Best Black Friday Deals for Cosplayers and Crafters

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Photo CC BY-SA Kevin Walter

Black Friday can be a great time to stock up on supplies for a year’s worth of costume building and other craft projects. It can also be a great time to stand in line for prices that aren’t that amazing. Let me help you separate the steals from the wastes of time.

I’ll do my best here to help you get good deals based on my own knowledge, but if you’re looking at other sales outside of this list, be sure you’re actually getting a good deal that you can’t get any other time. I’ve been tracking Black Friday sales for about 15 years now, and more this year than any other, I’m noticing ads with hot items listed at normal price. For example, below I mention an assortment of cutting machines. The Michaels ad lists the Brother DesignNCut for $199.99, which is its normal price that you can get right this minute. You can get a whole bundle for just $20 more! On some items, you may be able to use a special Black Friday coupon for a percentage off, but always read the sale details, especially on coupons. They might not be valid on the item you want.

One final note — dates and times that specific sale prices are available vary, and I haven’t listed those out below. (For example, a certain price might be available all weekend, or it might be only from 8-10 a.m. on Friday.) For anything you’re interested in, double check the ads on a site like The Black Friday or BFads, or to be absolutely certain, in the newspaper.

On to the goodies!

Cutting machines

Which cutting machine is right for you depends on what you intend to cut. I’ve been a fan of the Silhouette machines for a few years, but I’m considering the Cricut Maker for its extra features that I think will be useful for costume building. I’ve found few good sales prices so far, especially when you can typically find good prices on bundles on Amazon.

  • Cricut Explore Air 2 Rose Bundle, $219.99 at JoAnn
  • Cricut Explore Air Pink, $149.99 at JoAnn
  • Cricut Maker, Get $50 JoAnn cash at JoAnn
  • Brother DesignNCut, $199.99 at Michaels
  • Cricut EasyPress, $129.99 at Michaels

In addition to these sales on the machines, Cricut accessories are 40% off at Michaels. Siser heat-transfer vinyl is $12/roll at Michaels, but I’d only get that if it’s an emergency. It’s a great brand you can find at a much better price online any day of any week.

Fabric and other materials

As usual, JoAnn has plenty of stuff on sale. But most of it is about the price you’ll see on a regular sale and not worth fighting the line at the cutting table for. A few things if they’re worthwhile that might be worth a stop include:

  • Paper for you Pepakura users, scrapbookers, and card-makers!
    • Pads and stacks, 70% off at Joann
    • Premium cardstock packs, 3 for $5 at JoAnn
    • 8.5×11 value paper packs, 5 for $10 at Michaels
    • All colored cardstock, B1G1 at Staples
  • Foam, 40% off — You can easily get this with any week’s coupon or even better, but if you need a large quantity, it’s not a bad deal for stocking up.
  • Pellon interfacing, 60% at JoAnn (I always stock up when this sale comes by)

Tools

  • Fiskars cutting, quilting, sewing, and papercrafting tools, 60% off at JoAnn
  • Nicole paper trimmers (3″x12″ and 4.5″x12″), $5 at A.C. Moore
  • Dremel
    • Dremel Ultimate Corded 3-Tool Combo Kit with 15 accessories and carrying bag, $129 at Home Depot.
    • 24-piece rotary tool kit, $49.99 at True Value
    • Lowe’s has several kits listed in their ad:
      28-piece rotary tool kit$49.00
      Dremel 4000 Series 39-piece kit$69.00
      Dremel 4300 Series 47-piece kit$99.00
      Dremel Micro 18-Piece kit$79.00
      Dremel Multi-Max 32-Piece Corded 3.8-Amp Oscillating Tool kit$99.00
      Dremel Ultra-Saw 7.5-amp 4″ corded circular saw$99.00
  • If you’re in the market for serious hardware tools, check your hardware store ads. It’s a good time to score deals on those pieces.

Cameras

This is a super popular category for Black Friday sales, so if you’re on the lookout, comb through the ads for what you’re hoping to see! Kits can also vary slightly, so compare your options across stores. Here are a few to get you started:

  • For an entry-level DSLR, you’ll find a lot of deals on the Nikon D3400 kits.
  • A step up from that, you’ll find the D5600, a great body I used myself for a while.
  • If you’d prefer to go Canon, the EOS Rebel T6 or T6i. You’ll find deals on the EOS 80D as well.

Best Buy, Office Depot/Office Max, and the camera manufacturers themselves are all good places to check, as well as Adorama, Cameta, and B and H. And for used gear, you can’t beat KEH.

Pencils and markers

Sharpies

  • B1G2 at Rite-Aid
  • 21 pack, $7.99 at Shopko and Meijer
  • 12-count fine or ultra-fine point, $1 at Staples
  • 72-count fine/ultra-fine, $29.99 at Office Depot
  • 39-count multicolor, $14.99 at Target
  • 36-count assorted tips, $10 at Wal-Mart (this was nearly impossible to find last year!)

Prismacolors

I’m seeing great prices on Prismacolor sets lately. Where were these deals when I was in high school art class?! If you’ve never had the pleasure, they are delightful tools. It really is worth paying more for colored pencils and markers! Fortunately, on Black Friday, you can get these much cheaper.

  • 72 colored pencils and 12 watercolor pencils, $20 at A.C. Moore
  • Colored pencil sets, 50% off at Michaels

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