Navigating Returns at Hobby Lobby: My Tips and Experiences

Getting Your Money Back When an Arts and Crafts Purchase Doesn’t Work Out

As an avid crafter and DIYer, I frequently shop at Hobby Lobby to fuel my creative projects. I love their extensive selection of fabrics, craft supplies, seasonal décor and more. But like any retailer, sometimes an item I buy at Hobby Lobby just doesn’t work out – maybe the color isn’t quite right, it’s not the quality I expected or I simply have no use for it. When these situations pop up, I’m always grateful for Hobby Lobby’s return policy.

After years of shopping at Hobby Lobby and dealing with the occasional return, I’ve gotten very familiar with how their return process works. I’ve also picked up some tips and tricks along the way to make returns there as smooth as possible. If you shop at Hobby Lobby, chances are you’ll need to make a return at some point too. So here is my complete guide to returning items bought at Hobby Lobby, based on my personal experiences.

The Standard Return Policy

Let’s start with the basics. What is Hobby Lobby’s standard return policy? Well, they make returns pretty easy. Most non-clearance items can be returned with a receipt within 60 days of purchase for a full refund. Returns without a receipt may be given store credit.

This 60 day window is longer than many other retailers, giving you plenty of time to evaluate an item or realize it’s just not working for your project. Hobby Lobby does not even have any restrictions about returning unused specialty items like fabric, which is really customer-friendly.

The exceptions are clearance merchandise, which generally cannot be returned, and items classified as “perishable” like floral arrangements or live plants. Anything marked down due to damage also cannot be returned.

Returning Without a Receipt

What if you’ve lost your Hobby Lobby receipt or didn’t get one in the first place? Not to worry, you can still return items without a receipt at Hobby Lobby, you just may not get cash back. Returns without a receipt are typically exchanged for a store merchandise credit.

From my experience, as long as it’s within 60 days and tags are still attached, Hobby Lobby will usually do an even exchange for something else in the store. If you really want the cash refund though, having that receipt is key. So I recommend keeping it in a safe place, even stapling it to the product packaging if it’s something you may return.

The 60 Day Time Limit

Keep a close eye on that 60 day return window. Once an item is past 60 days from the purchase date, Hobby Lobby will no longer accept it for a return.

I once made the mistake of holding onto an unused stack of wood plaques, thinking I’d find a craft project for them eventually. By the time I decided to return them months later, the 60 days had long passed. So don’t be like me – note that return deadline on your calendar and don’t let unused supplies linger too long.

Returning Clearance Items

Here is one big exception to Hobby Lobby’s return policy – clearance merchandise is final sale and cannot be returned. That super cheap fabric you bought on clearance didn’t match your sofa after all? Too bad. On-sale seasonal decor items that are now irrelevant? Nope, you’re stuck with them.

This is why I’m cautious when buying Hobby Lobby clearance items. I make absolutely sure it’s something I’ll use or that the discounted price is worth being stuck with it if the item doesn’t work out. If you’re unsure, it may be better to pay a little more for the non-clearance version that you can return if needed.

Returning Defective Goods

One great perk of Hobby Lobby’s return policy is that it fully covers defective items. If you begin working on a project using supplies from Hobby Lobby and realize the products are faulty, you can bring them back.

I’ve exchanged defective items a couple times, like glitter that didn’t adhere properly and a set of markers that arrived dried out. Each time, Hobby Lobby swapped my faulty purchase for a non-defective replacement with no hassle. It gave me peace of mind that I wasn’t wasting money on subpar craft materials.

Exchanging Items

Along with returns for a refund, Hobby Lobby also allows you to exchange an unused item for something else instead. This is handy if you got the wrong color yarn or simply changed your mind and would prefer something different.

Exchanges are essentially returns in one transaction. You bring the unwanted item back and pick out a replacement right then with no waiting. The policies are the same regarding receipts and time limits. Just know that clearance items cannot be exchanged.

Returning Gift Card Purchases

Here’s a unique Hobby Lobby return situation that cropped up for me recently: What happens when you return an item bought with a Hobby Lobby gift card? This occurred when I got a loom kit as a gift, but it turned out the loom was too small for the projects I wanted to make.

When I returned the loom kit bought with a gift card, the refund was put back on a new Hobby Lobby gift card. So if you return something purchased with a Hobby Lobby gift card, expect to get gift card credit rather than cash back.

Seasonal and Holiday Merchandise

Hobby Lobby has awesome holiday décor and seasonal craft supplies. But what if you stock up on markdown Valentine’s Day florals only to have no use for them now that February has passed? Or you bought Halloween ribbon for DIY decorations that never got made?

In these cases, seasonal and holiday merchandise can still be returned as long as it’s within 60 days of purchase. Hobby Lobby’s policy doesn’t restrict returns on items just because the holiday or seasonal relevance has ended. So you can get a refund on unused seasonal supplies anytime within that 60 day window.

COVID-19 Return Policy Updates

The pandemic has impacted all retail return policies, Hobby Lobby’s included. For much of 2020, Hobby Lobby temporarily suspended accepting returns or exchanges on merchandise related to COVID-19 concerns. This included fabric, patterns, craft paint, and some crafting books.

These restrictions have now been lifted. But it’s a good reminder that during public health crises, retailers like Hobby Lobby may modify policies. I always recommend checking their website for the latest COVID-19 updates before making a return trip.

Tracking Your Return

When you return an item by mail instead of in person, you can actually track the status on Hobby Lobby’s website. Just visit the online Order Tracking page and enter your order number. This will show when Hobby Lobby has received your return back at their facility.

I love having visibility into my return status when I can’t make it to a store. The tracking page also estimates how long it will take for your refund to process after the return is received, so you know when to expect the money back.

No Receipt Returns

I’ve said it already but it’s worth emphasizing again: having your receipt makes returns to Hobby Lobby much easier. Without a receipt, you likely will only get store credit versus cash back. Plus, the staff has no way to verify when you purchased the item.

If you lost your receipt, try checking your email inbox – Hobby Lobby may have emailed you a digital receipt if you provided your address at checkout. You can print or show this on your phone when making a no-receipt return.

Returning Fabric and Custom Items

Fabric is a popular category at Hobby Lobby, but how does returning bolts of unused fabric work? Uncut fabric rolls can be returned as long as they are still in their original packaging. Once fabric is cut or altered, Hobby Lobby will not accept a return.

The same goes for specialty items like custom framing – these cannot be returned after materials have been cut or assembled into finished products. Just one more reason to be absolutely certain before purchasing these custom or specialty items with limited return options.

Refund Timing

Don’t expect refunds from Hobby Lobby to happen immediately. From my experience, it typically takes 1-2 billing cycles for the refunded amount to show up in my account. Whether you get cash back or credit on your original form of payment depends on if you have the receipt.

To speed things up, I highly recommend returning in person rather than mailing items back. Returns to the physical store are usually processed quicker. Just be aware refunds still take some time to be finalized, regardless of return method.

Return Documentation

To cover all your bases, bring as much documentation as you can when returning items to Hobby Lobby. This includes your receipt, original tags, packaging or manuals that came with the product – anything that proves the item and purchase date.

The more evidence you can provide, the less likely staff will run into any issues processing your return. I once made the mistake of removing an item from its packaging only to need to return it later. So leaving tags on and keeping boxes intact can really help facilitate returns.

Post-Holiday Returns

Let’s say holiday decor didn’t get used or was defective. Can you still return unused holiday items to Hobby Lobby after the holiday passes? Yes, unused seasonal and holiday merchandise can be returned within 60 days of purchase, even if the holiday itself has come and gone.

The key is having the receipt to verify the purchase was made within that 60 day window. As long as you have your receipt, holiday returns at Hobby Lobby are allowed outside of holiday timeframes.


Returning an item you bought requires extra effort, but at Hobby Lobby it does not have to be a hassle. Now that you know their standard return policy, exceptions, COVID-19 updates and other useful tips, you can handle Hobby Lobby returns with confidence.

The most important things I’ve learned are keep your receipt, pay attention to return deadlines and check their website for policy changes. With these steps, you can get a refund or exchange on most items and avoid getting stuck with unused supplies.

So next time an arts and crafts purchase from Hobby Lobby doesn’t work out as planned, don’t panic. Just follow their return policy and my tips to get your money back – then get back to sparking your creativity with new projects and supplies!

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