Special Report

12 Stores Like Hobby Lobby: Best Alternatives and Affordable Options

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If you’re an avid hobbyist or home decorator who’s looking to make the shift from Hobby Lobby, you’re not alone. There are a few common reasons why many people are making the same migration. These can range from their selection and prices to their opposition to the Affordable Care Act, treatment of Jewish customers, smuggling of ancient and rare artifacts, discrimination against transgender employees, and more. Whatever your reason for changing your preferred hobby store, we made this list of stores like Hobby Lobby, from affordable options, best alternatives, and online-only retailers.

Hobby Lobby is a privately owned arts and crafts store that the original founders and current owners say exists to express their fundamentalist Christian beliefs. They incorporate conservative American values and Christian themes into their stores, products, and marketing. After opening its first store in 1972, Hobby Lobby has grown to 1,001 stores in 48 states. As of 2018, they have a yearly revenue of $5 billion.

For this list we will focus on physical stores that allow you to touch and feel the hobby elements you need, they might offer classes and art services, or stock local products. We will also include some online-only stores that focus on crafts and hobbies like Hobby Lobby. The list will not include large online retailers or big stores that sell all products including some hobby supplies. For that reason, we will avoid online-only stores and large retailers like Amazon (NYSE: AMZN) and Walmart (NYSE: WMT).

#12 Michaels

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Typical Michaels storefront.

Michaels is the largest arts and crafts store in North America. There are over 1,252 Michaels stores in 49 states and parts of Canada. As of 2020, Michaels had a yearly sales figure of $5.3 billion. Michaels has partnered with reputable and famous craft and art celebrities to create their own line of unique items including Martha Stewart and Chef Duff. It also maintains and sells a variety of products under its private brands like Recollections, Studio Décor, Creatology, Bead Landing, Ashland, Art Minds, Celebrate It, Craft Smart, Artist’s Loft, Make Market, Loops & Threads, Foamies, Imagin8, LockerLookz, and Sticky Sticks. It also offers in-store photo printing and custom framing services and classes for new hobbyists to learn skills like knitting and wood-burning.

#11 Artist & Craftsman Supply

Girl learning robotics
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You’ll never know what talents your child has until you take them to the craft store!

Artist & Craftsman Supply is unique because it is a 100% employee-owned company. In 2009, company leadership sold 48% of the company to its employees. In 2016, it sold the remainder of the company to existing employees, making it the largest arts and crafts supplier in North America owned by its employees. Artist & Craftsman Supply was founded in 1985 in Maine, and now it has over 34 locations and an extensive online store with all the supplies for kids, art studios, sculpting, and more.

#10 Blick Art Materials

Advice of teacher
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Group classes at a local store are a great way to get started.

Blick Art Materials began as a mail-order arts and crafts business in 1911, making it one of the oldest and largest craft stores in the United States, it is now the largest supplier of art materials in the entire United States, especially among suppliers of mail-order materials. Blick Art Material has grown steadily and now has 62 locations as of 2023, it bought many locations from other craft stores and eventually bought and merged with Utrecht Art Supply.

#9 Factory Direct Craft

Young woman painting on canvas
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Get into painting with Factory Direct!

Factory Direct Craft used to have a warehouse that was open to customers, but the company transitioned to an entirely online business in 2011. It is still owned and operated by the original founder, Shari Doggett, and her family. Factory Direct Craft boasts an extensive online store with wholesale and regular shipments. If you want a large selection of products with a more intimate touch and shopping experience, chances are Factory Direct Craft is for you.

#8 Jo-Ann

Female hands stitching white fabric on modern sewing machine at workplace in atelier
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Jo-Ann stores are most popular within the sewing community.

Jo-Ann Stores (NASDAQ: JOAN) is a primary retailer of fabrics and textiles but also sells craft and art supplies. It was founded in 1943 and has grown steadily to 855 locations as of 2021. In the latter half of 2023, however, Jo-Ann laid off a large portion of its workforce and reports predicted it was headed toward bankruptcy. NASDAQ also served a delisting notice to the store if it wasn’t able to recover its stock price. 

#7 Minted

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Beading materials are available at almost all craft stores.
  • Shop independent artists: Minted

Minted is an online-only retailer that sells premium goods designed by independent artists, designers, and craftsmen, with over 16,000 independent partners all over the world. Artists can choose to manufacture and fulfill their own goods, or let Minted handle all the manufacturing and fulfillment for them. Each option has its balance of cost and revenue. Minted started in 2007 and remains privately owned with 375 employees. According to the company, artists submit over 2,000 new designs every week, and customers are able to vote on the website for which designs they want to see become reality. The winning artists receive a commission for the sales of their design and a cash prize for winning.

#6 MisterArt

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Most retailers offer classes and tutorials.

MisterArt began in 1996 and calls itself the world’s largest online store for discount art and craft supplies. They remain a family-owned business and are entirely online. MisterArt offers an affiliate program for artists and a VIP membership for frequent shoppers. 

#5 Oriental Trading Company

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You can get started with just a few brushes and paints.

Oriental Trading was founded in 1932 and was one of the first wholesale companies in the United States. It began as a simple gift shop but quickly expanded to offer party goods, school and church supplies, and more. It has since been recognized among the top internet retailers and catalog companies. It is now owned by Berkshire Hathaway.

#4 Plaid Online

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The best day to start you new hobby is today.
  • Shop the best paints in the industry: Plaid

Plaid (the company, not the color pattern) was founded in 1976, focusing on painting and macramé. It has since expanded to stenciling, fashion, and glass crafts. Plain manufactures its own line of paints and collaborates with artists to design its own selection of craft and home décor products. 

#3 Pop Shop America

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Make use of that sewing machine that’s collecting dust!

Pop Shop America is a boutique online store. It focuses primarily on pre-assembled art and craft kits, plants, recipes, and guides for DIY projects. If you’re looking for something unique not offered by the larger craft retailers, Pop Shop America might be just the destination for you.

#2 Save On Crafts

Beautiful woman putting stones into glass succulent terrarium
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Home plants and decor.

Save On Crafts was founded over 20 years ago to cater to brides and event planners who want to take a more DIY approach to their decorations. They offer everything from natural decoration and florals to vases, and lighting, along with a healthy supply of decoration and theme ideas. Save On Crafts donates 10% of their profits to local and national charities and has implemented plans to reduce their carbon footprint like using only electric forklifts and motion-activated lights in their warehouse.

#1 Blitsy Crafts

Engraver - Wood working
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Most hobby stores have equipment to get into basic woodworking.

Blitsy is another online-only retailer, offering materials and tools for all kinds of DIY projects, from woodworking to gardening, and kids’ crafts to home décor. It was founded in 2011 by three Chicago siblings and ships to over 100 countries. So, no matter where you live, Blitsy can probably ship to you!

We only listed some of the largest and well-known arts and crafts suppliers. Yet, there are many more local options for experienced and aspiring hobbyists. Depending on where you live, the offerings and stores will vary. For example, Texas Art Supply has three stores in Houston, but can also ship across the country. There are going to be similar options no matter where you live. We encourage you to search for smaller, local stores and support your community.

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