Let’s be honest: These days, shopping is either a chore (getting stuff you need) or an enjoyable experience (browsing for stuff you want). But there’s also a third kind of shopping, the kind that happens to be leisurely and enjoyable, but gets you stuff you really need at bargain prices — and that, friends, is the kind of shopping one does at JOANN. Formerly known as Joann Fabrics, the store has become our go-to happy place for finding new treasures that help improve our homes and lives. It’s a place that can transform us from tepid, once-in-a-blue-moon crafters to confident, expert artisans who suddenly feel like we can create all the things — pillows, dresses for children we don’t have, rugs, tapestries, quilts for the homeless — simply by walking in the door. Come on: Who hasn’t experienced that surge of excitement and euphoria after just a glance down the aisles of low-priced decor items and bolts of gorgeous fabrics?
The American craft-and-fabrics mecca began with one store in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1943 and has today expanded to 865 stores in 49 states (you’ll find plenty of mai tais in Hawaii, but no JOANN stores). Stuffed to the gills with everything an inspired homeowner could ever need — including home decor, fabrics, sewing supplies, jewelry and scrapbook-making needs, holiday decorations, and more — JOANN stores make even the less crafty among us want to quit our day jobs and take up sewing, scrapbooking, or table-designing on a whim. If you’re a parent, there are plenty of reasons to make a pit stop to the store for easy-to-make projects, puzzles, art supplies and other odds and ends to keep little ones busy and engaged for hours. If you’re at all familiar with the store, some of this may seem obvious, so here are some other, lesser-known tips and insider secrets about shopping at JOANN.
1. There’s more — a lot more — here than just crafts.
Maybe you’re all done with your spring cleaning (in which case, hats off to you) and are now looking to spice up the decor around your home. JOANN stores offer a wide selection of seasonal and year-round home decor items for less than you’d pay at home goods stores. For instance, the company’s new Americana line includes indoor and outdoor pillows, lanterns, banners, and servingware to add patriotic flavor to your Fourth of July BBQ and beyond.
(Photo Credit: JOANN Stores)
2. The place is a couponer’s dream.
Active coupons are available each day on joann.com for customers to use both online and in-store, and JOANN generally allows coupon stacking (aka using more than one coupon per transaction), though there are some exceptions. You can also get a newsletter subscription that will automatically send you coupons and savings announcements via email or text. Cha-ching!
3. The store can help keep your kids busy this summer.
Want to make sure your children don’t stop using their creative minds while school is on break? JOANN offers unique summer classes for young people at beginner to intermediate levels that include step-by-step tutorials on sewing, baking, crochet, and more.
4. Adults can get in on the act.
Classes are also available for adults, so if it’s your dream to start an at-home knitting or cupcake-decorating side business for extra income, here’s where you can hone your talents. Forget wine nights with the girls — why not meet for coffee and conversation while you perfect a new skill?
(Photo Credit: JOANN Stores)
5. Experienced crafters make it their first stop.
Sure, we all feel like becoming crafters after wandering the aisles for a few minutes. However, true crafting gurus also make JOANN their one-stop shop. Devoted JOANN shoppers we spoke to praised the store’s fabric and lace selections, remnant fabric bins, buttons, scissors and sewing supplies, kid-friendly patterns, costume-making materials, frequent doorbuster sales, and more. Many also visited JOANN to stock up on goodie bag items, stocking stuffers, and summer toys for their families.
6. Kids can have birthday parties on-site.
Speaking of goodie bags, for a modest price, children ages 5 through 12 can celebrate their birthdays at JOANN with a private group crafting party. The guest of honor chooses a themed project ahead of time — everything from T-shirt and tote-bag designing to puppet-making is available — and the two-hour bash includes an instructor, all art supplies, and customizable party invitations.
7. JOANN does its part to give back.
Got a Girl Scout in your life? Girl Scouts get 15 percent off every purchase at JOANN through the company’s Girl Scout Rewards program, which also sends 2.5 percent of each purchase back to Girl Scouts USA. This past winter, the company partnered with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and invited customers to make a holiday ornament in-store, then donated $1 to childhood cancer research for every ornament made. Crafting for a good cause — is there any better reason?