I buy most of most of my fabric and craft supplies new and unused from second hand shops at a fraction of what they would cost me new.
I am a huge fan of op shops, they allow me to indulge my shopping habit without spending lots of money AND I’m recycling at the same time. In Australia we call them op shops, different places call them different things. Here's a list so you know what I’m talking about:
Thrift store (U.S. and Canada),
Opportunity shop or op shop (Australia and New Zealand)
These are retail establishments run by a charitable organisation to raise money. Charity shops are a type of social enterprise. They sell mainly used goods donated by members of the public, and are often staffed by volunteers.
Knitting needles and crochet hooks
Most charity shops with a craft section have a heap of these, which is great if you’re new to knitting or crochet and you want to pick up some cheap tools or if you’re ready to build up a collection of tools to suit your needs. I’ve found that the plastic knitting needles don’t last like the metal ones, they tend to snap, which is last thing you want in the middle of a project.
Here in Australia knitting yarn is so expensive it makes a hand knitted item with store bought yarn unaffordable for me. Occasionally I find a bunch of matching balls of wool, but often its one or 2 balls that are the same, good for granny square rugs, hats, scarves and slippers.
I’ve picked up silks, cottons and linens for a few dollars and sometimes a few cents a metre. Even if I don’t have a project in mind, if I like the colour, and the feel I’ll get it add it to my fabric stash.
Picking up thread in colours that you use a lot can save you money, I always get the large cones of thread for over lockers when I see them as getting 3 or 4 of those new for a project can be costly.
Every now and then I'll find an old style sewing basket. They make great storage and I love how cute they are. I use one for zips and one for sewing machine bits like spare needles and bobbins.
Buttons, beads, hooks and eyes, clasps and zips
All of theses kinds of things can be picked up for spare change and it’s worth having a stash of these for use in future projects.
Things to keep in mind:
· Know the local charity shops that have a craft section
· Look regularly, sometimes there’ll be nothing, sometimes you'll find gems
· Get it when you see it, if its good chances are it wont be there when you go back
· Always check carefully for damage before you buy