket full of broken and remnant tiles for just $5.00! A full bucket of ceramic tile weighs about 50-100 pounds so you'll want to bring your own container, dig through the bucket, and pick out the pieces you like. I've gotten some gorgeous tile this way, even the really fancy (and usually expensive) ones!
Free to $3.00 - Fabric Scraps
Most people are aware that large retailers such as Joann Fabrics and Crafts sell their fabric remnants for 50% off their retail prices. This is a great way to get some beautiful fabrics at a discounted price. You can usually find a wide selection of fabric types and colors in within their fabric remnants.
It is possible to get free fabric remnants, but it may take a little bit of time and effort. Find a list of local Upholstery shops and take the time to visit them. Ask the manager if they have any scraps available that they're getting rid of. These will be smaller pieces of fabric and they'll obviously be upholstery fabrics, but they'll be perfect for Dotee dolls, pin cushions and other small craft projects requiring fabric pieces.
$1.00 - Paper Crafting Supplies
Over the past year, Hampton Art's Studio G division has started releasing paper crafting supplies for just $1.00! Various products, designs, and colors are available at different craft stores. The three mentioned on Hampton Art's website are Michael's, Joann's, and AC Moore; they don't mention Hobby Lobby, but I'm assuming they will carry some of these supplies as well. Studio G releases the following products with an MSRP of just $1.00:
- Clear acrylic stamps (1-4 per sheet)
- Raised ink pads
- Glitter (4 per pack)
- Flocking (4 per pack)
- Glitter glue
Free to $1.00 - Wood Scraps
Giant hardware stores such as Lowe's and Home Depot, as well as locally owned lumber companies, always end up with left over wood pieces when they cut lumber for customers. This wood gets chopped down and disposed of if it is not claimed by another customer. Should you need smaller sheets of wood or small planks of lumber for a project, check these retailers first! If you spot what you need in their dumpster, it's free! Usually, the only thing you have to pay for is 25 cents per cut, should you need the piece cut to size.
Free - Empty Cigar Boxes
While at the mall, you've probably passed at least one cigar/smoke shop. What you may not realize is that you've just passed a valuable crafty resource! Cigar boxes can be used for a multitude of craft projects, not to mention they make great storage containers.
Cigar shops typically sell cigars individually and by the box. When selling them individually, they tend empty a few boxes per day. If you stop by a cigar shop toward the end of the day and kindly ask the manager if they has any empty boxes they're throwing away, they'll typically just give them to you. Just don't be surprised if you end up with about 20-30 cigar boxes!
A quick little note: whatever you do, don't let them charge you anything for the boxes, they're just going to trash them anyway.
If I come across other craft freebies or craft almost-freebies, I'll be sure to share the information with you! If you have any methods of getting free craft supplies, please contact me either by leaving a comment below or sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the information. Don't worry, I'll give you full credit for the tip!
Thanks for reading!