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Want to be a seamstress but are shocked by the high price of fabric? Here’s where to buy fabric so that you can make the most of your crafting budget.
Cheap Places to Buy Fabric
I’m not a big-time 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 to check out.
–If you are new to sewing, first check out my list of 7 Tools Every Beginning Seamstress Must Have!
Where to Buy Cheap Fabric
While this is not an exhaustive list of where to buy cheap fabric, these are some of my favorite places to look. Be sure and read through the comments from other readers for even more ideas and leave your own comments as well!
Cheap Fabric at 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 or sometimes even craft items. Garage sales that are advertising children’s clothing and similar items are generally not the place to look for fabric. If you find a large amount of fabric that you want to buy, don’t forget to ask for a bulk price!
Cheap Fabric at 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. Many of these senior center sales can be offered on a donations basis which means you might be able to find a great deal!
Cheap Fabric at 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 at least a dozen of bundles of fabric.
These bundles are a little more expensive than the previous 2 options, but as I said, if you have a good local thrift store, you have a pretty good chance at getting fabric 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.
Cheap Fabric at 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. Check online at the store you are going to first for coupons.
Cheap Fabric at 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 Fabric.com. 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:
- 10 Minute Baby Receiving Blanket Pattern
- Easy Fleece Hat Pattern
- 15 Minute DIY Pillow Covers
- DIY Maxi Skirt
What are some of the places that you buy cheap fabric from? What projects are you working on right now?
This article on where to buy cheap fabric was originally published on Little House Living in October 2012. It has been updated as of January 2019.