Crafting with Kids: 5 Places to Get Arts & Crafts Supplies in and Around Boston
If our 4 Homemade Mother's Day Gifts ideas have given your kids the crafting bug, or if you have your own ideas for making Mother's Day gifts with kids, read on for five great places to get the arts and crafts supplies you need to make something special.
Artist & Craftsman Supply (Central Square, Cambridge)
580 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139
Store Hours: Mon-Sat 9am-8pm; Sun 11am-6pm
Artist & Craftsman Supply is hands-down my family’s favorite place to get supplies for our many creative endeavors. They have bags of wooden shapes (wheels, etc.), blank books in every size imaginable, a rainbow of air dry clay colors, Styrofoam balls in a range of shapes and sizes, and whole lot more. You’ll also find all the usual art supplies you’d expect, like sketchbooks, pastels, and stretched canvases. If you’re shopping for a gift, look for the fun gag gifts and tiny toys that kids just can’t resist.
283 Broadway, Arlington, MA 02474
Contact: (781) 648 – 3230
Hours: Mon-Wed, Fri-Sat 9am-6pm; Thu 9am-8pm; Sun 12n-5pm
Play Time is packed from floor to ceiling with everything you could possibly need for fun and creativity. Serious crafters should head downstairs, where they have a seemingly endless supply of ribbon, decorative boxes, wooden shapes, and more. Upstairs, you’ll find party supplies, gift wrap, stationary, pens, and some really cool teaching tools. It can be a little overwhelming at first, so just take your time (and be aware that you won’t be able to get through the aisles with a stroller).
Ben Franklin (Cushing Square, Belmont)
89 Trapelo Road, Belmont, MA 02478
Contact: (617) 484-6656
Hours: Mon-Fri 9am-7pm, Sat 9am-6pm, Sun 9am-5pm
Ben Franklin is like an old-fashioned five-and-dime cohabitating with a craft store, and we love it. The store doesn’t seem very big, but somehow they have everything from hats to housewares alongside candy, toys, puzzles and games, fabric and sewing supplies, a large selection of crafts kits for kids, plus all the basic craft supplies you’d need for almost any project. Bonuses: the store stays involved in the community and the staff is pleasant and helpful.
Blick (Landmark Center, Fenway)
401 Park Drive, Boston, MA 02215
Contact: (617) 247-3322
Hours: Mon-Sat 9am-9pm; Sun 11am-6pm
You might be inclined to shy away from this place if you don’t have a serious artist in the family, but I recommend giving it a chance. They have some great products for kids, like create-your-own comic book kits and Eric Carle Sketch and Tell Books. If you’re traveling with little ones soon, you’ll definitely want to check out the Milan Airplane Bag and Messenger-Style "Tooth" Bag. Before you go, take a look at Blick’s website for several really nice arts and crafts projects, many of them kid-appropriate. There’s also a brand new Blick in Central Square, across the street from the Artist and Craftsman Supply.
Button, button, who’s got the button? Windsor Button, of course. They’ve got buttons galore, but that’s not all: For your budding fiber artist, they have cross-stitch, crewel & needlepoint kits, plus a glorious selection of yarn, including Opal Harry Potter sock yarn. It may be the only place in downtown Boston where you can go for a variety of supplies and ideas for children's crafts, like felt (in squares and by-the-yard), Styrofoam, foamies, beads, rhinestones, plastic canvas, gimp, chenille, and craft kits. They also carry Folkart Acrylic and Plaid Dimensional Fabric Paint, and the kids will love their selection of Boyd's Collectable Plush Animals.
Note: Fans of the Michaels craft stores – who don’t want to schlep the kids out to the ‘burbs – might be happy to know that a new Michaels store is slated to open in Porter Square (between the grocery and hardware stores)in September. Stay tuned!