Monday, December 12, 2011

Need to save some cash? Homemade gifts and online secrets for saving!

 Last year for Christmas I was totally set on a homemade Christmas.  I sewed and I crafted and I sewed and I crafted.  I worked till after midnight many nights and missed all the family movie nights while I holed up with my sewing machine and worked away.  I made photo calendars, music cds, aprons, dolls, hot bags (microwave rice bags in the shape of animals), purse hanging strip, hats, purses, mittens, purse organizers, a loft bed and crafty art station for the kids and all manner of crafty stuff!  I involved my husband in the creation of the art station and loft bed having him complete the carpentry aspect.  I just designed and dreamed them up.  So after an exhausting pre Christmas I came up with all these things..
Kids art station
My husband built the table and mounted the shelves.  
I created the rest and used washed out tin cans with clean edges wrapped in scrap book paper to create customizable art supplies holders.  My original plan and one I still plan on doing is to add strong magnets to the back of the cans and mount a strip of metal for them to attach to.  I also used baby food jars to fill with beads, and foam letters as well as lining up other supplies on the shelf.  I made the name plaques over their stations using a simple wooden plaque and adhering scrap book paper cut to size and individual letters to spell their names with spray adhesive.  The kids LOVE IT!  The best part is that this gift will give us years of use and is not just another plastic toy that ends up destroyed or outgrown in a few months.

Reversible Apron
Reversible apron (look at my right hand to see the other side of the apron).  My mom and I made up this pattern but similar patterns are available on etsy if you need a pattern .  I gave this to my sister and wish I had made one for myself!  It came out great.


Simple Cloth Dolls
The "black apple" doll came from a free pattern off Martha Stewart Living.  I made two of these, one for each of my daughters.  They turned out so so cute!  It was a very easy pattern as well.

This photo is from their website as I forgot in the midst of Christmas morning madness to take a photo of the two I made.


Customizable Purse Organizer

This is a great gift idea for anyone you know who has multiple purses and needs a great way to store them.  It is also very easy to do.  Instructions for the customizable purse organizer found here on my blog.
Loft Bed
My son went crazy over his new loft bed and we loved the amount of space it left for playing! We had been given a platform bed so my husband simply added a railing that he stained to match it and chain attachment before screwing it to the wall.  Then he built a ladder for the back side.  The ladder isn't in the photo because it was in the garage drying after it's stain job.

Ok so now you have some original crafty gift ideas, but if you are like me this year and are hoping to save some TIME as well as money I have another idea for you this Christmas.  EBATES! Click here to go straight to the site to start shopping from places already on your list.  You get HUGE cash back rebates from stores like walmart.com. kmart.com sears.com and TONS of others!  I just used it yesterday to purchase a tablet that I have been deal hunting for and saved $40!  Right now for Cyber Monday 2 also known as "Green Monday" most stores are offering DOUBLE cash back rebates and some CRAZY deals!  I got 10% back at Sears (good even on their Cyber Monday 2 deals) and saw that some stores were offering 30% cash back!  If you are headed to walmart anyway for stocking stuffers how about skipping the long lines and buying online at Walmart.com through EBATES and getting 6% cash back and saving on tax at the same time.  That is my plan.

How do you save money and time during the season?
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6 comments:

Humble wife said...

I love all the ideas you shared, but my favorite is the kids crafting station~

Thanks
Jennifer

meijo's JOY said...

These are so inspiring - I'n hosting a World Creative Blog hop party - please come and promote your blog here http://meijosjoy.blogspot.com/2011/11/happy-wednesday.html

Sushi and Ice Cream said...

I love your site!!! Especially the crafting stating...Your site will be very helpful to me, I am planning on homeschooling my daughter soon.

kj said...

I too have been up late every night with homemade gifts this year- aprons, t-shirts, wax dipped pine cones, and lots of candy. Yawn!

www.apronsandapples@blogspot.com said...

kj- I know you are amazing! this year I had to cut back!! I couldn't do it with all I have going on. I hope to do more next year and start mid year as an idea strikes me to avoid the pressure and time drain in Dec. :)

Hamlin said...

I like all your ideas thanks for sharing them but I like most is bunk bed idea its unique and attractive.