OK.. We all know that stealing is wrong.
A huge disclaimer: stealing ANYTHING from a small business is bad, even small things like disposable silverware. Keep your sticky fingers limited to big box stores and chain restaurants.
That being said, here are five craft supplies that you can steal:
You can use chopsticks for a variety of crafts. You can use it when you’re sewing as a point turner; I’ve used them when making stuffed animals to turn and stuff thin legs and tails. You can use them in place of dowels when making mobiles, weavings, and other wall hangings. You can also make some pretty impressive craft projects using a large number of chopsticks.
Where to get them: large grocery store chains that sell ready-made Chinese food. When I order Chinese food, I always inevitably have a leftover pair or two.
2. Disposable Sauce Cups with Lids
These are probably my most-used pilfered craft supply. These little cups are useful in a variety of ways. They are excellent for storing tiny things like beads, charms, safety pins, etc. You can also use them to drip-dry small things that need to be turned upside-down like ornaments. They are also great for storing small amounts of paint or other crafting liquids. I use a lot of glitter and Mod Podge mixed together, so if I have some leftover after a project, I can save it for another project (or touch ups later.)
Where to get them: Anywhere with a salad bar or buffet. They are usually near the salad dressings and sauces.
3. Promotional Magnets
I used to love making my own magnets out of magazine clippings, postcards, and found pieces of paper. Why buy a magnetic sheet when you can use promotional magnets! I get these from some doctors’ offices, mechanics, and restaurants. I also got one in the mail attached to a sheet of coupons I wasn’t going to use. If one business card sized magnet isn’t large enough, you can Frankenstein a few together to make it large enough. (This might be a future tutorial from me.)
Where to get them: I can think of a couple of fast food chain restaurants in my area that leave a bunch of these out for patrons to take. (Another reminder: don’t steal from a small business that purchased magnets to promote their business.)
4. Coffee Filters
Coffee filters have tons of uses. They can be used to make DIY tea bags with loose herbs. You can use them to keep soil from falling out of the bottom of a planter with drainage holes, but to still allow water to drain. With a snip at the bottom, cone-shaped coffee filters are a great makeshift funnel (particularly for putting glitter back in its container.) There are tons of lists of crafts you can make using coffee filters as a base. You can even use them to diffuse light on a camera flash.
Where to get them: You can find these in offices where they have coffee makers in their waiting areas for patrons.
5. Makeup Applicators
Makeup brushes are basically just paint brushes for your face. Use them for tiny paint touch ups on any project. Tiny fan brushes can be used for cleaning or dusting things with cracks and crevices, such as jewelry, keyboards and remotes. Since they are disposable, they are great for projects involving glue that would ruin your good brushes. The little wedge shaped sponges can be used for stamping or sponge painting small projects.
Where to get them: Cosmetic store chains like Ulta and Sephora.