I have been lucky enough to visit New York on a number of occasions and always find myself looking for good crafty places to visit before I go and I thought I would share some tips here.
The good news is that you no longer have to travel to Staten Island to visit Michaels as there is now a location in the city which opened in 2009. Located at 808 Columbus Avenue, take the 1 subway to 103rd street, walk 2 blocks towards downtown and 2 blocks left and you will find yourself on Columbus. Alternatively you can take the 11 or 7 uptown bus. It looks small from the outside but the actual store is located in the basement and carries a good range of crafting materials. Don't forget to sign up and print the discount coupons before you go!
The Ink Pad
37 Seventh Avenue on the corner of 13th street. Take the 1, 2 or 3 Subway exiting at 14th street. The Ink Pad is one block south. What the store lacks in size more than makes up for in the number of stamps that they carry. Lots of wood mounted and acrylic stamps from over 100 different companies including Hero Arts, Unity and Ranger Industries. They also have a great range of ink pads (obviously!) crafting tools and magazines. The staff are very friendly and helpful and I would definitely recommend a visit.
The website has excellent instructions on how to get to their 2 locations. It has the feel of an upmarket stationers but it does carry some cratfing materials such as stamps, embossing powders and ink pads.
The Garment District
You can take up many hours wandering around the garment district located roughly (to me) around 36th and 40th streets between 5th and 7th Avenue. There are so many bargains to be had but be careful to shop around, there are some stores that are priced much higher than others and the difference in price between 2 stores that are ocated next to each other can be surprising. Here are some of the places that I have been to:
1008 6th Avenue West 38th Street. The store has a stunning array of ribbons and findings, however this was the priciest store I visited, I really wanted seam binding ribbon but decided to leave it at $1.98 a yard (I found it at $0.50 a yard a couple of streets over) Also be wary when buying white or cream ribbons as all of the ribbons I purchased had dirty marks and smudges on the outside, however I did pick up some beautiful teal velvet ribbon.
109 West 38th Street. Located just across the road from M&J Trimmings this happened to be my favourite trimmings store in the area. Beautiful ribbons, trims, cameos, flowers and cabochons all at great pocket friendly prices. I also loved the $3.95 mixed button bags containing approximately 300 buttons, whilst not all are suitable for crafting the ones that are were well worth the cost of the entire bag. They also have mixed packs with various off-cuts for bargain prices. I strongly recommend a visit.
1 West 37th Street. A gorgeous looking store inside with a vast array of vintage ribbons, trims, flowers and home decor items. Expect to pay higher prices in here as a lot of items are stated as being vintage, an inspiring shop to visit, however I saved my pennies and looked at other stores for cheaper alternatives.
There are also lots and lots of bead shops in Garment District and it is hard to choose one specific store. They all seem to carry pretty much the same base selection of stock and as before the prices of particular items can vary from store to store. I went specifically looking for flower cabochons, and most of the bead stores sold them but they were $1.00 a piece, whereas you can buy a whole pack of prima brand ones for £2.99. I like to buy mine from eBay where there is a great selection for really good prices.
If you have any questions or any shops to add please do let me know! Happy shopping :)