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7 Worst Things to Buy at Michaels

Crafters and shopping experts say you can find better options elsewhere.

The product recommendations in this post are recommendations by the writer and/or expert(s) interviewed and do not contain affiliate links. Meaning: If you use these links to buy something, we will not earn a commission.

If you're a crafter, you know how pivotal your supplies are. Whether you needlepoint or knit, paint or sculpt, the quality of what you buy plays a significant role in how your project turns out. Many rely on large chains like Michaels for their crafting needs, and you'd be hard-pressed to leave this store without at least a few of the items on your list. But while the chain is well-known for its wide selection, there are some things you should skip when shopping. Read on to discover the seven worst things to buy at Michaels.

RELATED: 9 Best Things to Buy at Dollar Tree This Spring.

Custom frames that aren't on sale

picture frame corners
timallenphoto / Shutterstock

First up on the list of things you shouldn't buy at Michaels are custom frames, particularly when they're not on sale.

"I know from experience that Michael's does a fantastic job with framing, but it is pricey!" says Trae Bodge, smart shopping expert at

That's why you should wait for an official Michaels sale, Bodge explains.

"Several times a year, Michael's has framing sales with generous discounts so time your purchase accordingly," she recommends. "Also, when you are having your free framing consultation, ask for pricing along the way. You may find that the frame or mat you like is out of your budget, so you'll want to switch to another choice before you get too attached."

Hand Crank Yarn Winder by Loops & Threads


why would they not at least make it angled upwards?? 🗣️🗣️ i hate this thing dont buy it #yarnwinder #crochet #michaels #loopsandthreads #crochettok #crochettools #smallbusiness #fyp

♬ Duvet – bôa

When knitting or crocheting, a yarn winder is a great tool to ball up your yarn. But if you're going to invest in one, shoppers recommend skipping the Hand Crank Yarn Winder by Loops & Threads.

"It sucks. I have to hold the yarn on when it spins so it doesn't fly off," TikToker @fortunecrochet wrote in text overlaying an April 2023 video. "I'm lucky if it makes a sturdy shape bigger than my palm, if it makes any shape at all. It also makes the loosest yarn cake ever."

Commenters agreed, noting that they'd struggled with the yarn winder, with one calling it a "hot mess."

"I have the same one its so bad it makes the worst yarn cakes I hate it," another commenter wrote.

On Michaels' website, even more crafters voiced their disdain for the product, which has a two-star rating. While some said the yarn winder works for them, there were several complaints about its functionality.

"I was so excited for this yarn winder to ship as it was a present for myself to cheer me up! When i received it i instantly went to use it but it was just not working right," a May 14 review reads. "I went through the instructions searched up tutorials but all i learned is its a [expletive] product!! Money down the drain! Bought one off amazon for half the price and it works amazingly."

RELATED: Shoppers Share 15 New Summer Items at Michaels: "So Many Cute Finds."

Blue Moon Studio UV Resin

Another product shoppers say is best left behind at Michaels is the Blue Moon Studio UV Resin Craft Hard Type Resin.

In a Jan. 2022 TikTok, user @daydreamstudieoest21 put up a "PSA" about the resin, showing broken disc-shaped tumbler bottoms.

"I tried this brand and it would not cure no matter what I did! Sucks! I thought it was just me but I guess not," a commenter wrote in response.

It's another that has its fair share of bad reviews on Michaels' website, specifically about curing. However, there were also several positive reviews, so you'll have to decide whether or not you want to take the risk!

Helium tanks


Dont bother buying the helium tanks at Michaels, these didnt even last 7 hours 😢 #birthdayfail #thethoughtthatcounts #screammovie

♬ Titanic Meme Sound – LM10 Jihad

If you just need a few balloons, you probably place an order at your local party store or Dollar Tree. But when you're taking things into your own hands, you might consider investing in a helium tank. If this is something you're looking into, think twice before you get one from Michaels.

"I inflated over 50 balloons at 10pm the night before my [girlfriend's] birthday to surprise her in the morning…and she came home from a night shift to this mess," the text in a Sept. 2023 TikTok posted by @runningcloud9 reads.

The first clip shows a room full of pink balloons and silver balloons spelling out "30." The video then switches to show the zero-shaped balloon completely deflated, and the majority of the pink balloons on the couch or floor.

"Dont bother buying the helium tanks at Michaels, these didn't even last 7 hours," the video's caption reads.

In the comment section, some attributed the issue to the balloons @runningcloud9 used, noting that a substance called Hi-Float is imperative to keep balloons flying. However, reviews of both the Balloon Time Jumbo Helium Tank and the Balloon Time Standard Helium Tank on Michael's website suggest there might be a larger issue.

A review of the jumbo tank reads, "The helium flow was minimal and trying to decorate 2 hours before party was difficult. I was only able to fill 10 balloons only 4 stayed a full float for 5 hours."

"This tank absolutely ruined a 40th birthday celebration and I will be taking the empty tank back to Michael's to return," another griped about the standard-size tank. "It filled less balloons than stated, and they started falling within an hour. Do not waste your money on this. Just go to the store and get your moneys worth."

RELATED: 7 Best Things to Buy at Michaels Right Now, Shoppers Say.

Cricut cutting mats

If you have a Cricut machine, you might defer to buying the brand-name products that go along with it. But when it comes to cutting mats, TikToker and "serial crafter" Rae (@offbrandadora) says that's not the best idea.

In a March 2021 video, the TikToker shared "what's worth it and what isnt from Michaels," specifically calling out the Cricut cutting mats, which were priced up to $48.99 at the time.

The mats received Rae's "not worth it" designation, as you can "get the cheaper dupes."

When searching "cutting mats" on Michaels' website, a range of options do pop up, including a 12-by-12-inch mat for $9.99.

Large quantities

stacks of colorful tshirts
Dpongvit / Shutterstock

Bodge also recommends against buying items from Michaels in large quantities, as you can likely save some cash and buy wholesale.

"If you are working on a large project, like place settings for many tables at a wedding, or screen printing family reunion tees for your entire family, you will probably find that it makes more financial sense to buy items in bulk," she advises. "Search the name of the item and 'wholesale' on Google to see wholesale options."

RELATED: 7 Worst Things to Buy at Hobby Lobby.

Anything full-price

inside michaels craft store
ZikG / Shutterstock

Since Michaels is known for its regular sales, you might want to plan your shopping around those windows. According to Bodge, if you can avoid it, you should really never buy anything full-price from the craft store.

"The very worst thing you can buy at Michael's is anything that is full price," she tells Best Life. "Michaels has regular sales, a generous loyalty program, and frequent offers through deal sites, like, where you can find cashback [offers] of up to 2.75 percent and coupon codes for discounts as deep as 40 percent off. Just search 'Michaels' in the Coupon Cabin app or"

Abby Reinhard
Abby Reinhard is a Senior Editor at Best Life, covering daily news and keeping readers up to date on the latest style advice, travel destinations, and Hollywood happenings. Read more
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