Part 1, Crafters Tips: Freebies and Nearly Free

3 Materials
1 Hour
Craigslist Freebies: Certain words trigger me to get to the internet as quickly as possible and bring up Craigslist "Free" catagory. I would venture to say that 40-50% of my crafting supplies were free to me.
The jewelry rack and all the jewelry were free. This picture was taken at the time I posted my "Ultimate jewelry cleaner" project as I need a way to get rid of all the dust and grime.
Everything on these two racks, including the racks were free. Notice the duplicates: floral wire, canvas, glue and glue sticks etc. all free. This is but a fraction of what this one haul brought home to me.Saw an ad on Craigslist for a "free curbside pickup" and it mentioned something about it being from a craft/gift store. The ad was posted two hours earlier and I'm all over it. Seven large commercial trash bags filled with goodies, I knew not what. Couldn't get them in my car fast enough. Literally, there was not a square inch left in my Toyota matrix and I felt bad, I had to leave two bags behind.The things you don't see are all the picture frames, mats, dominoes, tins, rubber stamps, paints, mod podge, crafting tools, on and on.Of course, I told you the best Craigslist story of my life. But I've also found other things listed as free. I needed a replacement drawer in my refrigerator - saw an ad for a curbside pickup of a non-functioning frige and went to check it out - took the drawer I needed - done and done. These things sell on ebay for $30-40 as a replacement drawer. I'm a happy camper!
Garage Sale Freebies: So, I'm at a garage sale and the seller's have some things outside the garage and some things inside. I spotted this dresser and started to walk up to it when I notice the attached "FREE" sign. "Really," I said, "I was about to ask you about this and I see it says 'free'". He tells me the bottom drawer is missing the rungs and he sick of it being around. Nice guy, he and his son, loaded it into my car. For about $8.00, my son replaced the rungs and reinforced a couple weak spots with a nail gun. It now stores craft supplies.Oftentimes, at garage sales there is a box labeled "free". I always go through these and even if I don't select anything, it sends a subliminal message to the seller that I am a bargain hunter.One of my many "tricks of the trade", if you will, is to look around to see what I might like to buy. Say, it's a beautiful vase, asking $5, but I also notice a couple of smaller items I wouldn't mind having, so I say "I'll pay you the $5 for the vase, if you throw in these two items." Works like a charm. Or, when the bill comes to $20+, "I've been debating about this necklace you have marked $4. How about if I pay you the $20 and you throw in this necklace." Not exactly "free", but it mostly works. Frank calls this "bundling".  
Roadkill Freebies: It's the end of the garage sale day (in this neighborhood they generally end between 12-1pm) when I spot a man who is putting out his leftovers, with a FREE sign. Among the few things I chose was this little tent guy which stands about 40" high and 32" at it's widest point. I had been looking for a two man tent to create a spray paint booth for larger projects. This is perfect for smaller spray painting such as lids, frames, etc. It protects my project from the dust and wind, and it easily collapses for storage. Since this post comes as a response to Wendy's request, I would like very much for your comments on how you got your freebies. If you don't want to make your suggestions into a project, this would be the time and place to insert what you have learned about freebies.
Oh, I almost forgot. This plastic sheet is provided free at Lowes and is generally used to protect your trunk when loading paints & fertilizers, etc. I always grab one or two on my way out. I spray my folding work table with glass cleaner, or water, and the smooth on the table. It measures about 3'x5'.
Smooth out from the center, lifting when necessary, until all/most bubbles are gone. You can lift it as much as you like. This catches any paint and/or spray adhesives and helps maintain my table top. I think it would work well with Spit products, and really anywhere you might use shrink wrap.

Suggested materials:

  • Jewelry   (Free)
  • Rack   (Free)
  • Small tent   (free)

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