Thursday, March 27, 2014

Make Pirate Props for Under $3!

One of the most important things we mommies do is encourage our children's imaginations.  Every week, my kids are pretending to be something else, sometimes an animal and sometimes a desk lamp.  We're a strange family.  But what is a thrifty crafter to do when her youngest son is begging to be a pirate?  I thought you'd never ask.

If your kids are anything like my kids, they are constantly dressing up like characters.  I mean, I know on my blog there are several pictures of the kids wearing Halloween costumes even when it wasn't Halloween.  Playing pretend is a timeless tradition, I suppose!

I love to encourage their little imaginations, but I don't want to spend a ton of money... and if I can help it, I'd like to not even leave the house to make it happen.  And so, I present to you, pirate props for under $3!

I took a sheet of newspaper and folded it in half...

Folded the top into a triangle...

I cut a few inches off the bottom...

And then I folded the bottom on both sides.  Voila, a pirate hat!

Total cost: $0.00.

Next, I grabbed a plastic hanger and a styrofoam cup:

And then I cut the top off the hanger...

Cut a hole through the cup...

And then I put the hanger top through.  I taped it in place like so...

And then added some foil to the hook.

To finish it off, I pulled an old dress sock over the cup.  Boom.  Pirate hook.

Total cost: I bought the cups, a 16-pack was $0.97.  So far, we're at less than a dollar!

And what pirate costume would be complete without an eye patch?  Some foam and elastic, and I was in business:

I cut out a patch shape...

And then strung the elastic cord right through...

Total cost: $0.38 for the foam sheet and $0.97 for the elastic.

Of course, if you have these supplies on hand, you'll pay nothing at all and you'll bring happiness to your children.  ARRRRR! (That's 'awesome' in pirate-speak.

Fun was had by all!  Until they made me walk the plank, that is.  This is a brutal family, I tell you.

And check out this great new movie from the world of Peter Pan, an all-new Tinker Bell movie: Disney's The Pirate Fairy. Own it on Blu-ray™ and Digital HD April 1! 

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Thrifty Crafty Girl
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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

My Desk Makeover

Hi everyone!  I've been working on a thousand things over here, which have led to some late nights.  I suppose it's true what they say: "You'll sleep when you're involuntarily committed because you've gone crazy because you haven't slept".  They do say that, right?

Anyhoo, I wanted to share my new desk with you all!  Actually, we finished the desk just before Thanksgiving, but it wasn't ready for pictures until January... and then I had a million things to do and didn't have time.  NOW IS THE TIME.

The desk did not look like this when I bought it.

So, you've heard me ranting about how office supplies are ugly.  I mean, is it so hard to make a pretty router or pretty hanging file folders?  No.  It really just... isn't.  I wanted a white desk.  A white desk that was big enough for my needs.  A white desk that was big enough for my needs and didn't cost a billion dollars.

Oh, and I was nine months pregnant at the time, so this desk became an emotional white whale, that I would be so close to capturing before it dove into the ocean and was never heard from again.  Here is the desk I found, that matched almost every criteria:

I thought this one was almost perfect!  Except of course, that it isn't white.  So I told the husband what I wanted to do.  He winced.  And then closed his eyes and sighed.

I wanted to paint the whole thing.  A week after we had moved into our new house.  While I'm nine months pregnant.  While we were still living out of boxes.

My timing is awesome.

The hubs got to work, diligently sanding each piece of this desk.  By the way, there were like, a hundred pieces or some nonsense.

You have to get all the shine of these veneer pieces or the paint won't stick.  Sanding all of these pieces was such a chore, for realsies.

Look how happy my husband is to be helping!  Of course, he's always making this face, so what do I know?

Once the sanding was done, I went to the priming and painting: Two coats of each.  This took FOR. EV. ER. because I had to prime one side of all the pieces, let it dry, flip it over and prime the other side, let it dry, REPEAT, and do it all again with the painting.  Sweet Moses, it took a long time.  And I had a newborn by this time, so it was super-awesome in this house.

And once that was done, I polyurethaned the whole works.  Oh, and then HAD TO PUT IT ALL TOGETHER.  AND ADD FABRIC TO THE BACK.  Luckily, my sister came over to help me and the hubs with that.  She is awesome at stuff like that.  The three of us managed to get it all done the night before Thanksgiving, which was great since we were having family over for the holiday.  Nothing like doing things in the nick of time!

The desk organization isn't completely done, there are a few things I've been meaning to do, but for now I am thrilled.  I will share some little organization things I did with this desk in a future post because I am tired and must have that rest before they do have me committed.

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Thrifty Crafty Girl
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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Contributing at Reasons to Skip the Housework!

Hello my bloggy friends!  Check out my contributing post over at Reasons to Skip the Housework! I'm showing how to make this easy wreath for Easter!

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Thrifty Crafty Girl
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Monday, March 24, 2014

Hanging File Folder Makeover

Hi everyone!  Spring is here and it actually feels like spring outside!  FINALLY.  Good gravy, I thought the winter would never end.

If one of you even thinks about telling me that more winter weather is headed my way, I'm going to smack my head against my desk until I lose consciousness.

Today, I'm going to show you how I took some hanging file folders and made them... not ugly.

Hanging file folders are ugly.  And the ones that aren't ugly are a million dollars.  You heard it here first.  So, I grabbed my stoopie (that's how I say stupid) green hanging file folders and some white cardstock:

I used a very technical method of updating these folders: I used double-sided tape.  I hope that wasn't too complicated for you.

I could have raided my stockpile of patterned papers, but I really wanted something plain and clean... white was just the go-to choice for me.

And then, because Martha Stewart doesn't have enough of my money, I bought some pretty file folders to match my not-so-ugly-anymore hanging file folders...

Aren't those cute?  I know, adorbs.

And then, I added my labels and stuffed 'em in their drawer.  They are so much prettier now!

In order to stay organized, we must make our organization tools look appealing.  That's the motto I'm using for today. :)

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Thrifty Crafty Girl
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Friday, March 21, 2014

A Gift for the Poor Planetarium Director

Allow me to set the scene for you:

It's the day of my oldest son's birthday party.  After weeks of planning, the day had finally arrived, and we were headed to the Planetarium for an awesome show.  What could possibly go wrong at the Planetarium?


I'm a firm believer in the theory that a child's behavior is mostly determined by the behavior of those around them.  If one child starts behaving like a monkey on Pixie Sticks, the others follow suit.  Unfortunately, one of the children at the party behaved like a monkey on Pixie Sticks.

The director of the Planetarium put on a great show for the kids and they all loved it.  They just behaved like heathens and I'm fairly certain that he needed a strong drink or three after we left.  To show my thanks, I made this for him:

I used an IKEA Ribba frame, some vinyl and a trial pack of Aleve (which, by the way, I could only find at a gas station.  Weird.).  I'm hoping that he appreciates the gesture and doesn't ban me from the Planetarium for life. :)

I'm also thinking that, since my son's teacher has these same children in her class, she might need one of these as a teachers gift!

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Thrifty Crafty Girl
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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

National Craft Month with Jo-Ann's!

The following review is part of the Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores® National Craft Month campaign.  I received compensation for this review; however, this is my personal, honest opinion based on my experience.

It's National Craft Month!  That means that we need to stop what we're doing, and craft it up! Jo-Ann makes spring crafting easy during National Craft Month with a $5 off $25 or more purchase coupon and a spring crafting inspiration website.

Disclosure:  I am constantly stopping what I'm doing and crafting it up.  I am constantly living in National Craft Month.  That's my dedication to this, ya'll.

To celebrate my never-ending craft month, I decided to do something I've always wanted to try: DIY canvas art.  I'm not sure if I've shared this with all of you, but the truth is I'm a terrible artist.  I can't even draw stick people, for reals.  But I wanted some canvas art to hang over my desk that would match the decor I've got going on... so I was going to have to make it myself.

This project is so fool-proof, even I could do it!  First, I bought some canvas and used painters tape to make some triangles.  Easy-schmeasy... I put a quick coat of white paint over it all, to help prevent bleeding:

Next, with the tape still in place, I painted the triangles in pink and gray.

And then, once it dried, I pulled off the tape and held my breath.

I made art!  I'm an artistic genius!  Future people will study me in art books!

Perhaps I'm making too much of this.  But I do love it!  What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month?

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Thrifty Crafty Girl
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Monday, March 17, 2014

Thrifty Crafty Girl: Dog Rescuer

Man, that's a great idea for a show.  I could just fly around (I can totally fly in this show) and rescue dogs from impending danger.  I would rock at that.

Until that show gets picked up for the fall line-up, let me formally introduce you to Snuggles:

The hubs and I promised the kids that when we moved into a house of our own, we would get a dog for them.  They have been begging for a dog for years and now that we owned a home, it was time to put up or shut up.

I'm sure I don't have to tell you that I never shut up.

I did a lot of online searching for shelter dogs to adopt because I feel really guilty every time I see that Sarah McLachlan commercial on television.  After a few weeks of searching, we hadn't found a dog that was nearby and that would be a good fit in our family.

And then one of my facebook friends shared a local dog rescue's page on her facebook.  It turned out that the rescue was closing due to lack of funds.  They had three dogs left to place and were hoping to find a family for those dogs soon.  Snuggles was one of those dogs.

The first few nights he was in our home, we expected that he would sleep in the crate that the shelter sent with him; after all, it smelled familiar and was what he had slept in before we got him.  During the night when I would go to check on him though, he wasn't in his crate.  I didn't worry too much about him and thought maybe he was hiding and would come out when he was ready.

The fourth night he was here, I found out where he was sleeping.  He had found a place for himself, directly in front of the kids bedroom.  He fancies himself a guard dog... a 15-pound guard dog who never barks.

We thought that by adopting him, we were protecting him.  As it turns out, he is trying to protect us.

If any of you have any reservations about getting a rescue dog, please take the leap.  Our family is very filled with doggie love.

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Thrifty Crafty Girl
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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Kitchen Curtains

Hi everyone!  It's been a while since I posted... if you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw that we adopted a dog!

His name is Snuggles, but I call him Snug-Bug.  He seems OK with it.  He was at a dog rescue and they had to close their doors due to lack of funding.  We met him on Thursday and I brought him home on Friday.  HE IS THE SWEETEST DOG EVER.  I have a post planned about him soon, stay tuned for doggie news.

Besides that, I'm still finishing up the kitchen.  I found some great fabric for the curtains...

And I sewed up some curtains.  Here are the ever-so-complicated steps I took to make these curtains.

1.  I took measurements and decided how big I wanted the panels.
2.  I cut out fabric according to those measurements, adding an inch to each side.
3.  I folded each side over an inch, pinned, and then sewed straight lines.

BOOM.  Curtains.  It took about a half an hour, but I did take a chocolate bar break in the middle because that's my happy place.

The last step is to paint the kitchen... I have the paint, I just need to find the time and the free hands: Lily enjoys being held.  A lot.  A real lot.

I'll be back later this week with another project!

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Thrifty Crafty Girl
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