Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Here Are 10 Ways To Save On Craft And DIY Dog Mom Project Supplies

There's a meme I see floating around social media every now and then. It cracks a joke about spending $90 on craft supplies to make something you could buy at the store for $10. Although exaggerative, there is a bit of truth to that meme. Craft and DIY supplies are expensive. We would have no problem spending a small fortune at craft and home improvement retailers. But, we don't.

One of the biggest inspirations behind our DIY Dog Mom Projects is to create and repurpose really cool stuff inexpensively for our home, to give as gifts, and to sell. We also hope to inspire others to do the same, especially for the Dog Parents out there. You can save a lot of money making your own dog beds, dog houses, blankets, apparel, etc.

Over the years, we've discovered quite a few ways to save money on DIY Dog Mom Project supplies.

1. Use coupons. We take advantage of the Michaels coupons in their weekly ad and have a couple of neighbor friends who save them for us. The one we use most is the 40% or 50% off a single, regular priced item. The coupons have restrictions and it's one coupon per visit. If I have to stock up on satin varnish or buy new paint brushes, we'll stop by several times that week to use all the coupons.

2. Utilize what you already have. We have shelves of fabric and totes filled with wood. Lisa has a few larger pieces of wood in her woodshop. When ideas pop into our heads, we work around what we already have first. Occasionally, we have to purchase wood or other supplies for custom orders or larger projects, but most of the time, we have what we need on hand.

3. Hit up the yard sales. During yard sale season, Lisa and I will take off on a Saturday morning and visit yard sales in our area. This is the perfect opportunity to pick up pieces on the cheap to repurpose. Last Summer, we scored a gorgeous decorative bench that we repurposed into a dog-themed bench.  This year, we got our hands on several old wooden pieces that we'll be repurposing soon.

4. Sample paints. The home improvement stores that we frequent, including Lowe's and Home Depot, offer sample-sized containers of paint. The typical container is 8 ounces and the price is right around $3-$5. We purchase these sample sizes when we need something more durable than craft paint. Most of the time, we use the sample containers on our DIY Dog Houses, DIY Dog Beds, DIY Dog Toy Boxes, and our repurposed items.

5. List what you need on Facebook. On several occasions, I've been in need of supplies like fabric and scrap wood pieces. I have no shame in putting it out there on Facebook. The response has been nothing but positive. A lot of people have come forth with fabric, thread, wood, etc., that they want to get rid of. Or, they've got an abundance and are willing to sell it to us for super cheap. A couple of years ago, an acquaintance of ours had totes of fabric she no longer had a use for. I asked how much money she wanted for the lot. Her reply was, "How about a plate of your homemade chocolate chip cookies?" Sold!

6. Check out the discount bins of wood in the back. A lot of your home improvement stores will have a bin or two of deeply discounted wood that's up to 75% off. The wood in these bins is scrap and imperfect pieces that can't be put on the shelf. However, with a little TLC in Lisa's woodshop, it's worth the time to rummage through the discount bins.

7. Wait for the sales. Even though we do our best to utilize what we already have, there are supplies we need to purchase several times a month whether it's fabric, wood, paint, etc. There are several local craft and home improvement stores. We check the sale ads weekly. Between coupons and shopping the sales and clearance, we've never paid full price for anything.

8. Ask friends, family, coworkers, etc. Let people know what you're doing and working on. When people know what you do, often times they'll come forth with offers and supplies. You don't even need to ask, but sometimes you do. One of our neighbor friends is friends with a cabinet maker. Our neighbor friend asked us if we were interested in the scrap wood. Ummm, yes! Another neighbor friend saves her coupons for us. Other friends have offered us wood pieces to repurpose.

9. Don't be shy about checking out the free treasures on the side of the road. Most of the time, the stuff people put on the side of the road and mark "free" is junk, but once in a blue moon, there's a treasure to be found. The bookcase that we have in our living room was a side-of-the-road treasure. Lisa primed it and gave the bookshelf a fresh coat of paint. It's gorgeous! A few years ago, we scored an iron plant cart. Lisa spray painted it black. It turned out beautiful. We kept it.

10. Sometimes, it's just not worth it. At times, despite shopping sales, clearance and using coupons, the price is too high. For example, decorative accents. I've been wanting to make some DIY Dog Mom Projects that include the rustic stars or strands of faux berries, but the cost is much too high. As with any piece, you want to be compensated for what you spent and your time. Spending $14.99 on a strand of faux berries on top of the cost of wood and paint and our time translates to charging a lot for a single piece. That's not our mission and we don't want to do that.

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