Stationery Sunday: The Works really has the works!

213There has been many-a-time when strolling through shopping centres people have remarked upon the emptiness of them – and, by ’empty’ I mean that the quality of shops on offer in many shopping malls now has reduced drastically over the recent years, most particularly in regional areas. I’m talking about £1 shops, ‘c’mere till I fix your phone’ shops, ‘buy the books that didn’t make it to mainstream’ shops and plenty of blank, empty premises on either side. While bric-a-brac shops do serve a purpose they are more limited than larger outlets, you must agree. And so, last week when a friend of mine suggested we go to her favourite shop The Works to buy a book for her dad, I was hesitant at first. Surprisingly, though, this did not last very long at all…

Now me, I love a great bargain. I am most certainly the type of hopeful character who will avoid larger brands in favour of getting my whole kit for a tenner – regardless of quality. Unbelievably so, I achieved this goal in The Works.

The Works is primarily a book shop, as you will see upon entry. They sell full book sets – currently, including The Divergent and Maze Runner series for £9.99 each; like, wow – at ridiculously affordable prices. Lurking on the floor, aside the entrance, a complete Game of Thrones box set of books is hidden beneath a shelf for only £30. Someone likely put it there in hope of retrieving it on their way home from the shops; it is hidden because someone out there knows that this deal is too good to miss.

Naturally, I floated towards the crafts section. Almost everything on offer is only £1 each, meaning that trying out something new – like I was going to do – did not have to have an expensive consequence if it turned out to be unenjoyable or too fiddly for my liking. I could not have felt more fulfilled with my haul, which only cost me £8:

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{NB} Prices are more expensive online, for some reason.

Back row, left to right:

  • 5 x 1 meter ribbon: ribbon is very expensive in larger stores like Millers Art, Glasgow and Cass Art where it can cost anywhere from £5 to £7 for two meters of a design. These little samplers from The Works are ideal for small projects, be it card making or decorating old candle jars which is what I’ve been using them for. Albeit, each style is only a meter long but there are a variety of colour options to choose from: I opted for green and blue.
  • Mini bunting: I don’t have the desk blues anymore thanks to my small, cute bunting!
  • Fabric Squares: I recently read an article on ways to utilise old jars. Having plenty lying around the house, I want to try and make tubs out of them using little squares of fabric, like these, and string for lids. At only £1 each, there really was nothing to lose, so, I bought two packets.
  • Plain white cards: To anyone who read my previous Stationary Sunday, you will see that I paid £4.50 for the Paperchase alternative paper-bag brown cards. The Works actually stock brown as well as white cards and envelopes in packs of 10 for only £1 – much to my dismay.

Front row, left to right:

  • Alphabet beads: this little back of assorted letter beads are excellent to put personal touches on bracelets or cards and are thin enough to fit thread through.
  • Wooden stamps and ink set: this little set is a gem! Wooden stamps are generally expensive in sets like this. However, this only cost me £1 for six small rubber stamps and an ink pallet. The ink pallet is very good, actually, and hasn’t dried up yet which can happen with many specialist ones in time. Check out the likes of Hobbycraft to compare prices of rubber stamps and you will understand the true value for money in this set from The Works.
  • Acrylic paint: *Queue star buy…* I never thought I’d see the day when a tube of acrylic paint this size would only cost me £1. There are masses upon masses of colours to choose from in this size. I am going to paint some of my old candle and sweetie jars in this pink shade to give them a complete make-over (which is both extremely sad and exciting). I’m not overly familiar with what makes a good paint or what doesn’t, and, in a similar respect, I also am not a pro at using any. With this in mind, it won’t be such a gruelling loss to me if this pastel dream doesn’t work out. Teaming the newly pastel-coloured shades of my jars with some of the fabric and ribbon found in The Works is going to give life to these previously useless dust collectors. Had everything been over a pound, they would have stayed that way.

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