Why I love hardware stores (and you should too)

Let me start off by saying that, in my opinion, craft stores trump all other stores. The amount of potential in a craft store is overwhelming. I can look at the most minuscule little item and think of a zillion and one ways to turn it into something fun… which is why I go in for one item, and leave three hours later with a cartful.

But that’s to be expected, right? I write a sewing blog, I’m pretty open about my love for crayons and I had to pick my roommate up off the floor when she first saw my colossal sticker collection. Of course I love craft stores.

But I don’t exactly fall into the typical “hardware store” demographic.

Tim Al Home Improvement

I don’t wear a tool belt. Or plaid.

I’m not sure when my opinion about hardware stores changed. I remember being dragged to the hardware store throughout my childhood and thinking it was the worst shopping trip ever. My brother and I found solace in the doorbell section… lots of buttons to push, both literally and figuratively.

The other day, I went to the hardware store for a mop (they have the best section of cleaning supplies!) and I was reminded how much I’ve grown to love hardware stores. They’re just intensified versions of craft stores. The difference is that the floor is a lot dirtier, the merchandise is pretty heavy and the tools and chemicals in there might kill you if used improperly (whereas the hot glue gun at the craft store? Just a minor burn, people).

But really, the differences aren’t important. The bottom line is that both stores are exploding with potential. A bunch of people might buy the exact same item and use it in a different way, for a different reason or with different results.

See what I mean?

Pattern Weights from bolts and washers

Toni at Sugar Tart Crafts uses washers and bolts wrapped in ribbon as pattern weights! Brilliant.

Paint chip gift box and bow

Crafters go cuckoo for paint chips… check out this amazing paint chip gift box and bow from Style with a Smile TV.

PVC Pipe Playhouse

Of course, every great playhouse starts with PVC pipes… including this playhouse from PVCplans.com.

Whenever I walk into  a hardware store, I wish I had the ability to build something amazing.  Remember Amy Wynn Pastor on Trading Spaces, circa early-2000’s? She was an awesome example of girl-power, and always executed the most brilliant ideas.

Amy Wynn Pastor

Amy Wynn Pastor

So if I woke up with magical carpentry skills, what would be the first thing I’d want to build?

I think I’d like to start with this treehouse. What do you think? 🙂

New Treehouses of the World by Pete Nelson

Coming soon to my backyard: from the book New Treehouses of the World by Pete Nelson.

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