Ornaments for Kids to Make

This year my 4 year old wanted nothing to do with a big Christmas tree. He only wanted the little pre-lit 3 foot tree that I usually put on a table somewhere. He says, “Mom, I am little. I need a little tree. This one is just my size.” So, this year we opted out of my big tree with with all the pretty ornaments and set up the small tree with all the random ornaments that have been collected over the years. Lance thought that we needed more ornaments to decorate it, so we set off to make some more. We used a basic salt dough.

Salt Dough

1 cup salt

2 cups flour

1 cup cold water

Stir it all together and knead just until its well mixed. Bake in a 200º oven for 1-2 hours, depending on the thickness, until they are dry and hard.


Once you have your salt dough you can either shape the dough like clay or roll out and cut with cookie cutters. We opted for the cookie cutter route. Poke a hole in the dough with a toothpick for hanging. We painted our, but you can also draw on them with markers or leave them as is for a more natural look. Put string, thread, ribbon or whatever you have on hand through the hole to hang. It’s a fun and simple project to keep those little ones busy this time of year. They also make cute gifts too!


Crafting: No Sew T-Shirt into Vest

There are super cute vests all over in the stores right now. I wanted a flowy vest, but I didn’t want to pay $20 for one. So I went searching around online and found this cute and SUPER EASY tutorial on how to make one. It literally took my 5 minutes and only cost me a $1 for a black thrift store t-shirt. All you need is a pair of scissors, a big t-shirt (maybe you can steal one from your hubby!) and a bowl or other round object to trace for the hole. I will be definitely be hitting up my local thrift store that sells 10 items for $1 on the first of the month for some t-shirts to cut up and make into new stuff! You will have to excuse the terrible self portraits…no one here to help me with the photos! These are a great way to dress up a boring plain shirt! You could also embellish the vest however you see fit for some more pizzazz!

*Just a tip, I cut off the hem on the bottom as well. I wanted all the edges the same. Give the edges all a little tug after cutting and they will roll a bit leaving a cute edge.

Crafting: Homemade Jewelry Display/Storage

Over the weekend I cleaned out the cabinets in my master bath. They were in dire need of organizing and cleaning! I found that I had all my jewelry stuffed in a drawer that was all jumbled together. I decided I needed a better storage solution. I went online for some inspiration. Although, I did not find what I was looking for, so I went to my crafting closet to see what I had. I had a wood picture frame  (11×14) that was not in use and a box of clavos (giant decorative nails used in rustic furniture). I figured if I pounded the nails into the frame and strung wire I could use that to hang my jewelry off of. I set off to the garage to raid my hubby’s wire stash. I found some the right gauge wire, stripped it and wound it around the nails. Then I painted the paper that was in the frame with some leftover paint from our bedroom, hung it up and now I have a great way to display my jewelry and I freed up drawer space! Love that! Price….free! Love that too! The whole project took me about 30 minutes, most of that being stripping the plastic coating off of the wires! Use any wood frame, nails or screws and wire and you can make the same thing.

Selling My Wrap Cardigan

A few weeks ago I posted about a wrap cardigan that I had made for my yoga teacher for her birthday. She liked it so much and has had so many people ask where she got it that she wants me to make some for her to sell in her little shop she has at the yoga studio! WOOOHOOO! So, I have been on the hunt for fabric for the past couple weeks, but the stores around me didn’t have the thin jersey type fabric that I was looking for. The other day my mom made a venture into LA for a yardage textile show. Near the show is one of the best places in LA to get fabric and they sell it by the pound. I got a ton of great fabric for  CHEAP. Now I just have to get a few supplies like thread and such to go with the fabrics and I can get started making more of these. I am so excited, I just had to share.

Crafting: My Finished Felted Slippers

A few weeks ago I posted about the norwegian house slippers I was in the process of crocheting. I am happy to report that they are now finished, comfy, warm and slip resistant! I finished crocheting them not long after my original post. I did alternate the colors a bit so I could tell left from right. I then felted them in my washing machine to shrink them up and make them solid (so you can’t see the stitches).This did take a while in my front loader and I had to keep pulling them out to check the size. They are a little wider than they need to be, but since they are just slippers, I don’t mind that. It just makes them extra comfy! After they came out of the wash, I stuffed them with some plastic bags to hold the shape and set them aside to dry. The drying process took about a week since my slippers were so thick when felted down. I did take the plastic out after a couple days to make sure the inside dried well. My husband picked me up some plasti-dip at home depot to put on the bottom to make them slip resistant. Since our house is all wood, felted slippers can be dangerous! It took two coats that I spooned on and spread around with a plastic spoon. I love them! Now Lance wants a pair too!

Crafting With a Purpose


Recently my mom attended a knitting conference put on byKnitting Universe called Stitches West. This is a place where knitters can learn the newest techniques about the newest gizmos and yarns. There are also many booths there of people selling their yarn and knitting accessories. While there, my mom stopped by the Mother Bear Project booth. This is a non profit organization that has volunteer knitters/crocheters that make teddy bears that are sent to africa for kids that are in high HIV/AIDS ridden countries. These children have nothing and the bears are a way to show them that someone does care for them, even if we are halfway around the world.

Mom picked me up a bear kit while there which included the yarn and simple pattern. I have since finished my little bear and it turned out so cute! I don’t have a ton of spare time, but I do like to have a project while we are relaxing watching tv in the evenings.  This is a very worthy cause in my book and is a great way to use up extra bits and pieces of yarn. You can embelish the bears as you wish. Mine has a scarf that is hard to see in the picture.

If you are a knitter or a crocheter, here is a link to the pattern. It costs $5, but you can make as many bears as you like. Make a difference in a child’s life and craft with a purpose.

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Frugal Tip of the Week: Going Cloth in the Kitchen



Do you think you can have a kitchen without paper napkins, paper towels and sponges? It is entirely possible to run a kitchen without the use of paper products. It’s kind of like going back to the basics like our grandmothers. Paper towels and paper napkins (plates and cups too) have become so much of a modern convenience that people think they cannot live without these products. I am here to tell you, you can, really, you can! Guess what? It will save you money too! No more $1 or more per roll of paper towels…do a little dance!!!

I have never been much of a paper towel user or napkins for that matter. I have always had them, but they were never a necessity for me (as for the napkins…I just always forgot to put them out!). We would go through one of the jumbo packs of paper towels from Costco in a year or so, mostly because my hubby would use them. A few months ago I decided to just go without and see what happens. I have a roll stashed in the pantry, but we haven’t touched it. The key is to keep towels accessible and handy. I have a drawer by the sink full of dish towels (I love the flour sack towels from Sam’s club 12 for $10) and crocheted dish wash cloths. I make sure to use a new towel and dish rag each day so they don’ t get gross or sooner if need be. I make these crocheted scrubbers out of  plastic grocery bags and pop them in the dishwasher to clean. I also have another drawer full of rags for spill cleanups. With a 3 year old, there are always spills. These are accessible to Lance and he knows where to go to get a towel if he has a spill. Great! Less for me to clean up! I have old towels, old burp cloths and baby wash cloths in there that were no longer being used in other parts of the house. I also have a stash of cleaning rags for cleaning. Mostly old towels cut up, but I do have a few microfiber cloths for dusting and mirrors.

As for the napkins, I took several of my leftover sewing fabric, cut them into about 12 inch squares and serged the edges. These are smaller than the standard linen napkins you can buy at the stores, but I find I really like this size better for everyday use. Now, I have enough cloth napkins to last for a week. Lance even has his own with construction trucks and 1960 muscle cars on them. Just have fun with it and you can have ones that match your decor and are great for the seasons or holidays. Watch for clearance fabric and remnants. If you don’t sew, check out the thrift stores or contact me and I can make you some (I just took a serger class on tuesday and can do them much better than the ones I made for me!). I also purchased a napkin holder for my table and leave several out in that, so they are nice and handy. I actually use a napkin with my meals now since I don’t have to remember to put them out! I keep a small basket in my pantry for used napkins. Then on my towel laundry day, I just toss all the kitchen dirty stuff in. I already do a towel load every week, so tossing these in is not increasing my water usage either!

I hardly ever buy paper plates or cups anymore either. If I am having a big party and I don’t have enough of regular plates I usually do. But for the most part, we are regular dishes all the way! Even camping we use regular plates for the most part. If we are dry camping in the motorhome without water hookups we will use more paper than normal, but that’s the only time. We don’t buy bottled water for our camping trips either. We have a 5 gallon igloo water cooler that we fill up before we leave and have a collection of sports bottles that we can fill and put in a cooler. Saves us a ton on purchased bottled water and is better for the environment. Who doesn’t like being a little “green” these days?!?!

 Cloth Tips:

  • change kitchen towels/dish cloth daily or more if needed
  • have enough to last the week plus a few extras if you have kids!
  • make them accessible to everyone so they get used and make sure everyone know where they are
  • dry dish cloth/towel by hanging before placing in dirty hamper, so they don’t get stinky after a week! I just hang mint over my basket overnight and put them in the next day
  • teach kids (and husbands!) where to put dirties when used, preferably somewhere in the kitchen so they actually do it!
  • use what you have, old towels, cut up old t-shirts, old socks turned inside out are great for cleaning and dusting, fabric scraps or cut up old clothes for napkins
  • most of all have fun with it

My napkin holder with my cloth napkins and napkins folded in quarters.










 Head to Frugal Friday for more tips on saving money.


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