Skip to main content

No Shame! Why I Don't Mind Using Cheap Arts and Craft Supplies

I have a confession. I am cheap. I love a good bargain and hate to splurge on expensive, full price items. 

$20 for a pack of cardstock? Nope. 

$6 for one roll of washi tape. Uh uh. 

Yarn for over $10 a skein? Yikes.  

My husband suggested I try Copic markers and I balked at the $8-10 price per marker. You get the idea.

Of course, much of this stems from the fact that, frankly, I’m not rich. I get by and I’m blessed to have what I have, but I watch what I spend. I have bills to pay like everyone else.

I know that with using the cheap stuff, there will be compromises and that you get what you pay for much of the time. I absolutely admire and covet high end items. I’ll invest in quality when it’s warranted and it’s within my budget. Sometimes I'm lucky to receive them as gifts. But I also do OK with a pack of kids' markers, 50 cent craft paint, and my $3 bargain journal.

Note: This post contains affiliate links, meaning I may be compensated if you click or buy. It does not affect how much you pay, but it is one way to support this blog!

I’m sure I’m not the only one who crafts on a limited budget. I’d say probably most of us do. But we don’t have to be ashamed of being cheap. I would even go farther and say that in some ways, it’s better!

How, you ask?

  • Get more for your money—an obvious advantage. Yes, I'm talking more about quantity than quality in this case, but who doesn't like to dive into a drawing session with a box full of colored pencils in front of them? Or one of those mega art kits you see in every craft store—I loved using those as a kid. And still do, now that my kids get them!

Click to view on Amazon (affiliate link)

  • You're not afraid to use up supplies. For me, I find that when I have something expensive, I hoard it. I’m afraid to mess up a project and throw money down the drain in the process. If I’m working with cheaper supplies, nothing is overly precious. I don’t stop and think, should I waste this on this project? I just use it! It’s very freeing. 
  • Having limited means also makes you more resourceful. You’re more apt to find ways to reuse and recycle and make the most of what you have. It’s a whole other way to think creatively. I love to reuse items that might otherwise be thrown away. Maybe you've seen the play dresses I made out plastic tablecloths in THIS POST.
  • Sometimes the fact that art is made with an ordinary medium becomes part of its appeal. I've seen super impressive drawings done with an ordinary ballpoint pen. I love to see how someone can transform a thrift shop find into something modern and fashionable. You can even create fun calligraphy with Crayola markers. (It's even a thing now, and there's a name for it—"Crayoligraphy.") I've tried it myself, as seen in the image at the top of the post. It just goes to show that art quality is really defined by the artist, not the medium, am I right? 

Click to view on Amazon (affiliate link)

There's no need to think your creations are less than any other because of what you used to make it. So if you can't afford the "good stuff" that's OK! You can still make great arts and crafts and have fun doing it, which is the whole point. Make the most of what you've got and be creative!

You might also like...

Pin me!


Popular Posts

New Etsy Shop and Free Pattern

I opened up a shop on today. I've posted some sweaters for 11.5-inch dolls (I hope to post other types of items in the future). You can visit the shop here . These miniature sweaters were very fun to create. They are all designed and handknit by myself. Most of the sweaters are knit using size 10 crochet thread and sock knitting needles. I like using the crochet thread because it is relatively inexpensive, comes in a wide array of colors, and is readily available from any store that sells craft supplies. Here is a free pattern for a basic sweater, for those who would like to try making one yourself! **UPDATE - 2015** The miniature sweater knitting pattern has been revised.  View/Download the new pattern here: DOWNLOAD A gift tag template for creating a Christmas ornament from this sweater can be found on my  Templates and Patterns  page. 

Niki Knits: Doll Accessories (free pattern)

Well, it's November already, and that means a very busy month for me. Not only am I preparing for the upcoming holidays and a baby (!), I am also getting ready for the Annual Keene Holiday Craft Show that I attend each year in my hometown on the Saturday following Thanksgiving. It is organized by my mom, Kellie Jones, and this will be its 10th year! For the past several years, I have been making and selling crafts myself at the show. Each year has been different. I have sold doll clothes, art prints, gift tags, knitting patterns, and Christmas ornaments. This year, I decided to focus on assorted handmade toys for kids. I will be writing a more extensive post later on in the month showcasing some of the products I have made (I am VERY excited about them.), but for now, I am just going to give a small preview, along with a free pattern. As you may know, I've made miniature knitted sweaters for Barbie dolls in the past. This year, I created some new patterns for some kni

Popsicle Stick Christmas Ornaments

  It's November, which to many over-enthusiastic holiday lovers means CHRISTMAS! Yes, I love Thanksgiving as well—it's just one big holiday celebration for me from now to the end of the year. So far, I've refrained from putting up my Christmas tree, but that doesn't mean I can't prepare, right? This past weekend, I spent some time making some ornaments. I love to create handmade ornaments to add to my little tree each year.  Lately I've been interested in popsicle stick crafts. I found some super cute ideas on Pinterest (see the links to my Holiday Crafts and Food board and specific posts below). I like that such a simple material can have so many possibilities. Just add paint and glue! Crafting with my kids I was able to get my kids involved for part of my craft day. They are ages 2 and 3, so they didn't do much beyond just paint a few popsicle sticks. I turned these painted sticks into little Santa Claus ornaments—two for each daughter as