Shopping for Sewing Supplies at the Hardware Store

on May 9 | in Products, Products & Books | by | with 114 Comments

Last month I messaged the amazing Heather of House. of A La Mode to see if she wanted to shop for sewing supplies with me. The catch? We were hitting the hardware stores! Another friend of ours, Irene, who owns a fabulous sewing studio in Southwest Portland, had been telling me about the class supplies she gets at Home Depot. So Heather and I hit the stores in search of useful tools and great deals. Here’s what we found.

 

L-Square Ruler

Most fashion design and pattern-making books recommend an L-square ruler for drafting patterns. Because you have to measure both horizontally and vertically to mark a point on a pattern, an L-square makes it easy. A perfect right angle guide can also be useful for squaring up pillows, quilts and blocks. You wouldn’t want to use your rotary cutter next to the metal ruler, but it is a useful tool for measuring and marking.

L-Square Ruler

T-Square Ruler

Like the L-Square, the T-Square can be used for drafting patterns (think pants and long dresses.) Home Depot calls this a drywall ruler, but I actually have one of these that I use for squaring up quilts. After I’ve finished quilting and I’m ready to trim off the excess batting and backing, I mark cutting lines using this extra long ruler with a perfect right angle.

T-Square Ruler

Painter’s Tape

Painter’s Tape is kind of like big, inexpensive washi. It doesn’t leave a residue and it’s easy to get off, yet it adhere’s very well. Every sewist should have some in her tool box. Use it to tape your quilt back to the floor when making a quilt sandwich, audition fabrics in a room, temporarily fix a hem, secure an embroidery design on a window when you’re transferring it to your fabric, etc., etc. etc. Now if they’d only start making it in beautiful designs…

Painters Tape

3/4″ Washers 

These inexpensive washers make the best pattern weights, which you can use to hold down your pattern instead of pinning. You can even make them pretty.

Pattern Weights

Toolboxes

These red metal toolboxes are cheaper, sturdier, and bigger than most sewing boxes. I like the red metal, but you could always spray paint it or cover it in sewing stickers. Found at Harbor Freight.

Toolbox

Suction Mount Handle

Put a handle on your cutting ruler–it will make it easier to position and hold steady while you’re using your rotary cutter. It’s also safer.  Found at Harbor Freight.

Suction Grip Handle

Paracord or Parachute Cord

Use it as drawstrings for bags or pants. Make bracelets. Cover it with fabric to make piping. Almost half the price as craft stores and it comes in lots of colors. Found at Home Depot.

Paracord

 Grip Gloves

These gardening gloves are very similar to several brands of quilting gloves.  They allow you to hold the fabric more securely and give you more control while you’re quilting on your home machine. Found at Harbor Freight.

Grip Gloves

Rotary Blades

Some people swear by these 45mm blades, while other people have found that they’re not as sharp as the Fiskars or Olfa blades. For $1 each they’re worth a shot! Found at Harbor Freight.

Rotary Blades

8 Oz. Canvas

Irene cuts up these drop cloths and uses squares of the canvas to teach kids to sew on a machine. I use the fabric as interlining for bags. It will never be seen, so it doesn’t matter what it looks like. It also comes in different weights so you can choose a stiffer or softer canvas. The price compared to canvas or duck yardage can’t be beat! (Since the dimensions of the drop cloth differ from the bolted canvas at Fabric.com, I calculated the price based on square feet rather than yards.) Found at Home Depot.

Canvas Drop Cloth

All in all, we had a pretty successful shopping trip! It really proves that the prices on hobby supplies are significantly higher than comparable products marketed toward trades or home use. We’d love to hear your thoughts. Have you used any of these products? What did you think? Are there other sewing supplies you get at the hardware store? Tell us in the comments!

 

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114 Responses to Shopping for Sewing Supplies at the Hardware Store

  1. How fun! We love finding new ways to use non-quilty supplies in our quilting and sewing work. Thanks for these tips!

  2. Patsie says:

    Awsome Tips

  3. Melissa says:

    Love this post! I’m definitely picking up some washers for pattern weights and I love the idea of attaching the handle to your clear ruler for rotary cutting!

  4. Sharon says:

    I was at our hardware store last week to get supplies for a leak iny laundry room. It is the second leak this year. When the man was gathering what I was waiting for the man to pull the pieces I needed, I ask if any ladies had been in to purchase crafting supplies. The answer was no. I told thm I would be back. They had bright pink & green extension

  5. Marly says:

    Thanks for these good ideas. I use painters’ tape a lot especially for holding down the layers of a quilt while pinning, but also for sticking paper piecing patterns to a window while copying them.
    Gardening gloves, however are no substitute for quilting gloves. They are too roomy and all the extra glove gets in the way. I tried and managed to sew the glove down to the quilt: 0.5″ protruding glove finger got caught under the needle!

  6. Lynda says:

    You can diy by taking an xacto know…can’t spell it..and scoring it where you want the cut. Then but the piece on the edge of a table/counter and hold down on it with the scored part on the edge and snap the smaller part off. I use to do oil painting on plexiglass because it was cheaper and safer to handle (reverse side painting) Now I get Lowe’s to cut pieces from their scrap barrel and got some free squares (1/4′ thick) of sizes I didn’t have and some wider long ‘rulers’ without markings.

  7. Sandi says:

    I am always looking for a cheaper better way to sew, thanks for the ideas! Here is one more. Use baseball card collector sheets (found at office supply stores) in a three ring binder to store your sewing machine needles. If you take the packets off the cards they are mounted on they will fit in the business card sheets. Happy Sewing!

  8. Karen says:

    Dollar Tree has pool noodles right now–could use those for the same idea! I will be trying this one!

  9. Rachell R says:

    Have you thought of going to a medical supply store?
    I got a roll of tissue paper (like the paper on the patient tables at the doctor’s office), which I use for pattern alterations and copying.Also, I’ll yank off a piece, cut it in pieces, staple my FMQ design on top of the stack, and “quilt” through the design through the stack with a used needle, unthreaded sewing machine. You get a whole stack of designs at once. It’s semi-transparent so you can position the designs in your quilt, quilt through the paper, and tear it away! No marking quilting designs, and it helps build muscle memory to warmup and practice the design you want to do on your quilt!

  10. Linda Collins-Daman says:

    I’m adding up the $ I could have saved….especially the ruler gripper tool

  11. Annie says:

    Very cool. As I am now finding and organizing various stashes of sewing info, tips, implements and fabric from years of being too busy working to sew (but collecting nonetheless) I am realizing the abundance of help there is on this site! Thank you so much. I’m off to move my unused angled tweezers from cosmetics to my sewing space, Thanks!

  12. Annie says:

    Great idea! Thanks.

  13. Annie says:

    This is super insight! Thank you so much.

  14. Mary says:

    All of the above, but my favorite hardware store/IKEA piece is a graining weight I made from some hardware store chain I bought for a curtain hem, but didn’t end up using, and some clamp hooks I got from Ikea. I put them together and came up with about 90″ of hooked chain that can be clipped onto fabric that I’ve hung; it is pulled back on-grain by its own weight. Works great.

    If you want to see what it looks like, it’s about halfway through this post-
    http://livingonpinsandneedles.blogspot.com/2012/08/maximizing-fabric.html

  15. Pamela says:

    Great info! Thank you for sharing!

  16. Wendy says:

    This is a fantastic post–I’ll definitely be reading through all of the comments on this one and making a list for the next time I go to the hardware store!

    My mom bought herself an awl at the hardware store which she uses all the time while sewing–punching holes, holding things in place, etc. She is always raving about some new way she found to use it!

  17. Jan m. says:

    A few years ago ALDI food store, had these round heavy door stoppers with a rubber bottom to them. They are are sooooooo wonderful to hold down fabric. I have 4, but wish I had bought more. I use them so often in craft projects and sewing, I wish they would sell them again.

  18. Joanne Comstock says:

    Love these ideas. I bought a red heavy duty toolbox from Sears about ten years ago. I also have several of the small storage boxes meant for nuts and bolts that I store my thread in. I have it sorted by color and also thread type. Very handy to see colors at a glance and also keeps the thread ends neat and tidy.
    I have also made good use out of the foam pipe insulation found in the plumbing department. It comes in 8ft lengths I think. It has a slit down the middle of it. I cut the tubing in lengths of a metal clothes hanger bar and slip it over the bar. You can hang all sorts of fabric over this “padded” bar without getting creased. I hang quilt binding on it while I wait for my quilt to come back from the quilters. Also useful to hang “quilt tops in progress” or completed quilt tops that you aren’t ready to quilt yet. My sewing room closet holds several of these hangers keeping my quilt fabric handy but out of the way and wrinkle free.

  19. Michele says:

    My favorite tool it’s a 45 degree angled tweezers. I use itfor a stiletto. When you get toward the end of the fabric you are seeing, I grab both ends with my tweezers so they stay together. I use it for pulling threads out when frogging, holding small things together when fusing and a whole list of other stuff! I keep several so I don’t have to worry about looking around for one.

  20. carlyn says:

    This is great information..opened up a new world to me for crafting/sewing supplies! Thank you…

  21. Kathy Salkeld Bonilla says:

    I used big heavyweight washers about 3 inches square. I covered them in batting and glued. Then I covered that with the prettiest batik fabric! I just LOVE them!

  22. Celine says:

    I buy packs of little tin handled acid brushes to clear lint from my sewing machine. You can get them at Home Depot. http://thd.co/1uNxX6r

  23. MoeWest says:

    I bought a magnetic telescoping wand in the automotive dept. which is meant for picking up screws but works great for those stray pins on the floor. It was less than $5. These are great tips. I made myself a shopping list!

  24. Shirley says:

    I already used a lot of these things but you have given me some great ideas. Thanks so much!

  25. Debbrah says:

    A telescoping magnetic wand is the perfect tool for picking up those dropped pins! Harbor Freight has them for not much money and they always have 20% off coupons too!

  26. Ann says:

    My craft and sewing room has two marvelous gray steel with aluminum drawer fronts and wood tops work tables like you might see in a mechanic or workshop– on wheels. They let my tools lay flat and easy to find, the long one has a cupboard that locks that holds my serger, and the smaller one ALL the drawers lock so no more losing my sewing scissors to “I just need them for a moment…” and the smaller one easily rolls to where-ever I need it to keep all the tools handy.

    My next one will be black and I plan to post my bumper sticker collection on the back of it.

    I got mine on sale from Sam’s Club.

    My sewing table is a narrow table like you would put behind a couch. It works very well and looks so nice! I got that one at an unfinished furniture store and they finished it to order. Lots of leg room under my sewing machine now and no more bumped knees.

    The shelves in my work room are six foot tall, heavy duty for use in storerooms, but a nice shinny metal, adjustable shelf spacing, deep enough for plastic bins, and it makes the BEST unit for holding all the project bins and supply bins– AND it is on wheels! Even the closet won’t hold that much so neatly.

    LOVE this article. Need to do some sewing room shopping! Wheeee!

  27. Lindsay says:

    Great tips! I have picked up metal rings for purse hardware and rope for bag handles.

  28. Marie Dejn Rasmussen, Denmark says:

    I have always looked in the hardwarestore for things to use in my sewingroom, maybe because I was a painter way back in the 70´ties, so the hardwarestore is a familiar place for me.

  29. Billy says:

    Harbor Freight has lots of coupons too. Those metal bowls are frequently on sale. They also have a long slender magnetic bar meant to hold tools. I use it to hold knives in the kitchen, and one in my craft supplies.

  30. JulieCC says:

    I do this, too. U.S. Toy also has some great split rings, D-rings, lobster clasps, etc.

  31. JulieCC says:

    I got a thrifted Pottery Barn bowl and hot glued super strong magnets to the bottom of it for a magnetic pin dish. Love it!

  32. JulieCC says:

    I use the foam board with thrifted flannel sheets on it for my design wall (well, it’s not on a wall…just where I lean it!

  33. JulieCC says:

    I use the IKEA pillows for $1.49 each. They are 12″ or 14″, can’t remember which. And their fabric is amazing!!! You get to cut it yourself, too! :-)

  34. Kathi says:

    I do a lot of cross stitching,and I don’t like those cardboard holders for the floss.So I ordered something called Ez Bob Bobbins,that look like donuts to wrap my floss on.Then came the ? OF how I was going to store them,so took a trip to a sporting goods store,and found the perfect fishing box.They already had separated rows in them,and each row holds 36 bobbins,so a total of 144 bobbins per box.These were a great deal,much cheaper than what you find at craft stores.
    Kathi

  35. Rhonda says:

    Oops! Forgot some others too:
    * Foam core board for a portable design wall — covered with batting that’s held down on the back with duct tape
    * silicone spray (NOT the automotive stuff) for making the overlay on my Sweet Sixteen table slick
    * Half-inch thick ply board/MDF cut to my size by the store then covered with batting and calico and held down with staples (staple gun from hardware store too) and duct tape to make a solid and portable ironing surface

    –Rhonda

  36. Rhonda says:

    Great tips! I can see one of those big T-squares in my future. I find lots of stuff at the hardware store that I use for my quilting. For example:
    * PVC 25 mm irrigation pipe for leg extensions on a fold-up table (also from the hardware store), with plastic feet to prevent scratches on the floor. The hardware store cut it for free too. And hand grips to hold the backing, batting etc. in place when basting. Details: http://rhondabracey.com/2013/04/22/basting-table/
    * Deep icecube trays for storing bobbins: http://rhondabracey.com/2013/04/02/bobbin-storage/
    * Blue painters tape for securing Handi Quilter overlay to the Sweet Sixteen table: http://rhondabracey.com/2012/11/15/overlay-taped-onto-hq-sweet-sixteen-table/
    * Plastic storage boxes with compartments for storing odds and ends: http://rhondabracey.com/2013/04/26/handi-quilter-under-table-storage-solution/
    * Plumbers tape for fixing a loose screw hole on my quilting machine: http://rhondabracey.com/2013/05/27/handy-quilter-sweet-sixteen-fixing-a-loose-top-spool-holder/
    * PVC pipe or portable wardrobe/hanging rack plus bungee cords and hand clamps to hold a heavy quilt up and stop drag when quilting: http://rhondabracey.com/2014/04/27/improvise-bungee-cord-system-to-hold-up-quilt/

    And for a couple of other tips:
    * Using quilt batting in the garage to prevent marks on car doors from bricks: http://rhondabracey.com/2013/06/24/reusing-quilt-batting-in-the-garage/

    And for something out of left field:
    * using plumbers abrasive tape to clean stubborn water stains on porcelain: http://rhondabracey.com/2013/12/26/cleaning-stubborn-water-stains-from-a-toilet/

    –Rhonda

  37. Nola says:

    I love this article. My favorite find at the Hardware store was a wristband that has a strong magnet sewn in. It is made to hold small tools, but I use it for pins. As I pull a pin from my fabric, i only have to move the pin in the direction of the wristband and it “catches” the pin. It is awesome. I got it at Lowes for $10.00. I have also seen large strong magnets on a long handle that are made to pick up nails, They are awesome for running over a floor to pick up stray pins that have dropped.

  38. Linda L. says:

    Some hardware stores will cut the plexiglass for free or very cheaply to whatever size you want.

  39. Lynnelle says:

    Ok, I got one for you. We have a MicroCenter (computer store) nearby. They had the magnetic catch bins for $1.99 each. Beat Harbor Freight by 1 to 2 dollars. Now I have some for each type of pin I have. Look at your automotive stores too for things you can use, same with dollar stores.

  40. D J says:

    I got adhesive sand paper, cut into half inch or smaller squares, applied to back of rulers to make them non-slip.Harbor Freight I think.

  41. There’s lots of supplies I never buy at a boutique or craft store because the mark up is so crazy. For example, you can get all sorts of wires in different gauges and colors for 50 – 70% less than craft stores. I also like to keep my eyes open for paintbrushes, mixers, and new dremel attachments.

  42. Ellen says:

    I use polar fleece blankets from Ikea for batting. The cheap white ones with the grey squirl. Not quite a hardware store. Saves me heaps as I’m now retired. No pins needed or spray as it grips to the quilting cotton and you can fingers press as you go. Maybe not for Quilt Show quilts but perfect for warm family quilts.

    • Kristin says:

      Excellent idea!! We should definitely take a trip to IKEA too. The pillow forms are a great deal.

  43. Michelle Holloway says:

    Thanks for such useful tips. I have had custom templates cut from plexiglass at hardware store. No fancy markings but less than a dollar. I purchased clear shoeboxes from lowes to store fabric in by project or color. I live in the country with a dirt road so too much dust. The plastic boxes keep fabric clean and organized.

  44. Joyce Mosby says:

    I also like the magnetic bowl about four inches across. They sell them for about two or three dollars on sale at Harbor Freight. Pins and needles stick and the whole thing sticks to a white board, file cabinet, or fridge. I used them when I taught Home Ec. The original use is for nuts and bolts, screws, nails, etc.

    • Kristin says:

      Several people mentioned this! Great idea! I’m sorry I missed seeing them on this trip.

  45. kathyh says:

    Purse hardware/fasteners are way cheaper at hardware store. Lobster claw/ d rings/ etc.
    I actually love the puzzled looks at my local hardware store( GO Canby Builders!) as they try to figure out what I am making next.

    • Kristin says:

      I thought about this, but I didn’t know where to look! I’ll have to did a little next time. Thanks for the tip.

  46. Sarah says:

    This was what I was going to say too – I use it for tracing patterns, altering patterns, wrapping presents and things. My kids paint and draw on it. Very useful.

  47. Sue says:

    Sounds great but a word of caution. I tried the carpet cutting wheel (marked as titanium so should have been great), but they cut very poorly. When I switched back I was amazed at the difference and will never buy them again!

  48. Afton says:

    http://www.harborfreight.com/6-inch-magnetic-parts-holder-97825.html is the link for a 6″ magnetic parts holder at Harbor Freight. It’s much cheaper than a magnetic pin cushion.

  49. Penny Kitzmiller says:

    I have read every comment and I am very surprised that no one has mentioned
    “THE PAINT CHIPS” you can do so much with the paint chips!!!! They are FREE!
    You can experiment with all the color combinations and if you do any paper crafting
    at all then you have free colored card stock. I make beautiful flowers with the
    different paint chips. Also if you make art quilts the mesh screen and landscaping
    fabric is terrific from the hardware store.

  50. Leia says:

    How does your husband cut the plexiglass to your desired size?

  51. craftalife says:

    Fabulous ideas! I just bought a couple 98¢ yardsticks the other day at Lowes. These are all great ideas. Sometimes the quality differs but it just depends on your priorities.

  52. Sondra says:

    Great ideas from everyone, thanks very much!!!!!

  53. Sharon says:

    What a great post. Thank you for taking the time to do the research.

  54. Marsha says:

    My husband makes me templates out of plexiglass that he buys at the hardware store. I 12 x 12 sheet in varying thicknesses is about $5.00. These might not replace some of the fancy ones with markings, but it comes in 1/4 inch thickness, so they are great for designs used in FMQ.

  55. Lisa says:

    I also use fishing tackle boxes for my sewing boxes. They work great!

  56. Carol Ann Johnston says:

    excellent tips for useful tools.

  57. Rachel says:

    Thank you so much for this useful information. I didn’t know any of this as I almost never go into a hardware store.

  58. Amy G says:

    Great theme! I raised a little extra month this year working as a checkout chick at a hardware store. Usually once or twice a day, someone came to the counter with something where I thought “oh that would be good in the sewing room.”

    Our stores also call large rectangles of ironing board padding/heat resistant padding which is good for ironing board covers or kitchen goods.
    Insulation board covered in batting makes a great design wall. It’s lightweight, easy to hang, but still sturdy.
    A small mdf board and a bit paint will change your blog photographs for the better.
    Hooks galore can organize your sewing space.
    Silicon tubing sliced into rings then with a small cut keeps your bobbins from unwinding.
    Builders sand is fine grain and makes a nice filler for pincushions or weighted items.
    Dowel rods are often cheaper at the hardware store for quilt hanging rods.
    Two long skirting boards can make basting a quilt heaps easier.
    Check the window section for curtain grommets, often cheaper than a craft store.

    …I could go on and on!

    • Kristin says:

      Wonderful ideas, Amy! Between the comments here and on Facebook, I think another post is in order!

  59. Teresa says:

    Temporary spray adhesive at the hardware store is tons cheaper than the 505 spray at the craft store!

    • Kristin says:

      Teresa, what is the brand? Do you know what it is sold for? It washes out?

  60. Darla says:

    I love Harbor Freight!! I use the 45m blades, the carpet cutter on a nearby peg for chenille cutting, look at different size hemostats (they have a huge one) for turning and stuffing. Tissue paper patterns can be transferred onto heavy duty plastic drop cloths for a permanent pattern. I’ve purchased large nuts and washers, then covered them with cute fabic and buttons. Reminder: Keep magnets away from computerized sewing machines, cd/DVD & USB sticks.

  61. Nice round-up! :)

  62. Martha says:

    I use the washers all the time in my sewing room when cutting out patterns. I have some large and some smaller sizes, too. Painter’s tape is a staple.I get those small compartment boxes for sewing feet and needles at Lowes. They are also available in the fishing department at Walmart, too. They are several dollars cheaper there than at Joanns etc. Last time I got a pink one, believe it or not. Great ideas!

  63. AshleyC. says:

    The brown painter’s paper is great for drafting patterns! A huge roll for only $8 :)

  64. Audrey says:

    Thank you for the fabulous ideas!

  65. Sky says:

    I saw a Lowe’s advertisement for painter tape in patterns, they have chevron, scalloped and another pattern but I forget which.

  66. Judy Nolan says:

    Great tips! If you make cloth-covered rope baskets, the rope at the home improvement store is a lot cheaper. Just make sure you get cotton, not a synthetic cord. And it goes without saying that hemp, twine or jute are less expensive at a store like this than at a craft store.

  67. Valerie says:

    Genius! These all look super handy, I especially love the tool box, and the canvas will be a great option of outdoor pillows or cushions, and super cheap window treatments. Next time I head to the hardware store I will be keeping this list in mind :)

  68. Shian says:

    I love all the ideas here. I purchased an artist cantilever tool box, similar to the metal one but in plastic. I will certainly look in my local Bricodepot store here in France for some of the other items. My husband also made me the turning tools from plastic piping with dowelling for turning, as Kyda mentioned. My sister-in-law in Portland also sent me the real McCoy, the Fasturn kit which are great for fine bootlace tubes.

  69. Hillary says:

    I got a pile of washers at my local Ace and they gave me a discount for buying several. Score! I don’t bother with the blue “painter’s” tape though. It’s more expensive than masking tape and since I’m mostly using it to hold down backing while I pin baste a quilt I know I’ll be removing it in a few hours at most. The blue stuff is designed to come off easier after being left in place for some time.

    I also have a cheap piece of smooth molding that I use to trace a few reference lines on my quilts when I’m straight line quilting.

  70. Patsy says:

    Dollar store also has the grip gloves for A buck

  71. Grandme says:

    Years ago I bought a roll of “sewer” cloth at a Lowes store. It came in 48″ or 56″ width and about 500 yds per roll for under $30.00 US (not sure on sizes and price as I bought it so long ago). I use it for pattern tracing (for garments it can be basted and used for fitting before cutting garment fabric), several layers make stabilizer for embroidery, several layers are a light-weight interfacing, etc. I have shared with several people and still have several years supply on my roll. The guy in Lowes asked what I wanted it for and thought I was a little crazy (aren’t all quilter/sewers?) but it was so much cheaper than commercial pattern tracing material and much wider. And the spelling works for me to call it “sew-er’s” cloth.

    • Kristin says:

      Sounds amazing. I haven’t run across anything like that.

  72. Nathan and Laurie says:

    Also, use cable ties instead of boning for prom dresses. etc.

  73. Sandra Chavez says:

    I bought a 20″ x 60″ workbench from Harbor Freight. Made an ironing cover – now I have an ironing surface with four drawers and a long shelf for my ironing and embroidery supplies. Also bought a magnetic pan that works great for pins and other metallic tools. Thanks for the great ideas.

  74. Carole M says:

    Some great ideas! I certainly would be willing to take a look at rotary blades. Heck get one of those blade sharpeners I saw Nancy Zieman talking about the other day and Bob’s your Uncle.

  75. Taryn B says:

    I love getting brown kraft paper at the hardware store. You get it in big rolls and it’s super cheap. I use it mostly for gift wrap, but I could also use it for drafting patterns, I suppose.

    • Kristin says:

      We actually photographed the big rolls of paper but the price was comparable to all the other places I found online so I didn’t include it. But it seems like maybe the yardage was wrong on the label on the shelf. I think it said 110 feet, but it must be much more than that on those big rolls.

  76. Carrie says:

    I’ve tried the rotary blades for carpets. Maybe they work on cutting batting, but on fine quilting fabric, they don’t do the job. I even tried sharpening them. Waste of $$, & very frustrating.

  77. michelle t says:

    I use zip ties (those plastic strappy things) in my side seams and casings for boning in dresses and costumes…WAAAAAAy cheaper than boning from fabric store.

  78. Dot says:

    I tried some inexpensive yellow grip gloves (not from Harbor Freight, maybe from Cost Plus Imports?). Luckily I was just quilting a practice piece, because the color transferred to my fabric. I’d test colored gloves for color-fastness before using. White gloves would be safer. I love the giant T-square, and have added it to my shopping list.

  79. Bette says:

    I made curtains out of drop cloths for our bedroom! MUCH cheaper than buying curtains!
    I may be making a trip to Harbor Freight for those rulers!
    thanks!

  80. sewinglady1951 says:

    I make my own drapery weights with washers enclosed in a scrap of muslin. WAY cheaper than the ones in the fabric stores. I use bigger washers and put two of them together for each weight.

  81. Vernita says:

    I find hardware for handbags and purses and totes at Home Depot…snap clips and d rings and tubing for handles and rope and chains….

  82. Patsy Sweetra says:

    I also make use of the plastic storage bins from Harbor Freight. I use one just for bobbins and machine feet. It works great.

  83. Cindy says:

    I already knew some of these, but the last 2 actually made me gasp with delight! LOL! Thanks for the tips!!

  84. Brenda says:

    Also, a magnetic bowl to hold your pins. It I so strong it stays put on the ironing board too.

  85. Ohh great substitute for the duck canvas! I’m going to remember that the next time I need some, so much cheaper than me ordering and shipping to me since I’m overseas now.

  86. Veronica says:

    I’m definitely headed to HD to buy some rotary blades! Great tip. I also buy 1 1/2″ and 2″ metal welding rings there instead of from purse suppliers for when I’m making a new bag.

    • Kristin says:

      Make sure you go to Harbor Freight. Home Depot doesn’t carry the blades from what I understand.

  87. Tara says:

    At harbor freight I got a wonderful steel magnetic bowl, meant for nails and screws I think. I love it for pins. And, the bowl itself is magnetic on the bottom too, so I keep it on my magnetic white board with pins it it, and the pins don’t fall out! It was under $5.00.

  88. Brandi F says:

    i think these are GREAT suggestions! i have found a lot of great items there as well. love the shower grip tip! i have the exact one — even amazon can’t beat that price! ;)

  89. luann says:

    harbor freight has a magnetic bowl (2 sizes) that is magnetic & great for pins!

  90. Ashley G says:

    Wow! Great finds! Will you do a follow up post on how well some of these work compared to the craft store versions? i.e. those carpet blades and the gardening gloves?

  91. Rose says:

    OMG! I have been sewing for years and never even thought to go to Home Depot or somewhere similar for these things! What an eye opener, thank you thank you for this. I will be letting everyone know.

  92. Sara says:

    I use drop cloths as cheap fabric for prototyping my bag patterns! I’ll have to check out some of the other supplies you pointed out!

  93. Pam says:

    Next stop, grocery store. Blue tape comes in small rolls too. Great for sit n sew. I’ve read mixed reviews on the cutters. Don’t forget rubber tubing cut into small pieces for bobbins (keeps it from unraveling).

  94. Rhonda says:

    I use the carpet blades. My sewing machine bag broke, so now I use a tool bag on wheels from Home Depot. About 2/3 the price of a new sewing trolley bag.
    Harbor Freight also has great magnetic bowl for your pins, but the magnet is STRONG so you have to mind where you put it. Great trip on the canvas and paracord!

  95. Cheryl says:

    My new find is using clear plastic sprinkler tubing, cutting it open lengthwise, and using it as a bobbin holder.

    • Kristin says:

      Oh that’s a good idea! I’d love to see a photo.

  96. Kristi says:

    Love this idea! Will definitely be checking out the canvas and rotary blades at the hardware store.

  97. Liberty says:

    I’ve used the painters’ tape in bulk… Especially with hand quilting…. And the canvas drop cloths have been used a lot too when I’m making grocery bags – I’ll use them to bolster orphan quilt blocks and end up with some cute grocery bags.
    The t-squarw ruler though…. Genius.
    Also – yard sticks cost less than a dollar at the hardware store…. Very handy…

  98. Annie Dee says:

    Fantastic idea! Great job.

  99. Kyda says:

    I’ve also shopped for sewing stuff at a hardware store! ;) I LOVE those big washers for pattern weights! I tried one of those suction handles but either I wasn’t using it right or it was too big as I couldn’t get it to work. I also got some hollow plastic tubing cut down to use as a tube turner! the tubes I was turning were 50 inches long, way too long for my joann’s purchased tube turner. only problem was I forgot to get a bigger stick. I’m thinking a dowel rod would work, I just didn’t have the time to go back and try… You’ve got some fantastic tips here that I never thought about and will definitely have to try! ;)

    • Kristin says:

      I think I’m going to have to see photos of this. Several other people mentioned it, but I can’t picture how it works. Thanks for the tip!

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