Arts and craft projects

Finding craft supplies

12:42 PM

One of the many thing a lot of expats I know wonder about when trying to live in India is where to find certain things to buy be it baking gear, rare ingredients, good furniture stores, a good tailor...and craft supplies.

Crafting is one of these Western hobby that is just now starting to become more common in India, and I know that I myself found it difficult to get my hands on some in the past! and would still be in that pickle if it wasn't for a treasure trove of a school supply and stationary shop in my neighbourhood. That guy hasn't let me down once since I first visited his tiny store, and what more his shop is always packed with customers. Of course I suspect that his proximity to three or four schools made him that popular, but I also suspect he is bridging a significant gap enough in the consumer's demand. Be it parents looking for sturdy paper and a glitter glue to complete a school project or people wanting to find embroidery wool and trim, all people in the area end up at that store. Quilling, knitting, stitching, rubber stamping, painting, scrap booking...you have a hobby, that store is likely to have the basic supplies to get you started. Many of my friends told me they are happy that someone out there has all the stuff a kid needs to replicate Disney's Art Attack projects, or the now defunct CeeBeeBies Mister Maker.

We are lucky to have that store around, but if you don't live in an area with one such shop, there are ways to still stock up. I never ordered from them but there is a craft supply online store called itsybitsy.in that is according to many I know reliable and has a lot of specialised craft supplies. Flipkart also sell artist paints and basic craft paper. Another place to look in if you are living in a big enough city is the vincinty of an art college or institute, students in these places usually need to buy supplies regularly and need them quickly without having to travel all over town to find them. If it is stitching and sewing you are into, ask people in your neighbourhood where the wholesale market for textile goods is, you will find a lot of trimmings, wool, and embellishment there. I still remember tagging along with my MIL in Lucknow to find a saree border and embroidery sequins and beads, we headed to the Chowk there and there was a whole street devoted only to these supplies, and I know all cities have one of these old bazaar where specialised shops can be found tucked away in a corner, as long as you know where to look.

Papers and glue, and other stamps can usually be found in stationary shops and if the shop you visit is a good one, they could even point you in the right direction or order things for you. The best stationary shops are usually found near schools, the bigger and more well known the school, the better the chance at finding stationary shops around. Kids needing notebooks and basic art supplies to complete school projects. If you have kids in nursery and Kg chances are they are doing craft projects in school on occasion, which means the teacher can point you in the right direction for supplies as well, so it is worth asking them too. Bookstores and toy stores are another place to look as well, they might not have as much as a stationary shop, but will have crayons, paints, and pencils. Crossword has Crayola products, Landmark has basic supplies and stickers. And toy stores usually have a few craft kits in stock as this has become a nice alternative to Barbie, Dora, Spider-Man or Mickey & Co when it comes to birthday gifts. The brand Troy seems to be found even in tiny independantly owned toy stores.

And of course never underestimate what you can recycle at home, old tissue rolls, glass jars,old shoe ornaments, empty tin can, the sleeves of that kurta you never wanted to have stitched and remain in a drawer...just in case. These and much more make great craft material, with a little resources and a lot of creativity you can continue with your good old hobbies living in India, even if the sourcing of said supplies might at first seem tricky. It is all a matter of where to start looking.

9 comments

  1. Wow I didn't know they had actual store! I saw some of their products in other stores, they have a great range of paper craft items.

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  2. Arunesh1:57 PM

    Yeah, their collection is very impressive -- and not just limited to craft paper. Look like they have exclusive outlets only in Bangalore and Delhi. They seem to have hijacked Staples etc. for their products in other cities.

    http://www.itsybitsy.in/storehtml/storelocator.html

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  3. My kids watch mister maker a few times a week.

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  4. Beatrix2:44 PM

    Actually it is itsybitsy.in not com.

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  5. Thanks, I just corrected it, I get confused with these .com and .in from time to time...sigh

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  6. Amanda McMahon11:00 AM

    It is on Discovery Kids every day :) Love the record function.

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  7. will have to check that, we had to upgrade out tata sky box a few weeks back because the old one was no longer supporting all the channels for some reason, and we went for one that record things...made me like TV a bit more :-)

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  8. Hi Cyn! Love reading your blog...
    There are 4-5 more craft supply online shops which have loads of imported craft supplies...
    http://www.thecraftshop.in/
    http://www.crafterscorner.in/
    http://www.craftadda.com/
    http://www.lulupu.com/

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    Replies
    1. Hi Purvi,
      Thanks for your comment, and THANK YOU for sharing all these links, they are amazing.

      Delete

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