If you're reading this, it's probably a fair bet that you're quite a crafty person. And crafty people often own all sorts of materials relevant to their creative interests, whether it be art supplies, wool and knitting needles, sewing patterns, paper or well - you name it.
If you're like me, you also seem to gather crafting materials wherever you go. You never come out of Hobbycraft with just that glue you went in for. You often find yourself scrolling through the listings on eBay, drooling over pretty ribbons, stamps and novelty cookie cutters. And let's face it, few of us would like to tot up exactly how much we spend on craft materials over the course of the year.
This crafting thing we do can get pretty expensive. Many retailers charge an absolute fortune for items too, leaving us feeling that if we want to finish a project to the high standards we set for ourselves, we need to spend cash.
One of my favourite ways to keep my art and craft supplies well stocked and ready for anything my imagination can throw at them is to buy from the kiddies' section of art shops. Glue, acrylic paint, brushes, paper, card and clay are all so much cheaper than in the 'grown up' sections.
To be creative means to use your imagination to make something original. I firmly believe that your imagination is the only craft material you ever really need to make a craft project you can be proud of. Anything else is an added bonus. So I use my imagination to look at typical kids' craft supplies in a different way. Pom poms, dolly pegs, clay, balloons for papier mache, glitter, foam, googly eyes and felt can all be used to make some really professional-looking projects... and at a fraction of the cost.
Shops such as The Works, Wilkinsons, Hobbycraft and Homecrafts have great kids' art sections where you can not only pick up bargains, but bright, colourful art and craft treasures that will get you excited too, after all, they're meant to inspire imaginative play in children, so why not us! Just yesterday I picked up some stickers, glitter, a new paint mixing tray, some white acrylic paint and some card from Wilkinsons and The Works and the whole lot came to £4. Now I can play and experiment to my heart's content and not worry about wasting precious materials.
You'll often find exactly the same product as in the more sophisticated arts section, but in different packaging. I get through a fair few paintbrushes, so I now only have a couple of expensive fine ones, and the rest of the time I buy cheaper multipacks I can use without feeling precious about them.
Lastly, I often turn to shops such as those above for crafting related supplies such as disposable gloves, picture hanging wire, tester paint pots (brilliant - grab yourself a few!), sponges (Poundland), tin foil, wallpaper samples (those are free!) and items such as cheap lunchboxes for storing tiny beads and jewellery findings. By looking outside of the typical crafter's shopping haunts for your materials you can save a lot of money and find new ways to use interesting materials in future projects, too.
Join me on Monday when I'll be sharing a post on finding crafting supplies even closer to home... for free!
Do you shop for art and craft supplies in the kiddies' section? If you have any shop recommendations please share them below!
Have a brightly coloured, messy Friday,