Grab bundles of craft supplies from £1 via scrap stores
From tinsel to textiles, buttons to bubble wrap, ReusefulUK scrap stores let you grab dirt-cheap craft materials that might otherwise have been sent to landfill. With 90 locations across the UK, the shops are ideal for anyone looking to do fun art projects, such as families, artists, schools, childminders and community groups.
Prices vary by location. At some, there’s a small annual fee, then you can get what you need at a small extra cost. Others just charge per bundle or price items separately. This deal was mentioned recently on The Martin Lewis Money Show on ITV and many got in touch to ask for more info, so we’ve written this blog.
Who can do this?
Most scrap stores let anyone join, but for some you need to be part of a relevant community group (for example schools, childminders, Brownies, art therapists).
To check, just find your nearest Reuseful scrap store on its map. There's also a directory.
What are scrap shops good for?
ReusefulUK's goal is to find new homes for clean, usable waste donated by companies and individuals. What’s on offer depends on location, but scrap stores are Aladdin’s caves of craft goodies. We’re talking paints, brushes, playdough, balloons, tubes, corks, felt, rubber gloves, bicycle tyres, and so on. Expect to rummage through gift wrap, lace, ribbons, wire, fabric, and even knicker elastic. The list is endless.
Redecorating? It’s worth noting many scrap stores also sell drastically reduced leftover paint (check out a list of stores here).
How much does it cost to join?
Prices vary by location. For example, at Recreate Cardiff membership is free – you just pay £1 per visit. At Glasgow Replay, individual membership is £25/year, and items are priced individually (typically 10p to £10).
At North Somerset Community Scrap Store, membership is £15/year, then there’s a suggested donation of £5 per half-basket. Gedling Play forum charges £5/year for membership, which includes your first basket – further baskets are £3.
Of course, the spirit of scrap stores is you choose carefully and only take what you'll use. A few fancier items may have limits on how much you can take. Check opening times, as hours can vary.
Some inspiration ...
We've heard from many keen scrappers who've got their hands on goodies:
@martinslewis Visited Children’s Scrapstore Bristol today and picked up some art supplies for Christmas stocking presents. It's a great place to visit, supporting local charities too.
- Ruth, via Twitter
@martinslewis Hull Scrapstore doesn't have a membership fee. You can buy art supplies very cheaply. Fantastic place.
- ilona, via Twitter
I’ve been getting lots of crafty stuff, including stuffing really cheap from my local scrap store in Plymouth. Ours has huge variety of things, including fabric, thread, wool, buttons. It's a great way of being green and saving some money too!”
- MSE Forumite donna73
The scrap store is my favourite place of all time. I made the Jamaica part of a carnival float entirely from its offerings. I also usually manage to find some bits for my crafting too.
- MSE Forumite Wogglemaker
Consider giving as well as getting – how to donate
Don't worry if you've nothing special. Check with your local scrap store, but they’re usually after anything that’s clean that can be reused with a bit of imagination. Fill out this form or contact your local store to find out how to drop off.
For more ways to grab freebies and keep things out of landfill, see Freecycle, Olio and Preloved's free section. On Facebook Marketplace, as well as selling, people often give away items too – try searching for the word 'free'.
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Do you have any tips to add?