May 18, 2012

Big News and Sourcing the Addiction

Map of DC and Baltimore from prettymaps by Aaron Straup Cope

I'm moving! I'm off to Washington, DC at the end of the summer to go to graduate school (for a master's degree in international education, not crafting, in case you were wondering). While I can't wait for a new city and new adventures, I have a few natural hesitations. Namely, I'm worried about the fact that I'm completely and utterly spoiled rotten by New York's garment district, and all the wonderful suppliers that fill it. Beads! Leather! Fabric! Trim! It's all here.

While the larger, big-box craft stores are aplenty in the areas around Washington, I plan on living within the district proper. I also retired my dear car when I moved to New York, so am dependent on public transportation. I've spent many hours now nervously searching Yelp for fabric and craft stores within DC, but it's beginning to look like pickings are slim. What's a crafty girl to do? (TIMI's moving with me, of course!) I've developed the following options for supplying my DIY-addiction:

1. Stockpile for the craftocalypse (Kidding about the doomsday part, serious about the stockpiling)
2. Learn how to drive my boyfriend's stick-shift to the suburbs or join Zipcar
3. E-COMMERCE. While it's probably more financially savvy to only buy what you want/need for a project at hand, there's nothing like going to a store and letting materials do the talking to you. Unfortunately, that's challenging when shopping for materials online. How do you know that the shades will match? That the wire will fit the bead hole? Maybe it would be better to let someone else do the choosing for you. I'm flirting with the idea of fun craft subscription services like Whimseybox and For The Makers and a daily deals site for craft supplies, The Plaid Barn. In the case of For The Makers, I'm not too keen on the idea of them choosing the DIY tutorial and giving only a few supplies for those projects.

So tell me: what suggestions do you have? Favorite online supply retailers? Any of you live in DC, know of hidden gems, or have a favorite Michael's or Hobby Lobby? I now realize my time in New York is precious (this time around, at least), so I'm excited to explore more crafty stores this summer, like CJS Sales (a vintage warehouse!) and Tinsel Trading Company (Martha's "favorite store in all of the world"). I'm toying with doing posts about my visits to these places. Thoughts?

14 comments:

  1. I live nearby in Baltimore and no, you won't find any craft selection by foot like you can in NYC! I suggest taking the train up to NYC a few times a year to stock up. You will be able to find basic craft supplies at places like Hobby Lobby and Joann's but I'm afraid that the selection will disappoint you. It's fine, but nothing compared to what you can find at MJ Trimming! I signed up on Pick Your Plum and The Plaid Barn. I buy supplies at very good prices on both sites. I also rely heavily on etsy. Thanks for the whimsey box suggestion. I think I'll try that out this summer. DC is one of the greatest cities in the world, you will love it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good advice-- I'll definitely make craft supply runs when we return to the city : ) Thanks for the Pick Your Plum suggestion, I'm signing up too!

      Delete
  2. Erin, this is so exciting!!! I've never lived in DC, but I've been there several times, and it's such an amazing place. Two of my favorite restaurants are Thaiphoon and Pines Of Florence.

    For craft supplies, I like the idea of stocking up, but Emily also makes a great point about taking the train to NYC!

    There's also Scrap-DC, a creative reuse center. http://scrapdc.org/ I've never been there, but I'm a huge creative reuse store fan! I've found all kinds of things in the one in my area that I'd never find in regular craft stores.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sarah! I literally JUST found out about Scrap-DC, and can't wait to check it out!

      Delete
  3. Erin - congrats on your next life chapter! very exciting. Having never lived in a fabulous urban place like NYC, I have managed to get by with Hobby Lobby and Michaels... but I am sure it in no way compares! You will make do, and I look forward to TIMI transitioning with you
    xx
    Here&Now

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jessica! Before I moved to NYC, I practically LIVED in my local Michaels. While it may not have all the fancy trimmings, I love that they have a definite range of supplies under one roof. I'll definitely be scouting out the closest one to wherever I move! : )

      Delete
  4. Judith W.8:31 PM

    in chicago we have zipcars and igocars, and they are invaluable. also, i had a girlfriend teach me how to drive a stick shift, and she was infinitely more patient and thoughtful than my DH would have been had he tried to "teach" me (yell at me).

    ReplyDelete
  5. That sounds awesome!!
    I buy all my materials online. It is generally more affordable too. Ebay is a great place, just be sure to check the sellers testimonials and all before purchasing. :)

    xx

    ReplyDelete
  6. OMG.... I'm from Holland and reading your description of all that you find in NY.... I'm so jealous! I think I could easily spend a day or 10! going in and out stores and being in awh... I hate not being able to feel and see the materials I want to use so buying online is not something I like to do... If I were you, I'd stock every shelf, box, cranny and nook in your new home with supplies!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for your comment, that means a lot coming from you. I'm so glad you liked my Pollock dress. On the other hand, I wish you the best in this new chapter of your life, I'm sure you'll keep on doing wonderful DIY's.

    xxx
    Sylvia

    www.daretodiy.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. You should have a great time! I have found a lot of online resources. On pinterest search for "resources for craft materials and my board should come up. Ann

    ReplyDelete
  9. Erin!
    That is awesome!

    Can't wait to see and read about what your discover in DC!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Aww it sounds like your move is going to be bittersweet. I definitely think you should blog about your adventures in these undiscovered (by you) craft warehouses. I'd certainly love to read about them.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I like G Street fabrics and I have heard great things about a fabric store in Thurmont. There is a ribbon wholesaler in Hagerstown too. I find a lot of craft supplies at Unique Thrift and Value Village (there are probably 10 locations). I have not found one source for everything, but G Strret Fabrics is a great place to start.

    ReplyDelete

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Pin It button on image hover