Tag Archives: frugal

Thoughtful Thursday – Last Minute Ideas To Save the (Holi)Day!

Grumpy Cat, meet Grumpy Dog. (slash Rudolph)

Put on that antler headband, and beat the bah-humbugs with our list of last minute holiday cheer!

Christmas is less than a week away, and yuletide is upon us. If you haven’t made your home festive (or you want to add some extra,) or if you just haven’t been able to come up with gifts for you friends, neighbors, or that relative that’s really hard to shop for, here are some last minute ideas to make your season merry and bright. (Click on the images for more info.)

Easy Decorations:

Simple, inexpensive, and elegant.


This has to be the prettiest, simplest tree I can imagine. Outline with lights and add paper cutouts of stars (or snowflakes!)

 all about the paper snowflakes

Speaking of snowflakes, here are some beautiful patterns to use!

20 minute crafter - make a giant star for less than five dollars - it is made from yard sticks.


Make an inexpensive outdoor star decoration with yard sticks.



Forego the can of fake snow, and break out your glue gun instead!

Free Printables:

Christmas Printable Freebie

Buddy the Elf printable.

Christmas printable



Holiday subway art printable.

Printable Christmas Banner!

“Noel” banner printable.

FREE Printable Christmas Gift Tags


Forget the expensive wrapping supplies. Use magazine or newspaper, plus these cute printable tags.

Quick Gifts:

I have to remember this for Christmas!!

An adorable gift for the women in your life!

Christmas on your stove. Made with Cinnamon sticks, dried lemon slices, dried orange slices, dried apple slices, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, bay leaf.  Great neighbor gift idea.

A natural home fragrance that smells like the holidays. A great gift for the neighbors!

DIY Lip Gloss using TWO ingredients!


What tween or teen girl wouldn’t love some pretty lip gloss in their stocking?

DIY Rosemary Mint Shave Cream


Whip up a big batch of this manly smelling shaving cream, and divide into small containers for a great gift. Add a straight razor (and print out a good how-to) for a gift the guys will use all year!

Of course, don’t forget our giveaway to enter to win this gift-able handmade necklace:


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Happy National Earth Month!

Happy Earth Month, everyone! I’m so glad to see that the earth-friendly living “trend” isn’t just a trend anymore, and that people are taking notice how much we affect the earth around us. A large part of our business is reusing and repurposing the old into new items to make a positive ecological impact.

The other day on my other blog, Chelsea, Like England, I wrote a post about easy upcycling projects you can do around the house as you do your spring cleaning.

I received an email today from Michaels with lists of re-useful projects, including fashion, furniture, decor, and even a block party idea to celebrate Earth Day. They’re also teaming up with American Forests to plant trees with just a simple text.

Ten for Tuesday Pledge

Just a few days ago, I reposted this pledge on our mission’s Facebook page, encouraging our students to pick up ten pieces of trash each Tuesday. This works anywhere, of course, not just on a college campus, and it’s a great way to celebrate Earth Month way beyond April.

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Make It Monday – Paperclip “Chandelier” Project Result

Finally! The paperclip chandelier project is complete:

Colored paperclips and faux multicolored crystals.

The project took about half a day to make. If I had been working from a pattern, it probably wouldn’t have taken as long, but I decided to be brave and go without one. I altered the project by using multicolored paperclips and adding “crystals” – because you can’t have a chandelier without crystals! I eyeballed the size I needed, made the wire hoops, and started linking the paperclips in a triangle/diamond pattern. The hubs came home to a colorful surprise – and he really likes it. Which is good, considering it’s above the desk he uses in the kitchen. Since I already had the steel wire, this project cost me less than $2 in paperclips; well worth the investment.

This is the third and final of the first group of top 3 projects I picked last month. I’m so excited to finish the list and move on to new craft projects! Next Monday, I’ll list my next 3 projects to complete.

What are your top 3 project picks?

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Make It Monday – Top 3 Project Picks

My “favorites” list is getting longer and longer because of the “creative projects” folder I’ve created! Since I’ve stumbled on dollarstorecrafts.com, the list has grown rapidly.

So, for the sake of avoiding being overwhelmed by crafts – which is hard to do when you make things for a living! – I decided to pick my top 3 to finish before moving on to other crafts. I should probably come up with a deadline, too, but since I have so many ideas running around in my brain for the new shop, I’m not sure how much free time I’ll have to craft “recreationally,” haha!

Top 3 Crafts I’d Like To Complete (Soon So I Can Move On To Other Crafts!)

1. Braided T-Shirt Necklace.

Click the link to view the picture and tutorial! I’d like to make a version of this necklace with more strands, to make a true statement piece.

2. No-sew recycled t-shirt bag.

This tutorial is awesome, and will probably be the first craft I finish, since it’s so easy. Sensing a theme, here? Yeah, I have some shirts I don’t want to get rid of, but that need a new life, and I can never have enough purses and bags. Actually, I may end up sewing the bottom of these bags; I think it may be just as fast as making a drawstring!

3. A paperclip chandelier.

Here’s the really ambitious project. I bought a bunch of multicolor paperclips to make a more colorful version of this insanely ingenious craft. Really, to me, it’s a piece of art. I can’t wait to make this and put it over the bare bulb hanging in the kitchen. Part of the fun of this project is that I don’t plan to buy the $9 tutorial. Yeah, I was that kid who didn’t like to read the Lego directions. I like to figure things out for myself.

So, there’s my crafting commitment! I hope to get all three of these done within the next month. I’ll post updates on my progress, so you guys can see how the crafts turned out. 🙂

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Make It Monday – I’m Not A Painter But I Play One On TV

I finally finished my second set of painted nursery letters for a friend. Her little man was just born a few days ago, and I can’t wait for them to hang his letters! She told me she even dreamed that I finished them after his birth, and that she was holding him while her husband hung them in the nursery. 🙂 I thought that was sweet. The other set is completely painted but without hangers, and the mommy to be hasn’t had her little one yet.

My very first set of letters! 3 letters aren't so bad. The second set is 6 letters, which was considerably more time consuming, even though the design isn't as complicated.

If you’re wanting to customize your own letters, whether it’s a monogram or a full name, I’ll share some things I’ve learned so far:

1. I wish I had taken a painting class somewhere along the way. I’m fine with basic shapes and shading, but anything more complicated is challenging for me. If you have painting skills, right on! If not, just pick a basic design, or try to replicate a print from a piece of fabric, paper, etc. It’s helpful to have a visual. Sketch your design lightly with pencil before you paint it.

2. Pick your paint. For the second set of letters, I used leftover latex wall paint from another project the couple did in the nursery. There were no worries about matching paint colors, but the paint has a much different consistency than acrylics and, for me, was harder to work with around the details of the designs. It’s less likely to scuff, though, so a topcoat isn’t needed.

3.  I still don’t know which hangers are best to use. The little nails/tacks that come in the packages of hangers are too long to use. I’m experimenting with which glue to use, making sure I find one that won’t result in the letters to falling from the wall! If anyone has suggestions, I’m open to them.

4. I understand why these letters can get so expensive when shopping online for them. They are time consuming, can be tedious, and, if you’re like me, you want to be sure to get every aspect right. Weigh your options – if you dislike the idea of spending lots of money on something you think you can make yourself, consider the time you’ll invest DIYing. Sometimes it’s worth it to pay a few extra dollars.

All in all, I’m proud of the way both sets of letters turned out. I can’t wait for them to be hung proudly in the babies’ rooms! Congrats to all of our friends who are beginning and adding to their families!

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Whatever Weekend – Feeding The Addiction

Ok, I confess, I’m addicted …

to dollar stores.

I don’t have a hard time not shopping at large retailers like Target, Walmart, or big-name clothing stores, but dollar stores? They’re my weak spot. So, coming from a gal who likes to thrift and make things rather than buy them, but obviously has issues when it comes to $1 tags, you can imagine how elated I was when a friend recommended dollarstorecrafts.com!

To be honest, I do try to buy things from the ol’ DS to use for supplies for craft projects, like the Wizard Of Oz trunk or treat decorations, or the halloween wreath I made. It’s nice to finally get some inspiration, though, for those things that I want to buy but can’t justify with a purpose. My friend (and other friends, if they like!) will be crafting it up on the cheap in the very near future, and I can’t wait.

In reference to another obsession of mine, Tom and I visited the Log Cabin Village in Fort Worth, followed by a very hot lunch at the Botanic Gardens down the street. The obsession here is inexpensive and entertaining dates. One of our first dates together involved the Wendy’s dollar menu, a park, and touring the outside of my old elementary school. We’ve been on a roll ever since!

Outside the log cabin where my grandfather was born! It made an extra special date to share some family history with my hubby.We both love it when art and function meet. This butterfly chair was amazing, and luckily there was a kind stranger nearby who offered to take our pic.

The normal routine starts again tomorrow. The center opens for the summer, Tom starts summer school, and Mom and I commence our regularly scheduled doctor visits and brainstorming sessions! Just in time for 100 degree weather.

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