Cross stitching can be an expensive hobby. All that thread, fabric, hoops, snaps, needles, patterns and all the other trinkets add up so quickly you could be mistaken that your money is sprinting towards a very close finish line.
However, stitching on a budget can be done. With a few tricks up your sleeve, you can save yourself a bit of moolah. You can finally purchase that pattern that has been sitting in your wishlist for months or that pretty needle minder you’ve had your eye on forever (or even those sparkly threads you don’t reeeally need, but hey, everyone deserves a treat every now and then, right?)
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Scour second-hand stores
Second-hand shops, thrift stores, charity shops, op shops, whatever your neck of the woods calls ’em, they’re great places to pick up a bargain or two.
You may not be able to find the exact colour floss you need, but over the years I have found various Aida fabric, books, patterns, kits and other trinkets that have made me do an actual happy dance mid store.
Plus, the fun is in the hunt. Who knows what hidden gems you’ll come across!
Repurpose or Update Found Pieces
If you find an old cross stitch in a second-hand store that is just waiting for a unique spin on it, grab it and see what you can do with it!
Sometimes you may come across a WIP someone has abandoned or a very old fashioned piece that is screaming out for a bit of modernising. These can make for some fantastic and unique projects.
Ways you can repurpose cross stitches:
- Add a quote
- Cut it up and use various pieces in necklaces or bracelets
- Turn it into a panel on a bag
- If you find a WIP that you don’t want to finish, unpick or use the excess fabric for a new piece
- Add some snark. This is always fun on a very grandma style piece
Join Facebook Groups
There are tons of fantastic Facebook Groups for cross stitchers out there. Often they have a files section with free patterns and there is even a dedicated one for people offloading their WIPs (work in progress) that they no longer want. Sometimes even giving them away for free.
Check out these Facebook Groups:
- Cross Stitch Lab Show and Tell
- Please, Please take my unfinished WIPs
- Snarky & Nerdy Cross Stitching
- The Enablers
- 100 Days of Cross Stitch SAL
- Lakeside Needlecraft SAL Stitch Along Group
- Cunning Cross Stitch SAL Group
- Millennials Who Cross Stitch
- Snarky Crafters: Because Punching People is Frowned Upon
- Cross Stitch Club for Non-Assholes
Search Facebook marketplace
If you haven’t found Facebook Marketplace, go search for it now! You can score some fab bargains from the marketplace.
Sometimes people who are no longer cross stitching sell their stash or those that have inherited a box that don’t stitch want to get rid of it all. You never know what you will find.
Give eBay/TradeMe a Whirl
Similar to Facebook Marketplace, you can find a load of cheap cross stitch supplies on online auction sites such as eBay (or TradeMe if you’re in New Zealand).
Have a Look on Amazon
If you can’t afford to buy the big brand names such as DMC, consider buying a cheaper alternative and updating each supply as you run out with a bigger brand when you can.
I currently have a full set of floss colours, a mixture of DMC and ThreadNanny. As they get used I’ll replace the ThreadNanny with DMC. So far the colours are mostly fairly similar and while the quality isn’t as great as the DCM, it isn’t terrible.
Make sure to read any reviews before buying.
Other brands to consider:
- ThreadNanny (this is the pack that I started with)
- Iris (I have this variegated floss pack myself)
- Caydo (for bulk hoops)
- Pllieay (for fabric)
If you aren’t too worried about buying big brand names, AliExpress can save you some coin. You’ll just have to wait a few weeks for delivery.
Just make sure to read any reviews before you buy to make sure that you aren’t just flushing your money down the drain.
Set a budget
It is so easy to splash out but if you’re cash strapped, set yourself a budget.
Even better, visit a cash machine, get out a certain amount and don’t go over that. Having cash gives you a visual of how much you can spend. It is much easier to overspend when using a card.
Buy patterns rather than kits
If you have lots of odds and ends or random bobbins, consider buying a pattern rather than a whole kit. You can always customise the colours to ones you already have which further personalises it and is easier on the budget.
Don’t throw away excess fabric or thread
All those excess bits of floss or Aida can be used in smaller projects such as bookmarks or will fit in tiny frames. Consider using these up before you go out and buy more.
Start an ORT jar for those bits of unused threads and use them in smaller pieces.
Read More: What the heck is an ORT Jar?
Go in with a friend
If there is a book or fabric that you are looking at purchasing but can’t afford it on your own, go in with a friend. You could halve the fabric, share the book, trade floss and build a pile of shared resources.
Join a sewing circle
Do a search in your area to see if there are any sewing circles about. A sewing circle is simply a group of people who regularly meet and stitch together (with a bit of wine and chat to go along with it).
If there are none, start one!
You can trade goods, share resources and meet a group of like-minded peeps while you’re at it.
Make use of free patterns
There are a plethora of free patterns available on the internet. You can check out my own freebies right here on cross stitch lab or have a nosey at this big ole list of freebies from around the net.
I did the research so you don’t have to. I went down the rabbit hole and back again. Several times. Just for you. You’re welcome.
You can customise the free patterns with floss you already have in your stash and use up those odd bits of Aida you just don’t know what to do with making it even more budget friendly.
Buy on sale
If you don’t need anything right now, consider waiting for a good sale to crop up.
The chain stores regularly have discounts and sales. Etsy will also give you a wee notification if a shop or product you favourited has come up on sale. Keep favouriting those items and fingers crossed they pop a discount on it in the near future.
If you’ve got your eye on a special piece of kit that you can’t quite stretch the budget for yet, why not request it for a birthday or Christmas present?
Family and friends will be relieved to know exactly what to get you (instead of aimlessly wandering aisles in search of inspiration). It’s a win-win, they’ll go to the shops armed with knowledge and you will get that much-wanted pattern/floss/kit.
Start a stitching fund
Start a separate bank account and pop a small amount in each payday to go towards your cross stitch collection. Even a couple of dollars a week will start to add up quickly and before you know it, your stash will be bursting.
There are many ways to save money while stitching, sometimes you have to hunt a bit harder (which is kind of the fun part) but you can do it if you’re a bit savvy.
What’s your favourite tip that you are going to try?
Do you have any bargain-hunting tips? Feel free to share them in the comments below.