Monday, September 28, 2009

How to Build Up Your Stash On a Budget

So, you think you need more supplies? Or are starting a new craft? But, there is a catch (isn't there always)! Say you are getting into scrapbooking. Like any craft, the supply costs can definitely get out of control! You don't want to spend $500 on supplies to start off, especially because you don't even know if you're going to love it! What to do? What to do? If you are going to scrap, I suggest owning some sort of die cut machine (in the long run it may even save you some money!). I really don't see the need (unless you're doing this for a living) to own the popular Cricut machine. They start at $200, and the cartridges average about $70 each. Yes, I did consider it. Did I get it? Nope! Do I regret it? Nope! It is a rare occasion when I need a very complex die cut. When I do, there are the great people at Etsy who sell them for reasonable prices. Or, there is Michael's with their sticky things that can be extremely complex! So, what die cut machine do I have? I have the Cuttlebug, which is made by the same people that makes the Cricut. I *love* my Cuttlebug. One thing it does that the Cricut does not do is emboss. And I *love* the embossing feature. The embossing folders are about $5 for the A2 sizes, and about $6 for a set of four small ones. The die cuts are about $7 for a set of four small ones, and the same for a 3"X3" die. While there will be some exceptions, these are pretty standard. I got my Cuttlebug for $30.80 at Michael's! They are normally $77, and the 40% off coupon is good on them! :-) Now, just walk away for that day.

Go back when you have another 40% off coupon! Then, browse down the clearance section, and all the scrapping supplies sections. Look for good deals! I usually just go down the eisles looking for the red and yellow clearance stickers. As soon as I spot one, I go over and see if I'm interested. Usually Michael's will have a few papers, a few embelishments, and a few sticker things with these sales. Almost always, Michael's will have anywhere from 20% - 45% off their 12x12 individual papers. I usually set a $10-$15 paper budget per trip. I have gotten up to 60 papers for this amount! This is rare though, as I will usually get about 25 with their average sales. In addition to this, pick up a few packs of clearance/sale stickers, embelishments, etc. I will expect to spend about $6-$8 on embelishments (including ribbon) per trip. I usually spend about $35 at Michael's every trip. This includes not just scrapping supplies, but decor, framing, and other little trinkets that just don't fit into my paper or embelishment "budget". Also, don't forget that Michael's always has their $1 section of ribbon and embelishments! I made out the other day finding the most adorable little journaling spots, rhinestones, and chipboard albums in there!

Now, you have that 40% off you have to use on a full price item. I usually pick out a 12x12" pack of paper to use on this (or a die cut set, or splurge on a real special embellishment set). They go for about $19.99, so you can get it for just over $10, which is a great price! Or, if you are going through the organizing stages, you may want to spend it on some of their organizational cubes.

Michael's puts *tons* of stuff on sale every week. Don't be in a huge rush. For example, last month I had my eye on a huge pack of chipboard letters for $19.99. Even though it was a great price, I opted out. Just today, I was browsing through the clearance section and found it at $9.99. You better bet I snatched it up! :-)

If you have any questions about budgeting your trips to the crafting shop, please don't hesitate to ask! Like many scrappers, I have a huge paper addiction, but I have taught myself to control myself. ;-) This budget above can also be applied and adjusted a bit to sewers, painters, etc.

Good luck and have fun!


  1. Great tips!

    If I am buying something there I always wait for the coupons. When i bought my cube system like yours Michaels was giving a 40% or a 50% coupon on every receipt too! I kept going back every week until I had them all.

  2. Thanks Pam! I don't really see a reason not to wait a week unless you urgently need something! Especially, with the cubes, there is a large savings! I would love to see pictures of your cube section! Please consider entering my new contest!

    Thanks for reading!

  3. Hi Nicole, I will check it out! I have photos somewhere on my blog! I am a bit behind in reading my blogs!