Sometimes it’s about finding your way.

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I love to craft when my family is asleep. It’s quiet in the house, I get quite a bit done, and the solitude and peace is good for your soul. I don’t like turning on bright lights to find my way around my  home, so I looked into passive lighting instead.

Today, I got rid of three nightlights and added them to my Good Will donation box thanks to Snap Power Guidelights. You get passive pathway LED lighting wherever you need it in your home. I installed one in my kitchen, one in my dining room, and one in the hallway near the front door. Three LED lights shine down from each of the outlet cover. No switches, no nightlights, just what appears to be a regular outlet/plug cover.

These lights are smart! They have a window that tells them when it’s dark enough to be activated, then they turn on. They aren’t on all day, only when it’s dark enough for them to be activated.

Installation: Turn the power off to the outlet. Remove the old outlet cover plate. Install the Snap Power Guidelight plate. Turn power on. That’s it. Last night was the first night with these guidelights, and they worked perfectly. Just enough light to find my way, but not so much that I was waking up the entire house.

 

A buyer’s guide for getting great deals on crafting supplies – part 1

If you’re like me, as much as you’d like to, you don’t have an unlimited budget for your crafting supplies. I’ve been looking for bargain prices on quality craft items for years. I spent a lot of time learning where to find things, and I made a lot of mistakes along the way. I hope you can avoid my mistakes and get some great deals.

Here are a few of my top secret craft supply bargain locations:

Facebook. Your local neighborhood Facebook ‘buy and sell’ page. People jump into crafting (especially scrapbooking) and buy tons of stuff. It sits for months, unused, until they sell it for pennies on the dollar. I’ve gotten some amazing deals off of Facebook including this a few weeks ago:

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Tuesday Morning. A lot of people don’t know what Tuesday Morning sells. They sell just about everything, but they have a great selection of scrapbook, stamping, embossing, paint, and craft supplies including storage and organizational items. Right now, crafters are flocking to TM to clean up on $.99 embossing folders and $1.00 washi tape. I love their Bazzill scrapbook paper, which I can typically find for $3.99 for 25 sheets. That comes out to $.16 a sheet. You can’t beat that deal!

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Good Will. Good Will is a bit of a hit-or-miss type store but when you find something, oh wow, have you found a great deal! You can go in one day and find a plethora of scrapbook items or craft items or even stamps. You return a week later, and there is nothing. However, on those visits where I find no craft items, I take time to look through their kitchenware section. Drawer organizers work great for crafting, as do shower organizers. Hang a shower organizer from your door, and you’ve got a shelf system. Closet organizers are great for embellishment storage, and wine racks are great for rolled vinyl storage. Fill a spice rack with washi tape and you’ve got a great organizer! The picture below is a Spice Stack I found at Good Will for $1.99, originally sold for $20 to organize and hold spices. It works fantastic for washi tape.

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Garage Sales and Estate Sales. Look at your local online garage sale ad website, and search for scrapbook supplies, crafts, stamps, etc. You’d be surprised what you find. People getting out of crafting all together are where you’ll get incredible deals. Get to the garage sale when they open. The early bird gets the stickers!

Read my next post for part 2 of “A buyer’s guide for getting great deals on crafting supplies”.

 

A buyer’s guide for getting great deals on crafting supplies — part 2

I wanted to split this post into two sections so that I don’t overwhelm you with too much reading. Here’s the rest of my top secret places for getting great deals on craft items:

Craigslist. I frequently look online for my local Craiglist near my home and search for ‘crafts’ or ‘scrapbook’ or whatever it is I’m looking for. I’ve gotten some very good deals off of Craigslist, especially craft furniture and shelves.

Dollar Tree. I have found some great deals on craft and organizational items at Dollar Tree. In fact, most of my craft room is organized with Dollar Tree fabric bins and plastic organizers. I LOVE Dollar Tree during back-to-school time. They have tons of plastic bins, boxes, and drawers. They recently began carrying washi tape, sold as paper tape, and some glitter paper that cuts beautifully on die cut machines. I joke that my craft room was sponsored by Dollar Tree, but it really is true.

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Ebay. The key to getting a good deal on eBay is knowing what an item is worth and setting your limit and not surpassing your limit on auctions. Better yet, if you can get an extraordinary deal on a buy-it-now item, go for it.

However, buyer beware! There is nothing worse than getting into a bidding frenzy and end up spending way more than you should have because you got excited. I’ve found a way to stop this from happening is to bid the maximum I’d pay on the very first bid. It typically doesn’t go for that price, but that’s my limit and I stick to it. Period. If the auction gets crazy and goes over what I want to pay for it, I let it go and begin my search for another.

I bought a Crop In Style P3 paper tower on eBay, which is something I wanted for years but was discontinued and no longer for sale. I found it on Ebay, and got a great deal. It’s a wonderful tool for scrapbookers who craft away from home.

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I do want to warn you: Once you start hitting bargain spots for craft items, it can get addicting. You see something that is a great deal and you snatch it up and run to the register, take it home, get giddy about it, and it sits. And it sits. And it sits. Because you really were never going to use it or you have no idea what you’d use it for, or that cool Facebook group you’re a member of is telling you to go get one, that you can’t live without it. Then you got it home and you have no idea what you’re going to do with it. Don’t do that. Write down what you need, what you want, and how much you are willing to pay for something. Stick to your list and stick to your budget.

Remember, it’s only a good deal if you’re going to use it.

Now get out there and find some great deals and come back and comment on what you found!