Why do our crafty stores keep closing?!?

Hi friends, Just before I got set to record my weekly crafty chat I learned that two more wonderful craft companies were shutting down. Consumer Crafts (closed as of Friday) and Darice which will close in November. Let’s talk.

The comments over on YouTube have been filled with thoughtful conversations about why this is happening. Some speculated that Micheal’s bought those companies to close them and remove the competition, others thought Michael’s needed to tighten their belts and the companies didn’t earn their keep. Some thought Covid-19 store closures were to blame and the fact people may have lost income and stopped buying craft supplies. Another thought is that the stores didn’t have enough to sell between tariffs and China getting hit hard by Covid-19 and having to temporarily close so many factories. One viewer smartly noted that most art supplies are made in USA/Europe and most craft supplies are made in China. I think it was a little bit of everything.

I had many people ask for recommendations of where to shop for supplies online. I’ll share my favorites. Feel free to share yours in the comments below:)

Craft/stamp stores

  • Topflight Stamps: They carry a huge selection of stamps from around the world that are hard to find elsewhere. They are also a sponsor of some on my YouTube videos. SAVE 10% off your next order with coupon code: thefrugalcrafter10 *USA orders of $50+ ship free!
  • Hallmark Scrapbook: This store is a gem, The prices are great, they carry lots of popular brands. Lots of papercrafting and mixed media supplies and the owner Jodi is so sweet!
  • Joggles is a treasure trove of all kinds of supplies from stamping, altered art, felting, paper crafting mixed media and more but their highlight is their stencil selection!
  • Scrapbook Pal is another winner especially if you want great prices on Copic markers, nibs and refills. Lots of papercraft goodies too!
  • If you can’t find what you want at the above companies chances are Simon Says Stamp will have it. Their prices are a bit higher than the other companies but their selection is second to none. Shipping can be slow tho.

Art Supply companies:

  • Jerry’s Artarama has great prices on brand name art supplies but also has a few propriety brands that are fabulous. You can find Creative Mark products, their house brand, that is excellent! I even have 3 signature sets with them:)
  • Blick Art Materials is a great resource for artists and teachers alike. They also have great prices on a huge selection of name brand art supplies and their Blick Studio line of products (Their Brush markers are so good!) is not to be missed!
  • Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff, the name says it all!
  • Jackson’s Art Supplies This UK based company ships worldwide and their prices and postage are very reasonable which is nice for folks outside of the USA with fewer choices. Good prices for USA shoppers too!
  • And finally I want to mention a newcomer to the art scene, Arteza has American and UK shops and ships to many countries. They have a wonderful selection of higher end student art supplies and fantastic prices. I recommend this for people who want to experiment with solid quality supplies for little money. Great supplies to give your teens as well. I use their stuff a lot and really, the quality for price can’t be beat. They have offerings in most art categories. Looks go the “expert” label for the highest quality products. You can also save 10% on your order with coupon code: LindsayWeirich1

I’m sure there are more stores to suggest. The customer service at these stores are top notch too. I would be heartbroken if any of those stores closed down so if you are in need of any art supplies please have a look there first. You won’t be disappointed! The stores I mentioned carry a large variety of brands and products which I thought would be very useful to you. Feel free to share recommendations in comments. Happy crafting!

*This post contains affiliate links.

13 Responses

  1. maybe online is cheaper.

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  2. I stil am looking for the pigment powders you shared a few weeks ago

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  3. I am glad to see the quality in Arteza products. When I started looking for arts and craft supplies I knew of some major (expensive) brands, but couldn’t see spending a lot when I really did not know what I was doing. . Some of the inexpensive materials I got were really sub-par and I was sorely disappointed. I have most of what I need in terms of supplies for a long time now, but friends often ask for recommendations for themselves or their kids and I’ve found the Arteza products one that I can rely on recommending.
    Also, the Ohuhu marker sets, which I have recommended to my neighbor’s teenage daughter who is getting into alcohol markers and looking to “graduate” from Sharpies.

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  4. I will miss Consumer Crafts. A good online store I use is Scrapbook.com. They have a good selection, reasonable prices, and they offer a wide selection of free classes.

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  5. I’m sad to hear that consumercrafts has closed. I would spend a couple hundred twice a year just for their sales.

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  6. Hi Lindsay

    Great email content – thank you!

    What do you mean, though, in your last paragraph: ‘Looks go the “expert” label for the highest quality products’? I’ve read it and re-read it, and still don’t get it!

    Best wishes, Gillian (in the UK)

    sender: Gillian Hawkins

    >

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    • Opps, I need to proofread:) That would be “Look for the Expert label for the highest quality product.” They have premium supplies too which are more student grade and expert are closer to artist grade.

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  7. I don’t know for a fact, but I am betting on all the online purchases. It is putting brick and mortar stores out of business. They entice us with great deals, free shipping, the convenience, etc., and once the “real” stores are gone, what will it look like? I had a bad experience buying some paintbrushes from a catalog. They looked absolutely nothing like what was depicted….no nice point and totally shoddy. It was aggravating having to go through the procedure to send them back, not to mention the total disappointment when unwrapping them. From that point on, I decided to shop in real stores where I can see and touch the product. It may cost a little more (and the good art stores are over an hour away) but I’d like to keep them in business. I’ve been seeing what the mainstreets of many smaller towns are looking like, and I don’t like it one bit. Store and after going out of business and large logistical centers being slapped up where fields and forests used to stand. Trucks clogging up our highways, and quaint little German towns going downhill. I’m not going to be part of it.

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  8. Thank you for the art supply recommendations. I’ve really been struggling with where to shop.

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  9. Dharma Trading company is excellent, but I don’t know if they carry fine art supplies. I use them for fabric paint.

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  10. Wow! I had not noticed that Consumer Crafts had gone out of business, but now that I think about it I guess I have not been getting their e-mails like I always had! LOL! I didn’t know that Michaels had bought them either! Don’t guess I’ll miss them much, though since I never found any great deals there other than the Darice embossing folders! And the last few bunches of embossing folders were pretty bad so I had not bought any in ages. LOL!

    I can see a lot more craft stores going out of business as we see prices go up on absolutely everything as this country tries to recover from the COVID-19 shutdowns. Inflation is going to skyrocket even more than it already has and everything will go to just trying to put food on the table and paying the heat and insurance bills. I don’t see much crafty fun in the future for a lot of us.

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  11. Are they the same company? I just want to Consumer Crafts, address is listed as on Darice Parkway. The site directs you to Michaels.

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  12. I enjoy getting your newsletters and watching your videos Lindsay. Unfortunately however I live in Canada where prices are very high and our Canadian dollar low in comparison to the U.S. So although I’m not happy about it, I’ve had to resort to shopping on Alliexpress from China. I would much rather purchase from the U.S. but the exchange coupled with shipping costs has stopped many of us Canadians from shopping there. That may also have some impact on the stores in the U.S. as well.

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