Use the web for crafts
Whether you are a part-time hobbyist or a full time crafting junkie, online resources are available to make your crafting easier, more enjoyable and more affordable.Finding projects
Many craft enthusiasts spend a lot of money on craft supplies that get tucked away in a drawer or basement workshop, and are never seen again. Before you go shopping for craft supplies, you should have a firm project in mind, and buy only those supplies you need.Before you go shopping, check out Makestuff.com (http://www.makestuff.com/ ).
This site offers all kinds of tutorials, how-to’s and tip sheets for beginning crafters.
Free Crafts Depot (http://www.angelfire.com/on2/freecraftprojects/ ) is troubled by a lot of annoying pop up windows. (These windows appear out of nowhere with advertisements in them for each new browser). But the site has many interesting projects.
Crafter’s Community (http://crafterscommunity.com/tutorials/ ) has a nifty section for frugal crafters among other turials.
The CraftBin (http://www.craftbin.com/ ) also offers a list of craft tutorials, some for kids as well as adults.
As usual, the best online resource is other people who share your interests, and online discussion groups come in all shapes, sizes and topics. The Activity Village Newsletter is a discussion group of kids crafts.
If you need to figure out a way to keep youngsters occupied, the web site (http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/ ) and free weekly newsletter is packed with ideas.
BizzyHandz (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bizzyhandz ) is a list for all kinds of crafts, and would be a good jumping-off place to find lists on specific craft topics.
Crafts-On-Line is similar (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/crafts-on-line ), and features moderators who surf the net for craft links, projects and gift ideas.
A word of caution – both BizzyHandz and Crafts-On-Line appear to be extremely active lists. You could get dozens of emails a day.
Once you have a project in mind, you’ll need supplies. You may already be familiar with major craft stores like Michael’s (www.michaels.com ), White Rose (www.whiterose.ca ) and Lewiscraft (www.lewiscraft.ca ). Michael’s and Lewiscraft both offer a fair selection of crafting tips and projects on their web sites. White Rose has scaled back on its craft selection, unfortunately.
There are a number of small craft shops and online catalogues to choose from, many of them with near-wholesale prices. The best catalogues do tend to come from the United States.
The Craft King Catalog (http://www.auntie.com/cking/main.htm ) is one of the largest catalogues, offering excellent prices on sundries, beads and findings (even figuring for the US dollar exchange).
Bertha’s List of Craft Catalogs (http://www.mhn.org/~bertha/crafts/catalog.html ) offers a list of mostly US-based catalogues.
This list of small Canadian craft shops: (http://www.excite.ca/lifestyle/hobbies/arts_and_crafts/services_and_supplies/ ) offers a list of the smaller shops where you can find unusual supplies to make your crafts unique or special.
If you’d rather buy crafts than make them, there are many craft shows and sales across the country. Keep track of the latest events at the following online craft sites:
- Craft Shows in Canada: http://artsandcrafts.about.com/library/showrate/blprovince.htm
- Craft Shows in Ontario: http://www.craftsontario.com/craftshows.htm
- Gadsden Craft Shows: http://www.craftshowscanada.com
- Upcoming Craft Shows and Fairs: http://www.e-crafters.com/code/crftcan.htm
- DAC Craft Shows: http://www.dacshows.com/shows/
- Signature’s Craft Shows: http://www.craftscanada.com/main.asp