by Roni Johnson
Crafting can get pricey! If you are spending too much on crafting and it is taking some of the joy out of it then we are sharing some easy ways to scale back but still engage in a great crafting routine. There are lots of articles out there about crafting on a budget and most of them discuss the same list of common sense ideas…
- Price shop
- Clip Coupons (IRL or web)
- Shop at Dollar Stores or Thrift Stores
- Upcycle/Recycle various items
- Search web for ideas/patterns
These general ideas are nice and they are a good start but I want to give you some specific ideas and tips to help you save not only money but something more valuable…your time.
Buy Unmounted Rubber Stamps
Unmounted stamps can cost as much as 50-80% less than traditional wood mounted stamps, take up less space and are easy to store and use. To use unmounted rubber stamps, apply Tack ‘N Peel to your acrylic blocks. This is a clear reusable cling sheet that has a protective liner sheet that can be used over and over. Once it has been affixed to the acrylic block it is very simple to use, remove the clear liner sheet; position the stamp on the block as desired, ink and stamp. When you are finished stamping simply peel the rubber stamp off the block and replace the liner. If the Tack ‘N Peel loses its “sticky” quality simply wash with water and let it dry. After it is dry it will once again be ready to use.
Make your own Texture Stamps and Stencils
This is a fun and easy task when you stop and look around your home. You’ll be surprised at how many items can be turned into a usable texture for all sorts of crafts. For example, lace, food netting, cheesecloth can all be used as a stamp or stencil. Foam food trays can be carved to create stamps, bubble wrap, rubber bands, fibers, leaves, coins can all be turned into stamps by sticking them to an acrylic block. Pencils tips are great for the bokeh technique, kitchen utensils, game pieces, tools, feathers, flowers, and more can also be put to use. You only have to take a moment and look around to see what you have on hand that will create fun and new stamps or stencils for your art.
Let’s face it there are hundreds if not thousands of colors and brands of embossing powders on the market. You could easily spend a small fortune collecting the various embossing powders available today. A great option is clear embossing powder; the original ink color will shine through and match your project perfectly. No need to sort through jar after jar trying to find the right color to match your project and no more storing all of those little jars either! Tip: Did you know you can turn virtually any dye ink into an emboss-able image? Press your stamp onto a VersaMark ink pad then onto a dye ink pad and then stamp the image. The image can now be embossed because of the VersaMark ink. This works particularly well with a clean VersaMark ink pad for lighter colors and I keep an old grungy VersaMark for darker colors.
Make Pattern Papers
Let’s face it, most of us have more pattern paper to last us the rest of our lives so instead of buying yet another sheet, pack or collection, break out your stamps and make your own pattern! It’s easy; all you need is a sheet of plain cardstock, ink and complimenting stamps. All sorts of designs can be achieved quickly and easily. Give it a try, you’ll be surprised how quickly it is to make. Making a pattern doesn’t have to be perfect…if you make a stamping mistake, look at it as an opportunity to embellish!
Coloring Pages as Art
There are thousands of beautiful coloring sheets up for grabs on the internet free for your personal use. These coloring pages are great because they can be re-sized to fit your particular project and they can be used for backgrounds as well as the main focal point. You can choose to print the images on the appropriate paper to fit your particular use and mediums you would like to incorporate be it plain cardstock, bristol cardstock, watercolor paper, mixed media paper and more. The uses are limitless.
No More Waste
To eliminate wasting various mediums by keeping a supply of plain tags or A2 size blank cardstock panels handy when you are creating. Use these spare pieces to pick up excess medium from your work surface and tools. You may choose to pick up mediums once or several times depending on your preference. These tags and panels can then be used to create one of a kind artwork in a snap. All of the hard work has already been done. Simply pop on the main image and/or sentiment and your set to go. Instant card or tag for whatever your need.
When you’re making a card or gift be sure to work in multiples! By doing so you will cut down on waste and left-over scraps. If you use a quarter sheet of cardstock rather than pitch the extra or place it in the never-ending scrap basket make two or three similar cards to help use up all of the extra bits. Rather than having a basket full of scraps that you might or might not use you’ll end up with a basket of finished cards, tags, ATC’s, etc. that can be used in a moment’s notice.
No matter how you structure you crafting habits and budget you will find there are several ways to keep costs at a minimum. Thank you for stopping by the Imagine Blog!