Use What You Have: Why You Don’t Need the Craft Store

Use What You Have: Why You Don't Need the Craft Store if you're a crafter. What could you make today...with what you already have? @littlegirldesigns.com #usewhatyouhave

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Before we get started, let me say that I love a good craft store. As a creative person, there is nothing quite like walking up and down neatly organized aisles of gorgeous and inspiring craft supplies. Just last week I was at a craft store and came across pre-cut papers for quilling and thought how I had always wanted to try quilling but had never had the patience to cut all of that paper into tiny strips. I actually reached for the package and then realized what I was doing. Seriously? I have a ton of paper at home. I even have a paper cutter (as well as scissors). Not to mention I really could better use my money on other things.

I walked away that afternoon and began thinking about what I already had in my craft drawers at home. And as I thought about that, I began to reminisce about growing up with an incredibly creative mom.

Use What You Have

I don’t remember going to a craft store when I was growing up. I’m sure we went to one at some point but I don’t have memories of it. What I do remember, though, is we were always working on creative projects. My mom taught me how to make flannel diapers for my dolls, shoebox houses, and tiny cross stitch ornaments. She made duvet covers out of sheets, beautiful ribbon bows for our hair, and curtains for the windows using fabrics she already had on hand. At one point, my sisters and I drew pictures and hung them as an art gallery in the living room. And yes, I tried to get my parents and cousins to pay an admission fee in order to view our beautiful creations. Honestly, I thought a dime admission was a great deal!

You see, we didn’t go to the craft store but that never kept us from being creative. As I’m going to share with you next week, I think it actually super-charged our creativity to be resourceful.

Use What You Have: Why You Don't Need the Craft Store if you're a crafter. What could you make today...with what you already have? @littlegirldesigns.com #usewhatyouhave

During the Great Depression, the saying, “Use It Up, Wear It Out, Make Do, Or Do Without” became the motto for many families in the United States. And frankly, this is how many people around the world still live today. Most people don’t have a craft budget line item that allows them to stock up on cute papers and fabric every month. Does that mean they can’t create beautiful things? I don’t think so.

I thought I’d write this series for that person who doesn’t have much but who wants to make things. Because I’ve been there. And also for the person who has the money to buy specific craft supplies for each project. I’ve been there too. I would love to start this conversation with you . . .

Go ahead. Take a look in your craft drawers. Walk around your house and see what you have. You might be surprised at all of the creative potential that you already own.

Hope you have a wonderful {and creative} day!

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40 thoughts on “Use What You Have: Why You Don’t Need the Craft Store

  1. Love it! I have so many craft supplies sitting around, it’s great to challenge yourself to use them instead of always jumping in to something else. Thanks for linking up to the Pretty Preppy Party!

    1. And you are so creative, Samantha! I love the projects you share on your site. See you tomorrow at the blog hop! :)

  2. Seriously. I have a bad fabric-buying addiction and yet I already own so much fabric that I often have to remind myself while I am out shopping that there is PLENTY I can do with the fabric I have and I do not need more. That’s why I love discovering stash buster projects! They give me a renewed excitement about what I have rather than making me feel like if I want to do a new project I have to go get a certain kind or print of fabric! Great post!

  3. I have a huge craft supply stash, but a lot is just my overwhelming desire never to throw anything that might be useful away, so a lot of it is just saved from the bin. I do like a trip to the craft store just to see what’s new but it’s a dangerous game as those cute supplies can find there way into my basket very easily, I think your right and it’s better not to go at all and just challenge yourself to use what you have.

    1. I hear you about how craft supplies find their way into my basket at the craft store! :) Like I mentioned, it is usually for things I didn’t even know existed. Good grief! Thanks for your comment–I’d love to see any creations you come up with from your stash if you want to share on instagram! Have a great day! :)

  4. Hello there! Found you via Pin Worthy Wendesday. You are so true about this topic…we don’t really need to buy expensive stuff in order to make cute things :).
    Redards!

    1. Thanks so much for your comment! I’m glad you relate–it’s amazing how you can create things with what you already have. I think sometimes I get caught in the trap of thinking I need the exact supplies for each project. But I’m learning that is definitely not the case. Hope you have a great day! :)

    1. Thanks so much for sharing, Clemencia! I love how you incorporated words in your mixed media piece–especially “gratitude” and “have fun” (which are two very important things to do each day, I think!) I love that you are already living out what I was sharing with this post. Beautiful. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  5. Haven’t been to the craft stores lately as I’ve been telling myself I have enough supplies already. But on a similar note, I recently thought of buying burger patties for dinner, spent a few minutes staring at the prices of the patties and ended up buying plain minced beef instead coz I couldn’t bear buying the pricey patties when I know I could buy the meat and make patties from scratch. Yes, I believe I belong to that group of folks who still “make it do, do without”. ;-)

    1. I love it! :) I’ve done the same thing at the grocery store. I’ll go to buy some cookies and think, “Ah, I can make these for less and I know they’ll taste better too!” My mom “ruined” me! haha :) Have a great day! :)

  6. It’s amazing how much craft stuff can actually pile up. It is far better to use what we have before running to the craft store. Besides, it aids the creativity!

    Thanks for linking up to Marvelous Monday on Smart Party Planning.

  7. Craft stores completely overwhelm me. I avoid them when at all possible – even the piddly craft aisles at Walmart! I have a 13 year old who loves to craft, though. Thank goodness she’s also resourceful and can create with what we have at home. It’s fun to watch her have strokes of genius to make things work. :)

    1. :) I bet she makes beautiful things! :) My post next week actually is going to talk about how our creativity gets stretched (in a good way!) when we use what we have. Love that your daughter is doing that. :)

  8. Hi Jennie I found your post on Turn It Up Tuesday!
    I was thinking about all the crafting my family did when I was little and the fact that we rarely went to a craft store for things. Not to mention that there wasn’t the abundant sometimes overwhelming selection that there is today. We kind of had to be creative with what we already had. Great post I’m looking forward to the next one!

    1. Thanks so much! I agree, I think the craft store world that we see now is fairly new. I think of all of the things we made out of things we had around the house and it makes me smile. Guess we didn’t really need those fancy kits! Can’t wait to share next week’s post with you–have a great day! :)

  9. Oh my gosh Jennie – this post is so timely for us right now! This is a wonderful reminder and motivator to figure out how to reuse and use up ALL of the craft materials we currently have. Thank you for sharing with us at Something to Talk About Link Party!

    1. You’re so welcome! Believe me, I am ‘preaching’ to myself here too! I followed you on Instagram just in case you get inspired–I’d love to see what you make. :)

  10. One thing that has helped me avoid going to the craft store is not have several projects going on at once. It forces me to finish what I am doing and not buy more supplies.

  11. I need to follow that advice as well. I probably have enough supplies to outfit several craft rooms.

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