Ask an Agent: Any Tips for Stretching Craft Budgets?

askanagent2You’ve got questions,  we’ve got answers! Our volunteer Agents are on the job! Here’s what they have to say this week….

Question: Do you have any monetary tips on using and getting supplies for teen crafts and art. I shop the dollar stores and goodwill alike. In what ways do you stretch your budget dollars?



Jenni (South San Francisco Public Library) says:

Dig through your craft closet and see what you can make out of leftover bits. Ask teens to contribute one thing to the craft when they come. Look for low-budget crafts, like papercrafts, which are very popular and don’t take much in way of supplies. Try doing some programming with board games, since those can easily be reused.   Look for a grant or donation for the needed craft supplies.

Paige (Lethbridge Public Library) says:

  As with the OP, I rely almost exclusively on dollar stores for my teen crafts, with the occasional foray to an actual craft store for specialty, mostly reusable, items.  Another tip – if you can plan far enough ahead to catch a free shipping deal, sites like are good sources for craft supplies.


Sarah (Warren-Trumbull County Public Library) says:

My best advice is to find crafts that use materials that can be used for multiple items, and to price compare. Call up your Pat Catan’s, Michaels, etc, and find the best deal, even if that means you order from Oriental Trading and Amazon. Do lots of paper crafts – that usually doesn’t come out of your programming budget. Computer paper works as well as construction paper most of the time! We do pony beads (and have a vat of seemingly never-ending beads), fuse beads, book charms, and lots of things that use recycled stuff – floppy disk notebooks, pop tab bracelets, snowglobes & terriums from salsa & similar jars, bottlecaps, magazine/comic book/discarded manga collages, etc.

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