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  • Writer's pictureRhona Norrie

10 Tips for Stitching on a Budget

Cross stitching is a wonderful hobby and we have all heard about the mental health benefits of stitching or crafting, but it's not always easy to afford to keep stitching, so here are some ways to help keep stitching as affordable as possible. Not only will you be saving money with these tips, but you'll doing your bit to help the planet by re-using and recycling. Don't think of it as being frugal, think of it as being environmentally friendly :)

An embroidery hoop, aida, and a needle.

Tip 1

Make a list of everything in your stash - threads, fabrics, charts, etc. You probably have more than you realize! :) If you know exactly what you have, then you won't purchase duplicates of items that you already own. If you have kits or books that you know you definitely won't stitch, sell them on eBay, Facebook marketplace, garage sales, etc... and use the money for some stitching goodies you WILL actually use.

A cup of coffee next to a paper pad and embroidery thread.

Tip 2

Be penny wise! To avoid spending too much money, put aside a set amount of money monthly specifically for you cross stitching. Any loose change in your purse can be added to your stitchy stash fund. You don't have to spend it each month - you can roll over the unspent money for a larger item later in the year.

A jar of money.

Remember....that large coffee with extra cream is gone in a few minutes, but the money you spent on it might have bought a new chart or some longed for thread ;)

Tip 3

Set a goal to stitch from your stash. You can stitch exclusively from your stash, or set yourself a challenge, such as stitching one item from your stash before buying another kit or chart. Many 'stitch from stash' challenges can be found online and it's a great way to make new stitchy friends and get that stash used up.

A box of embroidery thread wound on bobbins.

Tip 4

Check out designers free charts. Here at Tangled Threads And Things we have lots of free charts! We add free charts regularly so keep popping back to see what's on offer :)

We have our stitch-a-long 'The Blackwork Stitch Along' which you can join at any time... just pop back each week for the new release.

We have two seasons of "A Year of Christmas Stitching" so you can grab free charts and get a head start on your Christmas stitching. Giving stitched items as gifts is also a budget friendly idea :)

Tip 5

Keep those end bits of threads after you have finished a kit or project. Many times you can substitute threads that are called for on a chart... pink flowers are always pink flowers even if you don't have the colours the designer has used!

Cross stitch on oatmeal aida.

Tip 6

Small scraps of aida or evenweave can be used to make gift tags, bookmarks etc. so always keep those odd bits as they can come in handy! Check out our free Christmas gift tag series that uses small bits of fabric and threads.

Tip 7

Use your local library! Libraries have lots of cross stitch books available, and if they don't have the one you want, they can often do an inter-library loan to get the books you want. Many libraries also have cross stitch magazines too.

An open book on a library desk.

Tip 8

Thrift shops/garage sales. One man's trash is another man's treasure! You just never know what you might find. Many times items will have been opened, so check that everything you need is in the packet/box etc. Think back to what stash you already own and even if something is missing, you might be able to complete the project anyway! Thrift stores and garage sales are also a great way to find frames much cheaper than from a craft store.

An assortment of craft supplies.

Tip 9

Sales/coupons Check out craft stores sales and coupons... but don't buy just for the sake of buying (I'm guilty of doing this!). Only buy exactly what you need for a specific project, otherwise you might be just adding to your stash that you won't use.

Paper tags that say "Sale"

Tip 10

Use non brand name items. Cheaper alternatives of threads and fabric can be purchased - don't feel that you have to use a specific brand. Use what you can afford and enjoy your hobby and don't let any one tell you it's not 'right' or not good enough. Eirinn likes to use this box set of threads from Amazon -- the threads are a little fluffier than the name brand ones, but they're great for small projects. (Note: Affliate link above, if you purchase through this link we receive a small commission at no extra cost to you).

Yellow embroidery thread

Do you have any additional tips to share? Please let us know!

Happy stitching,


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