I love to create. Making something with your hands is a meditative (usually) and rewarding process. Buuuuuut even with a craft store coupon, supplies can get pricey! I’m a treasure hunter. One of my favorite pastimes is trudging through a thrift store, baby in tow, looking for unique finds and awesome deals. In every state I’ve lived, the one thing I can always find in a thrift store is craft supplies. While you probably don’t want to buy used paint (though I’ve totally been there), here is my list of ten craft items you can feel safe buying secondhand. And seriously, whenever you can, buy secondhand! Help the planet and help your wallet. Win, win.

  • Embroidery Floss-  no one gets rid of one spook of embroidery floss, so when you find this in a thrift store, it’s usually a WHOLE BUNCH.
  • Knitting needles- I have twice bought packs of knitting needles that have at least 14 pairs. The last time it happened, I ended up donating half of them to a local nursing home because they’re always in need of craft supplies.
  • Yarn- I always find yarn when I look for it, and often it smells funky. Bundle it well, stick it in a lingerie washing bag, and throw it in the washer before you use. 
  • Sometimes you can find bags of fabric, but make sure you check the sheets and linens section. You can find sheets with some really neat patterns!
  • Googley eyes- I’m a sucker for googley eyes. If I find googley eyes, I almost always feel compelled to buy them. It’s a thing I think everyone should have on hand. DONT ASK ME WHY, I do not have a good reason. And it doesn’t matter if they’re the sticker kind and the stickers have fallen off. You can hot glue any googley eye if you believe in yourself.
  • Embroidery hoops – what is up with all of the embroidery and quilting hoops? I don’t quilt but I do embroider blankets, so when I found this giant hoop, I had to buy it.
Then a few months later, I found this even bigger one! These were each $2. And even if you don’t embroider, these are great for making Mobiles, wreaths, or decorative hoops for a party or wedding.
  • Paper – sometimes people get rid of a stack of craft or scrapbooking paper. If you’re into paper crafts, or making your own invitations, this is definitely something you’ll want to grab. 
  • Any unopened paint, scissors, needles, etc. These are rare gems, but when you find an unopened office or craft supply, grab it. Unless you have a hoarding problem, in which case ignore this entire list.
  • Knitting supplies- stitch markers . I am so lazy about buying actual knitting supplies. The first time I came across stitch markers in a pattern, I used a Bobby pin. And then that got really annoying, so I was delighted to find a pack of stitch markers of all shapes and sizes at my local goodwill.
  • Tool kits, bait containers, etc. – if you’ve got storage issues, definitely keep an eye out for various containers. Tackle boxes, tool kits, sometimes even spice containers might be the perfect thing you need to sort your supplies. I’ve got my hardware supplies in a tin lunchbox I got for $4 at a thrift store. 

BONUS: Sewing patterns and craft books. Take a gander at the bookshelves. Though many tutorials and patterns are available online for free, you can find cool vintage patterns and tutorials in old craft books.

What’s your favorite thrift store find, and what do you prefer to splurge on at an actual craft store? 

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