Tools + Supplies green craft supplies

Published on September 7th, 2013 | by Becky Striepe

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5 Unusual Sources for Green Craft Supplies

green craft supplies

Looking for green craft supplies and getting a little bit bummed that the big box offerings aren’t as eco-friendly as you’d like? Sometimes you have to look in less conventional places!

Isn’t it frustrating that supplies like vintage fabric, post-consumer recycled paper, and other green craft supplies don’t take up more shelf space at big box stores like Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, and Walmart? For me, part of green crafting is thinking outside of the box. There are craft supplies everywhere, if you’re open to finding them in more unusual places.

Green Craft Supplies: Thinking Outside the Big Box Store

So what do I mean by “thinking outside the box?” If you’re used to shopping at the craft store, you’re used to finding raw supplies. Buttons and beads come in bags. Chain comes on spools. Fabric comes on bolts or fat quarters.

When you’re looking for vintage supplies, sometimes you have to tear things apart. An old mumu offers ample fabric for all kinds of sewing projects. Rip vintage buttons off of an ugly top that you’re about to refashion. Need chain? Hit the jewelry section for tacky pieces to pull apart and reassemble into modern treasures.

The trick is to find things that are past their prime but still have usable parts. You don’t want to cut up a perfectly wearable garment, but something that’s totally out of style or has some flaws that need covering is fair game.

Once you start harvesting supplies like this, you start seeing everything as a craft supply!

Green Craft Supplies: Resources

When you can’t find new eco-friendly supplies – heck, even if you can! – choosing second hand goodies for crafting is a great, inexpensive way to keep it eco-friendly.

1. Etsy

You know that Etsy has a whole supplies section, and you can also look for vintage and second hand supplies. There are some awesome vintage fabric shops, for example, with everything from yardage to findings like thread, buttons, and ric rac. Who needs to buy new when you can shop vintage, right?

2. Classified Websites

Sites like Craigslist are basically like online yard sales, and you can find all sorts of vintage treasures for crafting. Craigslist is pretty U.S.-centric, but crafters in Australia can find online classifieds on our sponsor’s site Quicksales. They have a whole section for Home, Garden, and DIY!

3. Thrift Stores, Yard Sales, and Estate Sales

If you like sifting through racks of vintage goodies to find those hidden gems, thrift stores, yard sales, and estate sales are great resources for green craft supplies! Estate sales are a little bit different from yard sales, and you can score some really awesome things there, like whole bolts of vintage fabric. You can often find announced in your local paper, so keep your eyes peeled!

4. The Side of the Road

How many times have you driven past a house and seen a pile of junk out front? Next time, pull over if you can and sift through! You’ll be surprised at the raw materials you can find, from an old painting that you could turn into a chalkboard sign to old furniture that just needs a little love to become a statement piece in your house.

5. Your Recycle Bin

Sometimes items you’d toss in the recycle bin are the best green craft supplies. The best part? They’re basically free!

Plastic bottles, wine corks, Altoid tins…before you toss something in the trash, ask yourself, “Could I use this in my crafting?” If you need a little bit of help getting started here, check out our Reuse Resources page! Don’t see the thing you want to craft with on there? Drop us a line! We’d love to help you figure out how to turn trash into treasure.

Disclosure: This post is supported by Quicksales, but all opinions are 100% my own.

Image Credit: Vintage Buttons photo via Shutterstock




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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .



6 Responses to 5 Unusual Sources for Green Craft Supplies

  1. Karen Howard says:

    When I lived “up north”, a lot of churches had rummage sales in spring and fall. I’d head straight to the jewelry table and tell the ladies, “If you have any broken jewelry, please put it aside. I’m going to look around, but I’ll be back to make an offer on the broken items.” I got lots of great deals for my jewelry making crafts: necklaces and bracelets without clasps, single earrings, loose beads… They’re delighted to sell the “unsellable”, and I got plenty of supplies.

  2. Melissa says:

    You can always give away or ask for items on your local free cycle website. I use them quite often.

  3. Pingback: 5 unusual sources for green Stationers | howdoiquilt.com

  4. Pingback: Feelgood Style | Sustainable fashion reporting, organic beauty tips, DIY projects + tutorials, + natural product reviews.

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