Craft Supply Shopping: A Do & Don’t list

We’ve all been there: there’s a project going and you over shop. Or purchase things you didn’t need. Or over purchase. Well in craft supplies this can lead to a cluttered work space, money wasted, and eventually things thrown away. So how do you shop smarter? Spend less?

For the last two years I’ve carefully scaled back, honed in, and limited my craft supply shopping. There are a few key rules I stick to, and so far my stash has continued to shrink where it should – and I’ve been averaging about one shopping trip about every 2 months!


I can buy as many basics as I would like. If it’s cardstock, thread, black pens… you get the idea. If I am on the fence about a basic that gets used across my crafting spectrum, it can come home!

Project Specific

I am not allowed to buy anything that I don’t have a specific and immediate need for. Example: yes that fabric is cool, but why do I “NEED” it today? If answer isn’t there, product doesn’t come home!

Plan & List

I always work out sketches and plans on bigger scale projects (planning a party to making a new sewing project) and then I’m sure to make a list and sketch out what I believe I’ll need so I don’t over buy or get the wrong things.

“next time” on borderline purchases

With the internet, most of the time I can find multiple sources for things. So when I am shopping and am on the fence about it, I’ll look it up and see if I can find it elsewhere, and otherwise put it on hold. I also let myself know if I still need it “next time” I can get it when I’m back. I’ve yet to regret something I didn’t get – in fact most of the time that sticker sheet or embellishment is forgotten before I return!

One more time: how will I use it?

“OH this is a cute die cut!” Ok, but how will you use it? Can you name 5 projects that it’ll work on? “This sticker sheet is so perfect for that vacation!” Ok, but do you use sticker sheets? Will you actually put those stickers onto your projects?

It is so important to shop how you craft – NOT what you think is cute. I know that sounds silly, but trust the lady who has gifted way too many things she shouldn’t have purchased in the past! Now it doesn’t mean no fun- it means just make sure you’re buying what you’ll really use!

I’d love to hear your thoughts and tips on more mindful craft shopping – do share!

4 thoughts on “Craft Supply Shopping: A Do & Don’t list”

  1. Such good things to remember! I don’t really have any tips but I know I have also begun to scale back. As I go through my stash, I find so many things that I love-they might not be the current “in” supplies but I love them and finally are using them. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  2. I recently gave some craft items to our church rummage sale. I was feeling a bit stifled by the amount of stuff I had on hand that I didn’t really use. One major category I pared down was paper punches. When I started scrapbooking, they were all the rage and were available at my local Michael’s (only local store at the time) with 40% off coupons. I bought some useful punches and many that had such a niche use that I never should have brought them home. (I’m looking at you, tiny flying witch and Easter basket with tiny eggs smaller than my pinky nail.)

  3. Great ideas to keep in mind! I have so much as I used to sell scrapbook products and had to buy a monthly minimum. I really need to reorganize!

  4. Really great post May … I try to think of at least 3 different cards I can make before I buy a stamp set (except anything from Lawn Fawn as I’ve given myself permission to buy it all!)

Comments are closed.