Monday, November 30, 2009

Snowflake napkin and napkin ring

Here’s a 2 for 1! A napkin and napkin ring. These were so easy for me to make and took nowhere near as long as I thought. I saw some napkins in a catalogue recently that I thought were cute. They were $5ea. Considering I already had white fabric, knew how to sew and had silver cotton to embroider, $5ea, or $30 for a set of 6 was more than I wanted to pay.

To make the napkin I cut out a 30cm x 30cm square of fabric. Use whatever fabric you like, as long as it is soft, not too thin and easy to work with. I folded the edges in then ironed them so I could hem the napkins easily. I sewed with a straight stitch all around.

Then it was simply a matter of choosing a design and stitching it on. I chose a very simple snowflake.

For the napkin ring, I got a piece of silver ribbon. Cut it to a size I liked.

I stitched on some blue and pearl white beads, as they were the beads I had that suit my silver blue Christmas. I stitched them on in pairs. I started doing them individually, but pairs were quicker, but still secure. I think if I did anymore at one time it wouldn’t sit as well.

With the last beads stitched on, I folded the ribbon back on itself and stitched it in place. I followed this with a dab of glue to ensure it will stay together.

And that was it. Too easy. Just do as many as you would like, 4, 6, 8, 12, whatever you need.

Gift tags

This is a really simple Christmas craft, gift tags.

I just used some white tags and painted them using various effects to personalise them. You could add stickers, sequins, anything.

Another great way to make tags is to use old Christmas cards cut up.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Blue and Silver Christmas Wreath

I am not keeping up with my 25 days of Christmas, but here is the next thing. Since I am aiming for a silver and blue Christmas this year, I decided to make a wreath.

I collected pine cones from a local park. I already had a small wooden ring, silver paint and had bought some blue and silver Christmas ribbon the other week for $1.50.

All I had to do was paint the pine cones and leave them to dry.
Once they were dry I glued them to the ring.
Once the glue was dry I wrapped the ribbon around and that was it.

It now sits just inside my doorway (we have glass sliding doors, so can’t hang on the front door). I love it to bits. It is the sort of wreath i have wanted for ages and cost me next to nothing!

Long desired bargains

Check it out! Now this wont be exciting to everyone, but in this picture are items I have wanted for a while. I went to one of my fav stores the other day loaded with a gift voucher and money from my hubby, together it gave me $100 to spend. I looked around and didn’t see much I really wanted. I picked up the Christmas decorations I had been eyeing off and noticed they were marked down.

The shop lady came up and said “all decorations were 25% off, plus there was 15% off storewide today only” (the 15% off today only is a crock, as they do that all the time!) So I picked up the things I had been looking at and decided to have a closer look at the bargain wall.

Boy am I glad I did. I spent $106 with my voucher and the money from my husband and got $371 worth of stuff. Baskets usually $35 for $8.50, candle holders, Christmas decorations, 2 gold plates which will sit on our bedside tables once we have our house and I make our bedspread from the fabric I got earlier.

I was so excited. Some of the candle holders worked out to be $1.70each!

I had scanned the bargain wall, but since I didn’t really find anything I liked I was going to go to the shop another day. When I decided to look at it closer, I noticed things I liked, but missed them before because they had boxes of stuff in the way and I had to climb over things to get them. I love it all so much.

I am not someone who likes to pay full price, but I know how I want my house when we have it and to be able to get the things I want for it so cheap is fanfreakintastic!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Make your own Christmas decorations

Making your own Christmas decorations from beads is so easy. Look for pretty ones in necklaces or ornaments at cheap shops or even op shops.

I actually got the beads from my mother in law and just strung them together. I used a thicker almost like twine cotton to thread them and ensure they don’t get tangled or break.

There are many designs you can make. This one is super easy as I already had a pretty bead to be the main part of the decoration. Stay tuned though, because I will have more decorations.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Christmas Aprons

This is one of the Christmas aprons I made. I like full aprons, as they are actually useful.

I made it by cutting strips of Christmas fabric into 2 inch strips and sewed them together. I cut out the shape I wanted and laid it on some green drill.

I cut the same shape out of green drill, cut 3 strips of cord for the straps and sewed it all together.

I have a few other designs I am going to work on, but this is the first one. I made a matching one for my daughter as well.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I can’t take credit for these cute snowmen. My mum made them over 10 years ago and I love them. They are made out of calico and are simply 2 calico shapes sewn together with an oval bottom sewn in. Leave a gap somewhere on it to turn them in the right way and so you can stuff them.

Rice is place inside at the bottom, about ½ cup and then stuff the snowmen with wadding/stuffing.

You can decorate them however you like, with buttons, paint, sayings etc...

These ones say “hearts come home for Christmas” and “The heart of Christmas is love.”

Monday, November 23, 2009

Beaded Angels

This beaded angel is so cute. I love them. They are not as easy to make as other things I have shown, but they are just beads, pipecleaners and glue.

You will need
5 x 15 cm thin white pipecleaners
1 large frosted bead, 14mm (for the head)
2 medium frosted beads, 6mm (for the hands)
1 large octagonal round type bead, 13 x 10mm (for the body)
9 - 11 medium octagonal round type beads, 6mm
44 – 48 small octagonal round type beads, 4mm
5 large star type beads, 25mm
5 medium star type beads, 18mm
7 small star type beads, 10mm

These are the beads you will need for each part of the skirt. They will be placed in the order starting with the small octagonal bead, then the medium bead, star beads etc... I found it easiest to lay them out so I could just pick them up in order as needed.

Firstly thread the pipecleaners through the large hexagonal bead, leaving 1 3/4 inch (4.5cm) out on one side. Spread the pipecleaners out, as shown in the picture to create the skirt, which you will thread the beads on.

Before putting the last small bead on each piepcleaner, place a small amount of glue at the base of the large star, to help the small bead stick. If there is any piepcleaner sticking out after you have threaded the beads on, trim it with the pliers.

I like to leave the glue to set as it makes the next steps easier.

Next, space out the long pieces of pipecleaner and place the large frosted round bead on one for the angels head.

Leaving a small space, thread on 8 small hexagonal beads on above the head. Twist it to form a circle and wrap some of the excess pipecleaner around itself to secure it in place. Trim off the excess pipecleaner with the pliers.

On one of the other long pieces of pipecleaner thread 12 small octagonal beads. Twist it to form an oval and wrap some of the pipecleaner back on itself to secure it. If you wish you can thread 2 small octagonal beads and one medium on the excess pipecleaner, with a little bit of glue to secure or you can simply trim the excess. This is one wing. Repeat this with another pipecleaner to create the second wing.

I tried to show you the wing "excess" in the picture above, but I'm not sure if it's easy to understand what I mean.

These are the beads you will need for each arm, in the right order.

Starting with the medium octagonal beads and ending with the medium frosted beads, thread the beads to create the arms on the 2 remaining pipecleaners. Use glue to secure the frosted beads and trim the excess of the pipecleaners.

And you're done! You can either sit them on your tree or around the house, use them as table decorations or thread a bit of string near the halo to hang them.

They look so beautiful near the lights, glistening.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Paper snowflakes

These simple snow flakes can be made into long strings to drape around the Christmas tree or hang them in the windows.

All you need is some paper, scissors and string.

Simply fold the paper, cut where you like, unfold and thread to create snowflake strings.

Any paper will do, any colour, any size. Use whatever you like.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Christmas Stockings

Christmas Stockings don't have to be generic ones from the shops. They don't have to be red and green and gold. They can be any style you like.

I originally made the one in the picture above for my sister, but we no longer exchange presents, so I am keeping it for myself.

This butterfly one is for my niece. She loves pink and butterflies. Combining personal interests or likes in a stocking are a great way to make your stocking unique.

Of course if you want a red Christmasy stocking, it doesn't have to be the typical shape, there are so many designs, pick one you like. Be creative.

This last one is the one I made for my husband. It is just basic, but it is the first stocking I ever made, so is super special to us.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Santa Sacks

I made these Santa sacks for both my daughters. It will be where Santa leaves their gifts instead of loads of wrapping paper everywhere.

We had sacks as children and it is no less exciting to open the sack and pull things out than it is to unwrap a present.

I have one red and one green. I was lucky last year I got this thick satin Christmas fabric for $2m. I got a few metres of gold, green and red.

Doing something like this is a great idea for family members too. Just collect the bags each year after the gift giving and use them every year. You will save a fortune on wrapping paper and it is so much better for the environment too.

If you have basic sewing skills you can make Santa/Gift sacks. Simply cut fabric to the size you would like and sew together.


I'm sorry I missed doing a post yesterday, but it means you'll get a double shot today!

In our house we have a small round table, so the sort of centrpieces I like aren't really appropriate, that and my husband is not a fan of centrepieces. He does like this one though, and it is so easy.

All you need is a plate, 3 white candles in different heights and some christmas ribbon. Wrap the ribbon around the candles however you like, place on the plate and that's it.

One thing I really love about this sort of centrepiece is it's versatile and can be used throughout the year for different holidays. For Valentines Day you could place love heart ribbon on the candles, Halloween ribbon on Halloween etc... Just change the ribbon, for Easter, place a few easter eggs on the plate also. I'll show you different ways throughout the year.

This is my most simple centrepiece, but I will be changing it a few times before Christmas, to give you some different idea's.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tinsel Christmas Trees

I was in the shops recently and saw tinsel Christmas trees which were $50ea! And they were only as high as these ones that I used to make, so I thought for day 2 I would show you how to make them. They are super easy and great for anyone with young children who like to pull all the decorations off the tree or anyone living in a small space. They are great for bedrooms and kids love them.

To start with you will need

10 - 12 coat hangers
sticky tape
a string of fairy lights, 50 is a good number
3 - 4m of tinsel (how much you need really depends on the thickness of the tinsel.)

Firstly, lay the coathangers down, as shown above and tape them together where they join.

Next slide the coat hangers together. Simply put one pointy end of a coathanger through the middle on another pair of coathangers.

Do this until you have used all the coathangers. Tape them together up the top to hold them in place.

Next tape the lights to the coathanger fram in various places. It is best to check they work before you stick them altogether. Why? Well, I originally used coloured lights, which after I had completely made the tree, discovered they do not work, so had to undo it all and put on lights that do work!

Once the lights are on, wrap the tinsel around the frame and tape at the top and bottom to hold in place. You can put a star or something on the top if you like, or strategically place a lightbulb there.

And that's it. It's quick and easy and I made mine out of decorations I already had, as I am trying to do a different colour theme on my tree this year, so this will go in my daughters bedroom.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Santa's at the markets

These are some little santa's I made to sell at the markets. I sold 3. They are so easy to make. I will post later how to do it. They are actually a little bag, if you lift up the beard there is a little pocket.

I also made these and sold a few. Cany cane reindeer. You just need pipecleaners, googly eyes, red pompoms or felt cut in a circle and of course, canycanes. Twist the pipecleaners on, glue on the eyes and pom pom and voila! A candy cane reindeer you can hang on the Christmas tree or give to friends.

Perfect op shop day

Talk about excitement plus. You know how some days you go to the op shop and find nothing, then other days are GREAT? Well, today was great. I went to the op shop just over a week ago and saw sneakers I really liked, but they were a cash only shop, it was right on closing time and I already had a few things I needed, so couldn’t get them.

This morning we were going to go to the outlet and get sneakers, as they were 2 for the price of 1. I suggested we swing past the op shops first to see what they had and I cannot tell you how excited I was to see the sneakers still there! They are casual sneakers, which was what I wanted, tan and pink, Sketchers and fit PERFECTLY!

Whilst we were there I also found a queen size satin sheet with light stripes in it in EXACTLY the right gold tone to match the fabric I bought last week! I could not believe it. Then I found a silver plate with Peace, Noel and Merry Christmas around it.

It is just what I wanted for our table and some fabric to make dresses for my daughters. Total = $14! The new sneakers were originally going to get were $100, so for $86 LESS, I got MORE things!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fabric bargains

The other day I was at my local fabric store pricing fabrics to recover my lounge in. I love my lounge to bits. It is super old, the fabric is stained and ripped, survived a house fire and is the comfiest thing ever. It is ridiculously big for the last few places I have lived in, but will be perfect once we have our own place. It is a 5 seater modular that my parents bought before 1997. I can’t remember how long before, I just know it was before, because of where we lived.

I know it was expensive for them at the time and I remember being so excited about it. Many years on, it has served the family well. A few years ago my parents jokingly offered it to me and I grabbed. They thought I was insane, but I love it and have never found one as comfortable as this one.

As I was looking at and pricing fabrics, I realised it was going to cost me about $400 to recover it in a fabric I really liked. I could do it cheaper in a fabric I was not so fond of but considering I will be looking at it every day for some time, that is not a good idea. I did not want to pay that much to recover it at this stage. I have young children who are going to ruin it anyway, so may as well just keep the throw rugs on it to cover the rips.

Then I turned the corner and saw it. It was breath taking. It was 3 tables of fabric on SALE! And what mark downs there were! I got a roll of fabric which will be enough to cover my lounge for under $50. This is it

Now, it was not my first choice of fabrics, but considering how cheap it is, the colour and pattern will help hide imperfections a little and being light it will make our place look larger, I had to have it. A saving of $350 is HUGE!

Also on this table was my little fabric miracle. Now this probably seems insane or obsessive, but I cannot tell you how excited I was to see this

Yeah, I know not everyone loves it, but I do. I have wanted this fabric for months, since it was $25m. Originally I saw it as a bedspread in a shop for $250, plus $33 for each pillow case plus $55 for the European pillow cases (which I was not going to buy); a throw I liked on it was another $150 plus $30 - $50each for some scatter cushions I liked. Hmmm, for some reason I could not justify spending that much on my bedspread.

I saw the fabric in the store for $25m, cheaper, but I still did not want to pay that much. Stingy, I know.
When I was there 2 days ago and this fabric was on the table I grabbed it. I am pretty sure had anyone been looking at it, I’d’ve pushed them aside! I got metres of it for $6m! YES! That is a price I will pay.
I got this one as well

Also for $6m so I think I did really well.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Cheap clothing!

Check it out. Ok, so I was not going to buy any clothes this year, but I had a voucher. See all these clothes? You wont believe what we got them for!
First I’ll tell you what’s here...
1 chunky knit jumper (for me) RRP $49.95
1 black cross over style top (for me) RRP $29.95
1 pr Riders by Lee jeans, like new (for me) RRP $119.95
1 Just Jeans Jacket like new (for me) RRP $39.95
1 black shirt sleeved top (for me) RRP $39.95
1 Grey Knit (for me) RRP $49.95
2 size 3 all in one winter pj’s for our daughters RRP $24.95
1 size 6 pj’s, RRP $29.95
3 shirts for my husband RRP $24.95 each
So a total retail value of $484.40!!! Wow, I think I would feel sick if I ever paid that much for 12 items!

What did we get them for? $34.50! That’s right. The original price was $69, but we had a voucher for ½ price clothing, for up to 10 items and 3 of the items we wanted were ½ price, so the voucher only applied to the others, but it meant we got everything ½ price! And to think we nearly didn’t go today.

We also got 2 pairs of thongs (flip flops/jandals whatever you want to call them) for my husband yesterday for $20. It was a 2 for 1 sale and they have sneakers 2 for 1 until the end of November. We both need new sneakers, so he will be getting a pair for his birthday and me for Christmas and it will only be the price of 1 pair.

I have had a money tin this year, which I have been putting my coins in and I decided some of it would be used for new clothes for all of us. I counted it the other night and I have $600, which I think is pretty good.

I have written a list of what I think I need, how much I think I could get it for with some items second hand, some new etc... It totalled over $400! I don’t want to spend that. I have been reviewing my list and will let you know. I want a more classic wardrobe, not a mismatched one that I seem to always have.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Amazing how when we set plans for ourselves little things always seem to get in the way! This week I will only be able to see my PT twice, but see the hill in this pic? I am going to walk up it at least 3 times. It took me just under an hour to walk from my house to the top, call my family, wave (as requested) and walk back home. It is quite a nice walk, as we back onto a reserve, so it is very quiet and private.

I write to do lists and even thought things don’t always go as planned it is good to have some direction. My list this week is quite involved, but I feel confident I can get it done if I really try hard. Today has been hopeless because my baby is sick, but tomorrow is a new day and hopefully I will get more done!

Lots of the things for this week are things I have been planning to do for ages and just never seem to get around to it. Tomorrow my 2 year old is being taken care of for the day, so I plan on getting a lot done.

Tomorrow I will be focusing on sewing and finishing projects around our little unit.

Wednesday my husband has the day off, as well as Thursday, so I am hoping I can get a lot done then. I’d really love it if he took our girls out to the park for a while, but am not holding my breath.

My house is trashed today, which I will be able to fix tonight when my husband gets home. I have had to carry my baby all the time today, making it hard to do anything and my daughter has delighted in trashing everything. I must say though, that since doing a lot of de-cluttering, it is not as bad as it used to be.

Other things on my list are finish my book, get some Christmas things out of the way and work out what I will need in regards to food and anything that I could possibly need to go to the shops for over Dec/Jan, so I can organise myself and get most of it at the end of this month. I have a few things I will have to go to the shops for, but other than those, I do not want to go.