Archive for December 2010

Gathering Trash to turn into Treasure!

December 31, 2010

We have all heard the old saying, “trash to treasure” and “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”, right? Well, as a part of living frugally, “trash” is essential. We find new uses for things all of the time. Everything from crafts to decorations to gifts. Yes, gifts. The mindset of “trash” has changed so much over the years. It is now thought of as “recycling” and not “trash” and it’s perfectly acceptable to use it for gift giving.

In a previous post, we already turned our Christmas cards into gift tags for next year. Just a few short years ago, those cards would have gone to the landfill. No more. Giving as many items as possible a new purpose is a way of life for many people and not just by the tree huggers either.

Ok, enough with the quotes, we know what we are talking about here!

Here is what I’m going to be saving for gifts and crafts this year:

1. Plastic bread tag clips, you know those square white ones. They take up absolutely no room at all so saving them is easy.

2. Toilet paper, paper towel, foil, etc. cardboard rolls.

3. Old clothes to use for scraps in projects that will require some fabric. Also using clothes to turn into something else entirely is something that can be done if you having any sewing skills at all.

4. A few newspapers.

5. Cardboard from cereal boxes, mac and cheese boxes, etc. These can be folded down flat and take up very little room.

6. A boxes in various sizes.

Don’t forget to purchase leftover Christmas items on clearance. Things like ribbon can be used for more than just Christmas if you get some in a solid color with no pattern. Think of birthdays, weddings, graduation, other occasions.

All of these ideas will also promote creative thinking for your children. Are they making gifts for the holidays? They should be! They take pride in the items that they can make for their loved ones and it teaches them that giving is a good thing to do!

Having a stash of simple materials and a stash of ideas, you will be able to have some items you can use for gifts, decorating and beyond!

Until next time!


Recycling your Christmas Cards into Gift Tags

December 30, 2010

Christmas Gift Tags

I am beginning the chore of putting the Christmas decorations away. It’s a little early, yes but I like to start my new year off right with a tidy house and that means no decorations to distract me from that goal. Before I throw away the Christmas cards I get, I turn them into gift tags for next year.

This is a very common thing that people do with their Christmas cards every year. It is a great way to get extra life out of those pretty cards every year and it saves money. I don’t care if self stick tags go on sale for a dime a package (and I’ve seen them that low), there is no need to buy them when you can simply cut up your cards. A dime is a dime when struggling to meet the Christmas deadline.

It is so easy to make these:

Christmas Card Recycle

1. Gather all of your the cards you received this year

Recycle Christmas Cards

2. Using scissors cut the cards in various shapes and sizes that would be good for a gift tag. You can use scissors that cut straight lines or scissors that cut various shapes. I used scalloped scissors for these.

Reuse Christmas cards for Gift Tags

3. Pack these away for next year’s gifts. You are just going to tape these right on the package with the to and from on the back or use a hole puncher and ribbon to use them on homemade gift bags (which we will also do this year as a project here on the blog).

4. Pat yourself on the back that you have one chore done for next year already. Good job!!

Here’s to a Great 2011

December 30, 2010

Another year has come and gone.  The holidays are winding down and it is time to look forward to the new year coming.  Welcome to my blog.  I hope you will participate and enjoy the content I am planning.

Happy New Year!

Christmas is only 11 months away!

December 29, 2010

I hope your Christmas was wonderful.  The thing about this blessed time of the year is that it will come again all too soon.

The economic times we are in has made the holiday season difficult, at best, for many families.  Unfortunately, the sad reality is that even in times of economic good years for the nation, there are many families who struggle with Christmas.  Through  no fault of their own in many cases, families are caught at the last minute literally scrambling to figure out how to get gifts for their children, spouses and extended family.  I have been around the internet a lot of years and have witnessed the cries of people who had no way what so ever to get Christmas accomplished when it finally caught up with them and as virtual as those cries are, it is heartbreaking to know there are people out there who feel like they are letting down their family due to the lack of gifts.

We adults realize there is more to the holiday than what is under the tree but it is so ingrained in our culture that Christmas means gifts that it is hard to escape the guilt.

If people had a plan that they could use, they could accomplish a great deal of gift collection throughout the year.  This includes store purchases, homemade, yard sale and thrift store items.  Clearance shopping is, of course, the first thing many people think of when they think of shopping ahead for the gift closet but it sure isn’t the only way to get some great gifts, especially if you have even the most tiny crafty bone in your body.

Beginning now, in December, 2010, we are going to start planning for Christmas 2011.  What I want you to do, as the Christmas items are going on clearance, is to purchase wrapping paper, Christmas cards and tinsel (3 packages of 12 ft each) in whatever color you like.  The wrapping paper is so you’ll have something to wrap all of these gifts in, the Christmas cards because you are going to feel so good about this year that you’ll be giddy to share your spirit and send cards to others and the tinsel because you’ll be using that to make 3 gifts later in the year.

Keep an eye on the sales, the Christmas items are 50% off now but they will go to 90% off as time goes on but don’t let yourself miss out by waiting on prices to continue to drop.  It’s okay to purchase at 75% off to get what you need on the shelf rather than take a chance and wait for 90% off and having these items you need be gone.  Timing is important.

Now, with that out of the way, if you find other Christmas items on clearance that you want or need and have a few bucks, go ahead and get them.  Beginning in January, we are going to start shopping for next year’s gifts.

Welcome and feel free to participate!