While it may make the employees (and a good portion of the customers) at Lowe’s all think you’re crazy, hardware stores and home improvement stores are great places to shop for craft supplies.  (If you’ve never experienced the strange looks, try out stovepipes to see which one fits on your head best or spend an hour matching plastic electrical bits against fabric swatches.  You’ll see what I mean.)  If you’re looking for a wide variety of materials there is not better place, and most of the basics are available at budget-friendly prices.

One great cheapie item you can find there is the hex nut.  It’s not just for construction and automotive applications!  Check out this braided hex nut bracelet by Erica from Honestly… WTF.  Based on designs by Philip Crangi, you can make your own at a tiny fraction of the price compared to the designer version.  (A similar bracelet designed by Crangi and sold at Giles & Brother carries a price tag of $250!)  [how to make a braided hex nut bracelet]

Project estimate:

  • Twine or heavy string, on hand or $1 and up
  • Hex nuts, $1 and up

Total:  $1 and up