DIY Upcycled thrift Store Frame

Note: This is a part in a multi-week series on frugal gift-giving ideas. 

Last week I took Issie out for some errands. One of those errands included Michael's. I could spend hours in that store. But my fussy toddler won't let me, which is find, I progably shouldn't spend hours in that store. 

But as I was walking around I came across this:

 

If you can't tell what that is, it's an open frame with twine and clothes pins. It is very cute and caught my eye. And then I saw the price tag: $24.99. Really? $24.99 for that? What exactly are the people of Michael's smoking??? 

I knew I could make one. Not an exact replica, but my own. And I knew it would cost me just a few bucks. 

So I did. I already had twine and clothes pins on hand so the entire thing cost me $4 out of pocket!

I procured a cheap frame for $4 at my local Habitat for Humanity ReStore. The frame had no glass and no backing and held in a very ugly carboard "art work" with staples. 

To make this you will need:

A large photo frame

Twine

Clothes pins

A butter knife

Needle nose pliers

Scissors

Step 1. Take your photo out of the frame and bend your staples straight so you can more easily tie the twine. Remove any staples you aren't going to use and discard. 

Step 2. Take your twine and look it through the first staple on the top. Then look it to the staple on the opposite side. I continued mine in a zig zag pattern all the way down. 

Step 3. Tie off the twine and hang your photos with clothes pins. 

That's it!

This would make a great gift for someone with kids or grandkids. 

 

What frugal gifts have you made? Tell me in the comments below! 

 

Goodwill Chalkboard Mugs

This is a part of a series on frugal gift giving. 

I know Christmas is still several weeks away. I know, it's not even Halloween, why are we talking about Christmas???

Because I want you to stay on budget. I want you to enjoy the season. I want you to not feel rushed! And that means getting started early. 

Today I wanted to show you how to make these really simple chalkboard mugs. 

I made five of them and they were really easy to make, required little time on my part and I think will make very whimsical gifts. 

Note: This post contains affiliate links. Please read more in my disclosure policy here

Getting started was easy. 

I picked up some cheap porcelain mugs at Goodwill for $.50 each. 

You will also need:

Porcelain Chalkboard Paint 

Painters tape 

sponge brush

Watch instructions below, or keep reading. 

I started with a clean and dry mug. Then I taped off the area I didn't want to paint. I then applied nice, even coats to the exposed surface of the mug. 

It's important to use the proper paint for this, regular chalkboard paint won't be heat and dishwasher safe. But don't worry, that little jar of porcelain paint goes along way, you can do between 10 and 20 mugs. 

I let the mug dry for a whole day. 

Then I "fired" them in my oven by baking them at 350 for about thirty minutes. Then I let them cool ENTIRELY and ran water over them to insure the paint had properly sealed. 

You could easliy transform these into a nice gift for a teacher, friend or coworker. You could add in a little packet of hot cocoa or homemade cocoa or a few cookies and you're good to go!

What frugal gifts are you giving this year? 

DIY Peg Rack from a recycled pallet

This is a part of a series on frugal gift giving. 

There is too much stuff on my floors. Hats, jackets, bags. You name it. It all ends up on the floor. I see really cute shaker peg racks when I am out and about. But since I like to keep things simple, I wanted to make my own. 

Once I made one and I saw how insanley simple it was, I decided to show you how I did it. Plus this was would make a really cute gift that you could put together in under five minutes. AND because the pallets were free it cost me under $4!

What you'll need:

A 24 inch plank, I pulled this (and by I I mean Jason) off a pallet we got FREE on Craigslist. If you don't have a pallet handy you can get one cut for a few books at Home Depot. 

Four cabinet door knobs ($.87 each at Lowes)

A drill

Step 1. Predrill holes in your would. I tried to space mine about four inches apart. You will need a measuring tape. 

Predrilling holes will prevent the wood from splitting. 

Step 2. Place your screws in the board using an electric screwdriver. 

Step 3. Place your knobs on the board. 

And you're done! That's it. I told you it was simple. 

You can put hooks on the back for hanging. 

What DIYs are you working on this week? Tell me all about it!

Turn a dress into an infinity scarf

As many of you already know I got rid of over half my clothes over the course of the spring and summer. I really paired down my wardrobe to the things I loved.

I have since updated my wardrobe with a few new-to-me pieces, but I am still learning how to put my wardrobe together and accessorize. 

However, I have still had trouble letting go of a few items. A lot of them were things that I couldn't donate because they were stained or had holes... But I didn't want to just throw them in the trash. I could see there was second life in them. 

One in particular was a dress that I got at Old Navy eight or nine years ago. Yeah, it was old, out of trend and falling apart. 

The straps had popped off, the seems were tearing and the hem had fallen out. But I loved the pattern. 

So I decided to turn the dress into an infinity scarf. 

 

 

It was very simple and you could do it at home in under a minute. 

This is what I did. 

I took the dress and laid it flat on the floor. 

Then I measured about 48 inches from the (frayed) hem. I cut across the length of the dress.

Then I discarded the top half, took the bottom half and draped it around my neck. Then I looped it to create the infinity look. 

I think it is very cute and the frayed hem added a neat little touch. 

And that is it. It was so simple. You could do this with a tshirt as well. Or you could make one for a little girl out of a dress that was stained or torn. 

What have you repurposed or upcycled? I want to know about it. Leave me a comment!

Upcycled tea cup candle and apothecary jar

There are 50 days until Christmas. That's right 50! That might seem like a lot of time for you but it is a mere seven weeks. 

So we really need to get a move on things. Especially if you are going to be DIYing any Christmas gifts. 

Today I am going to be showing you how I turned an old jar candle that I just wasn't feeling anymore into some really cute tea cup candles using some tea cups I found at Goodwill (and one that was given to me). 

I also made a candle and apothecary jar out of an old pesto jar. It turned out so well!

I love making old things into something new that I can love again. 

What have you upcycled into something fabulous? 

For more gift ideas be sure to check out my frugal gift guide

Budget-friendly Christmas Decor (Goodwill decorations!)

Christmas is less than three weeks away. Can you believe that? Is your shopping done? Are the cookies baked? Have you even had time to put up your tree???

I wanted to share with you today some of our budget-friendly Christmas decor. 

 

Since we now have a new house I want to spruce it up with some Christmas decorations. But, I don't want to spend a lot of money. SO this year I limited myself to just $20 to bring a little Christmas magic to my home. 

I use a lot of things I already had, I found some great deals at Goodwill and I spread the Merry all over our little house. 

There is a certain magic about Christmas and I don't want to miss a second of it. So here is a look at our budget-friendly decor. 

Pine cone wreath. 

Wreath I already owned (purchased at the Dollar Tree eight years ago) $0

Ribbon I already owned (also purchased a Dollar Tree eight years ago) $0

Pine cones from my yard $0

I simply wrapped the ribbon around the wreath and secured the ribbon and the pinecone with hot glue. 

Boom! Free (sort of) wreath. 

Ornament Frame


I made this frame last year. It was a cheap frame from the thrift store (I think it was a dollar.)

Poinsettias in a bucket

Two poinsettias $6

One bucket (already had it)

Ribbon from Lowes $3 (but split amongst lots of things)

I hot glued the bow and ribbon on the bucket and called it a day. I then shoved an ornament in there  so... there is also that. 

Upcycled topiary

I bought this little topiary at Goodwill for $3.99. Then I glued on ribbon and ornaments. You can watch the details here: 
 

Tomato cage topiary


This was the thing I was MOST excited about. 

I took an old tomato cage, wrapped some garland I already owned and some lights I got last year and slapped a bow on the top. 

It didn't cost me anything because I already owned it all!

SO you can see I was able to really spruce up our home for Christmas while spending next to nothing! 

So what are some ways you have decorated your home on a budget this season? 

DIY Spa Kit! Lush Knock Offs

Is there someone in your life you would love to treat to a spa day? But they're expensive! Why not make one for them to take home.

Today I am showing three DIYS that require minimal effort, time and money. They would make great last-minute gifts for the people in your life that need a little extra relaxation.

Okay let's go.

Lush inspired Gel Soaps

Lush is known for it's unique products made from natural ingredients. You can easily make these soaps at home.

You will need:

1/2 cup castile soap

2 packets Knox gelatin

3/4 cup BOILING water

pinch sea salt

25-30 drops essential oils. I used orange

silicone mold pan

Steps:

Combine your gelatin and water in a bowl and whisk until clump free.

Add in your soap and oil and whisk.

Pour into mold pan and chill for about an hour.

Pop out and store in glass container. You will need to store them in the fridge to keep them 'gel' like.

I put mine in a pretty jar with a label.

Wax Melts.

These were so simple and were inspired by the pricey "Scentsy" melts. 

You will need:

A candle (I used three that I had left over)

And a silicone mini muffin pan or candy mold.

Put your candle on a candle warmer to melt the wax or submerge in a pot of boiling water until melted.

Then pour into the mold and let harden. Pop them out and put them in a pretty container or jar.

Coconut sugar scrub

This is so easy and my favorite DIY beauty item. This scrub leaves my skin feeling amazing it moisturizes and exfoliates and uses just natural ingredients.

You will need:

Four tablespoons coconut oil

2 tablespoons organic coconut sugar (or regular table sugar)

Optional: a few drops essential oils. I used lemon.

Simply spoon out your oil into a bowl. Add in your sugar and essential oils (if you're using them) and mix.

Then I spooned the mixture into a small containers and attached a label.

To print your own labels click here!

 

It was all so simple! So tell me, are you making and DIY gifts this year? Tell me in the comments below. I can't wait to hear about them.


5 Minute Upcycled Magnet Frame

Do you ever see something and think- Okay, I can totally make (fill in the blank) with that? 

Yeah. Me too. 

Last week Jason's aunt sent a box of stuff to our house. She is a school teacher and her school was getting rid of a ton of books, toys and organizational bins and baskets. As I was going through them I found three random candle lids. 

As soon as I looked at them I thought, "yeah, I can work with this." 

And I knew what I wanted to do. See, I have a lot of photos on my fridge. I like them there. And I have a lot of things I need magnets to hold on my fridge. But I am constantly running out of magnets because I love my photos so much. 

So.... I decided to turn those candle lids into magnet photo frames. Win!

This is what you will need:

a photo

scissors

a marker/pen/pencil

a magnet

a candle lid or canning ring, that would work too 

glue stick

hot glue gun

It was really simple. I just traced the lid I was using and then cut the INSIDE portion of the circle. 

Then I used my glue stick to glue the photo to the lid. Then I hot guled a magnet to the lid. 

Bing. Bang. Boom! 

This would make a great gift for someone and costs pennies to make. For me it was virtually free because I already had all I needed. But you could easily make this as a gift for someone for less than a dollar. 

That was it!

What easy DIY's have you done lately?  

DIY Wall Decals

Every day for the past 13 months I have walked into Issie's room and stared at a blank, boring wall. 

The walls in our (rental) house are stucco or wood paneling. Both are a decorating nightmare. And while I am not really a decoraitng type lady, I just couldn't stand the site of that horrid wall anymore. 

You might remember that last year I wrote about his room and the farm theme we went with. But, I couldn't figure out waht to do with the walls, because nothing would stick and we couldn't drill into the wall or use nails. 

I even tried using velcro to hand a picture clip and it just fell off the wall!

But last week it hit me! I had a bunch of fabric leftover from when I made curtains and recovered an old gliding rocker why not adhere that fabric to the wall?!?!

SO I made homemade decals using just fabric and spray adhesive.

I picked up this adhesive at Hobby Lobby. It was with the rest of the glue way in the back of the store. 

You can get a good idea from the rocker, what the fabric looked like. I just cut out the shapes of various animals and of course the barn and trees. 

Then I just sprayed the adhesive directly to the wall and stuck the fabric up there. 

The farbic will peel off the wall without damaging it and I can just clean off the sticky residue with soap and water. 

That's it. Easy as pie!

What are some tips you have for deocating an ulgy wall? 

Organizing my gift wrapping supplies… for free

So a few weeks ago when I was decluttering I decided to take on my gift wrapping drawer. 

I keep all of our supplies such as tape, paper, bags and tissue in a drawer under the television. And that drawer got a little out of hand. 

That is all the junk I threw out. Yeah, I know. 

The drawer desperately needed to be handled and I was a little unsure how to organize it. I really dislike the idea of going to the store, even the Dollar Tree, and buying things to organize with. 

So I just walked around my house looking for items I could use. 

I found a small plastic bin in the playroom and used it to organize cards, envelopes, address labels and stationary.

Then I found the basket that a house plant came in and used it to organize ribbons, bows and gift tags. 

The drawer has stayed pretty well in tact. As you can see I also use it to hold shipping tools for when I sell things I no longer want on Amazon and eBay or ship books through PaperBackSwap.

It took me all of five minutes to organize and it felt so good tackling something like this. Especially since organization does NOT come naturally to me. 

Have you organized lately? 

Coffee Coconut Sugar Scrub

I love body scrubs. They feel so luxurious and refreshing and usually smell amazing. But they can be pricey. So I learned how to whip up my own coffee body scrub. It's a great exfoliate, and is supposed to be good for cellulite. 

This recipe contains sunflower oil and coconut sugar. (Note: those are affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy here

To get started you will:

About 1 cup coffee grounds (wet)

2-4 table spoons sunflower oil 

1/2 cup - 1 cup coconut sugar

Combine the coffee and oil and stir. Then combine your sugar. You might want to add more or less oil depending on the consistency you desire. 

Store in a sealed container in your shower. 

Do you make any beauty products at home? Leave me a comment below! 

 

Easy Handprint Tile Coasters

A few weeks ago we were visiting my mother-in-law when I noticed she didn't have any coasters. I decided to whip her up a few using some craft paint, tile and the cutest little artists in town. 

To get started you will need:

four tiles (these were four inch by four inch tiles) these can be purchased VERY cheeply at your local hardware store

craft pain

sponge brush

mod podge

something to use as backing like moleskin, cork or furniture pads

I had Ry and Issie paint the tile with their sweet little hand and thumb prints. 

I then baked them in the oven for 30 minutes at 350. Let them cool completely before brushing them with Mod Podge to seel them shut. Then I added the backing. 

Then I wrapped them up with some lace and presented them to my mother-in-law. It was a big hit! 

These make a great inexpensive handmade Mother's Day gift that kids can make. 

What are some sweet DIY projects your kids have made? 

Also, today I am "hopping" at Romance on A Dime

 

DIY in 15 minutes: Make a docking station out of an old drawer

This is a project I have been wanting to work on for a while. I had this idea (I am sure I have seen it somewhere else) to use an old drawer as a "docking station" for things like my phone and ereader.

But I wanted to take it a step further, I wanted a place to put my keys, leave pens and a note pad and my to do list. 

I had searched for an old drawer by the side of the road. Yes, I realize that makes me sound like a redneck, but you do it too. Don't lie. 

When that didn't work I went to my local Habitat For Humanity ReStore. If you don't know what that is, it's a thrift store run by the HFH. They sell mostly hardware supplies that are either leftover from builds or have been donated. It's awesome. 

I had previously purchased a TV dinner tray there to make Ry a toddler lap desk. 

I stopped by on a whim a couple weeks ago and saw they were selling single drawers! So I picked on up for just $3. 

It was a really simple process. Only two (or three!) steps. 

Step 1: Drill a hole in the back of your drawer. If the hole isn't perfectly round and you want it to be use a rounding tool. 

Step 2: Run your serge strip through the hole. 

I put a clothes pin on the front of my drawer instead of a draw knob. That way I could clip my to do list to it so I wouldn't lose it. These days with my mom brain I have to make a list to remember anything... the caveat is, I lose those lists. 

I used a pipe cleaner to keep my cords from flopping everywhere. 

I also threw a cup in there to hold my pens and pencils and scissors, anything I just lose! And I put in a notebook to make my lists. 

Have you done any DIYing recently? And what are some things your doing to get more organized? 

 

DIY Button Hair Pins

So last week I talked about my mom hair. I do my best but I am just not a hair person. I don't enjoy fixing it and most of the time I don't even blow it dry. 

 

I often just pin my bangs back and go about my business. So I decided to make these cute button bobby pins. 

A few years ago when my grandmother died I was given her sewing machine and supplies. While I don't sew and chose to pass her machine to my mother, I did keep the MOUND of buttons. 

I whipped up a few of these button pins last week and it only took me about five minutes to make six of them.

What you'll need:

Bobby pins

Shank Buttons (buttons with a loop in the back)

Hot glue

Slide the button onto the bobby pin. Add a little bit on the button and then shove the button to the "top" of the pin. 

And that's it! Cute little hair pins. 

What DIY projects have you done recently? 

From Drab to Fab Upcycled Button Picture Frame

I just keep having babies and I just keep taking their photos and frankly I have run out of places to put them. I don't mean wall space, I mean frames. 
But here is the issue:
1. Frames can get expensive. 
2. Frames that are all the same color and scheme bore me. 
So... I went to my local thrift store (LOVE the thrift store) and found quite a few frames for under a dollar. This one I paide a whopping $.25 for. Then I jazzed them up with paint and what not. So I thought I would share with all of you my favorite so far, the button frame. 
And this would make a great last minute Christmas gift that is super cheap (I mean frugal) for under $2!
What you'll need:
A frame.
Some acrylic paint
Buttons in the same color family. I used close 100 buttons of varying size. You can purchase buttons in bulk at places like Michaels, Walmart or Hobby Lobby. Mine were some that my grandmother had saved from various sewing projects
A hot glue gun
I used Aqua made by the Americana brand paint. I only used one coat of pain since most of it will be covered. 

Then I began gluing on the buttons of varying size. 

It was pretty theraputic. 

I chose the blue theme because I am putting this in Ry's room. 

I chose this photo (even thought it's not a perfect fit) because it is my favotie picture of Jason and Ryals. 

This is such a simple project and took no time to pull together. In fact, I did it while Issie sat on the floor and watched. 

What are some of your last minute gift ideas?

Free monogram printables perfect for framing

 

Yesterday I shared with you the cute way I took photo frames from drab to fab. Well, if you're planning on a DIY Chrstimas and want to add a little something extra to your frames, why not a monogram?

So, I made you these cute monogram printables, free. Just print it out, resize it on the desktop program of your choosing and enjoy. 

Share the link to this with your friends and family, but make sure you use these for personal use only. 

Click the links below to download your desired letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

 

 

 

Last Minute Christmas Ideas: Mason Jar Tumbler How TO (Video)

 

Christmas is a little more than a week away. Did you just panic? You panicked didn't you? Calm down. Deep breaths. It's okay. 

Today I wanted to share with you a really simple and super inexpensive DIY Christmas gift. The Mason Jar Tumbler...

I first shared this idea over a year ago. But it remains one of the most searched items on this blog and I wanted to share it again and talk about some ways to gift it this year for Christmas. 

Click here for step by step instructions or watch my cutie husband make on in this video.  

There are several reasons I love to make and give these tumblers. 

1. They are very inexpensive. They cost less than $2 each to make. 

2. They are eco friendly. You can reuse an old canning lid that can't be resealed and would probably just get thrown out. 

3. They are practical and people love them. People really do. If you use the jelly jar size then they fit into a standard cup holder. (Affiliate link, click here to read my disclosure policy.)

Here are some ideas on how to gift a tumbler. 

Fill them with drink mixes or tea bags. 

If the person you are giving this to loves a particular drink mix like lemonade then fill the jar with those mixes. 

Use it to give a gift card. 

I love getting gift cards, don't you? But I hate just handing one over. I like to jazz it up with something like a tumbler or another small, inexpensive gift to go with it. It feels more personal this way. 

You could also fill the jars with candy, beauty samples or put a piece of jewelry in it. 

The sky is the limit. 

What are some of your last minute gift ideas? 

DIY Christmas Ornament Frame with video tutorial

I love Christmas and I love Christmas decorations, but I DO NOT love broken ornaments. With a two year old and a six month old you can pretty much guarantee that something is going to be torn up, grabbed, snatched or thrown. 

There really isn't a way to child proof Christmas decorations other than just keeping them out of reach. This year we decided to go with a small, potted, tabletop tree. 

But I still have some ornaments I want to display that I don't want broken. 

So I decided to paint a cheap frame red and hang the ornaments from the frame. It was super simple, the frame cost me a whole $.25 at my local thrift store and I used things I already had lying around the house. 

It was insanely easy and took just three steps. 

1. Paint a frame or take the backing off a frame you already like. 

2. Hand your ornaments at varying lengths. 

3. Tie on a BIG bow. 

Tada!!

This would also be a great way to display heirloom ornaments or you could paint it blue or pink (or use a blue or pink frame) and hand a baby's first Christmas ornament. 

Are you doing any Christmas crafting?

DIY Chalkboard Lap Desk for Under $2

My son loves chalk, magnets and playing. So I wanted to put together something that combined these three things.

Since everything chalkboard is all the rage, I thought I would share with you guys how I put together this DIY chalkboard lap desk. 

It cost me less than $2 and took just minutes to make. 

Here is a video tutorial. 

Clearly it was a hit with my toddler. Ry LOVES it. (Although I have had to convince him not to stand on it.) 

What you'll need:

1 metal tv dinner tray (I purchased mine at the thrift store for $1.50 each.)

a little chalkboard paint. 

Clean off your tray with a rag. 

Crack open your paint.

Cover with a couple coats of chalkboard paint. Let them dry in between. (It looks like a lot of paint in the picture. I assure you it looks like more than it was.)

Disclosure: I didn't totally factor in the cost of pain because I bought a can of chalkboard paint almost 2 years ago for about $9 and I still haven't used the entire can. I have more than half of it left and I have painted EVERYTHING with chalkboard paint. 

This is a great, inexpensive gift for a child or toddler and it is very simple to put together. 

What are some DIY gifts you've made recently? 

Today I am hopping at Romance on a Dime. Come check out Betsy and all her great ideas.