Tips to Save Money on Craft and Scrapbooking Supplies…

I received the following questions from frugal friends Helen and Lena…

“What are your tips for saving money on craft supplies?”

“Any suggestions on ways to save money on scrapbooking supplies??”

So… what works for you??

Leave a comment & share!


  1. Kim says

    Besides using coupons from Michael’s and Joann Fabrics, I like to split supplies with friends. You each buy one of the giant stacks of papers and then divide it in half.

  2. Mindy Culver says

    I use Michael’s 40% off coupon and get one small thing a week. There are a ton of online scrapbook places that have some good deals also.

    • Janice Crowell says

      Michael’s also accepts Hobby Lobby coupons. Usually every other week (more often before Christmas) Hobby Lobby has a 40% coupon. You can get on their e-mail list for the weekly coupon or just go to the website. So this way you can use a Michael’s coupon on one item and a Hobby Lobby coupon on another! And if you have a Hobby Lobby nearby, you can use a coupon once a day for the entire week! (Print enough and keep them with you.)

      • janice says

        Joann’s also takes competitor’s coupons. When I go, I use joann’s, michael’s, and hobby lobby’s. give me all the discounts as possible!

  3. Bonnie Martin says

    I have really good luck at Big Lots, Tuesday Morning, Dollar Stores and other overstock stores. They have some Brand Name things greatly reduced that are still being sold at the Craft Stores!

  4. J-9 says

    Lately The Dollar Tree has had rolls of crafting ribbon like sheer, satin, and grosgrain in tons of colors, some with patterns/prints. most are 5yd rolls so for a $1 that’s a good deal. I make my daughter, niece, and some friends girls hair bows. I’m also interested in how others save on their crafting supplies.

  5. Mrs H says

    Re-purpose, re-purpose, re-purpose…. Fun when someone gets a special pillow or quilt and they have a vague recollection of having seen the fabric before… Even more fun when the materials have some sentimental value.

    Our depression-era Grandmas had great re-purposing craft ideas!(I remember cleaning out Grandma’s attic and all the coolwhip tubs and rolls of used and washed aluminum foil)

    • Valerie says

      I am saving my children’s clothes to use to make quilts they can have as adults. I think it’s a great idea for there first outfits ( first Christmas, Thanksgiving…ect) It’s better then them sitting in a box forever! You can also add photo quilt squares of them (maybe even wearing that outfit)

  6. Laura says

    I save all our gift bags, gift tags and cards and upcycle them! I cut out what we can use from them and recycle the rest. Cards are the best because they have great pictures and designs and are all ready on a thicker paper. They work great in scrapbooks and on home made cards. We also use gift bags that have been ripped to make decorations to use on brown bags to make a new gift bags. Shaped hole punches or shaped scissors make them fun!

    • Becky Browning says

      Old Christmas cards make great gift tags. I haven’t bought any in years. I try to recycle itmes as well. For example, I use the cardboard inserts that come in the packaging of panty hose, tablecloths and sheet sets to make homemade greeting cards instead of using card stock.

  7. says

    As they say, one frugal girl’s trash is another one’s treasure. Every crafter has supplies they’ll never use–organize a swap party with other crafters to trade your unused supplies. Or if you don’t have local crafting friends maybe you can get involved with (or organize) a travelling box. I belong to a jewelry making forum where we have a travelling bead box that makes the rounds to those members who are interested. When it reaches you, you take out the stuff you want, add in your unwanted stuff of an approximate equal value and send it on. We track it on the forum and everyone has a blast seeing where their unwanted pieces found a new happy home. When the box comes around to you a second time if there is anything left that you put in the last time you remove it so it always stays fresh.

  8. Michele says

    I signed up to Archiver’s email and mailing list so I use their coupons along with Michael’s and Joanne’s coupons that are usually 40% off. When it’s something that I can’t use a coupon on say my Circut cartridges, I will go on ebay and buy them at a much cheaper price or when my friend and I get together to scrapbook, we will trade cartridges and use each others. We also bring and share stuff that we no longer need—it helps tame the clutter and it helps us save money! Also, sometimes I will buy on clearence if there’s something that I know I will use.

  9. Crystal Henry says

    I was just looking at my friends scrapbook the other day and noticed the cutest little stickers… You know when you go to the zoo…aquarium and so on and have all these random pics that you wonder what your gonna do with? Well for example she cuts out the animals and applies them to the page to go with the theme! She just tapes/glues them on! I thought it was nifty!

  10. Heather Siani says

    Target has many scrapbooking supplies for $.99. I also scores great deals online. is a good website.

  11. says

    I can’t disagree with anything already mentioned. For paper crafts, Archivers is a wonderful place because they have a huge workroom that you can use along with things like die cutting machines. No investing in big ticket items. Also check out thrift stores, clearance aisles of places like Wal-Mart and yard sales. A few years ago I sold a lot of yardn that was cluttering up my closet. And don’t forget to check out eBay and Craigslist.

  12. Laura says

    I often find cute stuff at Big Lots and Target! Always use coupons for Michaels, Archivers, Hobby Lobby and JoAnns. And definitely check out the clearance sections! Sharing supplies with others is a good way to get a variety and save money too!

  13. Darlene says

    I like scrap booking with my girls, we buy things we can all use, for example I may be scrapbooking a book of my cat, dog or birds, my daughter may be scrapbooking her vacation, so we are buying different things but if one has what I want or I have what they want we share it, then we all have what we want… and none of our purchase sits unused I keep eyes open on free-cycle, I also shop big lots, wal-mart, micheals and joAnns with coupons of course… Also my daughter and I made our own christmas tags from old christmas cards, we just cut out the part of the picture we liked and use a hole punch and ribbon, simple and pretty, can also make birthday tags etc…I love crafting and my girls keep me involved by just doing things like this together over tea or lunch..girl time…YAY…

  14. Kelly says

    You could always host a party for a scrapbooking company, like Creative Memories, to earn the hostess credit and get items for free.

    • Janice Crowell says

      I’m so glad someone said that! I sold Creative Memories from 1995 to 2000. I still use the products. And hosting a party is a great way to get things free…especially the best quality albums.

    • Becky Browning says

      That is such a great and fun way to do it. We have a Stampin’ Up Club that meets once a month. Saves money or supplies and you get fresh ideas from each other.

  15. shelley says

    For sale or trade boards on scrapbooking sites…particularly For Sale or Trade ……always lot’s of people trying to clear out their stash @ good prices :-)

  16. says

    Wow how many times are frugal girls going to say that Michaels, Joanns and Archivers have coupons. I think that is something we all have figured out by now.

    I go to thrift stores and find even CHEAPER products. I take wooden pieces that have patterns that are super tacky holiday themes on them and spray paint them and craft around it.
    I buy foreign language books and sheet music for backgrounds, my best score was Alice in Wonderland because it has lots of illustrations in it.
    Lastly, try in your city, it’s a free exchange program for people who are regularly going to throw out stuff.

    Make sure you look out for conventions in your area and go to their website for coupons to the show and search through all of their bargain bins. 50 cent stamps are my favorite find at stamping shows.
    Find great graphics for free to print for projects on they are mostly vintage.

    Comment on crafter’s blogs when they have freebie competitions too.

    Hope this is a little more original and informative than the other posts.

  17. Kristin says

    Not sure where you are located, but you could look and see if there is a scrapbook expo near you. I always get great deals there.
    Also try your local scrapbook store, they usually have a clearence section of “old stuff”. Who knew scrap stuff ever got old or out of season right?!? Now is the best time to check too, they just had their huge trade show here in Los Angeles to order all the new collcetions. Many are having giant sales to make room for everything they ordered.
    I agree with the others that mentioned ebay, it is a great place to look.

  18. June Sroufe says

    I use coupons, sales, and clearance whenever possible. Garage sales can have some treasures! But my biggest fav on saving on scrapbooking supplies, I use gift bags given at birthdays, christmas, whatever occasion, as embelishments, or the whole page. I keep the cardboard from a 12 by 12 fat pack and use it as a template for cutting my page out. Make it easy to do a layout of the special gift, 2 sides of the bag, plus the bag matches in the picture.

  19. denise says

    I like to knit and I ended up going to the hardware store for some round flat washers to use as stitch markers, these are more durable than the plastic kind.

  20. Lupe says

    I go to garage sales quite a bit in the summer. I’ve gotten some great deals on fabric and papercrafting supplies. I also buy scrap jewelry and then clean it and take it apart to make new handcrafted pieces.

  21. in2motion says

    My scrapbooking store rents out cricut cartridges by the day. You can also use the machine in their store if you need it at an hourly cost. I have the most luck with current supplies using my coupons. Something else I love? The scrapbooking store has a quarterly “yard sale”! They offer a store credit instead of cash for your items sold. They accept 75+ sellers, we all bring our items pre-priced & with our code and set it in the designated area. The sale runs 12-4 on a sunday & then we retrieve our unsold items at the end or the next day. I’m sure I spend more than I make, but I go home with such a great variety of items!

      • Dena says

        Scrappy Chic Livonia. The Scrapbook Zone in Farmington might also rent them out, but I’m not sure. Were you talking about the yard sale or the cricut rentals? Scrappy Chic charges a small fee of $3 to sell. So totally worth it!!!

  22. Korinne Wiese says

    Of course Michaels and JoAnn coupons and their wonderful pattern sales are the best! My other hot spot is second hand stores, estate sales, and yard sales and the key word: re-purpose! Unravel the yarn for homemade items like sweaters and afghans. Also for fabric, tear the stitches out of garments to make pillows, doll clothes, accessories and such. I love bagged yarn, but you have to make a small hole in the bag to make sure it doesn’t stink. Last summer I completed my knitting needle collection and found a Singer sewing book for less than $10.

  23. Pam R says

    If just trying to build up stock and not looking for a specific design, I use the Freecycle site. Otherwise, Big Lots, Grocery Outlet (sounds weird, but they lots of non-grocery items), Walmart.

  24. says

    I have found some really good deals on eBay. I’ve bought lots of pre-cut letters there bc I don’t have a cricut. This also might be common sense, but I buy individual papers. I seem to always find out that when I buy the paper packs that are super cute, I don’t use half the papers. I’ve learned that lesson the hard way.

  25. Verlenia Hall says

    You could always host a party for a scrapbooking company, like Creative Memories, to earn the hostess credit and get items for free.

    Thats funny becuase I used to be a consultant and just hosted a party and got $90 in free CM product!

  26. Chrystie DeSmet says

    I reuse a TON of things. I save tags from new clothes (if they’re cute or sometime the back side is blank, but a cute color or design). I save disposable coffee cups (like starbucks), cardbord from anything not to think (like the back of a spiral notebook, used up gift cards & even can lids (like green beans can). I turn all these things into mini scrapbook albums by covering them w/paper! I even have made cards & scrapbooks out of old file folders. If you have some clothes/jeans that arent’ worth consigning or giving away, they may make a cute embellishment. I cut flowers, hearts, stars or whatever out of them. Some of them have cute strings, buttons, ect.. cut them off & use them in your crafting!!! To see some of these ideas check out my blog. Also, I think things are cheeper at a non craft specific store. For example if you go to a scrap store you’ll pay allot for just a few buttons, if you go to a sewing store you can buy a ton in bulk for WAY less! Think outside the box on certain items that you can get else where for cheeper! :)

    Thanks for the tip about Big Lots, I’ll have to go see what I can find there. :)

    Happy Crafting!

  27. Anne Loyd says

    I save tags from clothes, paper bags, store bags, magazines, wine bottle labels, beer bottle caps, old cards, neat stamps, ribbons from gifts and items that I buy. I also use paint sample cards, glitter and craft paint. Starbucks’ coffee cup holders and pastry boxes are also good materials. I basically save anything that looks like I can repurpose it.

    You can get ideas from crafting blogs too! I’d rather look at “real” people’s pages rather than a professional scrappers. I think the average Joe has more creative ideas than the books and magazines!

    I have also used old soda cans by cutting then, washing them and then use the silver side. I write backwards on the other side and it looks kinda cool. I have also seen scrappers use a crimped on them.

  28. Natalie says

    Brochures, tickets, etc. make the best additions to scrapbooks (and they are free), especially if you grab them each time you are going to be anywhere where you will be taking lots of pictures. This could even include old movie tickets. Also, mix and match different pictures (i.e. taking one picture and adding it to another picture to make a scene. You can do this from scenery in the pics that you are not using. I did this on a couple of different pages and it made it look very realistic.

  29. Demi says

    Here is my three cents: I cut out images, designs, and words from my “postcard junk mail” from local and national businesses. The postcard junkmail is on a heavy card stock and has more times than not a glossy coating on one side. These postcards from insurance companies, banks and credit unions, grocery stores, and so on often have cute borders, hearts, trees, food, bows, stars and so on that I use to add “punch” to my scrapbook pages. To keep my cut-out images organized, I store them in two sets of 4 plastic small drawers (5″ x 7″) that I bought from a thrift store for $0.99 a piece. Each drawer is labeled with a broad topic like “people,” “nature,” “borders,” “words,” and so on. Note: I do not cut out or use the companies’ names or their logos on my scrapbook pages. Hope this information has been helpful. Wishing you happy frugal scrapping.

  30. Donna says

    I too go to flea market. I used to buy 50 sheets of 12 x 12 paper for $ 1.00. I loaded up and traded them.
    I always go to clearance areas. I find it a challange to use clearance items. I have taken a dmall piece of bumpy cardboard, inked it up light rubbed paper in cross directions for a linen look.
    I took metal paper, stamped on the back, used a pen and traced the lines for embossed metal accents on scrapebook pages.
    Also companies like Oriental Trading have a clearance section. I just bought 100 sheets for $9.99 or .09 each, but had a coupon so they wound up at .04 each. This is for 12 x 12 paper. and free shipping.
    for Crafts try, there are a lot of ideas.
    Also when I travel I collect anything with pictures or words. And cut them out as additons to my pages. Especially pictures of characters like Elmo from a Sesame Place map.

  31. Jamie C Haas says

    I love to watch Michael’s at the end of a “holiday” season… they always have great deals on supplies specific to the holiday, usually 50% off or more. Also, I buy things like paint, gluesticks/glue, scissors, etc. in bulk at the beginning of the school year. That’s the cheapest time to get them and it never hurts to have extras on hand when you have kids in the house.

  32. says

    Great replies on this post. In addition to the stores and comments mentioned I’ve found fun deals at Peachy Cheap: and Crafty Steals:

    In addition to great deals there is money to be saved by keeping supplies organized to prevent buying duplicates. When you committ to USING everything you buy within 2 weeks of purchase you tend to spend less. Creative souls are always good at creative and frugal options–put yourself on a spending budget for a week, a month, or longer and really reach to use what you have before getting more.

    • Janice Crowell says

      Such a great idea. I’ve bought hundreds of dollars worth of stuff at great deals, but it was a waste because I ended up using so little of it!

  33. Janice Crowell says

    When I travel, I always buy a couple of postcards. My pictures seldom turn out as nice as the professional ones, and often the postcards are cheaper than having the pictures printed, depending on where you go and if you pay shipping. As a bonus, often the postcards have info.

    Another thing I like to do…if we go to a restaurant or theme park and we take pictures, I usually take a picture of the sign as a “title” for the page. That way I don’t need sticker letters or anything like that.

  34. says

    I find the neatest prints in magizines and on labels. I have a color copier/scanner that can print on regular or photo paper. I copy/scan, edit the print to the size I want and print it out. There’s lots of free art out there you can copy, paste in Word and manipulate in photo software. That’s how I save $$$ and make my own cards too.

  35. Chel says

    I love crafting so much that I became a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator!! I get 20% off (minimum) and I only have to have one workshop or class every 3 months to make my minimum sales of $300 every quarter. I have NOT spend a DIME out of my own pocket on stamping supplies for over 5 years – I EARN my supplies my selling them through Stampin’ Up with minimal effort on my part! And I get so many free items (stamps, cardstock, rub-ons, etc) – I AM ALL ABOUT THE FREE!!!!

  36. Joyce Elaine White says

    I use the paper paint chip samples from Lowes or Home
    Depot for tags or to mount letters on. Some are even sand paint samples thus adding some texture to the scrapbook page.

  37. Carolyn Buckhorn says

    I scan the material in an outfit I buy for my grandkids and use that somewhere on my page .It could be corners , flowers ,butterflies or cut out letters or the background for letters . With gifts I take a picture of it and cut around it and use that too . Take a picture of their favorite toy and use that .

    • Janice Crowell says

      Yes, I do that too. I save it as a JPEG and sometimes use it as the mat for a photo or the background for an entire page of my digital album.The books I order are reaally unique. When my daughter had a bridal shower, I scanned a couple of the pretty patterned gift bags and used that as a page background. I’m really loving my Creative Memories storybook scrapbook program.

      • Janice Crowell says

        Another thing I sometimes do is look at a website about the place being visited. Sometimes I’ll print part of the info and include it in my scrapbook.

  38. corinna says

    There are alot of craft sites that send free craft samples. Just typr in free craft samples and get hundreds to choose from. It may not be what you need at the moment, but if you love to craft then you will use them over time….

  39. says

    Wow! I just found the Frugal Girls’ site…naturally, I jumped STRAIGHT to the craft section. I have SOOOO many frugal scrapbook ideas…number one, is create your own embellishments (just like the newest ones in the store) from the supplies you have on-hand…I call it ‘counterfeiting’ them. For links to 100’s of tutorials for making your own embellishments, check out my blog at (click on the “tutorials” tab). Hope you get some inspiration!!!

  40. Donna says

    If anyone lives near Columbus New Jersey. The scrapbook store at Columbus market has a sale all stickers are $1.50 includes many that are worth much more! They have a lot of travel papers too

  41. Donna says

    For acid free 8 x 11 paper, I use for backgrounds and borders. I go to Staples, I buy it only when it is on sale and I have a business rewards so I get rebate for paper. They have mixed colored reams of paper. I bought several different mixed ream (500) sheets packs. I have a rainbow of colors to use and trade. They are cheap and I have a great selection to match what ever I need.

  42. says

    Check places like Big Lots and Dollar Tree.
    Don’t be afraid to take hand-me-downs. Once people learn that you’ll use things they give you, you just might get a bunch of free crafting supplies that the prior owner didn’t want!

  43. tolemom says

    When we go out to eat. Lots of time they will have a sturdy coaster. To remember the special day I put the date and why we got together, and then have everyone that attend sign, even the server. Alway will remember the special day and who was there. And best yet the coaster is a freebie.

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