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How to Shop for Craft Project and Decorating Materials on a Budget

by Kelly D.

So you want to make your house a spooky dungeon for Halloween? Or Santa's Toyshop for Christmas? But you don't have enough money to go "all out" so what can you do that will be kind on your wallet but won't look cheesy? Lots of things, but they all start out with what materials you get first, so here are some tips to help fill out your stash of stuff for craft projects.

The best time to shop for seasonal items is after the season, when the stores that sell craft materials put seasonal items on sale to clear out their extra stock. That way you get them at a fraction of the price, but you also are shopping for the next year. So if you haven't shopped ahead for this year (consider doing that for next year) your best bet is to check out the remnant or discount bins for ribbon or cloth or use simple materials like construction paper, toile (a thin material that can be purchased for around $0.50-$1.00 a  yard at places like Wal-Mart), or anything that brings out those fabulous fall colors. 

Lots of dollar store places sell seasonal items like candles, decorations, wrapping paper, oven mitts, dish towels and dishes. If you're not used to shopping at dollar stores or thrift stores, you should try it out. Don't be afraid to look for a bargain and don't be afraid to be cheap. I've found many treasures in such places. The saying "you get what you pay for" doesn't apply to arts and crafts, where you can take inexpensive materials and make amazing creations. 

Garage sales during the summer are also a great resource for decorations or craft materials. You can find people who are clearing out already made or store bought decorations, or get great raw materials for upcoming projects of your own. Things like cloth, pretty dresses with lovely cloth that can be salvaged, craft or scrapbooking kits that were bought and then not used. Even things like old jewelry, charms, buttons, or any little tid-bit that can be used for things like Junk Art. Old picture frames, old ornaments that can be re-done with some glue and sparkles (plain colored or frosted bulbs work great for this if you take a thin brush and draw some intricate lines with glue and then sprinkle with sparkles).

Craft projects become as wondrous as your imagination takes them. Starting with humble materials doesn't mean you can't make great crafts or decorate your home in a fabulous way, and it will challenge you to make the most out of what you have for those years when you might not have the extra cash to spend.

About the Author-
Kelly D. is a staff writer and site editor for HolidaysDot.com.

Kelly D.

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