Tag Archives: Thrifty

Clothespin “Mail”

20 Mar


Today’s quick craft creates a hiding spot for a short message on a clothespin. It’s a perfect way to send some love to your friends or hunny.

For materials, you’ll need a clothespin with a spring mechanism that opens and closes, as well as some paper, glue, and a fine-pointed pen.


I measured out the front “pincher” part of my clothespin. That’s where your miniature envelope will be. For me, I needed to cut pieces of paper that were .5 inches tall by .75 inches long. On the front piece I drew the mock-up of a letter addressed to my boyfriend George. On the other piece, which became the back of the envelope, I drew fake fold marks.


The idea is that when you open the clothespin, you’ll reveal the hidden note. Therefore, you need to cut the front piece in half. You will glue the pieces to the top and the bottom of the “pincher” part of the clothespin. On the other piece of your envelope, which looks like the back, you’ll flip it over and write your hidden message there. Since I wanted to glue my back to the bottom “pincher” part of the clothespin, I wrote my message on the top of the piece of paper.

I used simple Elmer’s glue to attach the envelope cutouts to the clothespin.


It’s just that easy! I’m going to mail my clothespin letter to George. I know it’s going to make him smile.


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?

Paper Heart Trees

11 Feb

paper heart trees craft

This past weekend I wanted to do an easy Valentine’s craft that I could display in my apartment. I settled on making these paper heart cones.

Valentines craft supplies

Especially if you have a heart-shaped paper punch, they are relatively simple to make. You will need colored paper and basic glue to finish this craft as well.

paper cone valentines craft

To make a cone shape, cut a curve connecting the edges of a 90-degree angle on one edge of your paper, as pictured above in the supplies photo. I used a little bit of tape on the edge after rolling it up to keep the cone shape. Since you’re going to cover it up anyway, your cone doesn’t have to be perfect.

Next, cut or punch out the hearts in the colors you want to use. On one of the cones we just did shades of pink and red. On the other we also added in a black polka-dotted pattern from scrap booking paper.

paper heart valentine craft

When I originally saw this craft online, they only glued the top edge of the paper and left the rest free and 3-dimensional. I found that it was much easier to glue the heart fairly flat against the cone. I also would curl the heart before gluing it down. Otherwise, it was difficult to manage and the heart would spring off the tree.

Valentines Day paper heart cones

Once you’re done, you can cut a slit in the top to add a heart topper if you’d like. I placed the cones on shot glasses to prop them off the ground. Now they definitely look like trees!

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.

Bargain Shopping

1 Feb

Recently I have had my eye out for new items to use in projects. There are a lot of things I could use in my home, and a few pieces of furniture I wouldn’t mind adding to my collection.

Board Games Salvation Army

This past weekend I went to two thrift stores: a Salvation Army and a Goodwill. For the two that I went to, the Salvation Army had ::much:: better prices. The Goodwill was significantly larger, but I was horrified to see some prices, like a Target dress selling for $20. Granted, it had the tags on, but I’m sure the dress was going for less than that on the clearance rack in the store.

Weird Salvation Army Finds

This was a ceramic vase that also had a music box inside. Woah.

I ended up leaving both of the thrift shops empty handed. There were some cool, low tables that I contemplated getting for bar storage, but I didn’t have measurements of the available space with me. It was fun to see all the interesting tchotchkes, though.

WB Mason Office chair Gray

Just yesterday I had the opportunity to go to a WB Mason warehouse sale for work. Our Business Manager wasn’t able to attend, so two excited coworkers and I got to scope out the goods. We did get a few things for the office at very low prices. I also found a nice office chair for George. Our Business Manager let us know prices were negotiable so I got the chair for $30 when it was listed for $45. It’s used, but I can’t notice anything wrong with it. These chairs sell for over $200 when new! Crazy!

All and all, I’m happy with my bargain shopping this week. Even though I would have loved to have score more funky stuff to transform in projects, I’m glad I only spent money on a necessary item.

Have you found any good bargains lately? Where do you look?

DIY Fail: Gilded Business Cards

28 Jan

George is starting his own business and is looking into ordering business cards with his new logo and information. We love the look of Moo cards that have a stripe of color in the middle of the card. It’s a really nice way to add a pop to your business card. The only problem is they can cost over 50 cents a card!

On Pinterest I saw someone who had spray painted the edges of their business cards in order to get the gilded edge look. I thought this would be an excellent way to add  a bit of color and interest to his cards without shelling out major cash for fancy cards. We gave it a shot on George’s old business cards, and it did not work out!

diy fail cards to spray

We used a large binder clip to hold a stack in place. For the two outside cards, we placed someone else’s card face-in to not waste his cards.

George spraying cards outside

George just held the cards with a plastic bag and did a light coat on the cards. It dried almost immediately.

cards messy edges text

The fail was that the dye from the spray paint crept up on the cards, making a really messy looking edge. I don’t know if this is related to the type of paper, but it was a definite failure. I would not suggest trying this spray-painting tactic. I’m still curious how it worked out so well for other people, but it certainly didn’t work for us.

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