Top

Archive | February 8, 2011

Big CHA Releases, Small Budget: What To Do?

Twice a year the scrapbook industry reveals it’s latest and greatest. CHA is not only a huge event for buyers and manufacturers, but those of us watching from home get to see all kinds of peeks into what is coming to stores in the near future. Seeing all of the sparkly new scrapbook supplies through blogs and twitter, not to mention video tours of booths from the show floor, can be overwhelming – both visually and to my budget! How is a crafter on a budget to choose without having to take a loan? Today I have some tips and tricks that I utilize, and that I hope you’ll find useful.

By taking some time to look around and see what is coming, and what is available, from various manufacturers and educating yourself on what your choices are, it becomes easier to resist impulse spending. Knowledge is power – and often by looking around you’ll find lines that complement each other, or are very similar, and products that truly are your “must have” items.

Here are my six rules for scrapbook supply shopping on a budget:

Rule #1: Be picky. Perhaps this sounds too simple – but when you find yourself in love with a particular line of products, it’s often the impulse to buy one of each. Instead, stop and pick no more than 2- 3 items from that given brand or line. Pick your absolute favorites that will be most useful rather than binging on any one brand or line.

Rule #2: Watch for the great bargains. The above sticker sheets from Tim Holtz and The Girls’ Paperie have an MSRP of $4.99 for seven sheets of stickers. Not only that – but the sticker designs showcase many of the best design elements from the lines so that you get a lot of value (not to mention a ‘sample’ of the entire lines) for a great price.

Rule #3: Beware of patterned paper. While seemingly inexpensive, sheets of patterned paper can add up quickly. Often new papers, while lovely, can be substituted out with older versions of similar designs. This especially goes for ledger, stripes, dots, gingham, and other classic designs. Choose carefully, and keep your existing stash and your personal creative habits in mind.

Rule #4: Invest in classics. Cardstock is a great example, or ink pads, or useful stamps or basic punches. When a product comes out that is clearly going to last a long time and be a timeless classic in your stash – it’s worth spending money on.

Rule #5: Keep an eye out for new designs that will blend nicely with your existing stash. Studio Calico (pictured above) has some items this release that I know already will work well with other brands and lines I want to work with. When choosing items, I try to be aware of what I already have, and what will complement (vs repeat) what I already have on-hand.

Rule #6: Beware of repeats! There were several lines at this CHA that reminded me a lot of lines from a few years ago. Before you invest in new stuff, check out your own stash to make sure you’re not causing history to repeat itself.

By putting thought into your purchases, and carefully selecting the few items that you love the most, you can infuse the latest and greatest into your craft projects while using up what you already have in your existing stash of supplies.

[Disclaimer: May Flaum has done design work for both Tim Holtz and The Girls' Paperie.]

Want to stay up-to-date on all the latest scrapbook news?

14