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Budget Friendly Ways to Build Your Cross-Stitch Stash

There are so many different ways to build your collection these days, that this list is just the tip of the iceberg for how to go about it.

1.      Borrowing cross-stitch pattern books

Your local library can be a fantastic resource for finding patterns that may be of interest for you. Your membership is free, and you have hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of resources at your finger-tips! If your library doesn’t have what you want on the shelf, they can place a request upon your behalf to other libraries and the item you need can be brought in. The only cost to you may be over-due fees, photocopying or printing fees.

2.      Buying things only on sale

Sales are becoming a regular occurrence for a variety of businesses and craft businesses are no exception – Mid-year sales, end of financial year sales, click frenzy sales and black Friday sales just to name a few!

Regardless of whether the items are on sale or not, I really enjoy browsing the Fox Collection’s website and seeing what items they have on sale.

3.      Receiving donations from other crafters

When I purchase a pattern or kit I have the best of intentions – usually I have someone in mind for the finished product. For example, I have a variety of baby themed samplers that I have never touched but bought them thinking that I would stitch them for family and friends. My family and friends have had children since I bought the samplers, but I’ve not gotten around to stitching anything for them. Resulting in me being more than happy to give away the patterns to any willing stitcher wanting to take them on.

4.      Purchasing partly completed projects

This option can be the best of both worlds – depending on what you’re interests are and what’s available. However, you will need to be patient. I did a search on the Internet in December 2018 and found that there is a limited market for people selling partially completed projects.

5.      Free downloads/ Free patterns

Type in ‘free cross-stitch patterns’ into your preferred search engine and you are bound to come up with millions of different websites and images enabling you to access free patterns that you can print off or save to your computer. Below is a list of some of my favourite sites:

6.      Swap meets/Swap parties

If this isn’t a ‘thing’ already, it should be! Not only is it a great excuse to catch up with like-minded people, but you get to add patterns and kits to your collection that you may not have otherwise been able to do and you get to pass on patterns and kits that you no longer want or need.

If you’re unable to physically catch up with like-minded people, there are a variety of groups online that encourage the buying, swapping and selling of patterns and kits. An example, is the Buy, sell and swap cross-stitch Facebook public group.

7.      Design your own charts

There are a lot of tutorials on the Internet that can show you how to design your own patterns. Depending on your learning style and how much time you have, there are YouTube clips such as Peacock and Fig’s 10 minute clip on creating your own pattern. They also have a clip on designing your own pattern using Macstitch and Winstitch software. Scribble also shows us how to use stencils on graph paper.

Peacock and Fig’s clip on Making your own cross stitch pattern – 24 December 2015

I used the phrase ‘designing your own cross stitch patterns’ to come across this sample of clips. You can use any variation of this phrase and words to come across similar results.

In summary, there are so many different ways that you can build your collection for little to no money. I’ve recently purchased and downloaded software that will enable me to convert my own photos to cross-stitch patterns – something that will keep me entertained for a long time! I’ve also found myself going through my stash of leftover threads from completed kits when I’ve run out of a colour I really need and the timing doesn’t allow me to go to the physical shop and purchase what I need.e

If you have any other ways in which you’ve built up your collection, I would love to hear about them!

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I am an avid cross stitcher. I was first introduced to cross stitch when I was primary school age. Paused for while during my teens and then took it up again in my early/mid 20's and I haven't looked back. To mitigate the amount of time I'm sitting down stitching, I'm a regular member of the gym and I'm a runner. To keep me motivated, I participate in short to medium length fun runs. Which at times feel torturous, but I feel really good at the end of them! With these activities in mind, this blog is about the combination of my experiences with running and cross stitch and encouraging people to think differently about cross stitch - it's not just Grandma's who do this anymore!