The Five Best Michaels Hacks That Will Change How You DIY

With over 1,200 stores nationally and in Canada, Michaels is the one-stop craft shop of choice for many makers. Grabbing a cart and slowly perusing the offerings in every aisle can feel almost therapeutic, and sometimes it's inspirational. There are other instances when you know exactly what you want and can hardly wait to get home and start creating. They have options for the hardcore crafter, the artist, and the hobbyist, too — and they also have great sales. 

There is a rise in the popularity and appreciation of hand-made goods, with maker fairs popping up in small and large cities everywhere, and Etsy, an e-commerce platform for artisans, running full speed ahead. Casa Amarosa, a wholesaler of artisan goods, explains that buyers today are more concerned with the origins of items and how they are produced. They note that our interest in the one-of-a-kind has just grown with the recent increase of time spent in our homes — we want them to be a sanctuary and unique to us — and hand-crafted items align with that. Many also just love to make and put their own stamp on their décor, whether to save money, have something truly unusual, or as a creative outlet, and Michaels can be both a source for raw product and ideas. Find five Michaels DIY hacks below — and make your world prettier one project at a time!

Create your own artwork

Artwork has an immense impact on a space, adding color, pattern, style, and a focal point. While there are great online choices for art curation and framing, it can be prohibitively expensive to find the perfect pieces, and generally the bigger you go, the bigger the price tag. At Michaels, they have a huge range of art supplies — and a large span in pricing — from low-cost squirt bottle dab paints to professional grade artists' paints. You'll also find canvas, paper, and all sorts of gear, like gesso, mediums, brushes, and markers. 

Art supplies can be quite an investment on their own, but again, you can tailor the project's expense to your budget. A large canvas or two takes up a lot of wall space and they're lightweight and easy to hang. Abstracts are obviously the least challenging for a beginning painter because they don't need to look like anything in particular — large fields of color, biomorphic shapes, and crisp, taped-off stripes can all look amazing. As seen in Country Living, an oversized painted quilt square is a fresh take on a familiar concept, and adds a simple, graphic pop to the walls.

Frame it

Michaels offers a framing service, and it's the suggested way to go for artwork with any value, as professional framers ensure the use of appropriate and acid-free products for conservation. It's also best to leave anything customized and complicated, like double-matting, to the experts. According to their official website, Michaels has more than 450 molding and mat choices available in their custom framing arsenal, as well as same-day service.

If you've ever had a piece professionally framed you know it can be very costly, so for pieces that don't need expert handling, Michaels retails a large assortment of ready-made table-top and wall frames that are perfect for showcasing ... well, anything 2D. Children's artwork, a beautiful postcard or book plate, or flea-market botanicals are all prime for framing. Create a gallery wall by grouping a theme of prints together; what's nice is that the same style usually comes in a few dimensions, making it easy to carry a consistent look throughout the display. Michaels also stocks some standard-sized mats, which is a guaranteed way to impart a made-to-order feel to an off-the-shelf frame; and if you want a size or color not available, just mosey over to the custom counter (where you'll pay a lot more, but perhaps get exactly the shade of mint or chartreuse green you're hoping for).

DIY chic flower arrangements

Nothing beats the beauty and ephemera of fresh flowers, and during summer when they're readily available fake options can feel insipid and underwhelming. But there are occasions where faux greenery and flowers are the better options. Some people are allergic to live plants, and in other cases — like a boutique store setting, for example — they're too costly or too much work to maintain. Then, there is the conundrum of the not-green thumb, of which many suffer. House Beautiful says it might not be our fault, but rather a dark corner or a full plate. Anyway, they claim faux plants are looking more realistic than ever. To be real, there are some gorgeous (and exorbitantly priced) faux bouquets to be had, but with some ideas and inspiration photos, you can create a stunning arrangement of your own.  

Michales sells individual stems, bunches, garland, and seasonal and wedding florals, as well as succulents and trees. They stock the accoutrements needed to craft large arrangements, such as floral foam, tape, and wire, and containers for displaying them in. However, we might suggest that a second-hand vase or moss covered pot is the aged, character-filled thing that will lend a faux bouquet some authenticity.

Hand-make greeting cards

There will always be a place in our hearts for snail mail and personalized correspondence; the greeting card business is a strong one for a reason, with Mic noting that 131 million Hallmark Valentine's Day cards are exchanged every year on average. Who hasn't stood in the card aisle for entirely too long, searching for the perfect sentiment to send? Unfortunately, most of those we buy will eventually be thrown into the trash, having served their purpose well. They're not inexpensive either.

If you've  got a crafting spirit, it's nothing to make a card — they're small and therefore affordable and manageable to create. With a wide array of stamps, inks, pens, card-stock, envelopes, and all manner of art supplies, Michaels has everything required; collaging old book pages and magazines can be a fun method to try, and they have the adhesives and mediums for that, too. With handmade cards there's no need to struggle finding the important words for the inside as you'll already be saying so much with the gesture itself. And card-making can be as serious or easy-going as you please, from a project that gets the kids involved to an opportunity for entrepreneurship.

Contain it all

It's hard to contain oneself in a Michaels store, but easy to find the bins and baskets to corral all those new supplies. Storage is actually a menu on their website — they list art, craft, and desk-top storage, home organization, and baskets and boxes to name a few. A trio of lidded raffia baskets in ascending sizes under their Honey Can Do line is rustic chic and super functional. 

Storage is an act of self-care, with organized and clutter-free spaces surprisingly important for mental health; according to the Mayo Clinic, clutter can be the cause of anxiety and make it difficult to focus. If storage can perform and be beautiful at the same time, that's going to have a positive impact. From wooden crates to colored fabric boxes to chunky baskets, Michaels has a plethora of pieces to help get some control over the stuff of life. And, if you want to paint, label, or decorate them in any additional way there are plenty of options.