Crafting is all about creating something with your own hands, and enjoying the feeling of accomplishment. It is also about conserving money and showing off your talents. One of the best ways to save money on unique and useful items is to locate free or low cost resources for materials required.
I love to work with wood, but I get the greatest pleasure from this craft when there is little expense involved. The best resource I have found to keep the cost down is the dumpsters at a local cabinet shop. Yes, I dumpster dive.
Think about it. Custom cabinets are typically made from high quality hardwoods, and using this wood adds greater value and longer life to any project. Woods that I find during my diving trips are birch, ash, cherry, mahogany, walnut, maple and many more. It all depends on what the shop is working with at the time.
I make frequent trips to the dumpster to replenish my supply of beautiful wood, but I was cautious not to take this privilege for granted. I took the time to make it well known how much I appreciated their generosity. I did this by whipping up a delicious barbeque dinner and served it to them during their lunch hour one day. Needless to say, they continue to allow my tendency to pilfer.