Monday, July 16, 2012

Peacock Wreath

Oh my, how time flies when you are having fun.  It's been a great summer so far...I've pinned hundreds of things on Pinterest and finally got around to actually making something.  I have found so many cute wreaths that it was hard to try to figure out which ones to make. I keep seeing way cute peacock wreaths so I decided to start there and attempt a peacock wreath- keeping my spending to a minimum.
Here are the supplies I used:
Wreath- found at a thrift store $4 (awesome find!)
Peacock- $11.99 (wasn't on sale this week at Hobby Lobby so I printed off a 40% off coupon)
Felt- 4 for $1 (I bought 20 but ended up only using 12)

 This wreath is huge!  It is hard to tell in the picture and I really can't believe I found two of them at a thrift store.  The wreaths I was basing this project off of used four or so peacock feathers.  I didn't want to buy a long feather and just cut off the end, so I found this little peacock guy and liked him way better than just the feathers.  Many of the peacock wreaths I saw used a lovely pea green shade of felt that my local store didn't have.  I adjusted though and found a deep purple that just matched the feathers of the peacock (although in the pictures you can't tell how pretty it is- it looks way too dark).  I have made flowers out of felt before (click here) so I did the same thing for this wreath. I adjusted the size of the circles I cut out to compensate for the larger wreath (a candle holder did the trick for a pattern circle).  I ended up being able to cut out six circles for each piece of felt, so I ended up making 72 flowers.  I cut out the flowers and hot glued them on.  I was done in less than an hour with the whole thing!
 The placement of the peacock was probably the hardest thing to figure out.  I ended up moving him over and let his feathers fall back and off the edge of the wreath.  
I hot glued him down, then started on the flowers.  I hot glued the flowers after the second fold to keep them closed, then hot glued the back and stuck them to the wreath. 

The finished product.  I really wish the flowers didn't look so dark (I even took it outside to take a picture and it still turned out looking dark).  :( 
 My peacock buddy, so stinkin' cute!
This has to be my favorite wreath!  After getting inspiration online, I made it my own, and for a lot less then what they were selling for- which makes me really happy! :)
I bought some more materials for another wreath...stay tuned for how those turn out!  :)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

DIY - Sun catcher

Oh goodness! I haven't posted anything in over a month!  I've come to realize that working full time makes it a little harder for me to thrift store shop and blog about my cool finds.  I usually work 9-5 and those are the same hours most thrift stores are open so that puts a damper on my fun. But in the evenings I have plenty of time to surf through Pinterest and find some awesome ideas.  
Recently I found a neat idea for a sun catcher made from plastic beads.  The directions were simple enough, pour plastic beads into a cake pan (no liner required) and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. This project sounded super simple and since I had all the materials at hand I thought I would give it a try. 

I had a huge bag of beads handed down from my mother (she makes jewelry and these beads were leftovers from her) and I knew there would be plenty of plastic beads.  I had to go through the beads though because I found out a lot of them weren't plastic.  It took A LOT more beads than I had originally thought.  But of course you can use whatever size of pan you'd like. 

 Before I put them in the oven and the bowl of non-used beads.  
I tried to use bright colors and stay away from darker colors.  I used all sizes and shapes of beads. 

So, the directions online said to bake for 20 minutes.  I ended up baking mine for almost an hour; I guess it was because a lot of my beads ended up being non-plastic and didn't melt or took longer too.  
One thing the directions did not mention was the smell!  The plastic smelled pretty bad melting. :( 
I waited for the pan to cool and then the sun catcher just popped right out.  Since I used such a variety of beads, my sun catcher turned out looking nothing like the one I saw on Pinterest. 

 Here it is hanging on our porch.  I just used some fishing line to hang it up.  It looks better far away then it does close up.  I'm going to try another one, but for the next one I plan to go buy some beads (when they go on sale of course, or at a thrift store!) that are the plastic you can see through. 
This was a fun little project for me, but I wasn't completely satisfied with the results.  That is the risk you take doing DIY projects. Just remember the fun is doing it- who cares if it doesn't turn out perfect. :)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Back Porch Table Make-Over

I'm sure everyone has been enjoying this warm weather.  I know my husband and I have.  We finally got our back porch cleaned off!  We have a great space that we never really used.  Our back porch is covered and extends the length of the house.  We have doors leading out to it from our living room and master bedroom.  It's awesome, but for some reason it just became a storage area instead of us actually using it.  Well that has changed.  My husband cleaned up all the stuff that had piled up out there, swept off the leaves, and washed off the swing we rarely used.  I finally found some reasonably priced cushions for the swing (only $12.99 each at Aldi's!) My husband has done a lot of yard work and planted grass seed in the back yard and it feels like a whole new area.  We love it and have been spending some quality time just sitting on our swing enjoying the weather.  A few weeks ago, I realized that if we were going to be spending more time out there we would need a table to sit drinks on and for storage.  We looked at the outdoor tables at a few stores and I couldn't find anything I liked and it all seemed way too expensive for something that would be sitting outside all the time.  So of course, being the thrifty gal I am, I headed to the thrift store and found an awesome table just like I had in mind. 
Here is the table (while it is still in the thrift store actually).  
Only $10!  I checked it out before buying it.  It's wood, stable, and clean.  
There were a few spots on top that looked like rings from candles or something.  
I liked the 'stripe' look and it made me thing of the stripes on my new swing cushions. 

 Once I got it home, I rinsed it off with the garden hose- looking back, I should have taken a cloth and really scrubbed it- there was some gunk stuck between the wood on the bottom.

 I found some paint at Wal-Mart (on clearance- one bottle was $3 and the others were $2).
Away I went with painting.  I decided to paint a pattern on the stripes and I alternated so each shelf has a different pattern.  After the first coat, I decided to paint the sides that I had left with the brown paint so it all 'flowed' and looked the same.  
The blue was a little too bright but the beige (that I thought would be too light) turned out perfect. 

 The first picture is after one coat and the legs/sides aren't painted. 
(Sitting the table on top of a card table was a genius idea and saved my back- thanks hubby!) 
The second picture is the final product.


Before this, I had never considered myself a painter, but I have to admit, I kind of liked it! I know I'm not the best, and the color ran down the sides in a few places but I don't care and really who is going to be looking that close to notice anyways? :)
The table is the perfect height to sit beside our swing and hold drinks on top, our radio in the middle, and pool supplies on the bottom. For items that are going to be outside, exposed to the elements, don't worry about spending a lot of money.  This table is going to get covered with wind-blown dirt, leaves, bugs, and lots of other 'stuff.'  No need to spend a lot, plus a quick rinse with the garden hose and it's back in business.
I think I'll be looking for some more goodies like this to paint.  It was fun and cheap- my favorite! :)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Yes, I do actually wear this stuff!

I've received some questions regarding the clothes that I buy at thrift stores- mainly from my sister who is still a thrift store skeptic, although she is coming around. After telling her about the amazing bags full of clothes I bought this weekend at our local thrift stores, she asked the question that most wonder about thrift store shoppers- do you actually wear these clothes? The answer is a big, huge, giant YES!
Of course I actually wear the cute clothes that I buy at thrift stores! Of course, I do wash everything first, or use fabric spray on the new-with-tags finds or any tricky fabrics. So many of my outfits I wear have at least one item that came from a thrift store or at least got on sale/clearance.
For an example, check out what I wore to church this morning.
The dress I bought this weekend at the Salvation Army- the tags were still attached! It was a splurge- more than I normally spend on one item at $12 but it was worth it! The denim jacket is from another thrift store and was $4. The shoes I purchased at Ross on clearance in December for $8.99. Even the bracelet I wore had been 50% off and was only $1.80.
So, totally cute, church appropriate outfit- from thrift store finds and the clearance rack for under $27! Yes, I do rock the great finds I stumble upon at thrift stores! :)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Vintage Framed Prints

I've always had the thought in the back of my mind that I was born in the wrong generation. I have a love for almost all things vintage and old. It is uncommon for my generation, with all the advancements in technology and growing up with such flashing entertainment, to truly love or appreciate vintage items. I'm an exception and love it. I love going to flea markets and always look for vintage items at thrift stores.
A couple months ago I ran into a gold mine at a local thrift store and spent about thirty minutes in one spot because of what I found. Some one (who probably owned a booth at a flea market) had generously donated some awesome vintage magazine ads and Life Magazines. I would have probably bought them all - $1.50 for the prints and $5.00 for the magazines was an awesome deal. But I narrowed it down to 11 prints. Now these are just too awesome to have sitting around so I decided to frame them and display them in my house as art. But of course, I didn't just go out and buy the picture frames- I found those at a thrift store too. All they needed was a little cleaning and a little paint. A few didn't even have backing- but the poster board the prints came with did the job.
I need a few more frames but here are the first round of completed frames with the prints inserted. There are a few toiletry ads that I am going to place in my bathrooms; won't that be fun?
One of my favorites was this guy! He is going to look great in my kitchen!
Now to actually hang them. I try to be as handy as my husband and hang pictures but I'm not that coordinated with hammering nails and always end up making at least three holes in the wall before I get it right. My husband found these 'incredible hooks' and man, are they incredible! You might have seen them advertised on TV before. All you do this push the hook into the wall and turn it, and then hang up your picture. They are awesome.
Look at this picture- both items are the hooks for hanging up pictures- different brands- but same thing. The one of the left came with 10 hooks, the one of the right came with 20 hooks. Which one do you think was cheaper?

If you guessed the package that came with 20 hooks you are correct! The package with only 10 hooks came from Wal-Mart and cost $5.97. The package that included 20 came from Deals (a store closely related to $1 shops or Dollar Trees- but they also carry higher priced items) and they were only $1!
To tally up my awesome art project we have:
$1.50 for the print
$1 for the frame
$0 for the paint and paintbrushes that we already had
$.05 for the hook to hang it
That brings us to: $2.55.
Awesome, I know. :)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Recycling and Updates

I'm not what I would consider a 'green' person- as in recycling. But I do try to do my best when I can. A lot of folks see thrift store shopping as a form of recycling, which it is. There are lots of ways to recycle clothing and everyday objects. There are countless blogs and websites that will show you ideas of how to 'up-cycle' items. But in my home, the main area that we dedicate to recycling is in the kitchen. In our town we are fortunate enough to have a recycling pick up bin along with our trash pick up bin. When we were first married the recycle bin was a little brown box about the size of a Rubbermaid storage bin- not a lot would fit into it and we left it outside so we practically never really recycled. Shortly after, the town distributed big recycle bins- the same size as the trash bins and instructions on what could be recycled and what couldn't. My husband and I decided to really try to be better about recycling so we placed a small bin with handles in our kitchen next to the trash can to help us recycle- and we became hooked. You never realize what all can be recycled until you take the time to think about it before you throw something away. Our trash can needs to be taken out about once a week. Our recycling bin needs to be taken out about 4 times a week. To help reduce the town's carbon footprint, we don't take our trash bin out to the curb unless it is full which has become about once a month. A few weeks ago we added another bin for compost. We are making our garden bigger than it was last year and my husband decided to create a compost pile. So now, all of our food trash is thrown into the compost bin and it is taken out about every other day.

Our little compost can, trash can, and recycle bin.
With the recycling and compost we hardly have any trash. It isn't a lot, but it makes me feel good that I'm doing what I can to help our planet. It has also made me realize how much recycling can be done outside of the kitchen. Paper clothing price tags, shampoo bottles (with the acceptable codes), and detergent boxes can all be recycled. I'm not saying you need to run out and start doing this too, but for our family having a special container for recyclables helps. Be sure to check what items can and can't be placed in the bins. For example, in our town glass can't be placed in the bin, but it can be taken to the recycling center.

Now, another form of recycling or 'up-cycling.' I found this vintage window (and another) at a flea market for $13 apiece plus 20% off. I cleaned the border, sanded it down, cleaned the glass, and then my husband re-caulked the edges and added twine rope so I could hang pictures. I absolutely LOVE how it turned out!

On to another form of recycling- an update on some of my works in progress.

I finally finished my Arkansas Razorback football wreath. Now I just have to wait until football season rolls back around.

I also completed my egg wreath; I added some orange ribbon. Note: be sure to leave a little extra length of fishing line because the ribbon takes up a lot more space then you would think.
Here's hoping you stumble upon some great finds of your own and are able to do some recycling as well. : )

Friday, February 17, 2012

Work(s) in Progress

I don't know about you, but I almost always have at least 1 crafty work in progress. I started this project over a month ago. I mentioned in an earlier blog post that I was going to look at the local thrift stores to try and find materials to make some more wreaths. Well here is part of what I found. Side note: craft supplies were not as easy to come by at thrift stores as I thought they would be.
The wreath I found at a thrift store for $1.
The red glittery ribbon came from Wal-Mart. You can't even tell it is technically 'Christmas' ribbon- I purchased it at 50% off during the after Christmas sale.
The football ribbon I found at a thrift store- the whole roll wasn't there, but it ended up being the perfect amount plus it was only 50 cents.
The letter 'A' is from Hobby Lobby. It wasn't on sale, but it was only 99 cents to begin with.

My idea for this wreath came together slowly. I found the red ribbon, then the wreath, then the football ribbon, then it all sat in the floor. I pulled everything back out a few weeks later and came up with a plan- a Razorback football wreath of course! Since I do live in Northwest Arkansas -Home to the Arkansas Razorbacks-and we are all Razorback fans, I thought this would make a cute wreath. I then purchased the 'A' in honor of Arkansas.
I started out by wrapping the red ribbon around the wreath. I chose to leave some of the wreath exposed, mostly because I didn't have enough of the football ribbon. I hot glued the ribbon every so often on the back. Did you happen to notice all the red glitter on the counter? It was everywhere by the time I got done. :)

Next, I went back over the red ribbon with the football ribbon. I love the look of the two layers.

I started spray painting the 'A' white. Looking back, I should have just painted it. The spray painting is keeping me from being finished with this project.

When I do finally have the 'A' finished, I plan to glue it so it lays in the middle of the wreath. I think it is going to look cute once I have it finished.
Another work in progress I have going is this Easter garland. Another idea I found on Pinterest (click on the link to see the original). This project was SUPER easy. It seems like a good project for kids too. All I did was string some fishing line through plastic Easter eggs. Small issue to keep in mind, even though my eggs had the holes at the ends (like you need to complete this project), I had to use a nail to open up the holes because the plastic wasn't broken all the way through. I'm not finished yet because I'm still trying to find some ribbon to tie in between the eggs. Still fun and it's going to be cute!
Yet, another project in the works. Apparently, I should be working on these projects instead of blogging about them. :)
I got this awesome peace sign at a craft fair this past fall. Again, should have just painted this instead of spray painting.

Here is my plan, once I finally get it painted, hot glue beads all over it. It sounds really cute when I say it, and looks like it is going to be really cute in my head....but we'll just have to see how it turns out.
So, there are some works in progress. When those are finished I have some more waiting in the wings. Spring doesn't officially start until March 20, but I'm already ready for it. I have a wreath made, and a couple more waiting to be made. I think I'm so ready because I love spring colors- all the pastels! Can't wait. Just a tip when thrift store shopping for crafts- be prepared to not find much. I found a lot of patterns but not craft items (like ribbon, wreaths, buttons, etc) which disappointed me. Hopefully, people will start spring cleaning and be donating items to thrift store so they can replenish their shelves. :) Let that serve as a reminder also that if you have some spring cleaning to do, consider donating your items to a thrift store. :)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Happy Birthday to me!

My birthday was last week and I turned 25....geez, I feel old...I know I'm not, but I can't help feeling that way. : )
Ever since I was little my mom has always made a big deal out of birthdays so we don't just have a birthday, we have a birthday month. Fun, and cheesy, and even though I'm 25 and in my eyes 'officially' an adult and I now 'officially' a woman, I still think it's fun to celebrate all month long. So, on my actual birthday we had dinner and cake. See the picture below. My sister and I just got back from a trip to Florida and since I love the beach, my cake was beach themed (yes, I really did just turn 25, and have a beach themed cake!) I have a plan to re-use those cake decorations and turn them into a beach themed wreath. Couldn't be the thrifty gal I am if I didn't use them for something else. :)

This past weekend, as a part of my birthday month, my mom and I took a day trip over to Tulsa to shop at some thrift stores and eat lunch and then shop some more. There is a thrift store we go to in Tulsa called 'Value Thrift Store.' (I've blogged about it before.) I got my husband to go in with me once, and he stood next to me until he evaluated the store's shoppers and deemed them safe enough to leave me alone while he shopped the men's section. Needless to say, it's in a 'scarier' section of Tulsa, but I love it! The thrift store doesn't really organize anything, which just makes the hunt more fun. They organize by price, and the longer an item has been in the store, the cheaper it gets. I found some cute stuff for me, and some cute stuff I wish would have fit me. It's funny, the more you thrift store shop, the more you start to recognize the items that 'go together' and that were probably donated by the same person. Apparently some itty-bitty thing donated her old dresses from White House Black Market and Macy's, but if you weren't itty-bitty like she was, you could only look, swoon, and move on. However, I did find some great deals, pictured below, and I got a surprise when I went to check out- everything was 25% off!

The shoes are brand-new (still had the size sticker on the sole-never had been worn) Madden Girl flats for only $3.98! Madden Girl is the 'cheaper' brand of Steve Madden, supposedly 'wallet-friendly' even though the prices range from $50 to $150.
The top to the left was also brand-new- tag still attached. The yellow/black/white top in the middle is Calvin Klein (their tops are anywhere from $40 and up). The top on the right is BCBG MaxAzria and can usually run well over $100. The three tops were all right around $4 apiece.

Also, not pictured is the the Universal Studios mug I found for only 25 cents. Random- but let me explain. Like I mentioned my sister and I took a trip to Florida a couple weeks ago and went to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. In the grand tradition of amusement parks, souvenirs were on the expense side, so I was excited to find this mug randomly to not only commemorate my trip, but my thrifty side as well.

My mom and I had fun on our trip, visiting a couple Ross stores (found some cute Easter decorations), Micheal's, and Dollar Tree. Whoa- we are wild women after all! :) Never fails that we find great deals and have lots of fun while doing it. I got some materials to make an Easter wreath- that will have to wait until I get my glue gun back from my sister though.
So, happy birth-month to me and happy hunting for you. :)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Crafty Wreath at a Great Deal!

This blog post is a little off from my usual posts. I recently joined Pinterest. If you haven't heard of it, you have to check it out. People post tons of awesome ideas. I've found some great ideas that I've decided to try out. But being the thrifty gal that I am I wanted to make some of these crafty deals at a great price.
I found this post from a blogger. (You have to check out her blog-she has some great ideas.) She showed step-by-step how to make an awesome wreath (click on the link to visit her site for her detailed instructions). I wanted to make my own, but wanted to make it at a great price. Luckily, Hobby Lobby had everything I needed on sale. Here's how I made my wreath and how cheaply I was able to make it.
Here were the supplies I gathered. Instead of using material to wrap the wreath, I used ribbon (it's cheaper!). The ribbon was 50% off at Hobby Lobby, so I got the two spools of ribbon for only $3.99 (each spool was originally $3.99). I needed two kinds of pins- regular straight pins (50% off- originally $2.99) and floral pins- the kind with the pearls on the ends (50% off- originally$4.99). The wreath wasn't on sale, but the 10 inch straw wreath was $2.99 (the foam wreaths were about $4.99). The felt wasn't on sale either but four pieces were only a dollar (four for a dollar is a great deal.)

I started by pinning the ribbon in the back and then started wrapping it around the wreath. The ribbon I chose was 3 yards long, so I ended up using a whole roll and probably 1/3 of the second roll. Make sure you layer the ribbon so you don't have any straw showing through. I probably don't need to mention this, but make sure you leave the plastic on the wreath- and make sure you are careful when taking off the price sticker because it easily pulls the plastic off.

This is how far I got with 3 yards of ribbon. I think 4 yards probably would have gone all the way around.

Here is the wreath with all the ribbon attached. I folded over the ends of the ribbon so the edge didn't show- not that anyone probably would have noticed, but it made me feel better.

Next, I added the felt flowers (the blog link can show you exactly how to make them). I used 1 sheet of felt and used a small jar to trace around for my pattern circle. You can make them any size. I think with the smaller wreath, smaller flowers would look better.

Finally, I added the pearl pins. Like my husband said, "Less is more with the fancy ones."
I spent $11.98 in total to make this wreath- but I have enough pins left over for a lot more wreaths; 3 sheets of felt left over (for at least 3 more wreaths); and about 2 yards of ribbon left to use for another project.

All the local thrift stores were closed today because of the holiday, but tomorrow I'm going to be out and about looking at the craft section of the thrift stores. I've seen wreaths made out of just about everything. I'm hoping to find some yarn, material, ribbon, or felt to make some more wreaths.
Happy New Year! May this year you be blessed with some great finds! :)