21 tips for the Budget Crafter

I know how hard it can be when there is always so much new scrapping stuff coming out. It can be hard to watch your friends and other crafter’s who seem to have limitless funds buying all the things your drooling over. Being a budget crafter can be tough. So here are some tips to help you along.

1. First and foremost know your products and their value. Something is not a bargain or  a true sale if it is just retail. Knowing your products and their price range can save you being taken advantage of in a myriad of ways.

2. Invest in re-usable supplies such as inks, re-inkers (I have found so many uses for re-inkers especially the distress ones I am not sure where my stash would be without them plus you can make your own ink pads with the stamping foam or felt until you can actually afford the inkpad’s as well giving you the best of both worlds), dies, a die cut machine, stamps, glitters, flock, embossing powders and other such reusable Items.

3. When forced to choose between products think about what you will get the most use out of. We all scrapbook differently and as such we all use different things more than others. One of the biggest things to think about is what you will use the item for and how far will it go in your stash as well as how much you will use it.

4. Invest in Paper pads. Often we cut, tear and otherwise rarely use a full sheet of 12×12 pattern paper. 6×6 Paper pads are a great way to expand your paper range for not a great deal of money most are under $10 and you usually get quite a substantial amount of bang for your buck. Some Brands such as Kaisercraft also add in sheets of journaling blocks and embelishments. Making them perfect for layouts and cards.

5. Invest in your tools. A Paper trimmer, a score board (this saves a lot of money on buying gift  boxes and other such things I use mine probably more than most other tools), A good pair of scissors (I am addicted to fiskars microtouch), An eyelet setting tool ( I have the provocraft silent setter and love it), An edge distresser (there are a few out there I have had Making memories, Heidi Swapp and the Tonic one have to say the MM and Heidi Swapp I have found the easiest to use), a heat gun. There are many tools again ask yourself what you will use the most. There is no point investing money in things that will just sit around collecting dust. As a budget crafter it is all about things you will use over and over again.

 6. Be patient. Wait for sales and store discounts when you have a bit more to spend as it will make your craft budget stretch further.

7. Recycle- Be it packaging from items you have got, plastic packaging from goods purchased, thin chipboard from biscuits, cereal or other such packaged goods, or old jeans that are unwearable die cut for pages. Think creatively before throwing things away. You can often add to your stash for free.

8. Order with a friend. Often you can save on your postage or when one or more person gets together you will qualify for free postage. My Sister and I often order together. In fact we always do when ordering from Simon Says stamp so that together we can qualify for free postage. We do this many places as it makes sense.

9. When you are die cutting use recycled plastic packaging to make your own Masks, stencils and glimmer screens. This gives you variety in what you have. You can  re use them over and over and best of all the packaging cost you nothing. It is very economical. Enviromentally friendly and also gives you stencils and such you may not have found anywhere else. You can also combine them in limitless combinations.

10.  Look in your local Second Hand shops. I got vintage patterns for 50c each a couple of weeks ago as I wanted to use the paper for the T!m Holtz 12 tags of 2012. I also scored doily’s for 50c each and some great fabric for my bears and such. It is a great way to find cast offs and also helps you to think outside of the square. Also great for books to create recycled book flowers and to re-purpose for art journals and such

11.  Share dies with friends. Borrow dies and stamps and share amongst each other. This is a great way to expand what you have (I always cut out extras and put them in a folder so I have them when needed). Also use the dies to create your own stencils as stated above and you get the double whammy 🙂

12. Make your own. Embellishments and flowers. Now we all would love a never ending supply of Prima and other such stunning flowers however we can’t all afford it. The easiest flower I know how to make is show cased on my layout for under $2.50, Tissue paper cut out with a circle die or punch and scrunched  then misted. Simple cheap and looks great. Also to this end invest in flower dies and such to be able to make a variety of economical flowers.

13. Invest In Dies- Alphabets, flowers, mini albums, and nesting dies all offer great value for money and will help you stretch you budget further.

 14. Keep your Scraps. Be it pattern paper or cardstock those scraps (not talking the skinny or teeny unusable pieces) are great for mini albums, cards and if it is a pattern paper you hate you can ink over it and many other things to create mixed media backgrounds.

15. Sort your stash. Make sure it is accessable and easy to find items in your stash the easier it is to find things the more often you will use them.

16. Join in swaps. It is a great way to expand your stash. Be it a product or embellishment swap. It is also a great way to challenge yourself and learn new techniques

17. Look in your Discount, bargain shops they often have craft and scrapbooking stuff as well as art tools. Even the toy section can be great for inspiration. Did you know you can use playing cards to make albums and atc’s? You can scrapbook a frisbee (I know because I have done it), They can be a great source of not only cheap supplies but inspiration and sometimes storage as well.

18. Look for tutorials online be it video or step by step. Indeed one of my favorite tutorial sites is splitcoast stampers their resource list of tutorials is impressive and I have yet to fail at any of the tutorials.

19. Create a wishlist at your favorite online store and don’t be afraid to share it with others especially around birthday and Christmas Time

20. Look for cheap alternatives. I use soft willow charcoal to add a gritty grimy look to my vintage pieces. This was a cheap buy at just $2.95 for  12 pieces and it goes very far. A white children’s crayon is another great thing as it is fantastic for creating your own resists and you can pick up crayons very cheap.

21. Focus on what you do have! The more we focus on what we do not have the less creative we feel.

and thats it my top 21 tips for the budget crafter am sure I have loads more but that is a post for another day.

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