How to save money from craft and art materials – Idea 1

The marker watercolour technique

If you are reading this article, maybe you have the same problem I experience. I am spending a lot of money on craft materials and craft instruments.

how to save money from craft materials - markers watercolour

I am always saying to myself they are an investment, and partly I am right. But it is partly, not 100%, because sometimes I am spending more on craft materials and equipment than I am earning. And yes, this can be an investment for the future, I know, but there is another problem here…

I just can’t resist!

I can’t resist the shapes, the colours, the feeling of the materials, even the packages…

Аs a crafter with my own small business I stumbled into uncontrolled craft materials collecting. For two years I even didn’t even realize I didn’t need so much stuff for my work. In fact, all these materials were throttling my creativity. I was having huge trouble not only starting a new project (even though I was visualising it in my mind), but also finishing the ones I had already started. It was a nightmare period, but it’s gone now. So, to not forget this experience and to also help others like me, I wrote a book, sharing all of my painful moments and showing a path through: The Healing of a Craft Hoarder.

Maybe there are people more addicted than me and they are purchasing more craft materials than me. There are always those better and worse than us. But for me this is a problem, because in Europe we are living in a small apartment and my craft space is tiny. And I am trying very hard to not spread my “stuff” all around our home. It is already two years since I left my rented atelier and I just don’t have all the separate room any more for only craft material storage. I am starving for space!
I don’t believe there are so wonderfully organized and tidy people that their craft spaces are “enough” even though Pinterest is full of them. Are these pictures real? What about painted sheets drying, or different new projects waiting to be finished? Or a lack of space for storage that they’re just not showing us?
I know that even from my “atelier years” there is no such thing as “enough space”.
So, I am trying to heal my addiction hoping to save some money and some space since these two are so closely connected. To do so, I decided to start, not from the traditional way, but from the opposite side of the problem.

I am working my hobby

Once I realized that things became a little bit easier.
I am still very passionate about instruments but I realized that I can make a big portion of my materials myself.
Scrapbooking actually embodie this. The main idea is not to buy more and more new paper. The main idea is to use the “scraps” from all around you to create your art. See how I am doing it: my Spring greeting card.
So, why not apply this principle with some other techniques too instead of buying new materials for them?

Some “history”

I love watercolours! I love how the boxes look, I love the feeling of the wet brush moving on the thick paper! I love the smell of the dry watercolour paint box! I love the smell of the wet paper! I love the feeling of the brush in my hand…
When I was a child my father, who was an artist and Art Academy professor, was inspiring me and spoiling me with great watercolour paints from all his travels around Europe and further. Maybe my addiction grew then, I don’t know, but from my childhood I can’t resist a good box of chocolates!
Yes, that’s not a mistake! I am a chocolate lover and for me is difficult to decide which I would like more – a box of chocolates or a box of new fresh watercolours… May I have both?

The watercolour technique

One day I bought from a small One dollar shop, a very cheap pack of markers. The colours looked bright and the price was very, very low! Great deal!
Coming home I decided to try them, but because of my messy work space, while trying them I accidentally grabbed a normal marker instead of the watercolour one. And – Oh! Miracle! – I realized it works in the same way as the watercolour ones!
I immediately took the pack of markers which I bought a year ago. Very low quality, scratching and hurting the paper… I was not using them after the first try. But this time, with some water, they worked great!
So, the only thing you need is good traditional water-based markers, not the alcohol-based ones. There’s no need to buy special water colour paints! This saves you money, clearly, but also space, since you don’t have to store those extra materials.

Simple steps

First, this is saving me all important craft space and second, I am no longer putting my brush in my coffee mug instead of the water jar!

Here I will give you a small example. You can immediately see which are my favourite colours, can’t you?

how to save money from craft materials - markers watercolour

It is very simple – draw with the markers…

how to save money from craft materials - markers watercolour

… and mix with the water.

how to save money from craft materials - markers watercolour

For example, I will sketch a simple rose with markers. Blue of course.

how to save money from craft materials - markers watercolour

And after that with the water brush go over the marker lines and even spread them to make new ones. You can use only the marker drawing on your work or you can make a small palette and mix your colours there too. I prefer the palettes, because they are great for my scrapbooking projects.

how to save money from craft materials - markers watercolour

Now I have a watercolour rose.

With some other markers I can put some small details, like dots and shades. And the rose is ready! My favourite final-step-decorators are the white paint markers and pens and the thin office black and indigo Faber Castell ones.

how to save money from craft materials - markers watercolour

Tidy craft space, money saved and a great result!

And a bonus is you can show your children this technique and teach them how to be excited and inspired by exploring new ideas and techniques.

how to save money from craft materials - markers watercolour

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