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!

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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.

Home Decor: Think Outside the Box

My cheapness frugalness extends to other parts of my life besides food, groceries, and cleaners. I also apply many of the same techniques for home decor. I love to decorate my home and redecorate and rearrange. I don’t think anyone can, or should, be able to define their house with one particular “style”. Your home is a reflection of you and most people are more dynamic than one style. My home is a collections of things that I (and Dallas too) love  and have purchased over the last 10 years, as well as things I have made. All these things are integrated together to form my own style. I would say we have and eclectic rustic type style. I like things that are comfortable and warm. I use a lot of red, green and brown in my decorating. I also like to do it without spending a ton of money. Don’t get me wrong, there are areas in home decor where it is ok in my book to spend a little more. Take our leather sofa for example. We paid a pretty penny for it, but it took me a long time to find one that I liked and it has a lifetime warranty on the cushions. It is a thick, high quality leather. It will last many, many, many years. But I did get the floor model at a discount! It doesn’t hurt to ask for a discount when making those larger purchases. The worst they can say is, “no”!

As I am typing this ,I am thinking I may start a new series on home decor. I find that thinking outside the box when it comes to home decor can save you a bundle.  Looking at things and thinking about how else they can be used besides their intended purpose. Look at the color, texture and shape. This week I am going to feature some artwork. A few years ago we needed to sell our home and move. I needed to spruce up my bathroom without a lot of money. I got some neutral creamy colored discount paint at Lowes. Look for the premixed “oops” colors near the paint section. These usually are $5-$10 per gallon. Then I got some decorative towels at a discount store. Then the walls needed some pizzaz. Art is expensive.  I needed to make my own. I found 3 square placemats at Bed Bath and Beyond for $1.50 each. I loved the color and texture of them. I then found some botanical graphic images online that I liked. I printed the pictures out on some cream colored paper I had, ripped the edges, crumpled them up and glued them to the placemats. Then I hung them over the toilet. Super cute and super cheap art! I have since moved from that house, but I still use those placemats in my bathroom here. I love them.

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