There is something wonderfully fun about taking a few simple craft supplies and transforming them into a special project. The key to regularly doing such projects is to have a great crafting supply ready to use. So, how do you build one?
"Mommy, can we do a craft?"
It's such a simple request and yet such a rewarding one. Kids love being able to create things with their two hands, and with the right supplies, you can totally help them do it. The key is to have a good stash of crafting supplies at the ready so that you can create a project whenever you are ready.
So, what do you need to get started with your crafting stash?
Decide on a home
A place for everything, and everything in its place ... that isn't just a quaint old saying ... it's totally true when it comes to crafting. "Crafting is one of those hobbies where supplies can get out of control, and quickly," says craft blogger Krista Maurer of KristaMaurer.com.
So, what is a new crafter to do? Decide on a home for your crafting supplies before you start accumulating them. "If you know, at the outset, that your entire stash has to fit into 'this drawer' or 'that closet' then you're more likely to keep the bits and bobbles (that are bound to multiply!) contained, you will be able to organize more easily, and you will be able to keep yourself from unnecessary collecting," says Maurer.
Think outside the craft store
Craft stores are filled with beads, yarns, clays and so much more ... but the cost of crafting can add up fast. So, turn to some free and inexpensive ways to find supplies. "Check Freecycle.org for offers in your area. A lot of people get rid of unwanted craft supplies at no cost to the recipient except for the cost of picking up said items. If you're patient with Freecycle, you can find a lot of great craft-related items there for free," says Crystal Calhoun of Star and Crossbones.
Calhoun also suggests checking out thrift stores. "Many thrift stores have a special section for craft items, and I've found sewing patterns, yarn, knitting needles and crochet hooks, fabric, soapmaking kits, and all kinds of other things at thrift stores," says Calhoun.
Start with the basics
So, what should you have to start your stash? Here's what Maurer said that the beginner family craft stash needs:
Scissors: For adults and children. Safety is key and children shouldn't be using sharp, adult-sized scissors. You can find safety-scissors in the school section of any craft, grocery or discount goods store.
Adhesives: Elmers glue, glue sticks, hot glue guns and sticks, rubber cement, spray adhesive, craft glue, Scotch tape, masking tape, and staples.
Color: crayons, markers, colored pencils, and paint. Stock up on watercolors, finger paint, acrylic/craft, and tempura paints.
Paintbrushes: These don't need to be expensive paintbrushes (unless the project warrants it) especially when children are involved. Different sizes help kids learn different techniques and create a wider array of projects.
Paper: construction paper, cardstock, tracing paper, scrapbook paper, painting paper, and sketch pads.
Once you have your stash created and stored, you are ready to start crafting. Be sure to keep an eye open for potential project starters (such as toilet paper rolls, old shoeboxes, etc).