Crafts are a favorite pastime of my three kiddos (and me), but the mess and disorganization of all the pipe cleaners, crayons, glue and glitter can send this momma into a fit. With a little creativity, Goodwill can offer an inexpensive and fun way to help you organize your craft supplies.
I headed out last week to one of my favorite local Goodwill stores. I was shopping on a Sunday, which is important because Sunday is $1 day (woo-hoo!). Each Sunday and Monday, one color tag is only $1 throughout the store. And, everyday there is one color that is 50% off. I don’t typically seek out those particular color tags, but it definitely makes the difference between what goes in my cart as I’m shopping.
#1 PAINT TRAYS
For years, I purchased the disposable plastic paint trays. They weren’t expensive (typically $7 or $8 for a dozen), but I realized these handy little trays were quite wasteful. Keeping the different paint colors separated when my little Picassos were painting was important, though. Muffin pans offer a great alternative! I’m saving a little from the landfill and saving money long-term. This mini muffin pan was marked at $3, the same price as the full size muffin pans, but it was tagged with the 50% color. So it was only $1.50!
#2 BEADS, BEADS, BEADS
If you were a child of the 80’s or 90’s, you probably remember Perler Beads. For those unfamiliar, they are tiny little colored beads that you place on a plastic grid to create different designs. The design is ironed, beads melt together and the final piece can be made into magnets, ornaments, key chains, etc. We love Perler Beads at our house. Okay, maybe this momma loves them, and the kids have grown to love this craft! Regardless, we have literally a million beads all mixed together in a Ziploc bag. Before we dive into a project, we spend a good 15-20 minutes trying to separate all of the colors we might need for our creation.
During my craft excursion to Goodwill, I found this brand new battery organizer case. I’ve never heard of a battery organizer. Is that a thing? At our house, the batteries get thrown into the junk drawer! The 12x9 case has several different compartments and latches that provide a tight seal between the compartments. We can now sort our beads into these different bins and save oodles of time when we are ready to create! EXTRA BONUS: It will take my kiddos hours to separate out the colors!
#3 KEEP YOUR PAPER ORGANIZED
Small plastic drawer organizers are a great way to keep drawing paper, construction paper and even sheets of felt flat and organized. This three drawer organizer fits great on a countertop or tucked away in a cupboard. At retail stores, the cheapest I’ve found this same piece is $9.89, but I found it for only $3 at Goodwill. Need more than one? No problem, during my visit, I found three; all identical, stackable and in perfect condition (other than some stickers and dust I cleaned up when I got home). DO THE MATH….(if I decided to buy all three, which I was tempted to do!) Retail price $29.67, Goodwill price $9, which is a 70% savings!
#4 CUTE CONTAINERS
I’m a sucker for a cute pattern on anything, but especially if it can raise my crafting game. This three piece plastic container set was clearly intended for a lunchbox but made for a great compact option to store puffballs, random beads and crafting odds and ends. It was only $3!
#5 ART CADDY
I went on this Goodwill shopping trip focused on finding a few different items that I would piece together to create a Pinterest-worthy art caddy. No need for me to warm up the glue gun, though! In the first aisle I found this beauty…an art caddy! It was brand new. It was exactly what I needed. And, best of all, it was only $1! This particular art caddy retails for $3.98 each. That is a 75% savings! I consider this a MUST HAVE for moms. It’s great to move a small amount of supplies from room to room or even in the car to keep the kiddos occupied.
#6 SHOP FOR MORE CRAFT SUPPLIES
Easily half of the craft supplies I already have originally came from Goodwill, and most are brand new products that Goodwill has purchased as closeouts from major retailers. On this trip, I scored a 200 piece container of chipboard stickers for only $2.99 (retail price $5.00, 40% savings). I also found this bag filled with 14 spools of ribbon for only $3. None of the ribbon had been used and all came from a large craft store where this supply would have cost at least $20 or more.
#7 RIBBON DISPENSER
There is always a supply of plastic drink holders at Goodwill. This visit, I landed an Ohio State cup (Go Buckeyes!) that will now serve as a great way to hold ribbon and prevent my three year old from unraveling the entire spool! Just thread a few inches of ribbon through the opening where the straw would go and voila!
#8 CONTROL THE GLITTER AND SAVE THE SAND!
Glitter is my enemy. Unfortunately, glitter is the favorite craft supply for my three daughters, but it ends up on everything. Salt and pepper shakers offer better control for little hands when they are looking to add glitter to a craft project. I chose a parmesan cheese dispenser to dump all of our glitter into. It all mixes together into one beautiful rainbow and cuts down on all the itty bitty containers that get lost in our craft cupboard.
We also love to work with colored sand for our craft creations. Most of the sand comes in kits but we end up having so much sand leftover that gets thrown away. What a waste! On this Goodwill haul I found these great oil & vinegar containers that make for perfect sand dispensers. This set of four cost only $6!
#9 DON’T FORGET THE EXTRAS!
When I headed out the door for my Goodwill shopping trip, I told my husband that I was ‘only’ shopping for craft organization items. Let’s be honest, though, there is NEVER a time that I go to Goodwill and leave with only what was on my list! This trip I limited myself to the housewares section, but I found oodles of other ‘must have’ items from that section that rounded out my haul.
The absolute best #goodwillfind of this trip was this amazing hanging frame. Since Christmas was marked down, I was able to get this brand new changeable art frame (I will replace the ‘Merry and Bright’ with original kid art) for only $1.12. Yep! Less than a candy bar! It was sold in retail stores for $16.99, marked down at Goodwill for only $4.49 and then 75% off as part of the after Christmas sale.
Although I had a definite list of what I wanted and needed during this Goodwill shopping trip, it’s always important to shop with an open mind. You will need time, especially if you are shopping in the housewares department. Every item is different and unique, and therefore it may take a little longer to scour the shelves for what you need. The time is worth the savings for these great craft organization finds, though. Wishing you Goodwill magic on your next trip. Happy crafting and happy thrifting!