Cheap Places to Buy Fabric

by Merissa on March 13, 2015

in Featured, Thrifty Living

Where to Find Cheap Fabric. Make inexpensive crafts and sewing projects using some of these cheap fabric that you can find at these places!

Cheap Places to Buy Fabric

I’m not a big sewer but I do like to buy fabric occasionally for certain crafting projects and for miscellaneous mending needs. The trouble is that most of the time the fabric you can get at regular fabric stores is way too expensive to make it worth buying and making anything out of! Now I’m sure that many of you that are bigger sewers than I am and you have more tips than this so make sure to share them with the rest of us in the comments section as well.

As far as price goes, I've found that your non-traditional fabric buying options are best, however, as far as selection goes you may need to stick with a regular fabric store and just rely on the coupons they provide. Here is a list of cheap places to buy fabric that you can try!


Garage Sales.

This doesn't happen all the time but occasionally I will be able to find fabric (mostly scrap) at garage sales. I’ve noticed that if a sale is going to have a good amount of fabric it is generally advertised in their newspaper ad. If you don't see any ads that speak directly about fabric, look for garage sale ads advertising a "nick nack" or miscellaneous sale. Garage sales that are advertising children's clothing and similar items are generally not the place to look for fabric.

Senior Center Sales.

This one is similar to garage sales above but one put on in a senior center. We have one of these sales yearly in my area at a large senior center and it usually has a huge table full of all kinds of fabric! If you like to repurpose old fabric for projects this is also a great place to look for that. Many older clothing garments were made of a more quality fabric than you can find on clothing now and it works well for repurposing projects.


Thrift Stores.

This is usually a fairly reliable source of inexpensive fabric. All of the local thrift stores I can think of have a nice “crafting” section that usually has dozen of bundles of fabric. These bundles are a little more expensive than the previous 2 options, but as I said, you have a pretty good chance at getting fabric at a thrift store whereas rummage sales and senior center sales can be hit and miss. I’ve even found some fairly large amounts of fabric at thrift stores not just scrap pieces. Thrift stores (and garage sales) are also a great place to find old sheets which, if you think about it, is an awesome source of fabric for crafts! You get a large piece of fabric that is usually priced pretty low. I love making Rag Rugs out of old sheets.

The Fabric Store.

Wait…didn’t I just say that fabric stores were expensive? Well they can be, but like in all stores, there are always ways to find a deal! Look for clearance racks of discontinued patterns. Some fabric stores also hold sales were you can find half price deals on the “regular” fabrics, however the best luck I’ve had at finding deals is shopping the clearance.

 Big Box Stores.

Yes, even stores like Walmart and Hobby Lobby have good deals on fabric! Search around until you find the remnant bin and you can get deals on scrap fabrics. I’ve even found some remnants that are several yards long, enough to make a large project with! Also as I mentioned above, if you need a very specific type of fabric this is going to be your best option since they will have the largest selection. Hobby Lobby always has a weekly coupon (that can be used on up to 10 yards of a single fabric) that you can print and take with you to the store. I'm not much for buying fabric at Walmart for several reasons but I do like to get my notions like elastic and ribbon there since it's a pretty good regular price.


These are just a few of the places to buy fabric that I've regularly been able to find a deal at for my little projects! Since we don't live very near any of these places I've also started ordering fabric online from stores like They often have sales going and it's a cheaper option than driving all the way to the store for what I need.

Some of my favorite projects that I've been making lately with my cheap fabric are:

What are some of the places that you buy cheap fabric from? What projects are you working on right now?


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6:00 am

{ 58 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Laura October 24, 2012 at 9:21 am

I like to look at the plus sized dresses at thrift stores too. Jumpers especially are a great source of fabric for smaller projects. Just be sure the dress doesn’t have too many seams, which make the overall pieces of fabric smaller.


2 Merissa October 24, 2012 at 9:22 am

Great tip!


3 Nicole December 7, 2016 at 10:45 pm

OR you could leave the clothing for plus sized individuals to actually wear… crazy idea huh


4 Meg October 24, 2012 at 9:27 am

I can add to your list! I sew for a living and am a bargain hunter, so I’ve been learning the ins and outs of this.

Estate sales can be a great place to find fabric and notions, especially vintage stuff. Not many people are in the market for that kind of stuff and they usually price the stuff very cheaply to get rid of it.

I’ve had some luck at church rummage sales as well. I get the sense that a lot of it is leftovers from estate sales, hence – vintage fabric and notions, and even some great books and pamphlets for projects.

Also, if you don’t need a lot of fabric, check out the remnant bins at fabric stores. These are the ends of bolts that have less than a yard left on them, and they are usually marked down by at least 50%. They’re especially great for pieces of polar fleece and quilting cottons, and even piece of interfacing.


5 Merissa October 24, 2012 at 10:35 am

More great tips, thanks for sharing!


6 Momma Mindy October 24, 2012 at 10:33 am

I’m a homeschooling momma blogger working her way through life on one blog and Little House on the Prairie school curriculum on another. Was fun to be guided to your blog today!

I rarely buy fabric at a fabric store. It was originally because I couldn’t afford to, now I realize I rarely have to, unless I need a very specific piece for a project.

Last weekend I was digging through a huge pile of fabric and the woman was so desperate to get rid of stuff, she gave me the WHOLE pile for $3. The pieces were 3-6 yards each, cotton, flannel, lace, it was amazing. I am teaching my last child, a ten year old girl, to sew, so it’s wonderful having a lot of material to enjoy without worrying about making a mistake and “wasting it.”

I use thrift stores for buttons, as well. When they clearance clothes out for really cheap, I look for clothes that have buttons I like. Cheaper to spend $.99 for a shirt full than $4 for a card with 4.

This was a fun blog to find this morning!


7 Merissa October 24, 2012 at 10:35 am

What a great find! And a big warm welcome!


8 Jennifer October 24, 2012 at 10:59 am

Try substituting sheets, either bought on clearence or at a thrift store. You get a ton of fabric (Especially if you are looking for Jersey Knit) for a much lower price!


9 Merissa October 24, 2012 at 11:02 am

Oh I’ve done this before and forgot to include it in the list, great thinking!


10 Linda January 23, 2013 at 7:42 am

This is great! I have been using sheets for a long time and irks very well. Curtains and shower curtains and so much more. Also I have used table clothes for a lot of things.


11 Mel October 24, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Does anyone remember sending away for a “scrap assortment” from Coats & Clarks?, I think? I can still remember that they would send you zippers, lace, buttons..anything that they was quite an assortment & it was FREE! just had to send a was enough to fit inside a large envelope. I was only 10, but I can still remember opening it & examining was WONDERFUL to a little girl just wanting to learn to sew! 🙂


12 L Welsh December 11, 2013 at 8:15 am

I remember that too They used to ask for 3 rapings and they would send ribbons and lace That was Wright Co.


13 Feliciti February 14, 2016 at 9:19 am

I know this was a few years back, but just in case you see this or someone else does who figured it out, what was autocorrected to “rapings”? I’ve tried to figure it out but can’t, and I’m interested to know what they asked for. Thanks!


14 Melynda Freetage February 28, 2016 at 10:57 am

wrappings from the products that you had already bought…I guess they could figure out what you had purchased?


15 Christine October 24, 2012 at 2:43 pm

I live near Los Angeles. Downtown, there is a ‘fabric district’.
I’ve gotten really great bargains there. I go early so I can find parking, and only take as much cash as I plan to spend, plus a couple $ for a hot dog from the street vendor 🙂 otherwise, I’ll go a little crazy! (I’m a fabric junkie!)
If you live near, or are visiting a large city, ask around to find out where the fabric district is.


16 Ruthann October 25, 2012 at 4:19 am

I sew all my kids’ clothes and am always on the look out for great fabric. One place I have found that you can find some really cute fabric is online at Connecting Threads – their clearance section often has fabric for as little as $1.95/yd. It is geared towards quilters, but I have found some very lovely fabric that was neither cheap looking nor cheaply made. Be cautious of some of the big bulk stores because they have a tendency to sell cheaply made fabric – which if you have to replace often or redo, can be more costly. I also shop around at where they will occasionally have nice clearance and then I stock up to take advantage of their free shipping. Ebay is another good place to hunt for speciality fabric that can be costly elsewhere, just watch out for high shipping prices! Sometimes when you live so far from town, it’s more economical to do your shopping online, like us; that being said, nothing beats spending some quiet time strolling through a large fabric store!


17 Betty Keeney January 18, 2013 at 7:57 am

Thank you for letting us know about Connecting Threads. Just checked it out and there is FREE shipping on orders of $50 or more. And their clearance section is full of stuff. Bookmarked this page because I’m sure I’ll be going there often.


18 Roxie November 25, 2012 at 2:38 pm

I love to sew. I love to get wool men’s suits at the thrift store. I have taken those apart and made beautiful pillows, quilts, and even other clothes from the suits.
I brought a set of new curtains in a thrift store….It has about 20 yards of fabric.(these are commercial drapes from an office building) I will use the backing of the curtains for a quilt backing. For the sum of $8.00 I got almost 40 yards of fabric.


19 jane December 27, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Oh, and don’t forget some online places. Sometimes folks get rid of fabric lots on Ebay, you’ll have to take what comes with it.
I like Gehmans Country Fabrics, online store, very good prices and the Tropical Breeze fabric is literally a breeze to sew!


20 Judy Raney January 18, 2013 at 7:34 am

Find the wholesale distributers in your town, they usually have “open to the Public” times and you get to buy at the wholesale price.


21 marci357 January 18, 2013 at 12:26 pm

Bag Sales at Church Rummage Sales…. in my town consistently the best place for extremely inexpensive fabric.
For $1 or $2 for the paper Grocery sack, I can neatly roll up 12-15 warm bathrobes. Lots of fabric in a bathrobe! For $1 bag, a laundry washing, and used elastic for waistlines, I made NINE pairs of warm fluffy pajamas for my grandkids one Christmas…. plus, with old pillow stuffing, matching little teddy bears to go with 🙂 Awesome frugality 🙂


22 Joy January 28, 2013 at 10:30 am

love these tips… more more please !!!


23 Stacie @ Staying Me February 2, 2013 at 9:21 pm

Awesome tips, thank you! I’m just learning how to sew, and hate to waste money on expensive fabric.


24 Jenn December 10, 2013 at 10:32 pm

I frequent the remnant bins at Joann’s Fabrics…they are always 50%, but that is not a huge deal since Joann’s often has 40% or even 50% coupons. However, it’s 50% off the current price so if the fabric is on sale that week, you get 50% off the sale price and that’s where I find the deals.

For example, this week it’s 60% off snuggle flannel prints. They are normally $6.99, onsale for $2.80. So a yard of flannel remnant would be $1.40! Obviously, the downside is that remnants are hit and miss, or you find something but only 10″ of the fabric…but I always make sure to look thru them for the occasional great deal ;0)

And a couple of weekends a year, they have 75% off remnants!


25 Andrea December 10, 2013 at 10:35 pm

I like to hit up the remnant bins at JoAnn, but I try to know what fabrics are on sale – the sale carries over to remnants! I just got about 3/4 of a yard of minky dot fabric that was about $11 regular price, $5.40 on sale, then 50% off because it was a remnant! I also love stocking up when they have 50% off red tag fabric.


26 Dawnjerrene December 11, 2013 at 12:07 am

Sheets can make very nice fabric. My kids and I like to attend Civil War re-enactments; they love the clothes. Percale sheets make wonderful dresses and pantalets for the girls. Thrift stores usually have lots of used sheets, in patterns and solids. Lots of fun for little money. 🙂


27 Yvonne December 11, 2013 at 6:48 am

Hey in my neck of the country the yard & garage sales are not “little old lady” stuff. Nor “nick nack ” crap. ! Thrift stores are great for fabric from comforters, clothing, craft stuff also to make quilts, blankets and wool for beautiful rugs.


28 Merissa December 11, 2013 at 8:19 am

So lucky! 🙂


29 Libby Balarezo December 11, 2013 at 6:54 am

Great tips!! Thank you 🙂


30 Heather December 11, 2013 at 11:01 pm

I’ll put in a plug for auctions here, too! Fabric is often included in “other items too numerous to mention”, rather than actually listed, but a listing for a sewing machine means there is likely fabric to go with. Auctions are also the BEST source for vintage linens, which can often be repurposed beautifully. At one auction, I spent $6 (yes, six dollars) and brought home a perfectly working sewing machine, in good shape, including cabinet and chair, a bunch of thread, both sewing machine thread and serger cones, some trims and elastic, and about 3 banana boxes worth of fabric, most of it quite nice stuff. Definitely, all of my daughter’s summer dresses came out of that bunch of fabric that year. Another time, I got two huge boxes of cotton knits for $20…but that was a very odd auction.

Also, if people around you know you sew, fabric will often find you. Be grateful for it all, and pass the icky polyester doubleknit from the ’70’s on to someone who will appreciate it (or use it for weed block?) and more good fabric will find you


31 Heather December 11, 2013 at 11:07 pm

One more auction possibility: last winter, I bought an auction box of linens because there were a couple of good wool blankets in the box, and the whole box was $5. When I got home, it turned out that there was a bunch of vintage linens and assorted tablecloths under the blankets, including a pilebof those round tablecloths that it used to be in style to have hanging all the way down to the floor, hiding a small round endtable sized table. Well, my 6 year-old was asking for “Laura and Mary” dresses and pinafores, to wear as summer playclothes. Those already-ruffled tablecloths made up into very nice little girl pinafores!


32 joanne December 13, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Small town thrift store prices are much better than the bigger towns and cities. Also, don’t forget about sheets! Lots of fabric there and often times we find new or nearly-new sheets at the thrift stores. Our local thrift store sells them for a dollar each. That’s one dollar for a whole dress 🙂 or a few aprons.


33 Melissa February 15, 2014 at 5:03 pm

OHGOSH!!! I am kicking myself now since I just got rid of the majority of the stuff but – thank you, thank you for the idea of using the old polyester knits for a weed block layer! I now have a use for any more that finds it’s way to my house!


34 Michelle March 11, 2014 at 6:45 pm

I go to Goodwill on quarter day and buy dress shirts for $.25 each.
Just watch content. Looking for the color tag that marks if it’s a quarter
Makes shopping take less time. A real score for me is a XLT men’s shirt with long sleeves! 😉 I use cotton and flannel bed sheets for quilt backs a lot if the weave is not too tight. Sometimes Bed, Bath and Beyond will have bedding on clearance and I just get picky so I don’t overdo it. Use the bottom (fitted) sheet for piecing, and the top (flat) sheet for backs or clothes. I usually end up keeping pillowcases as they are; great for giving and storing quilts in.


35 Donna March 11, 2014 at 6:56 pm

Don’t forget to buy canvas drop cloths at Lowe’s , Home Depot or Big Lots and Fred’s. Lots of yardage cheap, and you can dye it in a plastic storage tub! Very good for things that need to be durable…


36 Gaynor January 23, 2015 at 5:04 pm

Hi I live in Wales UK,sewing is going out of fashion over here,and it is getting more difficult to find shops who sell fabric.When you do manage to find someone selling fabric it is so expensive,I have even tried on eBay but they are asking £13-£33 per mt,way out of my price range.
Been looking in boot sales and church fairs ,but people know its worth quite a bit of money and they charge for it. No wonder sewing is going out of fashion, its become an expensive hobby.Sorry for going on like this but it gets very frustrating.


37 Merissa January 23, 2015 at 7:29 pm

I know exactly what you mean! Have you checked online fabric stores? I tend to find some good deals there but the ones I’ve checked are all US based sites.


38 Feliciti February 14, 2016 at 9:37 am

I know fabric is less expensive here in the U.S., but it’s gotten way too expensive, and I feel the same way as you do about sewing. I used to sew my own clothes when I was younger, but it’s not worth it now. It’s a shame.


39 Magda November 27, 2016 at 7:41 pm

I understand, and agree fabric is getting very expensive, I use to get good deals on eBay and etsy, but it’s been awhile, oh how I wish we could find good cheap fabric,, my home town, Marathon Texas


40 Denise February 27, 2015 at 1:50 pm

I used to work at a fabric store and got some good deals on fabric. I then went to a new Walmart and helped set up the fabric and craft area. I got a lot of good deals on things there. My husband threatens to have a fabric and remnant sale all the time. One good thing about it he now helps me on making quilts and does a good job at it. He bought me a longarm quilting machine. I’ve also got good deals at yard sales.


41 Margaret March 13, 2015 at 1:00 pm

The Wal Mart where I shop just got in a bunch of Waverly fabric at a very good price, cheaper than Joann’s that is across the street. I picked up a few pieces, but wish I could get more. You have to be there when they get it in as it will disappear as the word gets out. I make aprons to sell on Etsy and at our local farmer’s market. I do well because I make all kinds of aprons for adults and children.


42 judy March 14, 2015 at 7:39 am

All though it has been said to go to thrift shops… not only can you find just fabric but big dresses, shirts, pants, coats. I once found a long denim coat. I couldn’t decide to wear it or use it for patches on jeans… so I wore it until I needed it for patching. The backs of old jeans are good for patching also. I also save the pockets and zippers. I will use them someday. I still want to make a quilt out of back pockets of jeans someday.


43 Lisa S. August 14, 2015 at 11:01 am

For larger inexpensive pieces of fabric, check second hand stores for sheets, So many people donate perfectly good stuff —


44 Bethany December 3, 2015 at 4:45 am

JoAnn Fabrics remant bin has some really good deals on fabric. The pieces in the remant bin are always half and if the fabric bolts they came from are on sale then its half price off the sale price. Unfortunately the remants are no more than a yard but you can sometimes you can find several pieces of the fabric.


45 Rachel January 24, 2016 at 2:38 pm

Loved all these tips! I am a committed Joann fabrics shopper, but I’ll definitely have to try these other tips. If you do go to Joann’s definitely look in the remnants bin, I found some really amazing deals on Christmas theme fabric the beginning of December. Also, don’t forget to peruse the red tag section at the very back of the store. Sometimes the bolts are a little unorganized but they have all sorts of treasures. I found Halloween and July 4th themed fabric for $2 a yard. It was red tagged as $4, but all red tag was 50% off. Also, Joann’s does tons of coupons (a percentage off a certain item). Then if items are on sale you could still use a 20% off a total purchase coupon if they have them. And if you are a teacher or student you always get 10% off. I love deals!


46 Debbie January 26, 2016 at 10:47 am

I remember my mother would take buttons off of all kind of shirts that was old. Reused them for other shirt or dress and skirts that she use to make by her self by had.


47 [email protected] Peaceful Haven January 29, 2016 at 9:04 am

My favorite place is the thrift store…especially sheets. Thank you for all your inspiring ideas!


48 Cindy Dahlgren February 3, 2016 at 1:01 pm

Our local Walmarts sell very good fabrics, including Waverly fabric which is excellent quality for 3 to 6 dollars a yard. They also clearance fabrics for $2 to $3 a yard regularly. Keep your mind open, check for quality, you shouldn’t be able to see through the fabric unless it’s the design, watch for sales, and you can get some good quality, inexpensive fabrics almost anywhere. cdahlgren at live dot com


49 Ayman February 3, 2016 at 1:19 pm

I want to know from where or which website I can buy quilting fabric from ??


50 Merissa February 3, 2016 at 5:43 pm

I love looking for quilting fabric on They have really nice fabric!


51 Chloe Noller February 3, 2016 at 6:21 pm

Yes! All good ideas! I always like to look at cheap clothes. They provide a lot of fabric, and prom dresses at a thrift store are a really good choice. They provide TONS of gorgeous fabric for REALLY cheap!


52 Monta Reina May 30, 2016 at 6:02 am

Merissa, “My what a wonderful thing you share with others”, your time away from your family and your knowledge which will leave a lasting impression on all the young ladies either beginners in sewing or young mothers.
I can remember my Mom teaching myself and my little sister to sew…my sister is a master quilter/sewer. Myself, a tom-boy always out riding my horse and enjoying the outdoor life. I like to sew and really am into quilting. A beginner as I have always worked away from home.
To this date, so many fond memories of my very favorite teachers in school was my Home Economics teacher and her husband was my sixth grade home room teacher. With my parents and my favorite teachers strong leadership of showing love, kindness, their knowledge, respect of others and belief in God has remained within all my life. I too, shared this with my son and with all whom I know.
So, go forward young one and know that your sharing will always be remembered by someone’s.
I respectfully send this “Thank You”…


53 mpv61 June 20, 2016 at 6:21 pm

I found a beautiful 100% cotton name-brand duvet cover from Savers (a thrift store) for a great price. It’s twice the size of a regular sheet; I’ll be putting that in quilts for a while to come, and perhaps using it as a backing.

I’ve also found quilting fabric there for 50 cents or a buck a yard, and recently found yards and yards of Jumbo ric-rac that I’ll use in a quilt at some point.

Also, let the world know you’re looking for fabric, and what types. People looking to downsize may shower it upon you!


54 Maureen Walther July 13, 2016 at 9:07 pm

I went to an estate sale that had a large bedroom FULL of fabric, zippers, patterns, buttons etc. There were several of us that were in heaven that day.
We have a thrift store near by that has a bag sale once a month. As much clothing as you can fit in a shopping bag for $5. I stock up buying large full skirts and dresses. I even buy clothes that can be restyled. I made several outfits for my daughter when she was in high school. I used old 60’s patterns and retro fabric from clothing to make her dresses that her friends coveted.


55 Linda Simpson August 28, 2016 at 6:11 am

For those of you that are interested in quilting fabric, has an area on there web site that has fabric for $4 a yd, All first quality quilting cottons. I have bought from them many times in the past & they are very nice if you need to call. If you don’t see anything you like, keep checking back as this section has a major shift several times a yr. Buyers go to Houston to “Market” & when they come back they clearance all the old stuff out to make room for the new. Good luck to all. If you happen to see a fabric/quilting store go out of business that is the time to do a major buy. I did that after Hurricane Katrina, now I have friends that prefer to shop out of my stash, as we have very few places to buy fabric in the state, or even neighboring states. If you are visiting FL make part of your vacation, fabric shopping–they still have lots of nice stores especially in the outlying Orlando area. Sadly, I no longer live in FL


56 Janet Skipper December 18, 2016 at 10:37 pm

Don’t forget about table cloths especially after the holidays. I buy the biggest size to use for my project at a thrift store.


57 John Young February 28, 2017 at 11:57 am

This list has some great places to buy fabric but none of them are very specific. One of the places I have found myself going to very often is stash builder box. Almost every time I am on the computer I realize that I am on their site looking at fabrics. I love finding new fabrics for my projects and this has some of the best I have ever seen. One of my favorite things about this website is that they send 3 yards of fabric to my doorstep every month. This is my favorite fabric website and I suggest everyone go check this out and add it to their list of places to buy fabric.


58 Lori April 25, 2017 at 11:16 pm

Thanks for the suggestions. Brand new to sewing and was overwhelmed with fabric costs, especially since I plan to make make items for a charity. Found our Goodwill store today and was almost skipping walking out the door!


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