Why I buy £4.99 craft magazines


I was visiting a crafts sale when I overheard a woman selling her goods talk about craft mags.

‘Oh, they’re so expensive,’ she said. ‘I’ve stopped buying them!’

It was over a month ago now, but that conversation is still stuck with me. I’ve even asked other crafters what they think of the price of craft mags, and it seems like most of us find £4.99 too expensive.

But is it really?

Magazines are the result of dozens of people coming together to create a colourful, cultural, digestible bite of their chosen topic. I love them. Editors, writers, photographers, designers, and makers are all involved in making just one single issue.


Most of us skip right over the contributor’s page, but it puts the amount of work involved into perspective. This issue of Mollie Makes has over 50 people listed, and if you look them up you can see they are mostly small businesses or even working solo, with beautiful work. Lots of them don’t get to work on their passion full time.

Crafting is a close knit community. Many of the people who make and even sell handmade also love buying handmade. Supporting craft magazines means supporting the crafting community. Just this one issue of Mollie Makes supports 50 people alone.

But what really got me was that someone selling crafts was complaining about the price.

How can you expect fair prices for your work when you’re not willing to pay fair prices?

[highlight bg=”#8fbb54″ color=”#ffffff”]How to Save Money[/highlight]

I love magazines. So much, in fact, that I read at least 10 different titles regularly. If you assume it costs £4.99 per magazine, that’s £50 a month to buy them all. (EEK!)

When you break it down, it’s still good for what you get. Ten magazines at 100+ pages each means 1000+ pages of inspiration, tutorials, goodies, and a ‘free’ gift or three. Dozens of tutorials, interviews, recipes, reviews, event listings and inspiring articles are all there in easy-to-consume bites. And if it’s different magazines with all different contributors, there’s easily at least 200+ people involved.

But there are ways to save money and still enjoy the wonderful work crafting magazines do for the handmade community.

  • Swap with a friend.
    If you have friends interested in the same mags, trade copies. It means you both get twice as much to read for half the price.
  • Use the library.
    Check to see if your library has copies of the magazines you’re interested in. This is great for magazines you don’t buy every month and for reading back issues.
  • Support the magazines in other ways.
    Following magazines on Twitter, Facebook, and on their own blogs can go a long way. Commenting and engaging with what they have to say goes even further. I’ve talked about validation before, and trust me — even a big magazine office still needs it.
  • Recommend magazines to friends.
    There are so many magazines I didn’t know about until a friend recommended them to me. If you find something new or out-of-the-way, recommend it. Everyone knows about Good Housekeeping, but does everyone know about Cereal?
  • Buy digital.
    If you have the right device, most magazines have digital subscriptions you can take advantage of. The best part is that it usually knocks a couple £££ off the price, too.
  • Subscribe.
    It seems obvious, but I used to avoid subscribing to magazines because of the initial cost. I tried to pretend I wasn’t buying the magazines off the shelf every month anyway. If that sounds like you, just subscribe! It means you get some happy post, too. If you’re really pinching pennies, you can subscribe when your favourite mags have insane deals on. Six issues of Country Living for £12 with a gift, anyone?
  • Ask for them.
    If your friends and family know you’d love a magazine subscription, you’re more likely to get one as a gift! No brainer, right?
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Judging the worth of a magazine has a lot to do with perspective. We’re used to low prices on magazines, so we expect to get them for low prices.

I buy magazines because I love supporting the work of the editors, writers, photographers, and (in the case of crafting magazines) designers and makers involved. A £4.99 magazine costs as much as a couple lattes or a paperback novel from the sales rack. Is that really too much?

And, I hate to step on a few toes here, but sometimes it isn’t that something is too expensive. Sometimes, we’re the ones being too cheap.

Everyone deserves fair prices for their work.



Creative Magazines I LOVE:

The Simple Things /// Cereal /// Uppercase /// Making

Cloth Paper Scissors /// Homemaker /// Simply Crochet

Mollie Makes /// Crafty Magazine /// Country Living

Handmade Living /// Knit Now /// Gardener’s World

Craftseller /// Living etc