Tag Archives: Cheap

April Fools: Paper “Brownies”

1 Apr

With Easter so early this year, it’s easy to forget about April Fools Day. If you’ve completely forgotten, but you still want to “get” someone today with a harmless and easy April Fools prank, I’ve got the perfect idea: bake someone paper brownies.

Paper_borwnies_April_Fools_prank

All you need for this is some brown paper, scissors, an opaque cooking pan, and aluminum foil. Cut your paper into upper and lower case letter E’s.

April_Fools_Trick_easy_simple_brownies

Who knew making brownies (“brown e’s”) was so easy! Just stash your letters in the pan and cover them up. You might want to put something with a little weight on the bottom of the pan, like a dishtowel, just to give the plate some weight.

Happy_April_Fools_Day_Easy_Prank

Now you just need to offer someone some delicious, homemade brown “E”s. It’s not your fault if they thought you said brownies.

Enjoy! Happy April Fooling.

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Restaurant Idea Book

29 Mar

My boyfriend and I love to go out to eat, and we treat ourselves pretty regularly. The problem comes when we need to decide on where to go. Since I’m a vegetarian, and a fairly picky eater, it’s not always easy for me to try a new place without a little research. George, on the other hand, likes to try new things, and never has a problem with any menu. Tired of scanning through restaurant options on date night, I went ahead and created a Restaurant Ideas Book.

Date_night_ideas_book_diy_craft

I did a little digging on Trip Advisor and Yelp to find restaurants we haven’t tried within a reasonable radius. I only included places with average or better reviews, and looked at the menus to make sure there were a couple options I was okay with.

Book_binding_demo_practice

I wanted to make a little book, so I planned out mock pages on plain paper. This allowed me to see how I wanted the book to flow.

Date_night_ideas_book_ready

After printing out my pages, I made an orange cover. To bind the book, I just stapled the middle. In order to make the cover a little fancier, I used matching origami paper around the “spine.” I would have used rubber cement as an adhesive for the origami paper, but I couldn’t find it and used spray mount instead.

restaurant_ideas_by_category

For my creation, I divided up some of the suggestions into Date Night, Weekend Breakfast/Lunch, regular suggestions, and a special Bonus for an ice cream place. I did my page layout in Photoshop since I don’t have InDesign at home.

The biggest part of this project was researching which eateries to include! The book itself was very simple and printed on a home inkjet printer.

restaurant_ideas_book_dating_craft

I already presented this craft to George and he was appreciative. I told him we have a year to try the 13 places listed. It should be fun!

Easter Bunny Garland

15 Mar

Easter_Bunny_Garland_craft_diy

Easter is quite early this year, and I have begun to get into the spirit. I started with a strand of bunny garland made out of paint chips.

bunny_shape_outline

First, I had to select my shape. Online, I’ve seen similar bunny garlands that look like peeps. I originally had this idea, but want to make my own design. Here’s what I came up with for my bunny outline. You’re free to use it in your Easter crafting.

Bunny_garland_supplies_thrifty_ginger

For my paper, I used solid colored paint chips in pastel colors that I grabbed from Walmart ages ago. I also used white pom poms for the bunny tail. If you don’t have pom poms, you can use cotton balls, white paper, or maybe make the front of the bunny instead!

bunnie_cutouts_paint_chip

I traced and cut out all my shapes, and hot glued on the tails. I used silver cord from a past project and hot glued each bunny to the string.

Easter_Mantel_fireplace_ideas

Hung by my “fireplace,” the garland looks so fun! The colors go great with my diy proverb art.

Easter_Display_centerpiece_easy

I also added a terracotta flowerpot with plastic Easter eggs to my mantel to makes things a little more festive.

Bunny_Garland_pom_pom_tail

Now I just have to wait for the Easter Bunny to arrive!

Jeans to Shorts Transformation

8 Mar

I am guilty of having items in my wardrobe that just sit there and take up space. A particular pair of jeans I own was ripped one of the first times I wore them because I fell off my bike (ouch!). They fit fine at the waist, and are a nice, dark wash.

ripped jeans remake

I decided to transform my jeans into shorts! I already have a couple other pairs of grungy jeans to wear during projects or messy outside work, so this pair was the perfect candidate.

diy cuffed shorts jeans

Since I wanted a folded-up look, I put on my pants and marked the length I wanted them to be when finished, and estimated where I would cut to roll the hem up twice. After cutting, I ironed and pinned the jeans at my desired length. I tried the jeans on one more time to be sure the look was what I wanted. I sewed a simple line with white thread at the top of the fold, using my machine.

transforming jeans into shorts diy

That’s it! This was a super fast refashion for jeans. I know I’ll get more use out of the shorts than I did the torn jeans. Now I just need to figure out what to do with two denim legs!

Haircut at Home

1 Mar

The other week I gave George a haircut! I know that so many other people cut hair at home, and I figured I’d give it a shot. Plus, I have cut some of my girlfriend’s hair in the past and everything turned out just fine. That’s pretty much where my qualifications end.

I thought the experience was mostly comical. I didn’t really do any “research,” like watching videos online, before beginning. George gave me a run-down of what his hairdressers normally do. Fortunately, George already had a clipper set, any we purchased a pair of haircutting scissors at Target for $8.

mens haircut at home before and after

In terms of technique (not that you should emulate it…), I used the clippers first to make the back and sides a little shorter. I cut the sideburns fairly short, and then swore off the clippers for a bit. I then just used the scissors to make everything shorter, which is all a men’s haircut really is. I spent the majority of the morning laughing and then getting anxious after I took a significant portion of hair off.

mens haircut at home diy

George’s hair wasn’t as short and trim as it normally is after a barbershop haircut. However, I still consider the whole thing a success. At first, I think all my yelping made him really nervous, but my final product wasn’t a bad haircut. No one made any negative comments on his hair, and trust me, I wouldn’t put it past our friends. If he asks, I would certainly cut George’s hair in the future. Ideally, I would do my work between his normal haircuts to save some money on less frequent professional trims.

What about you? Have you cut your own hair or anyone else’s?

Valentines for Your Man

8 Feb

It is now less than one week until Valentine’s Day! If you still haven’t figured out what you’re doing for your boyfriend or husband, don’t fear. I’ve got some easy, but cute, Valentines that can be turned into cards or delivered with candy.

King of my heart Valentine

You’re the King of my Heart
I particularly love this one, since George has been known to collect playing cards. The only bad part is that you’ll have to sacrifice a deck of cards to get the King. Oh well. I’m sure we’ll find something to do with the rest of the cards.

I dig you Valentine

I Dig You
If you’re looking for something silly to give you hunny, how about a plastic shovel with the message “I dig you.” Or maybe you need a replacement snow shovel for the upcoming blizzard. Either way works.

perfect match valentine

Perfect Match
All this requires is two matches! I hot glued them down, but I’ve also seen them taped down with decorative washi tape

eyes for you Valentine

Eyes For You
Being a glasses-wearer, I thought this was an adorable idea. It turned out a little creepy, but I love the unique design. I cut out the pair of glasses from black card-stock after tracing freehand, and hot glued those googly eyes.

Great catch Valentine

You’re a catch
Maybe your man loves to fish. Let him know he’s your best catch by giving him sweedish fish or goldfish.

Mustache you a question Valentine

I Mustache You a Question
When you just have to know if your relationship is true, you mustache (must ask) hard questions, like, if your lover will be your Valentine. I paired this slogan with a mustache-topped pencil.

Hopefully you’ve found something to suit you and your relationship. If you’re cheesy like me and my man, I bet your guy will love these Valentine’s sayings.

If you’re looking for more general Valentines, see my last post which has six other ideas that work for lovers or friends.

Wrapped Glass Bottles

21 Jan

Wrapped Glass Bottles

I am still working on making my jewelry storage wall. Part of it will obviously need to store and display bracelets. To handle that task, I decided to make wrapped bottles.

bottles with peeled labels

I collected four bottles of slightly varied shapes. Before I got started, I removed as much of the labels as possible. I started to get really crazy trying to get the labels completely off, soaking them and using Goo Gone, before realizing that it wasn’t necessary for this project. Just do the best you can removing loose labels.

Metallic Cord

Deciding on what to wrap the bottles with was a bit of a challenge. I wanted something that would cover well, but that was sturdy and not super fuzzy. I ended up finding plastic canvas cord at Michael. It was $2 for 27 yards, which covered 1-2 bottles, depending on the size and shape.

Wrapping a glass bottle

To adhere the cord to the bottle I used hot glue. I started with a dot at the top and twisted the bottle to wrap the cord around. I would occasionally add more dots of hot glue to keep everything in place. It certainly wasn’t difficult, but you need to keep twisting and keep the slack tight. I would also suggest that you make sure your cord is completely tangle-free before beginning the covering process.

Wrapped bottles for bracelets

There you have it! This craft took about 1.5 hours in total time, although I probably could have done it faster. I’m really happy on how the metallic cord looks. I think it will be great to hold my bracelets! Now I just need to assemble this whole storage system. Eek!

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