Calling All Portland Crafters!
From yarn bombing the woodland creatures at Pioneer Courthouse Square to hundreds of buildings adorned with larger than life murals, there is no doubt that Portland is a city bustling with creators. For all of us who can appreciate our city’s artistic flamboyance, but prefer to craft from home, I’ve gathered a list of 5 Portland fabric and craft stores you need to visit.
1736 SW Alder Street
For its mission and prices, this place tops the chart as a crafting gem in Portland. As you might have guessed by the name, Scrap is all about reusing unwanted crafting supplies all while providing educational programs and inexpensive supplies to the community. This is the only place in town where you can get craft supplies for the change in your pocket.
From yarn to scrapbooking supplies to paint brushes, Scrap has it all. Half the fun is searching through the rubber bins in search of the perfect gift wrap, stamp or embroidery floss.
My last point of praise is their weekly crafting classes, offered at the store and other fun locations around town.
Make Scrap the first stop on your list when you’re looking to replenish your craft supplies. While you’re at it, bring some items to donate.
12115 SE Powell Blvd
I would describe this place as a delightfully peculiar collection of fabrics, trims, threads and much more. The real beauty of this place is going in with a loose idea of what you want and letting the supply guide you.
Fabrics For Less is like Portland’s version of LA’s fabric district all in one store. Lycra, velvet, sheer, lace, elastic and trim are a costume maker’s delight. What I really love is this store’s Mediterranean vibe. One wall has a variety of out-of-the-bag costumes and fun costume jewelry. It also adjoins a rug store, which makes you feel as though you’ve been swept away to a Turkish bazaar.
This store is a real treat and a must visit if you’re looking for a fresh take of your fabric purchases.
7907 SE 13th Avenue
(Moving to 1607 NE Alberta in March 2019)
If you are a person who loves tidiness and organization, walking into a Collage art and supply store is truly a breath of fresh air. From their bountiful stamp section to a rainbow of felt pens that will set any crafter’s heart aflutter, this place has just the right amount of magic for dreary Portland days.
Collage has multiple locations around the city, but the real gem I want to tell you about is the Collage Outlet. This is where you will score all the deals and discounts from the items that were originally in Collage’s craft and gift shops. Discounts typically ranges from 20 to 90 percent off.
Although these items are the leftovers from the main shops, you won’t be able to stop the difference. All of the items in the Collage Outlet are displayed with care. Before you venture into Collage’s other locations, swing by the outlet.
9701 S.E. McLoughlin Blvd., Milwaukie
4955 S.W. Western Avenue., Beaverton
If you happen to be a crafter and a lover of local history, you have to go to the Mill End Store. This place has been family owned since 1918! Their 50,000 square foot facilities provide a one-stop shop for your next project.
Mill End sources excess fabric inventory from from around the country, which helps them keep their prices low. To ensure they are your first fabric stop, Mill End will accept local fabric store competitor coupons up to 20% on one cut of fabric. Seniors (65 years +) also receive a special discount of 15 percent off any regular priced item on Tuesdays 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
The size of the facility and the amount of fabric can be quite daunting, so prepare to make an afternoon out of it. For all of you who love a good search, you’ll feel right at home.
8550 SE McLoughlin Blvd.
Prepare to put your blinders on and make a bee line for the back of the store. This old warehouse didn’t used to look nearly as posh and plaid as it does today. The entire front is dedicated to charming displays of gift shop items with Pendleton merch perfectly peppered throughout. Upon closer inspection the price tags should make anyone want to run out the door screaming. Or maybe that is just me.
This one is at the end of the list, because the discount materials can be sparse. Yet I promise there are real deals to be found at this store. In the back you’ll find bins of scraps. The materials in the bins are priced per pound. I found a beautiful blue and black plaid scrap for $6.
Since the bins are not always overflowing with good finds, it may take a few visits to find what you’re looking for. It is worth it if you like high quality wool without the exorbitant price tag.
Just one more word of warning. If anything looks neatly organized or artfully displayed, don’t go near it. You are here for the bins and only the bins.
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