11/25/14

Upcycled Vintage Linen Gift Wrap

Turning vintage cloth napkins into these cute little "envelopes" is easier than you think, and is really a no sew or nearly a no sew project that anyone can make! Perfect to tuck in books, stationary, journals, or small items like scarves, jewelry etc..

This is the perfect way to turn a simple gift into a memorable one, because lets face it, it's all in the packaging!

Next time you are at a yard sale, estate sale, or thrift store, be on the look out for square cloth napkins!

I grabbed these cream colored square "pillow covers" from habitat for humianty restores and paid less than 25 cents each and they were brand new from Ethan Allen, too!

Ok lets get you started:

Supplies:

Square cloth napkin
iron on fusible web hem tape
needle and thread:
embelishments such as : ribbons and buttons
one set of sticky backed velcro dots


Directions:

On flat work surface place cloth in a diamond shape.



Fold bottom corner up approx to center or cloth.
cut and iron on strips of hem tape along edges of the turned up bottom corner.
Peel off paper from top of the hem tape.
Fold over sides of the cloth so corners over lap and meet on top of the bottom corner in the center of the cloth.
Iron along the edges of the sides where the hem tape is to seal up the bottom portion of the envelope
Use a needle and thread and tack the 3 corners together in the center of the cloth.(But DO NOT sew through the whole cloth, remember you are making a pocket here!)
Place one half the velcro dot set just below where you sewed the corners together.
Place the other half the velcro dot at the top corner of the cloth.
Fold over top corner and press the velcro dots together to close the envelope.
Embelish the envelope as desired.
(I chose to use the hem tape and iron on the black ribbon and sew on a button to jazz up my plain packets.)

11/23/14

Angel Necklace

This angel necklace is a  super quick, easy, and thrifty gift.It is pefect for coworkers, neighbors, or makes a great gift your children can make for teachers, grandparents, and more.

I received this from a coworker last year for Christmas, and knew you guys would love it too.

Jan's Tip: The paperclips used in this necklace are often called butterfly paper clips or Ideal clips/clamps and are found in any office supply store.


Angel Necklace


Supplies:

Large Butterfly Paper Clips
Pearl Beads
Red Ribbon

Directions:
1. Cut desired length of ribbon for necklace. (mine is about 24 inches long)
2. Feed BOTH ends of the ribbon through the hole of the bead and tie the two ends together in a knot.
3. Lay the ribbon straight with the  knotted end at the top and slide the bead in the middle.
4. Feed the bottom end  of the ribbon through the diamond shaped center of the butterfly paper clip.
5. Pull the bottom end up a little ways and open it up into a circle shape.
6. Grab the bead and pull it and remaining ribbon through the center of the open loop of ribbon.
7. Pull tight till ribbon is secured around the paper clip.


8. Slide the bead down to rest on top of the butterfly clip.
 Done! It's ready to wear or give as a gift!

Done!

11/19/14

In the News



I just signed up for this fun gift exchange! Blogger and non bloggers alike. If you'd like to join in, go over and check it out over at :  countrylinked.

Any suggestions on what I should send as my gift exchange for a country blogger?

11/18/14

Strategy for Big Savings from Grocery Store Reward Points

With holiday shopping upon us, here is something to help you save money while you shop! But it is more than just a shopping strategy for the holidays. This money saving tip is something you'll use year round, and maybe change the way you think about your store reward card!

A friend of ours taught us the simplest, most amazing strategy to saving a lot of money and making the absolute most out of your grocery store reward points, and I realized after talking with a young cashier at the check out line, I needed to share this tip with you too!

Some of you may already do this, but if you have never thought of it, today you will at least forever stop and rethink what you do and probably start using your store cards to your advantage!

One of the stores I shop at is Kroger. It's parent company owns quite a few national chains so many of you will probably be familiar with their system.

Today I only paid $2.27 for gas, the original price was already a great $2.67 I could have saved even more, but I'll share with you how I saved the money!

Kroger offers a wide variety of gift card's for purchasing. To encourage you to buy them from their store, they usually offer 2 times the fuel points on your store reward card for purchasing them, and several times a year they actually offer 4 times the reward points.

So here are my 2 main tricks. One obvious, the other not so obvious:

1) Gifts to Give:

Buy your gift cards for gift giving from them. Any time of year you'll get 2 x the reward points to discount your gas, but if you are strategic and do a few of them when they offer 4 x the points, you'll save even more!

I bought 4 gift cards to give as holiday gifts and paid $100 total for the 4 cards. Instead of just the 20 cents for every $100 dollars spent (10 cents on food purchases) that is the regular 2 x reward points I got a 40 cent discount on my gas purchase. I could have saved even more if I'd purchased more, but for my budget I need to wait on a few more cards (like Itunes for stocking stuffers). I'll be seeing if they offer 4x the points near black Friday shopping.


2) Shop Strategically:

Buy gift cards to the stores and restaurants you are about to go shop at.  We first learned this trick from our friend who had a home improvement project and would be purchasing supplies at some national chain home improvement stores. Instead of just running his debit card at the supply store, he purchased their stores gift card from the Kroger store, got a HUGE fuel discount on his reward card and still spent the same money on the project as he would have otherwise, but filled up his truck for free!

When I explained this to the young cashier as I was purchasing my gift cards, his jaw dropped, and I think i actually saw a little light bulb go off above his head! He said, I go to Buffalo Wild Wings nearly every weekend with friends.. and I reminded him of the 4 x the fuel points sale that was currently the offer and said, if you bought yourself a bww gift card to use, think how much money you'll save in gas by just thinking strategically?

Whether you are heading to Target for back to school shopping, going out to eat with friends, or doing a project at home, ask your self if the reward points system at your grocery store, might help you save money by buying a gift card for those purchases and build your gas discount even more than normal.

Pretty brilliant, huh?

What ways do you secretly save money?



11/16/14

Upcycled Santa Ornament

This Santa Ornament is not only adorable, it is quick and easy too! I also love that it uses recycled soda can tabs and leftover red shredded gift bag filler!

Grab a hot glue gun and lets get started!


Supplies:
















  • Round clear plastic or glass ornaments (found at craft stores)
  • Red crinkle shredded gift bag shreds
  • Black ribbon (I used the kind that has white stitching along edges)
  • pop top tab pulled off of a soda can
  • red ribbon 
  • Optional: Jingle bell or other embellishments



Directions:

Pull the top off of the ornament ball.
Fill the ball with the paper shreds.
Replace ornament top on the ornament
Cut approx. 8 inches of ribbon.
Feed one end of ribbon up from the bottom through one hole of soda tab.
continue feeding the ribbon back down through the remaining hole in the soda tab.
Pull about 2 inches of the ribbon through.
Hot glue opposite end of the ribbon to the middle of the ornament ball.
Wrap ribbon around the middle of the ball so the Soda tab "belt buckle" ovelaps the first end.
Secure the belt buckle end of the ribbon by hot gluing it in several spots to the ornament.
Feed a jingle bell through the red ribbon and tie through top of ornament for hanging.
Add any other desired embellishiments.










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