Are you a crafter? Do you love to put together little goodies to sell on Etsy.com, or just to hang on the walls of your house? Have you made all your kids' toys by hand and given homemade gifts for the past five years running? Then keep reading, because you're about to save a load of money with garage sales.
Hopefully you shop garage sales anyway, because driving to a bunch simply hunting down free boxes won't be worth the gas money. If you do, however, you can utilize a host's free box to your benefit and make some very unique crafts using the tidbits you collect without cost.
You can find all manner of fabrics in a free box -- baby socks, bibs, napkins, tablecloths, doll clothes...the possibilities are endless. An entire quilt could be made out of the little scraps you collect from free boxes. Or you could use what you find as the base for a new project -- such as reimagining an old doll dress as dress-up for your doggie. Socks can be converted into cell phone or iPod sleeves. Even little scraps can add flavor to a variety of craft projects, so don't pass up on anything that catches your eye. Start a little fabric scrap box that you keep in your car during garage sale season and make it your goal to fill it up!
Don't neglect the bottom of the box, since it's where you can often find beads and charms the host just tossed in there because they didn't want to stand up to throw them away. You'll probably also find a few dog food kibbles, the Batman action figure's missing hand, and maybe even an old Band-aid, but don't let that deter you! Paw everything to one side and try to find some treasures in the little scraps at the bottom.
If collages are your thing, you can certainly find lots of collage goodies in a free box. From old maps to black and white photographs to half of a cassette tape shell, you can put just about anything onto a collage. Note that this isn't an excuse to become a pack rat and fill your life with endless amounts of junk you'll never use, but if you think you could legitimately use something on a collage project, don't hesitate to take it.
Just about anything can make the centerpiece of a miniature sculpture, and the goodies uncovered in a free box have the added bonus of not costing you a cent. Abandoned action figures make wonderful blank slates (you can just repaint them!), as do plastic animals, unused popsicle sticks, broken plastic cups, or stiff sponges. Keep your imagination close at hand as you browse the host's box of trash and see if you can't uncover a treasure of your own.
Sometimes, books get so worn that they aren't worth trying to sell and they get tossed into the free box in the hopes that someone will find a use for them. Just think -- torn pages would make great scrapbook material! They also make wonderful collages in and of themselves; you can glue stacks of pages together and splash paint across the pages to make an interactive work of art. Any other paper materials, such as old brochures or maps, can be wonderful backgrounds on your scrapbook pages as well.
Speaking of free, stop on by GarageSaleCow.com today for free garage sale listings that you can browse and add to, as well as lots of other great tips and resources!