Tag Archive for: DIY

Ten (Plus) Easy Ways to save Money

I am frugal by nature-just ask my parents. I used to hide girl scout cookies under my bed, only allowing myself one delicious thin mint a night. That is-until the ants also found my stash and my parents put an end to my cookie hoarding ways.

That said, I love to save money. Here are ten (plus) easy ways that you can, too!

 

Chapstick
1) Biceps uses lip balm like nobody’s business. And to be fair-so do I. But, is it a crime to want supple, luscious lips void of cracks and flakiness. I contest that it is not!
However, the $3 a tube for Burt’s Bees was a crime. And I needed to solve it. With a few ingredients and within a few minutes time, I had made 40 tubes of Lip Balm that cost less than $.25 each.

 

Cleanser
2) I make all of the cleansers that I need to keep my home sparkling. They are cheap, easy to make and non-toxic. Everything from: all purpose & anti-bacterial cleaners, to furniture polish, toilet bowel cleaner, brass and stainless steel polisher, and cooking spray.

 

Potholes and Pantyhose
3) I also make most of my beauty products saving me hundreds of dollars a year. Check out this easy to make facial moisturizer, eye make-up remover, toothpaste and mouthwash.

 

Face Wash
4) Simply make your own face wash using ground oatmeal. I know what you might be thinking-how does oatmeal on my face actually work? The ground oats add moisture back into the skin (thus the reason you are supposed to bathe in it when you have a rash, poison ivy, etc) while the gentle oats exfoliate the skin and cleanse. Cheap. Simple. Love it and the smell of breakfast as you’re washing my face.

 

Laundry Soap
5) I make my own laundry soap once a month which lasts me for 48 stinky, big-boy loads. I save big-boy money doing this. The clothes smell great and it’s fun to grind up soap in my blender. Everybody wins.

I also make my own laundry softener and stain stick. Super easy, does the job and smells fantastic!

 

Mirror Art
6) Make your own art with whatever you have on hand. Get creative and dare to cut your knuckles making this Mirror Art. I’ve used scrap plywood, drywall, oops paint, repainted canvases, and many other odd things to decorate my walls. And-the best part is-if you screw up, you can just throw it away!

 

Potholes and Pantyhose
7) Learn how to do some basic sewing and start getting thrifty. I made this silky scarf shirt with a couple of scarves and two pieces of ribbon. The cost-$1. I’ve also made shirts and dresses from pillow cases, and cape shirts from lace tablecloths.

 

Thank You
8) Create your own cheap thank you notes by recycling old photos, postcards, pictures from magazines. Sew them onto card stock and offer your friends a one-of-a-kind letter in the mail.

 

Veggie Wash
9) The produce cleanser I was buying from the store cost about $3 a bottle. Forget that! I now make my very own produce cleanser at home for about $.10 a bottle. Those are savings you can keep!

 

Garden-Tomatoes
10) Keep your garden humming all year long with an inexpensive DIY spinning composter, rain barrels, critter deterrent and pest spray.

These are just a few ways that I’ve found to save money and replace store-bought items. What are some of your favorite ways to be frugal and keep your cold-hard cash where it belongs (in your wallet)?

Read more

DIY Cement Garden “Hands”

At first, I was a scared little girl when it came to working with cement. It seemed so permanent and could be a colossal waste of time if I screwed it up. Which I do often. Then, I had an epiphany. Cement is no different than cookie dough-other than the whole edibility issue.

 

Planters and Cement Hand
So, I opened up the creative floodgates and made a cement hand (or two). This little hand will be perfect holding birdseed, or just adding a little pinache to my flower beds. And it cost almost nothing to make.

 

Ingredients-Cement Hand
Here’s all that you’ll need to make your very own cement hand:
Bucket and access to water
Rubber gloves
Sand/Topping mix
Hand shovel or garden trowel
Cooking oil and paintbrush

 

Water and Bucket-Cement Hand
Pour a cup or two of the Sand/Topping Mix into a bucket. Add a little water and begin to mix-just like cookie dough!

 

Mixing Thick Cement Hand
The cement needs to be the consistency of thick dough. Do a test by pushing a little to the side of the bucket-if it stays in place pretty well, it’s thick enough. If it slumps right back down, you’ll need to add a little more of the Sand/Topping Mix.

 

Oil and Rubber Glove-Cement Hand
Turn a rubber glove inside out and pour a tablespoon into it. Clamp the end of the glove and give it a good shake, until the whole glove is coated inside with oil.

 

Rubber Glove-Cement Hand
Fill the inside out rubber glove with cement, squeezing it to the tips of each finger.

 

Drying Rubber Glove-Cement Hand
Prop up the fingers into the desired shape and let dry overnight.

 

Removal Rubber Glove-Cement Hand
Once the cement hand is completely dry, remove the rubber glove carefully by cutting and removing sections a little at a time.

 

Planters and 2 Cement Hand Side
That’s it-you’re done! Easy as making cookies, wasn’t it?

 
Close Up Cement Hand
You now have a one of a kind art piece with which to decorate your garden, your fireplace mantle or even use it to hold your business cards at work.

Take that, normalcy!

Read more

Christmas on the Cheap-Decor Ideas

Each year, I love to create new decor ideas for Christmas. The stores are filled with glittery goodness, and I like to keep my wallet full of my hard-earned greenery goodness.

If you get my drift. (That’s no snow joke.)

Here are a few ways that I’ve decorated our house for pennies on the dollar.

 


My Pretty Paper Xmas Trees were very inexpensively made. They grace my fireplace mantle and add a lot of color to my gray living room. Each are made from dowel rods, scrap plywood, wrapping paper and hot glue.

 


This is what the trees look like this year; surrounded by vintage deer, tinsel and very breakable bulbs (knowledge courtesy of ninja cats).

I made the Wooden “Peace” Garland that’s on the  Broken Mirror Art from a felled tree, spray paint and stencils.

 


These are the pieces close up to the Wooden Christmas Garland before I polyurethaned them.

 


This DIY Vintage Aluminum Christmas Wreath was made from Aluminum foil, cardboard and leftover red bulbs. Super cute, lightweight and cheap!

 


Simple, different, pretty and sparkly. My Silver Twig Wreath is a fanciful addition to our front door. And yes, I like fanciful things very much, let me tell you.

 


I also made this Retro Christmas Stocking for Biceps…


…and one for me using leftover felt and vintage ric-rac. They were both very simple to make and much better than the gigantic knit one Biceps insisted on using-hoping Santa would fill it to the brim. The size of this Retro Christmas Stocking is much more practical, although certain people aren’t happy about it.

 


To match the stockings, I also made a Retro Christmas Tree Skirt for our secondary tree with the same felt and ric-rac. This tree skirt just took a few minutes to make.

 

Throughout out the house, if there are any remaining surfaces untouched by Christmas, I fill jars with inexpensive ornaments picked up over the years at flea markets and garage sales. I add some sparkly tinsel and a few varieties of colors of bulbs and my house is ready for Christmas.

I have always said, “You can never have too many bulbs and you can never have too much Christmas.” I’m sure you’ve heard me say that, right?

I hope you’ve been inspired or at least your creativity has been sparked from some of these ideas. I would love to see and hear how you are decorating on the cheap this year!

 

If these parties are up, I link to them! (Here’s my complete Linky Party Page):
Monday: Crafts Keep Me SaneThe Better BakerSkip to My LouDIY ShowoffSay NotSumo’s Sweet StuffEtcetorizeSew ChattyBrassy AppleFlour Me With LoveCreating my WayMad in CraftsOur Delightful HomeSew Can DoIt’s So Very CheriCraft O ManiacPolly Want a Crafter, Tuesday: Craft EditionInspiration Board New Nostalgia Lettered Life Coastal CharmTip Junkie Ladybug BlessingsHope Studios Todays Creative Blog, Wednesday: Someday Crafts Day2DayJoysJillify It Junk in the TrunkWe are that Family Frugally SustainableSew Much AdoFine Craft Guild The Thrifty HomeMy Girlish Whims Quick, Easy, Cheap & HealthyTrendy Treehouse, Thursday: Somewhat SimpleNo Minimalist Here A Glimpse InsideThe Mommy ClubThe 36th AvenueCheap Chic HomeBeyond the Picket FenceFireflies and Jellybeans House of Hepworths The Shabby Chic Cottage, Friday: My Repurposed LifeIt’s a HodgePodge LifeThe Shabby NestJust Wingin’ ItOne Artsy MommaFrench Country CottageFinding FabulousPassionately ArtisticPetals and PicotsSimply DesigningLittle Becky HomeckyMy Romantic HomeBacon TimeSimply Living, Saturday: Polkadot PrettiesTatertots and JelloCreate and InspireBe Different, Act NormalCraft EnvyFunky Junk InteriorsPetites Passion, Sunday: Under the TableNatural MothersMopping the Floor

 

Read more

Does Christmas Shopping Online Actually Save Time or Money?

So, it’s cold. Like, “never want to leave the house cold or get out of my house pants” cold. And-”make hot cinnamon tea 24/7″ cold.

 


I have a really cute fireplace that’s warm, decorated with homemade stockings, vintage tinsel, retro deer and homemade “Who-ville” trees (according to Biceps).

 


Right next to that is our sparkly silver tree in all of its retro glory, filled with ornaments collected over the years.

 


Throughout the house are old jars filled with vintage ornaments, tinsel and tiny trees. My house is literally vomiting Christmas. Be aware if you plan to come and visit.

With all of this lovely Christmas-ness, why would I ever want to leave to go Christmas shopping? Plus, leaving makes my tea cold.

So, I decided to try and give online shopping a try. I here it’s all the rage. (Welcome to the ’90′s, Rebekah…)

 


Normally, I make most of our gifts alongside my trusty sidekick, Biceps. This year won’t allow for such luxuries and since I am a borderline agoraphobic-I have a confession to make.

I’ve decided to hit the internet.

I trolled all the “great deals”, checked out coupons and researched what was requested of Santa by family members. It felt so weird just buying gifts, but it felt oh-so good doing it in the comfort of my living room.

I have to question what’s happening to me, though. The next thing you know I’ll be throwing out ziplock bags rather than washing and re-using them and purchasing store-bought laundry detergent.

 

Perhaps you are making homemade gifts, as I’ve done years past. Or are you opting to shop with the masses, or the chase of a Black Friday deal, or maybe on your couch-sipping hot tea?

Do you think that online shopping actually saves any time or money-or am I barking up the wrong sparkly tree? Hold on. Before you answer-I need to go make another cup of tea, in my housepants.

Read more