Tag Archives: Christmas

Frugal Things I Did Last Week

1 Jan
Just some of the appetizers and treats served at our Christmas party.

Just some of the appetizers and treats served at our Christmas party.

Christmas has come and gone can you believe it?  I hope you all had a blessed Christmas celebrating our Savior’s birth!  I have been crafting and sewing like crazy this past month.  🙂  I am so thankful that I was able to sew more Christmas presents this year than any year yet!  I had a great time blessing my family in this way.

I made my sister a checkbook cover using this tutorial.  I used scrap material leftover from other projects so this project was practically free!  I couldn’t get the ruffle part of the tutorial to work out for me so I appliqued a K on it instead.  I am so pleased with how it turned out.  I might just have to make one for myself.  🙂

Katelyn's checkbook cover.

Katelyn’s checkbook cover.

I made the hubby a homemade vanilla milkshake instead of him heading to Sonic.

My handsome man modeling Bekah's new hat.

My handsome man modeling Bekah’s new hat.

I made my sister Bekah a fun fleece hat using this tutorial.  I used scrap fleece fabric I had on hand.

We ate soup for three meals last week.  I made Sneaky Potato Soup (with broccoli instead of cauliflower) and Crock Pot Tortilla Soup.

The eyeglass cases literally took minutes to make!

The eyeglass cases literally took minutes to make!

I made my mom and sister eyeglass cases out of a Vera Bradley purse (the zipper was broken beyond repair).  It literally took minutes!

I made a nightgown for my cousin Katie for Christmas.  I also made a matching one for her American Girl Doll and a sleep mask, sleeping bag, and pillow.  I hope she enjoys playing with it as much as I enjoyed making it.  I can’t believe how many creative sewing and DIY ideas there are out there for American Girl dolls.  🙂

Our Christmas open house was so much fun!

Our Christmas open house was so much fun!

We had a Christmas open house at our home that was lots of fun.  Besides the shrimp that we purchased everything else was homemade.  As shown in the picture above we served vegetables with Red Pepper Hummus (both from Aldi).  I also made a cheese tray using fancy cheeses and crackers from Aldi.  (Aldi continues to be such a blessing to my family!) We also served: deviled eggs,  popcorn balls, yum-yums, Pecan Tarts, Peppermint Kisses, Chips & Dip, Potato Chips, cupcakes, m&ms, bacon wrapped water chestnuts, fudge, and nuts.  For drinks I served: homemade hot chocolate (kept warm in a Crockpot), water, and punch (my late Poppie’s recipe).  We ended up with lots of leftover cookies which I froze and took to my parent’s house for Christmas.  (They still tasted great!)

I made Elijah a fleece no-sew blanket with fabric I purchased on Black Friday.  He loves it!

About half of the Christmas presents were purchased or made before the month of December.  I hid the majority of them on the tallest shelf of my closet.  Anytime I would find something at a great deal that I thought a family member would love I picked it up and added it to my stash.  By purchasing presents at stellar prices I am able to minimalize our Christmas expenses while maximizing our giving.  🙂

I sewed a Christmas sleeper for my son Elijah.  This wasn’t an incredible savings but such a fun memory!  I made my first sleeper for Eli-pictures coming soon!

How did you save money this past week? 

Sew a Drawstring Nightgown (or dress): Simplicity 1722 Review

28 Dec
Simplicity 1722 Tween Drawstring Nightgown

Simplicity 1722 Tween Drawstring Nightgown

This has to be one of my favorite Christmas presents that I made this year!   I used Simplicity 1722 to sew a nightgown for my eight year old cousin.  I sewed a straight 8 no adjustments.  She wears a size 8 in ready to wear so that is what I made.  I didn’t measure her but this fit her perfectly!  (I wish I had taken a picture of her wearing it!)

I sewed View B with lace trim purchased on a spool from hobby lobby.  The flannel was from Hancock’s.  This pattern used single fold bias tape for the casing for the elastic under the bust.  I had never done this before but it was pretty easy.  What was neat about this pattern was that it is one of Simplicity’s “Learn to Sew” patterns.  It has the most detailed instructions I believe I have ever seen on a pattern as well as helpful hints.  I even learned something myself!

The only difficulty I had with this pattern was getting the elastic in the waistband to look uniform.  I”m still not sure exactly why.  I ended up just playing with it until it looked more uniform. Although the pattern calls for 3 1/2 yards of lace for size 8 I was able to get by with just 3.  😉  This project only took 2 hours top to bottom.  How could you not love such an adorable pattern that comes together so fast.  Overall this pattern is wonderful!  I think it would also make a lovely dress for summer time!

Since it was for a little girl I couldn’t resist sewing up a cute little matching dress.

A sweet little matching nightgown for my cousin's American Girl doll.

A sweet little matching nightgown for my cousin’s American Girl doll.

Frugal Things I Did the Last Two Weeks

21 Dec
My frugal Christmas decor.

My frugal Christmas decor.

I don’t know about you but December tests my frugality more than any other month of the year!  I think it’s all of the sentimentality attached to the Christmas coupled with a big desire to give to others.  😉  We had a bout of sickness a couple of weeks ago that derailed us for a few days but we are all doing well now. 

We put up Christmas decorations that we already had and avoided purchasing any new items!  🙂  I wanted to jazz up the top of the piano so I wrapped extra Christmas lights we already had around garland.  I love the result!  The Advent Christmas tree was a gift from family and the Nativity was a wedding gift.

So far the majority of our Christmas gift giving have been homemade.  My goal was to make 50% of our gifts.  I made a handprints wreath for Brandon’s parents, a Baby Bath Robe for my niece Zuzu, and a clutch for my sister-in-law Renee (pictured below).

The clutch I made for my sister-in-law.

The clutch I made for my sister-in-law.

I visited a friend and she gave me all sorts of things they were giving away!  A box of jars, a huge rug, and a printer in excellent condition.  We didn’t need the printer but I knew that my parents could use it so I passed it on to them.  The rug had some stains on it so I cleaned them with carpet cleaner.  I also borrowed my mom’s carpet cleaner and cleaned the entire rug.  Our entire basement is finished but has tile flooring so this rug will be perfect down there!

I made two Deco-Mesh wreaths.  One for my parents and one for my Momolene.  (I had already made one to give my other Grandma.)

The Deco-Mesh wreath I made for my parents.

The Deco-Mesh wreath I made for my parents.

There was a mistake with Elijah’s Christmas pictures and I was given the slightly out of focus pictures in addition to the correct pictures.  I am using the out of focus pictures for Christmas ornaments.

I had Elijah paint plain brown paper bags with red and green paint (we had on hand) to make cute wrapping paper.  It was also a fun project for him.

I made homemade hot chocolate for our young adult Christmas party at church.  They drank every drop!

We watched movies from the library instead of getting a Redbox.

I received some nice samples in the mail: shampoo, lotion, men’s body wash, etc.

I received another book to review in the mail.

Elijah made a birthday card for his Poppy Steve.  We gave him a gift subscription to Golf Digest.

I took some items to our local consignment store that Elijah no longer needs.  I received almost $20 from items that had already sold.

I washed a dry clean only blazer of Eli’s in the Washing Machine on the Handwash cycle.  I hung it to dry and it worked great.  ( I’ll admit it was a risk but I had picked up the blazer at a thrift store dirt cheap.)   Usually I wash our dry clean only items (except for suits) with Dryel but I haven’t been able to find it in the store lately.

What frugal activities have you been able to accomplish lately despite the Holidays? 

Crafting with my Cricut: Christmas Time!

30 Nov

The Christmas tree is up and the stockings are hung by the window with care (no fireplace here).  I don’t know about you but the weeks before Christmas put me in the biggest mood for sewing and crafting.  😉  Anybody else feel that way?

Usually I turn to sewing when I am feeling creative.  Earlier this week I decided to turn to my Cricut instead.  Last Christmas I was surprised (& I mean surprised) with a Cricut.  It’s a type of die-cutting machine that can do crazy cool stuff.  Honestly I’m still not very good at using the Cricut but I was so pleased with how this craft turned out I thought I would share.  🙂  I really wanted to create something to remind my family of the Joy of Christmas.  It’s so easy during the hustle & bustle of December to lose sight of the real meaning-Jesus!

So thankful that Christ endured the cross for the JOY set before him. What a great reason to celebrate!

 

First I took a piece of finished wood (purchased at JoAnns) and painted it with two coats of acrylic paint.  I used Martha Stewart’s acrylic satin paint for multi-surfaces.

I used the Winter Wonderland cartridge and white vinyl.  I cut out the “Joy” phrase at 3.5″ and the snowflake at 2.5″.  Then I removed the sticky side from the vinyl and attached it to the wood.  Then I painted the plaque with Poly Acrylic sealer and let dry.  I thought about attaching ribbon but decided that since it is so small I will probably just place it on a windowsill.

A simple way to add some Christmas cheer to our window.

 

Elijah had a wonderful time helping me with this craft but I also wanted to do something special just for him.  I had some leftover vinyl so I cut out a snowman and a couple of snowflakes.  He loved them!

 

What type of Christmas crafts do you have planned?