Showing posts with label Thrifty. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Thrifty. Show all posts

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Jimmy Choo inspired glitter sunglasses

Sometimes I find myself staring at really expensive things... and then wondering if I could somehow get the same look for less.  For example, I saw these pairs of Jimmy Choo sunglasses and loved their fun, glittery vibe. 

But then I saw their price tags and almost had a heart attack.  Oy vey!  A couple hundred for a pair of sunglasses?

Too rich for my blood.

With a little bit of elbow grease, glittery nail polish, and painters tape, I turned a pair of free job fair sunglasses (hooray for job fair freebies!) into this...

Not bad, right?  Ideally I should have used a pair of all black sunglasses, but I had these on hand and made them work. 

I covered the lenses in painters tape to protect them.  Then, I went to town painting the frames with some leftover glittery nail polish.  Once the nail polish dried, I removed the tape and voila!  Glittery Jimmy Choo-esque sunglasses.

Here's what my sunglasses looked like before:

And once again, here's what they look like bling-a-fied:

So.... whaddya think?  Would you glitter-afy your sunglasses?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Make your own window clings

Currently Chuck's windows are covered in homemade window clings.

They were super easy to make.  All you need are:
  • Clear contact paper
  • Paint pens (or Sharpies-- although the colors aren't as vibrant)
  • Scissors.  

Just doodle on the contact paper, cut out your doodles, and you're done.  Easie peasie.  Instant personalized decorations for your windows.

Happy Tuesday!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

DIY Animal Nose Paper Cups

While looking around for animal themed party accessories for Chuck's birthday, I spotted these Pick Your Nose Paper Cups, Pick Your Nose Animal Cups, and Pig Nose Cup. 

Super cute, right? 

But being an uber cheapie, I figured I could just make similar looking cups for much less free.  All I used were a couple of paper cups (taken from Whole Foods- Thanks!), Sharpie markers, and crayons.

With only a couple minutes of doodling and coloring, I came up with these lovelies:

They're not as nice as the originals, but they were free and cute... so I didn't mind one bit!

Ultimately we ended up just using boxed juices and bottled water for the party.   So Chuck is currently getting a kick out of using the cups at home.  (His favorite one is the bird beak.)

Happy Wednesday!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Cereal Box Party Hats

Hi everyone! 

I don't normally post on weekends, but I just had to make this exception.  Guess what?  Guess what?

I'll give you a moment.

Ok, time's up.   I'm going to be a craft contributor at Handmade Charlotte

*Insert girly-high-pitched squeal here.*

Handmade Charlotte is a lovely DIY, craft, and design blog.  I'm so thankful for this opportunity to try something new.  Here's my first contribution:  A Cereal Box Party Hat.

DIY Recycle Cereal Box Party Hat

Cereal boxes and packing tape make up the backbone of this cute bear visor. If you'd like to make yourself one, click here for the instructions and template.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Spiked and Braided T-shirt Bracelet

I can't believe that September is just a week away.  Eeek!  Is it just me, or does every store sign seem to scream "Back to School?"

Growing up, I loved this time of the year for two reasons.  1)  I loved school. (Yeah, nerds!) and  2)  I loved back to school shopping.  New blank notebooks?  Swoon.   New clothes and shoes?  Double swoon. (Was anyone else like this as a kid?)

But, buying a ton of new items gets costly quite quickly. 

Fueled by my thrifty nature, I made these spiked and braided t-shirt bracelets.  They came out pretty cute. I like to imagine some creative, quirky gal wearing them to the first day of school. 

The colors are quite girly, but the spikes show that you've got some spunk!

  • Multicolored T-shirt
  • Fabric scissors
  • Spikes with screwbacks
  • Pen (Optional)
  • Needle and thread
  • Tacky Glue

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Make Party Blowers

When we go out to eat, one of Chuck's favorite things to get is bubble tea. 

It's so cute watching him order.  Too short to reach the counter, Hubby has to lift Chuck up so that he's eye level with the cashier. 

Of course, it's the same lady behind the counter every week.  Even though she already knows what he's going to say, she always asks Chuck what he wants.  And without fail, he gives the same response:  bubble tea with a blue straw.  (Blue is his favorite color.)

The lady then giggles when she hears his little voice.  When she's done, she hands over the drink and a couple extra straws.  (He loves straws.)  Typically, Chuck just blows and chews on the extras... but this time he generously gave them to me so that I could craft with them.  

I saw how much he loved blowing on party blowers at another child's birthday party.  So, of course I had to try making them for him at home.  

  • Magazine paper (Cut into 5x9" rectangles)
  • Bubble tea straws cut in half
  • Scissors
  • Tape

1.  Fold your paper in thirds lengthwise.   Tape your paper where the two sides meet. 

2.  Fold over one end of the paper and tape that down too.  (Make sure your tape all the openings closed.  You want your party blower to be air tight.) 

3.  Starting from the sealed end, tightly wrap your magazine paper around a pen.   (Do this a couple of times with the pen and then without the pen to make sure that the curl stays.  I've also seen some other bloggers, like Design Mom, wrap their rolls with rubber bands to help the curl to stay better.)

4.  Now stick your straw in the open end of the paper.  Fold your paper over the straw and tape it down.  (Again, make sure that everything is air tight.) 

And that's it!  Hand your party blowers over to your kid and watch them have fun!

We just used magazine paper, so our blowers only lasted for about a couple of minutes before they stopped recoiling or ripped.  But not to worry!  I washed, dried, and cut up the straws to make some "beads."  Chuck then enjoyed stringing them onto some pipe cleaners. 

Happy crafting!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Tin can stilts

What do you do if you're stuck at home all weekend?

That's the question we were faced with this weekend since we were all under the weather.  Blech.

With a couple of empty cans, duct tape, scissors, and string, we made ourselves some tin can stilts.  (I removed the labels and then washed and dried the empty cans.  Then, hubby drilled two holes on each side of the can to fit the string through.  I covered the bottoms and the holes with duct tape just to make sure that Chuck's fingers wouldn't get hurt on any scratchy edges.  Then, we poked the strings through and tied them tight.)

The tiny tuna fish cans were for Chuck to try out.  He still doesn't quite have the coordination to actually move the stilts by himself, but he seemed to enjoy trying and copying mama.

Tin can stilts one day.... real stilts the next?  Maybe Chuck will be a circus performer when he grows up.....

Happy crapting!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Make a Cardboard Taxi Bank

The last time we visited New York, Chuck got the chance to ride around Manhattan in a taxi.

He absolutely loved it.  Not only did he not have to sit in a baby seat, but he got to ride alongside mom and dad.  Whoa!  Too much coolness.

Now whenever we see a taxi (or really, any yellow car), he calls out, "Taxi! Taxi"

His love for those yellow vehicles and the ever growing pile of cardboard diaper boxes in our apartment prompted me to make him a small taxi bank.

Beep Beep! 
It was a pretty simple craft to make.  Older kids can help with making or assembling the pieces and younger kids can help paint the car once it's built.

- Cardboard <-- crap!
- Scissors
- Exacto knife
- Masking Tape
- Packing Tape
- Paint
- Paint brushes
- Mod Podge
- Foam Brush
- Black Sharpie Marker

1.  Cut out two identical car pieces and two long rectangular strips out of cardboard.  The strips should be identical widths.  Cut out a small slit in one cardboard rectangle for a place to insert your moola.

3.  Slowly bend and tape the rectangular strips to the edge of one of your car pieces.  Use packing tape to tape the cardboard together.  When you reach the point to where you want the trunk to be, cut out a small opening (for coins to escape.)  (Note:  I kept the non-printed brown side on the outside of the car because I thought it would be easier to paint later.)

4. Now you'll have to be dextrous and tape the other cardboard car piece on top of your structure.  (I used packing tape and tried to tape everything on the inside.)  Then, use masking tape to cover your edges.  (The masking tape gives the piece a less crapty, cleaner look.  Plus, it helped to keep everything attached together.)

5.  Paint your car white.  (This will make sure your colors pop.)  Then, paint your taxi.  You can also use a Sharpie marker to outline shapes or write out the license plate numbers. 

6.  Cover your car with Mod Podge to protect your lovely paint job.  Voila!  Now you're done.

Hmm.... looking back I probably would not have made cardboard wheels.  Instead, I would have made them out of milk caps so that they could really turn.

I added a small rectangular piece to the trunk to give Chuck something to grip.  Eh... he ended up ripping it right off.. so I'm not sure if that was too important to do....

Taxi, taxi!  (Don't worry.  Chuck's leg isn't hurt, he's just likes wearing hubby's leg band.)

Right now Chuck has about five cents in the bank.  Hey, you gotta start somewhere, right?  We're hoping that by the end of the year, he'll have enough to buy something from the 99cent store.  :)

Happy crafting!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Make your own trunk cover

****Update-  A lot of people seem to be interested in this trunk cover.  Full disclosure here... after using it for awhile, we've noticed that there's one big problem with the cover.  Every time we drive, the back bar pops out.  Grr....   So the cover holds up if the car is parked... but the back bar won't stay put if the car is moving.  So once hubby and I get some free time, we will tweak the design.  Does anyone have ideas with how to fix that problem?  Hrmm... I'll update you with our progress..... Sorry!*****

It's now been a year since we left Michigan and moved back to the East Coast.  Wow.  Time really flies.  

It's also been about a year since we lost our trunk cover.  Grrr movers!  We figured it was time to finally get a new one.  However, with trunk covers being so pricey, hubby and I took the thrifty way out and and made our own.  Here's what our trunk cover looks like:

It was really easy for us to design and hubby to sew.  In case you find yourself missing a trunk cover (grr, movers!), check out the directions below.

- Two shower curtain rods
- Piece of fabric

1.  Measure the two distances (across the trunk) between the pairs of holes where the original trunk cover rested.  (These distances will determine what size shower curtain rods you buy.)

2.  Measure the distance between the two holes on one side of the car.

3.  Purchase

  • two shower curtain rods that will span the two distances across the trunk
  • a piece of fabric that will span the distance between your two rods (with an extra bit to create tube "sleeves" for your poles)

4.   Sew one tube "sleeve" to hold in one shower curtain rod.  Place your sleeved rod into the car and use chalk to determine how to sew the next curtain rod.  Then, sew your other tube "sleeve."   Insert your second rod in your sleeve.

Then, voila.  You've got your very own personalized trunk cover.

On the negative side, it won't be able to slide open and closed like your original one.  However, on the positive side, it covers the items in your trunk and was made for a fraction of the cost

Happy crafting!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Make "quill pens" out of straws (and dye paper with coffee and tea)

When we visited Williamsburg a couple of weeks ago (click here or here to see photos), hubby and I purchased a quill pen to try out.  After writing with it for a bit, we were inspired to make our own crapty "quills pens" out of straws and use food coloring as ink.

To make our straw "quill" pens, we sampled several different types of straws:  a bubble tea straw, a normal straw, and a stirrer.  We cut the tips at an angle to mimic the quill pen.

I also used coffee and tea to age some watercolor paper.  To do this, I let the paper sit in cooled black tea (or coffee) for a couple of minutes.

Then, we set the paper out to dry on some pieces of paper towel.

Here are the results of our paper dying.  Left- Original paper,  Middle- Tea dyed,   Right- Coffee dyed
As you can see, coffee made our paper quite brown.

And how did our  homemade "quills" work out?  Check them out below.  I first used all four writing instruments to write in print and then to write in cursive.

Top line- Written with a real quill
Second line- Written with bubble tea straw
Third line- Written with normal straw
Fourth line- Written with a stirrer  (Eek!  Please excuse my scary monster handwriting.  It was really hard to get the ink to flow out.)

 Happy crapting!    

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Painted Mosaic Styrofoam Tile Picture Frame

June is the month of Father's day and birthdays.  Chuck and I wanted to make gifts for hubby and my parents, so we made these mosaic picture frames out of painted Styrofoam plates and cardboard.

I'm so glad with how they turned out.  They're happy and colorful and made out of stuff that we had right at home.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Make a sailboat out of a shampoo bottle

((Thank you to everyone for entering my Kiwi Crate Giveaway.  Before I talk about today's crapt, let me just announce that the winner of the giveaway is Mel!  Congratulations!  Please email me your mailing address so I can send you a Kiwi Crate straight away.))

Hi everyone!  Today I'm going to share how I made this shampoo bottle sailboat after being inspired by this DIY boat kit found here:

- empty shampoo bottle <-- crap!
- 2 rubber bands
- wine cork <-- crap!
- drill
- stirrer <-- crap!
- straw <-- crap!
- pair of scissors
- triangle from a potato chip bag <-- crap!
- tape (packing tape is best, but I only had clear plastic tape)

Here are the boat's main components:

1.  Cut your cork in half lengthwise.  Then, drill a hole through the middle.  The hole should be big enough to hold your stirrer (aka the mast) up.

2.  Your straw is going to be the horizontal bar holding up your sail (aka, the boom).  Cut your straw to the desired length.  Then, make two triangle cutouts on each side of the straw, so that your stirrer (aka the mast) can slide into the straw.  Both your stirrer and straw will support your plastic bag sail.  

3.  Cut your plastic chip bag into a triangle sail shape.  Tape the plastic bag onto your stirrer and straw to create a sail.

4.  Use two rubber bands to attach your cork to your shampoo bottle.  Then, stick your stirrer into the cork's hole and voila, instant sail boat.

The boat sails nicely in your bathtub, but Chuck and I took it one step further and sailed the high seas (eh hem... a nearby lake.)  We just tied a ribbon to it so that it wouldn't float away.

Hope you and your little one enjoy this crapt!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Homemade DIY laundry detergent

Guess what I did with that microwaved ivory soap powder?  

Whoa. Whoa.  Back up the train.  Did I jump off the deep end?  What am I doing?  Homemade laundry detergent? What's next?  Refusing to shave my legs or pluck my eyebrows? (FYI- Hubby's eyes practically bugged out when I told him what I was planning on doing.)

Yes.  I made it. It's true.  Have you ever tried making your own laundry detergent?  I'd seen a whole bunch of recipes online calling for the same few ingredients.  Whenever I'd consider trying it out, images of my failed cloth diapering attempts would come to mind.... and then I'd decide against it.  (Psst- Wanna know what happened to my lovely cloth diapers?  It's a sad tale of stinky woe... read the * below.)

Ever since we found such a nice way to create soap powder, I thought, what the heck, let's try the recipe out. Couldn't hurt, right?

- 1 C Borax
- 1 C Super washing soda
- 1 bar Ivory soap (microwaved into a fine powder)
- 1/2 C Oxi Clean

I simply mixed the ingredients together and stored them in an airtight container.

Now it's just a matter of waiting and seeing.  I'll try the homemade detergent out a couple of times and let you know the results.  Lots of other bloggers have given similar recipes rave reviews.  They claim that it makes your clothes super soft, works well with hard water, and saves you loads of money (you only use 1 Tablespoon for HE machines... which means that I can do quite a few loads with this batch.)

With Chuck's fairly sensitive skin, I'm hoping that it does all that... and works well with his skin too.  Cross your fingers!

UPDATE:  8/26- I just finished using the first batch of laundry detergent.  Let me just say that it works.  It didn't hurt the machine or our clothes.  For the most part, our clothes come out clean.  However, I definitely had problems getting rid of tougher stains.  (Think messy toddler eating spaghetti kind of stains...).   I used stain remover to help with the tougher stuff.  So, this can't be the only thing you use when you wash your clothes.  Since I have an old bottle of regular detergent in our closet, I'm going to go back to using that stuff until the bottle is done.  I'll see if I notice any difference, but if not, I'm just going to stick with the homemade stuff.

*Ahh, curious to hear my sad cloth diapering tale?  Well... let's just say that the diapers worked great when Chuck was young and we lived in Michigan.  But after moving to New Jersey, we ran into a couple of pretty big problems.

1. Chuck started really eating solid food and his waste started to really smell bad.  I had to do laundry more frequently... which wouldn't have been a problem if we had our own washing machine.  Unfortunately, cloth diapers weren't so economical for us because we pay per load.

2.  Our building's laundry machines are located in the basement.  I had to take my "goodies" down with me in the elevator.  Stinky diapers aren't a great way to make nice with neighbors.

3.  I had some buildup on the diapers, so they became doubly stinky when soiled.  (Think highly concentrated vinegar mixed with rotting eggs.)  I could have just fixed the problem by washing the diapers many many times and then hanging them to dry in the sun.  But, I didn't like that option because I'm a cheapo and there really wasn't a nice way that I could line dry them in the city.  (Resting them on city benches?  Hmmm... maybe not...)

So alas, my lovely cloth diapers are now neatly folded and hiding away in Chuck's closet, awaiting to be used again....

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Homemade watercolor card and upcycled strawberry container gift box

Ok, so this post's title is rather long and not too creative... but I couldn't think of a better way to describe this:
To end this week's series of wedding themed posts, I wanted to show how I wrapped and presented our "Good Night, Bonne Nuit" pillow cases to the bride and groom   In the spirit of DIY, we made both the card and the gift box.

Chuck helped me to make the wedding card and envelope.  Say what?  Yup, you read right.  My little guy and I made these:

Remember those homemade watercolors I made a couple of weeks back?  Well, we pulled them out of the fridge, re-hydrated the paint with several drops of water, and then went to town using them as finger paints.  Their pale colors were perfect for the wedding.  (On the down side- The paint left a bit of powdery residue on the watercolor paper when it dried.  Fortunately I was able to wipe most of it off with a napkin.)

Chuck's finger painting became the envelope and mine became the card.  (The white swirls were made by first drawing on the watercolor paper with an old Easter egg wax crayon.  After covering the paper with paint, the portions that were scribbled on with the wax crayon remained white.)   Oh yeah, and in case you're wondering, the card reads something along these lines: "life is better when you're walking hand in hand with the person you love"

We then upcycled an old strawberry container into the gift box:  

Cute right?  Wish I could take credit  for this idea, but I can't.  I first spotted it at the amazing Aunt Peaches.

To do this, I simply:
- Washed and dried the strawberry container, making sure to remove any gooey sticker parts (I used Goo gone )
- Used a Sharpie marker and doodled some flowers on the inside of the box
- Used craft paint and dabbed paint on the inside of the box
- Used Mod Podge to seal my craft paint once I was finished

Then, I placed a piece of pink tissue paper inside just to make sure that my pillowcases stayed nice and clean.  And there you have it.  Tada! A handmade wedding card and gift box that's pretty to look at and  so simple to make.  (A child could do it...really.).

Hooray for creatively used crap!

Friday, May 24, 2013

DIY Scalloped Jean shorts

DIY Scalloped Jean Shorts

It's Memorial Day Weekend.  How are you going to celebrate?  We're going to eat burgers, attend a wedding, and nap.... a lot.  (<--If Chuck lets us... that is...)  Inspired by all the lovely lazing about that I hope to be doing next week, I made myself a pair of comfy scalloped jean shorts from a pair of old jeans:

DIY Scalloped Jean Shorts

(This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you for your support!)