When I start looking at craft ideas, I nearly always find myself saying "I can make that cheaper!"
I have even thought about doing a series of frugal - really frugal - crafts, but I am lazy when it comes to writing instructions and taking pictures of projects as I go. Okay, I will be honest here. I forget to take photos until it's finished.
So... rather than bore you with craft after craft that's made cheaper than most anyone else, let me just list some substitutes that may help you do your craft projects cheaper, or at least give you some ideas you can work from.
Here we go:
If you cut a circle out of an old cardboard box then cut the center out of that, you have a wreath form that you can pin or glue things to. If you need one that isn't flat, add some stuffing under fabric to the front, or put a few more circles on it, in smaller sizes.
Bits of leftover yarn is great for doll hair, angel hair, and stuffing small objects, among other things. For fluffy angel hair, fasten the yarn then comb it with an old comb to separate and fluff it.
Use yarn instead of ribbon to dress up a package.
Instead of a styrofoam cone to make a Christmas tree, make one from paper. I just use a plain rectangle, put the edges together until it's cone shaped, then cut off the excess. Card stock works best... no cardstock? Use the sturdy front of a catalog or magazine.
If you get packages with those long strips of brown or offwhite packing paper, save it, iron it and use it. For what? Wrapping paper, paper to make patterns on, paper to draw or paint on and anything you'd use brown kraft paper for.
Also, save some cereal boxes. The pasteboard is useful for many things. Paint it for signs, cut and fold it for miniature furniture, make notebook covers from it, among other things.
Picture frames are easy to make from cardboard or pasteboard and you can decorate them so they look expensive. Cut the back and front the same size, then cut out the center of the front piece for the frame. Attach both pieces together except for the top, where you will insert the photo or artwork. Decorate the frame with cloth, paint, yarn or any combination. For instance, soak cloth in white glue/water combination, then attach to frame, add yarn in swirls or whatever shape you like. When it's all dry, paint it.
Don't run out and buy special craft paints if you have leftover latex paint at home. Use that. If you have food coloring you can tint the latex whatever color you like. You can paint cardboard, paper and cloth, so let your imagination flow.
Save odd shaped bottles or jars to make vases or to use for gifts. If you need to camouflage the screw top, paint it and/or tie ribbon or yarn around it.
I don't even remember where this bottle came from, but the grasses came from my backyard. Frugal enough?
There are many, many ways to save when it comes to crafting. The bottom line is to think of what to subsitute before going out and buying supplies.