Posts Tagged ‘crafting’

The Crafty Gene


For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a crafter.

I have wanted to make something out of nothing, turn an idea into gold, question not whether I can do it, but know that I can do it.

I went to college with a girl who knew not only how to sew, but her and her mother would make and paint Christmas ornaments. I wanted that. I wanted to be a mini-me to a Martha Stewart-esque maternal figure.

As I got older, I tried my hand at all sorts of crafty activities. I tried to fall in love with scrapbooking. I tried to make my own ornaments. I tried to adorn everything with pretty. Sparkly and pretty.

I wanted to be a crafting goddess.

But here’s the thing. It’s time to face facts. It is time to be truthful with my inner domestic diva.

I am tired of trying to be a crafter. Sure when I go into Michael’s Craft Store, I want to make all the things. I want to throw twenty-five different projects and all their accoutrements into my cart and plop my ever-present 20% off coupon on the counter and roll out of the store in slow motion with loud music playing in the background.

But you know what happens when I actually go into Michael’s? I don’t purchase crafting stuff. I buy seasonal décor with my 20% off coupon.

I buy things that other people made.

Boom, revelation time. Mind blown…

And you know what? It’s okay that I am not a born crafter. It is totally okay. I am an awesome organizer. No, really. All of my books are alphabetized by the author’s last name. And my clothes are all on hangers facing the same direction, organized by color. Yes, I am one of those people 🙂

I rock at organizing.

And I would rather be an organizing superstar than be super handy with a glue gun, felt, and a mason jar.

Because I wouldn’t even know what to do with that 😉

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If any of you have kiddos out there, you know that you inevitably have quite a bit of toys underfoot. It’s not that you are out there at the store constantly purchasing toys or anything; it’s just that they somehow have made their way into your home and any parent can tell you, they have no idea how all these toys got there! 🙂

Well I am here to say, that no matter the origination of the toys, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on containers to house them all. If you just think outside of the box (or container), you can probably find some things around the home that can house the Legos!

Speaking of Legos…

My daughter loves her Legos and there are sooooo many small pieces. I had to find something sturdy to house them all when they weren’t in use. And then I saw on the counter, the container holding the animal crackers we had picked up from Costco.


Yup, I think this will work…


Boom! Perfect! And I didn’t have to spend any additional money actually purchasing some sort of container! It pays to shop your house 🙂


And then I thought hey, this container would be perfect to house all her little figures she plays with. So in went My Little Pony, the Bubble Guppies, etc…


Man, these containers work great

Now my daughter loves to color. She has quite a few coloring books. Hmmmm, what to do, what to do… And then I realized I had this box that I used to use to house tax stuff/receipts/etc… But that was not a very organized solution and it was messy and hard to ever find anything, so the box was now sitting empty. Perfect!


Yup, that’ll work!


And a case that I was using for odds and ends, I cleaned out and is now her pencil-case!


What to do with an empty Folgers coffee can?


Use it for blocks of course!


Hey I’m not trying to re-invent the wheel here, but anything where I can save a bit of money, I am all for it!

Do you guys have any creative uses for stuff? It doesn’t have to be for toys 🙂

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I know most people wait until the end of the month to post whether or not they hit their monthly goal, but I was just too exited that I completed my crafty goodness!

My one goal this month was to make handmade Christmas cards and I am done, done, done!

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

I love my cards and I am thrilled to have finished this project before the end of the month! I didn’t want to still be working on them over the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend 🙂

Here's what I've completed so far!

On the inside of the card, I used my trusty stamp and ink pad which I already had in my scrapbooking bin. No money spent!


Ta da!


I loved making my homemade, all kinds of crafty goodness, Christmas cards 🙂

Hope all of you enjoy your week and have a lovely Thanksgiving!

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I have one goal for November, which is pretty good considering we are already a week in. 😉

My one goal this month is to…drum roll please…

Make handmade Christmas cards!!

So here’s the thing; we are a family that sends out Christmas cards. I know some people think it’s an outdated tradition or they send e-cards *shudder*, but I like Christmas cards. I like to send them out and I look forward to receiving them in the mail.

But I was also looking for ways to save some money on them as the holiday budget can get a little cuckoo if one is not careful. So I thought about it and I realized that I had everything I needed already to make the cards!

See, a few years ago, I had planned to make Christmas cards from scratch. I had purchased the blank cards and envelopes and already had some stuff in my scrapbooking bin to get ’em done. But I didn’t plan out a schedule to make them. I kept putting them off and putting them off and then it was too late; I had run out of time to make the cards and had to go to the store to purchase them.

But not this year! 🙂

I have already started on some cards and I have the whole month of November to get them done. Ambitious, crafty, and frugal all mixed into one!

Here's what I've completed so far!

Here’s what I’ve completed so far!

No extra money being spent, I free up some items in my scrapbooking bin, and my friends and family get some homemade crafty goodness from yours truly

So in between watching my sports teams play this month, I will be on the couch making Christmas cards.

Getting my craft on!

Getting my craft on!

The holiday will be here before ya know it! 🙂

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Oh, hello scrapbook paper on sale for 25 cents a piece!


You’d look good against my bright white bookshelves. You are just the pop of color I need without resorting to painting!

You are the perfect backdrop against the neutral walls. In ya go!!


Looks good!

Now to accessorize with what I’ve already got. This is a frugal project after all 😉



A simple project and my bookshelves looks so much better!

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So, I am not a big jewelry person, but I have a few pieces that I have collected over the years. Strictly costume jewelry, but they are pieces that I like to wear on occasion, and when I worked full-time, practically every day. But the problem is, they were a tangled mess in the jewelry box that I had them housed in. Then, trying to untangle the hot mess would just leave me frustrated, and more times than not, I would just say “Aww, forget it!” and leave the yarn sized knot in the box.

There had to be a better way. I needed to be able to see the jewelry. I needed to figure out a way to display the pieces, but not have it be in the way. Also, it needed to be pretty. Cause, well you know… 😉

And this is what I came up with:

Love it!

Love it!

Ta da! Neat, organized, a bit retro, and a dash of pretty. Total cost? One dollar. Yup, that’s it. The ribbon was purchased at a craft store in a clearance bin and it was only $1.

Who can beat $1?

Who can beat $1?

I really love what I came up with! Everything has a place: my necklaces, my bracelets, and my “going out” purse.


I added in some “old Hollywood” pictures of Myrna Loy (love her!) that I had, and I found an old Mad Libs from when my husband and I took a road trip a few years ago. I cut off the cover, and tacked it up the wall. Also, I had this random Avengers postcard, so hey, that went up too!


I love, love, love my jewelry display! And the best part? It was totally a frugal project!

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Are Those Labels?!

So I am one of those tried and true neat freaks. I like order and everything in its place. I also like labels. Pretty ones. And these are my favorite:

I used them on a project I did a few months ago:

Then for the items I bought in bulk, I needed a pretty canister and a pretty label to go along with it:

Well, then I outfitted another canister, cause that’s how I roll:

But look! The labels come in a smaller size!

And I had an empty jar…

For some push-pins that needed to be corralled. Ta-da!

I heart these labels, I really do!

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To see the mayhem of this project’s beginnings, click here.

Well I conquered my kitchen! Sort of… My two goals for this project were to organize my refrigerator and to convert my hall closet into a pantry. Let’s start with the fridge.

Fruits and vegetables going bad before anyone had a chance to eat them, was a big pet peeve. The storage bins at the bottom of the fridge just don’t work. We forget anything is even in them! I also wanted a centralized place for snacks so I didn’t have to hunt through everything just to find some yogurt.

So I had an epiphany. I’ll create a “snack bin”! A place for all of our snacks including cut-up fruits and veggies that’s easy to find! Genius, right?

So I picked up this little bin in the dollar section of Target. I like the bright apple green color!

I added a decorative label to some cardboard, cut it out, and attached it to my bin.


I put some yummy snacks like applesauce, carrots, cucumber, and humus in the new snack bin. It’s easy to get to and now I am not wasting any money on fruits and vegetables that never get eaten.

My new cleaned out refrigerator:

A place for everything

Organization makes me happy!

As for the whole hall closet into a pantry conversion… That didn’t work out too well. There is no light in that hall closet, and short of installing flood lights to brighten the area, I am at a loss on how to illuminate the space. I am for the moment, stumped. So the pantry situation will have to be an ongoing project.

Week Three’s project is coming up! More organizing to be done!

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For the ins and outs on the beginnings of this task, click here.

I am so glad that I took the time to work on this! I really thought I had done an awesome job of clearing up my daughter’s old clothes and toys before we moved, but apparently I was in denial.

All of my daughter’s clothes that no longer fit, have been bagged up and are ready for Goodwill:

She could open her own store!

My daughter has a lot of wooden blocks that seem to make their way into every room in the house. I’ve accidentally stepped on them more times than I care to admit. These blocks needed to be corralled!

So now they have a new home in an old coffee container! Apparently I am becoming old hat at this repurposing trick!


The blocks have a new home!

Any toys that haven’t been played with have also been bagged up and are ready to go! I am so glad that this task is done. Everything feels much lighter!

Can’t wait to see what’s in store to declutter for week 2!

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We sold my daughter’s baby swing on Craigslist. Sad to see it go, but at the same time, it’s been almost a year since it was used, so it was definitely time for it to find a new home.

We also sold an old twin mattress set and we had an old dirt bike part that we had in our garage. Thank goodness for online ads!

I repurposed an old formula tin and an old coffee tin into something useful: canisters to hold our different bags of tea! And all I used was scrapbook paper and labels!



After! Ta da!

We desperately needed a washer and dryer but seriously lacked the funds. Our previous apartment came with these units, but here in our new place, we were on our own. These fancy schmancy boxes that clean your clothes cost quite a pretty penny, but we lucked out! A friend of a friend of my husband’s was moving and they didn’t need their washer and dryer anymore. They sold it to us for $100 total for both pieces. Score! That, we can fit into our budget!

Having a park within walking distance. This saves money for both my husband and myself. I save gas because I don’t have to drive to the park anymore when I want to take my daughter there. My husband like to play basketball to get some exercise. He no longer has to drive to the nearest basketball court because now our park has one. There really is something to be said about convenience!

What frugal things have you done this past month?

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