Arts and crafts are a necessary part of life. From the dawn of creativity in our youth to the hobbies that make up our adult lives, everyone benefits from having a creative outlet. But we all know that artistic hobbies can be expensive. It’s important to find savings where you can, and a big part of that is knowing where to shop for what supplies.

This guide will break down the biggest differences between two of our favorite arts and crafts stores, Joanns Fabrics and Michaels, concerning cost and overall quality. Then, we’ll take a look at another option to consider for your arts and crafts needs.

Let’s get started!

Joann Fabrics vs Michaels Prices

The biggest names in the arts and crafts supply business are Joanns and Michaels. Joanns is the older of the two stores, having been founded in Cleveland in 1943. Michaels, on the other hand, was founded in Texas in 1943.

Both stores now have a commanding presence across the country.

By most accounts, prices at Michaels are higher than those at Joanns. According to a Business Insider deep dive, Michaels prices across various departments are often more expensive than Joanns. The differences range from a few dollars to as much as $10 dollars for certain goods.

But which offers better deals? That depends on the tradeoffs between:

Price vs Value

The tradeoff between Michaels vs Joanns is one of quality vs accessibility.

Why are prices at Michaels higher than those at Joanns? Because of differences in the general quality of the goods on offer in both stores. While Michaels is stocked primarily with top of the line products, Joanns offers a broader selection of cheaper, lower-quality products.

But while Joanns might seem cheaper in the short term, there is an argument to be made that shopping at a Michaels store will save you more money over a longer-term.

A premium product is often priced more expensively than a cheaper one because of:

  • Superior build quality
  • Greater brand reputation
  • Warranties or satisfaction guarantees
  • Better or more ethically sourced materials

If spending a bit more on art supplies upfront will prevent you from having to re-buy them again after only a few uses, they’re a great value. You’ll save more in the long-run.

Which is Better Michaels or Joanns?

It depends on what you’re looking for. Let’s discuss.

Selection: Planning vs Improvisation

When it comes to selecting items, there is a variety of philosophies to what shoppers want when they enter a store. Some shoppers plan out their lists meticulously, then enter the store on an efficient mission. Others prefer to start shopping with a looser idea of what they need, then let in-store displays and promotions guide their decisions.

Are you someone who goes in with a plan, or do you like to improvise?

According to the same Business Insider analysis cited above, Michaels stores tend to offer a better selection on most goods than Joanns. What that means is that, if you’re looking to improvise and find inspiration while you shop, Michaels might be better for you.

Another big difference comes down to:

Specialties: Arts vs Crafts

Between Michaels and Joanns, each craft store has its own respective specialty where it shines in comparison to the other. Namely, they break down like this:

  • Michaels is more arts-focused – Michaels famously focuses on art supplies and decorations evocative of the finer arts. You won’t be able to find fabrics there, but it’s a better store for stuff like:
    • High-end art-related technology, like fancy printers
    • Paint and related supplies (canvases, etc.)
    • Home decor and seasonal decorations

  • Joanns is more craft-focused – Joanns is more focused on crafts related to home goods rather than the fine arts (and imitations thereof). As such, it’s a better place to shop for:
    • Fabrics of all kinds
    • Sewing supplies

Now, besides these two stores, there’s also another great option to consider when it comes to saving on products.

Enter Hobby Lobby.

Hobby Lobby: Discounts Galore

Another amazing arts and crafts retailer where you can shop on a budget is Hobby Lobby. Like a perfect happy medium between Michaels and Joanns, you can get much of the variety Michaels offers while also being able to browse various types of fabric. If you want to craft, or even party on a budget, this is the store for you.

Plus, Hobby Lobby is famous for their deals. Besides the rotating sales and clearance sections, you can also apply a 40% coupon to any single item once per day.

Then, on top of that, you can supercharge your savings with third parties, like RebateKey. Our shop can save you 4% cashback on all purchases with a Hobby Lobby coupon, rebate, and many other discounts as well.

That’s because we want you to:

Optimize Your Savings

Here at RebateKey, we are dedicated to helping you save as much money as possible across all your shopping. Whether you’re buying arts and craft supplies or the hottest new fashion trends, we empower you to get cashback.

Our platform makes rebates extremely easy. There are no scissors or safekeeping required. All you need to do is save your receipt (your key), and we’ll take care of the rest.

Check out our dedicated Chrome Extension to never pay full price again!


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