Flea markets, garage sales, and auctions can be excellent places to find craft supplies for almost nothing. While you might not find the traditional feathers-and-construction-paper-type crafts for your Sunday school ideas, you might find something even better, or at least more creative.
Auctions and estate sales often sell off old dishes and silverware. These items can be used in craft projects. It does not matter if the dishes match or not, have scratches, chips, or other ugly spots, because you and your students can transform them. Buy some special paint for ceramic or stone materials, depending on the material of your dishes. Let your students paint them, covering up all traces of the pattern underneath. This project is especially good for planning a Thanksgiving Sunday school lesson, because kids can use their plates as a serving plate for bread or another small item. You can teach them about the importance of giving and receiving, and they can paint their own interpretation of the first Thanksgiving on their plates.
This will be a great memento for your students and their families. It will be a project that your students probably will never have done before.
This same idea can be used with teacups and other drinking cups. Students can paint them just as they did the plates, but this time, your lesson can involve Psalm 23, where the psalmist speaks to God of His abundance and blessings. The Psalm reads: “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over” (King James Version). This could work for Thanksgiving as well, depending on how you would like to structure the class.
You are likely to find random craft supplies at garage sales. People may be selling old scissors, that while they may not be useful for sewing projects or other precise cutting, are perfect for student use in a Sunday school. You may find an old teaching book, old markers and crayons, t-shirts that your students can decorate with the name of your Sunday school, and many other things. The projects that will come out of the materials you encounter at these out-of-the-way sales will push you to come up with new ideas and ways to incorporate the supplies into a Bible lesson, but with some creativity and time you will find their usefulness to make all your purchases worth it.