Saturday, April 22, 2006

Uses for those Extra Craft Supplies

By Christina VanGinkel

The average crafter at some point in time often realizes that they have far more supplies, or books about their hobby, than they are ever going to use. On the other hand, maybe they purchased supplies that are not really to their liking. Yarn in an odd color, or scrapbook paper in a pattern or design that they liked at first, but later decided was not really their style. What is one to do with these things, besides tossing them in the trash? Sell them or use them as a RAK!
EBay is a great place to sell unused and or unwanted craft supplies, books, even magazines and patterns. They have detailed categories and sub categories under the Craft heading including:

Bead Art
Candles and Soap Making
Ceramics, Pottery
Cross Stitch
Decorative, Tole Painting
Fabric Embellishments
Floral Crafts
Framing and Matting
General Art and Craft Supplies
Glass Art Crafts
Handcrafted Items
Kids Crafts
Lace making, Tatting
Latch Rug Hooking
Mosaic Needlepoint
Paper Crafts and Origami
Rubber Stamping and Embossing
Wall Decor, Tatouage
Other Arts and Crafts
Crafts Wholesale Lots

These are just the first breakdown of categories keep in mind. Under each of these, there are numerous sub categories to better help you sell (and buy) what it is you want.

Selling your unused and unwanted supplies though an outlet such as eBay is a good way to recoup some of the money you spent on the original purchase, and is a good way to earn money towards another hobby related purchase. When I first bought my Wishblade, selling off numerous dies and my manual die-cutting machine on eBay was a great way to help fund almost the entire cost of it. Since then, I have known several other friends and acquaintances that have done the same. Funding your hobby purchases through the selling of unwanted supplies makes good sense no matter how you look at it!

Other outlets for selling off unused or unwanted craft supplies is your local penny saver paper, at a garage or yard sale, or if you sell at any hobby or craft shows, assemble some of your extras to sell at the same time. Many crafters and hobbyists are thrilled to find supplies at shows just as much if not more than finished pieces from a hobby that they enjoy.

If you have quite an assortment of supplies that you just do not know how you would list for sale, or you have no desire to join eBay as a seller, you could always give them to someone as a RAK, otherwise known as a random act of kindness. Maybe you know of someone who is new into the same craft, and they could probably use the items and be glad to have them, or maybe a school or club that teaches a class on the subject, or is in need of craft supplies in general. Pack it all up and mail it to them or drop it off if they are close by. If you do not know someone that would love to be given a gift such as this, consider what the hobby is, and join a list online to see if they have any requests for such a thing. One scrapbook list that I am on actually has a whole 'room' devoted to RAKs. They help point the people who have extras they want to share towards those who are deserving or in need of supplies. Teachers for example are often more than happy to receive craft supplies of all sorts, and even if it was not something they were actually looking for, most likely can find a use for it. Elderly people who are on fixed incomes are often thrilled to receive a RAK of craft supplies. They often have free time to participate in a hobby they love, but just as often lack the funds for the necessary supplies. Young parents are also often delighted to get a few freebies from someone looking to share. This works both ways, and the person giving the items has the advantage of knowing they brightened up someone's day!

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