arts and crafts http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/814/all en-US 17 Creative, No-Mess Activities for Kids Stuck at Home http://www.wisebread.com/17-creative-no-mess-activities-for-kids-stuck-at-home <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/17-creative-no-mess-activities-for-kids-stuck-at-home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/girl_paint_mess_498734754.jpg" alt="Girl doing creative, no-mess activities at home" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Maybe you have a kid stuck at home because they're not old enough for school yet, or maybe they're home with a cold, or it's a snow day. It doesn't matter. This list is jam-packed with ideas to keep them occupied and fully entertained all day long, without a huge, sticky mess to clean after it's over. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-fun-things-to-do-when-youre-stuck-inside-during-winter?ref=seealso" target="_blank">50 Fun Things to Do When You're Stuck Inside During Winter</a>)</p> <h2>1. Get pointillistic with dot markers</h2> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2w5408c" target="_blank">Dot markers</a> have been around for a long time, used primarily for playing Bingo. I've found the best deals at the local dollar store.</p> <p>Use them to create connect-the-dots or to draw on plain paper. You could also have the kids try a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9DX5MhkfYQ" target="_blank">crash course on pointillism</a>, a cool art technique that involves a lot of dots. They can use the dot markers to create their own pointillistic masterpieces.</p> <h2>2. Draw a comic strip</h2> <p>Your kiddo can be a cartoonist. First, print out blank comic strips or draw your own comic strips by marking out the lines on plain paper. Use a ruler to get them straight.</p> <p>Then they can use colored pencils, washable markers, or pens to draw and color in their own comic strips. Encourage them to make up new characters going on amazing adventures, or suggest that they simply draw out stories based on their own daily lives.</p> <h2>3. Make (and play) a ringtoss game</h2> <p>You can make a ringtoss game out of almost anything (just make sure it isn't sharp, or hard, or breakable). You'll need things that are ring-shaped or that you can bend into a ring shape, like pipe cleaners. Then you need a target: something thin and tall enough for the rings to slide over.</p> <p>To play, have your kids set the target up and take two or three big steps back from it. They toss as many rings over the target as they can. You can make it more interesting by adding in extra challenges, such as a time limit, smaller rings, or having them stand further away from the target.</p> <h2>4. Create your own board game</h2> <p>Your kids get to design the whole game: characters, the goal, the board, and the rules.</p> <p>Have them start by deciding what the goal is: how can someone win the game? Do they need to get a certain number of points? Or go all the way around the board? Then have them set some rules: do they roll dice or use a spinner? (They can use parts from other board games you own &mdash; such as dice or an hourglass &mdash; for their new game.)</p> <p>Suggest that they use whatever they can find as raw materials. For example, draw the game board on a piece of cardboard, cut paper into cards, create characters or game pieces out of modeling clay, or use tiny toys they already have.</p> <h2>5. Try an origami challenge</h2> <p>Start with some simple shapes for origami. There are a lot of YouTube tutorials, for example, a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KG62H5QaD2o" target="_blank">ninja star</a> or <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_ubB8Ff2Vs&amp;list=PLnoO3k54vcBQ_tNFyn7ukM1-LaQBAG2Ld" target="_blank">a baby chicken</a> or a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSrVSbEdPEE&amp;index=10&amp;list=PL2vt_TPKQbZob-85AoY8Cxtj8LjigvTNk" target="_blank">water bomb</a>. (Obviously you should start with the water bomb.) When they've mastered a couple of the easier tutorials, have them try some harder shapes.</p> <h2>6. Build a tiny town</h2> <p>Hit up the recycling bin for empty plastic bottles and cardboard boxes. The thin cardboard is best, because it's easier to cut.</p> <p>They can build the structures of their town by cutting, stacking, and combining boxes and bottles. Cut out or draw on doors and windows. Washi tape or masking tape can be used to attach the structures together. Colored tape can also be used to designate roads through their very own tiny towns.</p> <h2>7. Make a marble run</h2> <p>Start with a hard surface (like the floor) and use toys and books to create a racecourse. Your kids can put in little obstacles; they should be small and light so the marble won't be stopped completely. To start the marble on its run, cut cardboard tubes (from toilet paper or paper towels) in half. Tape them together to make them longer. Stack one end on books or a table and make sure it slopes down into the beginning of the racecourse.</p> <h2>8. Make a toy car track</h2> <p>If they have some toy cars, they can make a custom track, with jumps and challenges, out of almost anything. My kids use stools or a stack of books and then pieces of cardboard, small boxes, or big, flat books to build ramps and jumps.</p> <p>They can even come up with tunnels and create obstacle courses. If they have blocks or Legos around, they can build some structures or tunnels for the cars to go through. Or demolish. That part is entirely up to them.</p> <h2>9. Create an ad</h2> <p>The idea of this game is for your kids to come up with their very own advertisement for a made-up product. So, to start with, have them come up with a product that they want to &quot;sell.&quot; It can be as stupid or silly or serious as they want it to be.</p> <p>Next, they need to come up with some ideas about how to advertise it. Maybe a story, or act out a scene, or perform a song. They can use costumes, props, a whole scene. My kids like to video their ads and then review and improve them. Or just laugh at them.</p> <h2>10. Make a music video or do karaoke</h2> <p>They should select their songs, decide on a script or choreographed dance if they're making a video, or just sing and dance their hearts out. Costumes and props make this extremely fun and allow them to be more immersed in the music.</p> <h2>11. Go on a scavenger hunt</h2> <p>A scavenger hunt can work inside or outside. You can come up with your own list and have them hunt around the house for them, or they can come up with their own list of ideas. They can decide to hunt as a team or go separately as a competition. Set a timer to make it more challenging and exciting.</p> <h2>12. Create a memory challenge</h2> <p>The kids will need a timer for this. They should start by finding five to 10 small objects: a marble, a toy car, a spoon, etc. Spread them out on a tray and look at them for 30 seconds. Then move the tray somewhere they can't see it and have them try to remember all the objects on the tray. They can write a list or draw a picture of each one. How many did they remember? If they got them all, add more objects, or start with a completely new set. Make it more challenging by giving them less time to look at the objects on the tray (try 20 seconds, and then 15).</p> <h2>13. Take a Lego building challenge</h2> <p>Kids can use any sort of building toy for this. Blocks or K'Nex or Magnetos will work just as well as Legos. First, make a list of 10 to 15 things they want to build. Or check out <a href="http://afewshortcuts.com/free-printable-lego-challenge-cards/" target="_blank">these printable Lego challenge cards</a> for inspiration.</p> <p>To do the challenge, choose something from the list to build. Then start building. They can use a timer to see how quickly they can build it. Or they can take their time and do the best possible job.</p> <h2>14. Tell some fortunes</h2> <p>This is fun to do with friends or siblings. Make some paper fortunetellers by following <a href="http://innerchildfun.com/2016/10/make-paper-fortune-tellers.html" target="_blank">these instructions</a>.</p> <p>Or, for a simpler version, you can play a game from my childhood (I know, right? So old.) called MASH. All you need is a piece of paper and something to write with. Here are <a href="http://mashplus.com/how-to-play-mash/" target="_blank">the full instructions</a>.</p> <h2>15. Do some pasta-marshmallow architecture</h2> <p>Get their inner architect to work with dry pasta. Seriously! They'll need dry spaghetti noodles and mini marshmallows. Gumdrops work too, if you're low on marshmallows.</p> <p>To build, stick the spaghetti noodles into the marshmallows and gumdrops to connect them and create structures. You can also use toothpicks, or break the spaghetti into pieces for shorter sections. You can start with simple squares and cubes, and then connect them for more complex structures. Here's <a href="https://modernparentsmessykids.com/stem-activity-gum-drop-engineering/" target="_blank">some inspiration</a> to get you started.</p> <h2>16. Make a felt board and pieces</h2> <p>You'll need felt, some cardboard, and scissors. To start, have the kids cover a cardboard with felt, then staple or carefully glue it on. They could use a few different colors of felt to create a background or setting. Maybe a green strip for grass on the bottom, and a gray triangle for a mountain.</p> <p>Next, they can cut out shapes with the rest of the felt. The felt shapes will stick to the felt board, so they can use them to create characters, settings, buildings, and all sorts of other stuff on the felt board.</p> <h2>17. Come up with 10</h2> <p>Need some more ideas? I got this method from a writer named <a href="http://www.jamesaltucher.com/2014/05/the-ultimate-guide-for-becoming-an-idea-machine/" target="_blank">James Altucher</a>, and it works well. You can do this or have your kids do this if they're bored.</p> <p>First, think of a problem or a question, like &quot;What are some cool things I can do by myself?&quot; or &quot;What could I do when I'm bored that won't get me in trouble?&quot; Then make a list of 10 ideas that answer your question. Don't stop at five or six. Your brain will want to. Don't let it be lazy. Insist on 10. Your brain saves all the really good ideas for eight and nine and 10.</p> <p>If you make one list, you can make another one. What's another question? How about, &quot;What can I do with my friends?&quot; or &quot;What are some things I want to learn about?&quot; or &quot;How can I not be bored?&quot; Make another list for each question. Make 10 lists! Now you have 100 ideas. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-entertain-your-child-for-free-or-cheap?ref-seealso" target="_blank">25 Ways to Entertain Your Child for Free or Cheap</a>)</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F17-creative-no-mess-activities-for-kids-stuck-at-home&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F17%2520Creative%252C%2520No-Mess%2520Activities%2520for%2520Kids%2520Stuck%2520at%2520Home_0.jpg&amp;description=17%20Creative%2C%20No-Mess%20Activities%20for%20Kids%20Stuck%20at%20Home"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/17%20Creative%2C%20No-Mess%20Activities%20for%20Kids%20Stuck%20at%20Home_0.jpg" alt="17 Creative, No-Mess Activities for Kids Stuck at Home" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/annie-mueller">Annie Mueller</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-creative-no-mess-activities-for-kids-stuck-at-home">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-reasons-frugal-families-love-boardgame-night">8 Reasons Frugal Families Love Boardgame Night</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/28-free-ways-to-entertain-your-kids-this-summer">28 Free Ways to Entertain Your Kids This Summer</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-books-that-will-get-your-kids-excited-about-money">10 Fun Books That Will Get Your Kids Excited About Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-keep-your-kids-prom-from-ruining-your-budget">10 Ways to Keep Your Kid&#039;s Prom From Ruining Your Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holiday-gifts-6-fun-games-that-teach-money-and-finance">Holiday Gifts: 6 Fun Games That Teach Money and Finance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Family arts and crafts fun things to do games keep kids busy kid activities kids no mess activities things to do with your kids Fri, 25 Aug 2017 08:30:11 +0000 Annie Mueller 2008742 at http://www.wisebread.com 37 Brilliant Ways to Reuse an Empty Milk Jug http://www.wisebread.com/37-brilliant-ways-to-reuse-an-empty-milk-jug <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/37-brilliant-ways-to-reuse-an-empty-milk-jug" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_74703775_MEDIUM.jpg" alt="upcycle your empty milk jugs with these craft ideas" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I like to make stuff.</p> <p>Alas, I have a zero dollar budget for craft supplies. But who needs money when you've got a recycling bin full of possibilities? Before you throw out another plastic milk jug, consider the crafty potential. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-awesome-practically-free-upcycled-craft-projects?ref=seealso">18 Awesome, Practically Free Upcycled Craft Projects</a>)</p> <h2>Toys and the Like</h2> <p>Like that old saying goes: If you chop your own wood, you warm yourself twice. Now apply that maxim to toys (and other stuff.)</p> <h3>1. Dutch treat</h3> <p>Can a Netherlander please explain why pink milk jugs exist for any reason other than as the raw material for these cute <a href="http://www.zelfmaakideetjes.nl/decoratie/laat-je-kinderen-sparen-de-12-leukste-spaarpotten-die-je-zelf-of-samen-kunt-maken/8118/5/">piggy banks</a>?</p> <h3>2. Button Spinners</h3> <p>These mesmerizing <a href="http://www.housingaforest.com/homemade-toys-button-spinner/">party favors</a> can be whipped up in a flash using supplies from the junk drawer.</p> <h3>3. Beach Shovel</h3> <p>Make a speedy vacation toy that you won't have to bring home. This is a great community <a href="http://tinkerlab.com/milk-jug-shovel/">sandbox tool</a>. It's no big deal if you forget it at the playground. When it breaks, you can recycle it without guilt.</p> <h3>4. Toy Scoop</h3> <p>As a beekeeper, I actually use this scoop design to pick up bees. The thin edge of the milk jug allows me to pick up piles of bees without squishing anyone. But this scoop is also a <a href="http://craftyjournal.com/milk-jug-toy-scoop/">great cleanup tool for Lego blocks</a>. Yeah, it's a <a href="http://www.gapphotos.com/imagedetails.asp?view=making-a-scoop-out-of-a-recycled-milk-carton-&amp;imageno=89487">glorified dustpan</a>. But crafters take note: The edge of the dustpan will let you clean up the finest of powders.</p> <h3>5. Word Whale</h3> <p>Cute-ify your toy scoop with a sharpie and some creative cutting to make this <a href="http://deceptivelyeducational.blogspot.com/2012/07/word-eating-whale-nouns-verbs.html">super-functional tub toy</a>. Christian mommy bloggers use this DIY toy to tell the story of Jonah and the whale, but extra credit goes to the mom who figured out how to turn the milk jug caps into floating vocabulary cards for kids.</p> <h3>6. Water Balloon Jug Toss</h3> <p>Weaponize your Word Whale by turning it into a <a href="http://kidfriendlythingstodo.com/2015/07/diy-milk-jug-water-balloon-launch-outdoor-summer-game-for-kids/#_a5y_p=4086828">water balloon launcher</a>.</p> <h3>7. Snowflake Ornaments</h3> <p>All you need to make these <a href="http://eveofreduction.com/recycled-craft-how-to-make-milk-jug-snowflakes/">Martha Stewart-worthy winter decorations</a> is an X-ACTO knife, scissors, a cookie cutter, a hole punch, and a washable marker.</p> <h3>8. Butterflies</h3> <p>All the fun of the classic vintage toy without the toxic fumes! Milk jugs are translucent enough that you can trace pictures through it, so you can use clip art, comic books, or any small illustration as the basis for these art pieces. Use a thin black Sharpie pen to trace the outlines and color in the image with colored permanent markers. Although <a href="http://alphamom.com/family-fun/crafts/milk-jug-decorative-window-crafts/">the instructions</a> for this project were written for small children, the <a href="http://alphamom.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/milkjugbutterflytemplate2.pdf">butterflies</a> are so pretty that even teenagers and adults will want to get in on the coloring action. Warning: this is addictive.</p> <h3>9. Hanging Mobile</h3> <p>Wondering what to do with your growing squadron of no shrink Shrinky-Dink Butterflies? Turn them into a mobile for the newest baby you know.</p> <h3>10. Bunting</h3> <p>Do you want to hoard your handmade ornaments and butterflies all to yourself? Display your collected works as a <a href="http://remadesimpleblog.blogspot.com.au/2012/01/milk-jug-love.html">bunting</a>.</p> <h3>11. Stencils</h3> <p>Are you a ninja with scissors? Upcycle the leftovers from your upcycled project into another tool. Use the plastic outline leftovers from your snowflakes, butterflies, etc. to make your own <a href="http://adirondackgirlatheart.com/2015/01/recycled-milk-carton-stencils.html">stencils</a>.</p> <h3>12. Reading Igloo</h3> <p>Go big or go home! This <a href="http://blog.re-play.com/crafts/reading-igloo/">playhouse</a> is perfect for kids and <a href="http://rachfeed.com/video-tutorial-how-to-make-an-igloo-using-milk-jugs/">adults</a>.</p> <h3>13. Halloween Skeleton</h3> <p>Win the neighborhood pumpkin-carving contest without even touching squash. <a href="http://littlegenegreenbean.blogspot.co.uk/2010/09/mr-bottle-bones.html?&amp;cuid=dbeefa0816fb06639c767cc736897188">Mr. Bottle Bones</a> is made entirely of recycled milk jugs.</p> <h3>14. El Esqueleto</h3> <p><iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/UvtdBrKN0h0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>Since I live in a Latino neighborhood, instead of Mr. Bottle Bones, I am making <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvtdBrKN0h0">Señor Botella de Huesos</a> for Dia de los Muertos.</p> <h3>15. Dinosaur Skull</h3> <p>Why limit yourself to human skeletons? <a href="http://www.daniellesplace.com/html/dinosaurs.html#milkjug">Faux dinosaur taxidermy</a> will improve any décor. Trust me on this.</p> <h2>16. Space Cadet</h2> <p><a href="http://chefhades.blogspot.com/2012/02/space-cadets.html?m=1">Milk jug astronaut helmet</a>? $0. Hilarious photographs of your children looking ridiculous? Priceless.</p> <h3>17. Roman Helmet</h3> <p>&quot;I'm Spartacus!&quot; &quot;No, <em>I'm</em> Spartacus!&quot; Fortunately, there are enough milk jugs in the recycling bin that you can all be <a href="https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/fd/d6/df/fdd6df52f6e7193c1bd916ada8efe26d.jpg">Spartacus</a>.</p> <h3>18. Lion Mask</h3> <p>Mix and match your new <a href="https://existenciando.wordpress.com/2012/10/13/mascaras-de-papel/">lion mask</a> with your roman helmet for gladiator larping.</p> <h3>19. Cone of Shame</h3> <p>My vet charges $10 for those stupid, plastic <a href="http://www.thriftyfun.com/Alternative-To-Elizabethan-Pet-Collar-1.html">Elizabethan collars</a> aka lampshades. Make your own shaming tool for your pet out of a plastic jug for free.</p> <h3>20. Carnival Masks</h3> <p>Carnivale, Mardi Gras, Halloween. <a href="http://diytag.com/carnival-masks-with-recycled-milk-jug/">This classic mask</a> design also works for Stanley Kubrick-themed costume parties.</p> <h3>21. Easter Gear</h3> <p>Skip buying plastic boxes at the dime store, and upcycle your own <a href="https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/97/90/97/979097dc070fde756d76787fceefdddf.jpg">Easter accessories</a>. I mean, how cute are these <a href="http://larajanetownsend.blogspot.com.au/2013/02/make-me-milk-bottle-easter-bunny.html">Easter bunny</a> egg holders?</p> <h3>22. Gift Box</h3> <p>Although this design is billed as a sandwich keeper, this <a href="http://www.cremedelacraft.com/2013/07/DIY-Milk-Jug-Lunch-Box.html">simple folded box</a> would make a cute and reusable alternative to a gift bag.</p> <h2>Lighting Design</h2> <p>The Internet is full of shockingly beautiful and elegant lamp shades made from recycled milk jugs.</p> <h3>23. Faux Capiz Shell Chandelier</h3> <p>Hide the ugly lighting in your rental apartment with this <a href="http://shoestringpavilion.blogspot.co.uk/2010/07/faux-capiz-shell-chandelier.html">chic and cheap</a> hack.</p> <h3>24. Jellyfish Chandelier</h3> <p>Use this artist's <a href="http://www.beautifullife.info/industrial-design/medusae-pendant-lamps-by-roxy-towry-russell/">seriously gorgeous work</a> as inspiration.</p> <h3>25. IQ Lamp</h3> <p>Don't worry. You don't need brains, just good hand-eye coordination, to make this <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Contruct-IQ-LAMP-Using-Milk-Carton/">incredible fixture</a>.</p> <h3>26. Flower Party Lights</h3> <p>If you can make a bunting, you can make these <a href="https://recreationsproject.wordpress.com/2012/08/17/tutorial-milk-jug-flower-lights/">glamorous mini shades</a> for your twinkle lights.</p> <h3>27. Ambient Lamp</h3> <p>It's not cute, just incredibly clever. Turn a headlamp and a milk jug full of water into a <a href="http://lifehacker.com/5896796/make-an-ambient-lamp-out-of-a-milk-jug">camping lantern</a>.</p> <h3>28. Lotus Votive Holders</h3> <p>Everyone looks more attractive in the dark. Unplug yourself from modern life for one weekend and enjoy the <a href="http://www.blissbloomblog.com/2013/04/make-milk-jug-votives.html#.V61NoJMrIk5">candlelight</a>.</p> <h2>House and Garden Tools</h2> <p>Although plastic milk jugs are great for arts and crafts, I personally prefer to hack milk jugs to create lightweight, recyclable tools.</p> <h3>29. Watering Can</h3> <p>Yeah, I know. <a href="http://ajourneytoadream.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/helpful-yet-simple-diy-for-spring.html?showComment=1332868588728">This is so obvious</a>. I use my old milk jugs to collect, store, and dispense <a href="http://www.wormcompostinghq.com/how-to-use-worm-compost/how-to-make-compost-tea-with-worm-castings">worm tea</a> with no spillage.</p> <h3>30. Ollas</h3> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/pCkeB2l3ODQ" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""></iframe></p> <p>Ollas are an ancient <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCkeB2l3ODQ">below-ground watering system</a>. Traditional Ollas are made from clay, but modern life gives me no time and milk jugs. I use what I've got.</p> <h3>31. Garden Cloches</h3> <p><a href="http://garden.org/learn/articles/view/546/">Cloches</a> are miniature greenhouses, traditionally made from glass. But a plastic milk jug cloche works just the same.</p> <h3>32. Plant Labels</h3> <p>Why pay for plastic plant stakes or garden tags when you can make your own? I use a box cutter and a metal ruler to cut the flat sides of the jugs into thin strips. Pro tip: it's easier to write with a permanent marker on the textured side of the plastic.</p> <h3>33. Measuring Scoops</h3> <p>Yes, this is the practical version of the Word Whale. Avoid cross-contamination by using these home made <a href="http://www.nwedible.com/garbage-made-useful-milk-jug-garden/">measuring cups</a> to measure out stinky stuff like fertilizer or paint.</p> <h3>34. Portable Storage for the Garage</h3> <p>A variation on those measuring scoops also make <a href="http://www.familyhandyman.com/garage/storage/reclaim-your-garage-organize-it#21">handy organizers</a> for hardware and other small things that get lost in the garage.</p> <h3>35. Vertical Garden</h3> <p>If you have a thin balcony or porch railing, you won't even need to build the trellis to use this sleek, space-saving garden hack. For safety and picking ease, just face these <a href="http://www.1001gardens.org/2013/10/vertical-garden-with-reused-plastic-milk-bottles/">hanging planters</a> toward the inside of your balcony, please.</p> <h3>36. Upside Down Tomato Planters</h3> <p>As seen on TV&hellip; but a lot cheaper. Grow tomatoes upside down inside <a href="http://www.dreamgarden101.com/milk-jug-upside-down-planter/">hanging milk jug planters</a>.</p> <h3>37. Beaded Curtain</h3> <p>Don't forget to save those milk jug lids to upcycle into that <a href="http://fvue.nl/wiki/Wave">beaded curtain</a> your yard always needed.</p> <p><em>What's your favorite milk jug hack? Please share your DIY genius.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/max-wong">Max Wong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/37-brilliant-ways-to-reuse-an-empty-milk-jug">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-clever-ways-to-reuse-your-plastic-shopping-bags">18 Clever Ways to Reuse Your Plastic Shopping Bags</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-128-creative-ways-to-upcycle-your-trash">Flashback Friday: 128 Creative Ways to Upcycle Your Trash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-unique-ways-to-use-school-supplies">12 Unique Ways to Use School Supplies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-already-own-that-can-be-turned-into-a-tote-bag">10 Things You Already Own That Can Be Turned Into a Tote Bag</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/19-ways-to-reuse-old-towels">19 Ways to Reuse Old Towels</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living DIY arts and crafts milk jug plastic milk jug recycle reuse upcycle Thu, 25 Aug 2016 09:30:33 +0000 Max Wong 1779111 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Surprisingly Valuable Uses for a Penny http://www.wisebread.com/15-surprisingly-valuable-uses-for-a-penny <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-surprisingly-valuable-uses-for-a-penny" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000047183066_Large.jpg" alt="valuable uses for pennies" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Here's a quick fact for you: it costs more to make a penny than a penny is actually worth. The Government Accountability Office states that it <a href="http://www.kltv.com/story/30939761/pennies-nickels-cost-more-to-make-than-theyre-worth">costs 1.7 cents</a> to make a one-cent penny. The reason is rising metal prices. This probably means the venerable penny will not be around for much longer, as it is a money pit for the mint. So, while it's still around, here are 15 valuable uses for your humble penny. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-smart-uses-for-safety-pins?ref=seealso">12 Smart Uses for Safety Pins</a>)</p> <h2>1. Decorate Floors and Tables</h2> <p>If you have the time, and patience, pennies can be a decorative and highly durable surface for floors and tables. Do a quick Google search for &quot;penny table top&quot; or &quot;<a href="http://www.usalovelist.com/penny-floor-made-in-usa/">penny flooring</a>&quot; and you'll see some quite ingenious and beautiful designs using the penny. Even better, it's a very affordable option for covering your old tables or floors. All you really need is a huge amount of pennies, some epoxy, and a way to seal the finished surface. And if you're budgeting this in your head, it takes about $3 of pennies per square foot. That's cheaper than most tiles or wooden floors.</p> <h2>2. Check Your Tire Tread Depth</h2> <p>Tire tread depth is important. Worn tires are unsafe, especially in winter conditions or heavy rain, and you should monitor it often. New tires are usually between 10/32&quot; and 11/32,&quot; and depending on the type of tire you have, and the kind of driving you do, this can wear down quickly. To <a href="http://www.bridgestonetire.com/tread-and-trend/drivers-ed/how-to-check-your-tire-tread-penny-test">check the depth with a penny</a>, turn it so that Lincoln's head is pointing down. If the top of his head is covered by tread, you're in good shape. If all of his head is visible, get the tires checked. It's probably time for a new set.</p> <h2>3. Turn the Screws</h2> <p>Often, we'll find ourselves in situations that require a screwdriver. And we might not always have one on hand. In these situations, a penny can come in handy. Of course, it's not exactly ideal (it will only work on slot-head screws), but a penny can be used to turn that screw and get you out of a jam. You can also use pennies to pry open containers.</p> <h2>4. Make a Cold Pack</h2> <p>Every home should have a cold pack in the freezer. They are a very effective way to reduce the swelling on an injury, but they can be expensive. However, you can make your own with just an old sock or cotton sack, and a whole bunch of pennies. Pour them into the sock, tie it up, and pop it in the freezer. The pennies will form around the leg or arm, and they stay cold for a long time.</p> <h2>5. Keep Cut Flowers Fresh for Longer</h2> <p>There are several tricks out there for prolonging the life of your flowers. According to florists, all it takes is a copper penny (dated before 1982) and a cube of sugar. Add both to the vase and fill it with water, then add your cut flowers. The copper from the penny acts as a natural fungicide, which helps keep your flowers free from yeasts and bacteria.</p> <h2>6. Use as Spacers When Laying Tile</h2> <p>As Alton Brown often says, you should try not to buy items that have only one use. Bags of plastic tile spacers are available at every hardware store, but they have just one use. Instead of wasting your money on them, use pennies instead. They give you the width you're looking for, and you can clean them off and use them again, or cash them in.</p> <h2>7. Pay With a Vengeance</h2> <p>Some people say this one is a little petty, but hey, depending on the circumstance it can be a great way to make a statement. If you get a bill that you think was undeserved, or just owe money to someone that you believe deserves to be taught a lesson, pay it back in pennies. They are legal tender, but it can become a nightmare to count them. Just think, even $10 is 1,000 pennies. You may get told you cannot pay in pennies, but this is not the case. Money is money. This is not a check; it's hard currency.</p> <h2>8. Save a Glass of Wine</h2> <p>It's happened to all of us who partake in a glass of wine now and then. You go to sip your delicious glass of merlot or claret, and boom; you're hit with the smell of rotten eggs. This is because volatile sulfur compounds (<a href="http://www.wineanorak.com/mercaptansinwine.htm">mercaptans and thiols</a>) form when the chemicals in the wine react with oxygen. Fortunately, the wine can be saved by a clean copper penny; just make sure it is dated 1982 or earlier (anything after this date is made mostly of zinc). Pop the penny in your glass of wine and give it a stir. The sulfur in the wine will bond with the copper in the penny, creating copper sulfide (which has no smell). Problem solved, wine saved, party on.</p> <h2>9. Make Your Own Washers</h2> <p>If you need a washer, and fast, you can use a penny. Simply secure it in a vice, or clamp it down with woodworking clamps, and drill the appropriate-sized hole in the center. And as you're drilling, think about this: Similar-sized washers cost between 10-15 cents at the hardware store. By using a penny, you are saving 90% on the price of a washer.</p> <h2>10. Create Tap Shoes for Kids</h2> <p>Okay, so they won't be good for actual competitions or professional dance lessons. But, if you want to let the kids experiment with tap dance, you can improvise some pretty cool&nbsp;<a href="https://www.google.com/search?q=pennies+tap+shoes&amp;espv=2&amp;biw=1050&amp;bih=1562&amp;site=webhp&amp;source=lnms&amp;tbm=isch&amp;sa=X&amp;ved=0ahUKEwj55Yzp2N7KAhUT6GMKHVkCCJcQ_AUIBygC&amp;dpr=1">tap shoes using pennies</a>. Just find an old pair of shoes or sneakers that are not being used. Find some good, industrial-strength glue, and affix three to five pennies on the front part of the sole, and two to four on the back. Let the glue dry, and you have a pair of tap shoes that sound great on hard surfaces.</p> <h2>11. Give Your Birdhouse a New Roof</h2> <p>Birdhouses are great, but most of the time the weather takes its toll on them. The roof, in particular, bears the brunt of the wind, rain, hail, sun, and snow. With about $5 worth of pennies, you can create a new roof that is not only great against the elements, but also looks just like an old tiled roof. Here's a great example of a birdhouse that was <a href="http://www.woohome.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Lovely-DIY-Lifehacks-That-Use-A-Penny-9.jpg">given a penny makeover</a>.</p> <h2>12. Add Weight to Curtains</h2> <p>If your curtains are a little lightweight, and don't hang as straight as you'd like, pennies can come to the rescue. Simply make an opening in the hem, and slide pennies into the cavity, at even spaces along the width of the curtain. Use as many as you need to weigh the fabric down without it being cumbersome. Then, simply sew the hem shut.</p> <h2>13. Make Buttons</h2> <p>Pennies can become very cool buttons for coats, jackets, and bags. First, decide if you want the pennies to look worn and dated, or shiny and new. You can get brand new pennies from banks, or shine your own by popping them in a bowl filled with vinegar and a little salt. When you have the pennies ready, drill two small holes side-by-side in the center. Now, sew them onto your garment.</p> <h2>14. Stabilize Wobbly Chairs and Tables</h2> <p>Most of us fix a wobbly table or chair by folding up a piece of paper several times, and jamming it under the short leg. It's a fix, but not a very good one. And sooner or later, the paper will come out. Instead, glue pennies to the bottom of the offending leg. Place pennies in the gap until the table or chair is stabilized, then remove them, glue them together, and let them dry. Then, glue your penny wad to the base of the leg. If you're worried about scratching the floor, glue a small piece of felt to the bottom penny.</p> <h2>15. Create Amazing Art</h2> <p>If you have some artistic ability, pennies can be transformed into incredible works of art. As this site here demonstrates, you can make a <a href="http://www.pennyportrait.com/gallery.html">portrait of Lincoln</a> using a variety of pennies that have different levels of shine. But you can take it even further, and create <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-L_JUEvE8k">any kind of image or portrait</a>.</p> <p><em>What are some other creative uses for pennies? Share with us in the comments!</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F15-surprisingly-valuable-uses-for-a-penny&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F15%2520Surprisingly%2520Valuable%2520Uses%2520for%2520a%2520Penny.jpg&amp;description=15%20Surprisingly%20Valuable%20Uses%20for%20a%20Penny"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/15%20Surprisingly%20Valuable%20Uses%20for%20a%20Penny.jpg" alt="15 Surprisingly Valuable Uses for a Penny" width="250" height="374" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-surprisingly-valuable-uses-for-a-penny">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/almost-2000-uses-for-a-can-of-wd-40-1">Almost 2000 uses for a can of WD-40</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-yuck-to-yes">How Baking Soda Took My Bathroom from “Yuck” to Yes!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-diy-dog-toys-you-can-make-for-pennies">10 DIY Dog Toys You Can Make for Pennies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-rid-of-all-your-crap">How to Get Rid of All Your Crap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/19-ways-to-reuse-old-towels">19 Ways to Reuse Old Towels</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks DIY arts and crafts life hacks lucky penny pennies penny spare change Fri, 26 Feb 2016 11:30:04 +0000 Paul Michael 1659841 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 DIY Ideas for Creating Inexpensive Art http://www.wisebread.com/12-diy-ideas-for-creating-inexpensive-art <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-diy-ideas-for-creating-inexpensive-art" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/art-250096-small.jpg" alt="art" title="art" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>People get intimidated by art and I&rsquo;m not sure why. I&rsquo;ve always thought that art should be engaging, fun, experimental, and personal &mdash; the perfect thing to create for ourselves. Whether you&rsquo;re on a budget or not, creating art can be an inexpensive and exciting way to decorate and personalize your environment. If your walls are bare and your hands are willing, here are twelve ideas to get your creative juices flowing. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/but-is-it-art" target="_blank">But Is it ART?</a>)</p> <h2>1. Repurpose Wallpaper</h2> <p>Intricate or bold wallpaper designs can become modern art statements <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-ways-to-display-your-art" target="_blank">when framed and hung</a>. Make sure to use enough paper to clearly show large or repeating patterns. Frame one large piece or use several smaller frames to repeat the same design in a cluster.</p> <h2>2. Press Some Flora</h2> <p>Single large pressed leaves or groupings of flowers make great subject matter for homemade art displays. Press and dry, mount on a white background, and frame simply. Experiment with off-center arrangements and mix plant types for visual interest.</p> <h2>3. Make a Collage</h2> <p>If you&rsquo;re feeling creative, try your hand at collage. Use photographs, text, scrap wallpaper, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-ways-to-use-old-newspaper" target="_blank">other media</a> to create an original piece of art. Collage is a forgiving medium; just cover up what you don&rsquo;t like and try again.</p> <h2>4. Snap in Black and White</h2> <p>Use a digital camera and printer to experiment with black and white photography. Snap images of faces, landscapes, architectural details, or close-ups of unique design features of almost anything. Manipulate and refine your photos using photo-editing software. Group together or create a mini-gallery in a long hallway.</p> <h2>5. Channel Warhol</h2> <p>Product labels with bold or classic graphics make excellent subjects for artwork. Labels from canned food, vintage perfume bottles, bars of soap, or fruit crates are particularly good places to start. Carefully remove labels (soak stubborn labels in warm water and then press dry), mount, and frame.</p> <h2>6. Frame Your Frames</h2> <p>Sometimes frames can be the art. Collect interesting frames in graduated sizes and &ldquo;nest&rdquo; them together for a bold and unexpected twist on traditional artwork.</p> <h2>7. Get Graphic</h2> <p>Old magazine covers or vintage ads are an inexpensive and easy way to make an elegant artistic statement. Look for subject matter that clearly represents an era &mdash; vintage fashion, cars, appliances, or travel destinations are great places to start.</p> <h2>8. Thumb Through a Catalog</h2> <p>It&rsquo;s getting harder and harder to find old store catalogues, but if you can, consider framing their pages. Vintage catalogue listings that feature camping equipment, clothing, or bicycles can make interesting displays.</p> <h2>9. Frame Postcards or Greeting Cards</h2> <p>Arrange multiple postcards or vintage greeting cards in a single frame or frame cluster. Group cards of similar color, style, or subject matter together for a more curated and striking look.</p> <h2>10. Display Your Collections</h2> <p>Use an inexpensive shadowbox to display collections you would otherwise store in a cabinet or on a shelf. Silverware, political buttons, jewelry, perfume bottles, found objects, or antique keys can be grouped and displayed as artistic collections.</p> <h2>11. Unbind a Book</h2> <p>Vintage book covers or illustrations are ready-made art just waiting to be seen in a new context. I once found an old copy of the children&rsquo;s book, &quot;The Little Prince,&quot; by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. Most of the volume was badly damaged, but I managed to pull one pristine illustration from it. I mounted and framed it for a baby shower <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-gifts-you-can-make-today" target="_blank">gift to a dear friend</a>.</p> <h2>12. Wax Poetic</h2> <p>Have a favorite poem, story, or quote? Print and frame it. Experiment with font, text size, and composition to create a piece that&rsquo;s visually bold.</p> <p>Here&rsquo;s one important tip that will help keep your art on a budget: buy your frames first. Creating a piece that you&rsquo;re really proud of and then not being able to frame it properly is disheartening. Scout thrift stores and yard sales for solid wood frames that can be rehabbed with a bit of stain or paint, then create based upon the sizes of your frames. It&rsquo;ll help motivate your creative efforts and prevent you from breaking the bank at custom frame shops.</p> <p><em>Do you decorate with your own artwork? What ideas, tips, and tricks do you have for beginners?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-diy-ideas-for-creating-inexpensive-art">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/19-ways-to-reuse-old-towels">19 Ways to Reuse Old Towels</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/37-brilliant-ways-to-reuse-an-empty-milk-jug">37 Brilliant Ways to Reuse an Empty Milk Jug</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-beautiful-things-you-can-make-with-paint-sample-cards">25 Beautiful Things You Can Make With Paint Sample Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-a-crafty-airbrush-out-of-old-junk">Make a crafty airbrush out of old junk</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/diy-silk-flower-brooch">DIY - Silk Flower Brooch</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY affordable decor affordable decorating ideas art arts and crafts cheap art Wed, 15 May 2013 10:36:30 +0000 Kentin Waits 974032 at http://www.wisebread.com 19 Ways to Reuse Old Towels http://www.wisebread.com/19-ways-to-reuse-old-towels <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/19-ways-to-reuse-old-towels" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/525162040_61d10193ba_z.jpeg" alt="Child in a towel" title="Child in a towel" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I was a young lad in college, this article would have made no sense to me. I had one towel. I washed it often. The idea of having so many towels that I would need to find creative ways to use the old ones, well, that didn't occur to me.</p> <p>Then I got married. And the towels multiplied like Tribbles on the Starship Enterprise. That&rsquo;s why I&rsquo;m writing this article now. If you&rsquo;re like me, you have a cupboard devoted to towels.&nbsp;Beach towels, bath towels, hand towels, wash cloths &mdash; you name it. But on a regular basis, towels become a little too frayed and raggedy to be effective and comfortable. That&rsquo;s when you usually throw them out.</p> <p>But wait &mdash; why throw them away? Here are 19 different uses for old towels. You&rsquo;ll be amazed at what the humble towel can be turned into, if you use a little imagination. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-smart-uses-for-sheets">11 Smart Uses for Sheets</a>)</p> <h2>1. Cleaning Rags</h2> <p>Let&rsquo;s start with the most obvious and the easiest to do. If you do a lot of work in the garage or just need a bunch of inexpensive cleaning rags for household chores, an old towel can save you a chunk of money. I recently bought a bag of 12 terrycloth shop rags for $6.99. I could have gotten the same 12 for nothing if I had raided the towel closet for an old towel. It takes seconds to cut them up, and they last a long time.</p> <h2>2. The Big Picnic Blanket</h2> <p>Old towels can be sewn together to make a huge picnic blanket. Take four to six bigger bath towels, and then using a sewing machine or an old-fashioned needle and thread, create a blanket two towels wide by three towels deep. Roll it up, store it in the back of the car, and next time you have an impromptu picnic, you&rsquo;re all prepared.</p> <h2>3. Dishtowels</h2> <p>The old towels may not be all that good for drying you, but they&rsquo;re still perfectly good for drying dishes. Cut them into dishtowel sizes, and hem the edges. They really soak up the water when you&rsquo;re drying dishes.</p> <h2>4. Spa Slippers</h2> <p>This one takes a little more creativity and requires a few more materials, but it&rsquo;s worth it. You also get to revive an old pair of slippers or flip flops that were destined for the trashcan. By tracing around the slippers and doing some careful sewing, you&rsquo;ll get a great pair of spa slippers for almost nothing. <a href="http://www.craftynest.com/2009/02/old-flip-flops-bath-towel-slippers/">Spa slipper instructions</a> are available over at Crafty Nest.</p> <h2>5. Ironing Board Pads and Covers</h2> <p>The ironing board in our home gets some abuse, and after a while, it gets stained and old. You can easily make a <a href="http://carolynkeenepseudonym.blogspot.com/2012/02/tutorial-ironing-board-pad-and-cover.html">new ironing board cover</a> by using towels and an old bed sheet. Cut the towels to size, then cut the sheet larger than the board so you have extra space to wrap around and create a drawstring pouch. It takes basic sewing skills and a little time, and it&rsquo;s way cheaper than buying a new cover.</p> <h2>6. A Child&rsquo;s Pool Robe</h2> <p>I won't lie; this one is not for me. My wife, yes &mdash; my sewing skills do not go too far beyond sewing in a straight line. However, if you have the aptitude, it is apparently &ldquo;quite easy&rdquo; to turn old towels into a robe for your child. Full <a href="http://www.sewmamasew.com/store/media/blog/childspoolrobe.pdf">robe instructions</a> (PDF) are available from <a href="http://www.sewmamasew.com">Sew Mama Sew</a>.</p> <h2>7. Baby Bibs</h2> <p>It&rsquo;s amazing &mdash; the food that doesn&rsquo;t end up in your baby&rsquo;s mouth could feed a small army. It instead ends up covering the bib, which is why it&rsquo;s good to have a decent supply of them. One towel can boast as many as 15 bibs. Just cut a bib shape, hem the edges (or sew a bias tape edge) and leave room for ties. Very simple.</p> <h2>8. Bath Scrubber</h2> <p>I personally have a manly scrubber made of plastic and something resembling blue concrete. It&rsquo;s not pleasant, but it gets the job done. If you want something a little softer, old towels can easily be transformed into bath scrubbers (also known as poufs). <a href="http://www.rufflesandstuff.com/2010/02/bath-pouf-that-um-looks-like-rose.html">Bath pouf instructions</a> are available from Ruffles and Stuff.</p> <p><img width="605" height="454" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u921/dog_in_a_towel.jpg" alt="" /></p> <h2>9. Pet Shelter Supplies</h2> <p>Your local pet shelters are always in need of donations, and towels are very useful. They can be used for bedding, hand towels, cleaning rags, toys, bathing, and more. Keep a box in your basement or garage for towels that have outlived their usefulness at home. When it's full, take it to your local pet shelter, and they will love you for it.</p> <h2>10. Swiffer Sweeper Pads</h2> <p>A box of 12 Swiffer pads can cost you around $8-$12, and they are not reusable. You can cut old towels to shape, do a little sewing, and you have great Swiffer pads that cost you nothing and are also washable. <a href="http://www.saving4six.com/2012/01/homemade-swiffer-sweeper-and-duster.html ">Create a stack of Swiffer pads</a>, and you&rsquo;ll never have to buy new ones again.</p> <h2>11. Baby Wipes</h2> <p>New parents know how expensive supplies can be. Diapers, wipes, baby powder, formula &mdash; the list goes on. You can at least make a dent in that list by recycling your old towels and using them as baby wipes. Cut them into small squares and keep them by the changing table. When it&rsquo;s time to change a diaper, soak it in a little warm water, wring out the excess moisture, and wipe away. Keep a pail by the side of the changing table to drop the used wipes into. If you do cloth diapering, you can wash them at the same time as those. Otherwise, put them in a separate wash when the bin is full.&nbsp;</p> <h2>12. Knee Pads</h2> <p>If you&rsquo;re a gardener or you do jobs that require a lot of kneeling (flooring, cleaning etc), then old towels can be turned into some very handy knee pads. All you need to do is cut them into six-inch squares, sew 4-5 of them together, and apply some strong elastic. Kneeling is no longer hard on your knees, and it&rsquo;s also easy on your wallet. If you really don&rsquo;t want to do any work at all, just fold an old towel several times and kneel on that. Not as handy, but still effective.</p> <h2>13. Draft Excluder</h2> <p>When the winter comes and the wind finds its way beneath your doors, stop it in its tracks with an old towel. Simply roll a towel along its longest edge into a sausage shape, and put it at the base of the offending door. No more draft, and it cost you nothing to defeat it.&nbsp;</p> <h2>14. Reusable Sanitary Pads</h2> <p>First, an obvious admission &mdash; I&rsquo;m not a lady, and I&rsquo;ve never had a need for these. The whole idea of reusing something for such a purpose seems to be pushing frugality to its limits, at least when I first heard about it. But it seems like there are many ladies out there who have transformed old towels and flannels sheets into <a href="http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Your-Own-Reusable-Menstrual-Pads">washable sanitary pads</a>.</p> <h2>15. A Great New Mop Head</h2> <p>If you still wash the floor with a more traditional mop (rather than the Swiffer varieties), then old towels can be turned into great mop heads. In fact, according to this Instructables tutorial, it's the <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/HOW-TO-MAKE-%22THE-BEST-MOP-IN-THE-WORLD%22/">best mop in the world</a>. Just cut your towel into lots and lots of strips of equal width and length, secure them together, and start mopping!</p> <h2>16. Pillow Covers</h2> <p>It&rsquo;s hard to throw away really good-looking, well-designed towels. If most of the towel is in good condition, but it&rsquo;s showing signs of wear and tear around the edges, you can still make use of the nice pattern. Simply cut two squares out of the towel, roughly 10-12 inches square, and stuff with batting (or put an old pillow inside). Then either sew up the towel, or add a zipper or buttons to close it up. This can be a great way to coordinate with your current bedroom/bathroom decor.</p> <h2>17. Dog Toy</h2> <p>I've talked about <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-diy-dog-toys-you-can-make-for-pennies ">cheap dog toys</a> in the past. The old towel works great. Just cut it into strips about an inch or two wide by about a foot long. Knot them all together, and you&rsquo;ve got something tough that will last for months. Note &mdash; several readers in the past commented on some homemade dog toys not being good for dogs. As always, if you&rsquo;re in any doubt, don't do it, or keep an eye on your pooch when he or she is playing.</p> <h2>18. Packing Material</h2> <p>When you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-abc-s-of-diy-moving">move house</a>, old towels can really help you protect your fragile items. Wrap crockery in them, use them to pad awkward spaces in boxes, and or wrap them around furniture to prevent scratches.</p> <p><img width="286" height="350" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u921/towel_cape.jpg" alt="" /></p> <h2>19. The Superhero Cape!</h2> <p>Every kid out there knows that a towel's main purpose is for tying around the neck and being Batman, Supergirl, or any other hero of choice. Well, why not make it official with an old towel? You can easily modify an old towel by adding ties to one end, and perhaps a colorful insignia or patch from scrap material. It's cheap, and the hours of fun it will bring are priceless.</p> <p>There are 19 uses. I&rsquo;m sure you can think of more, and I'd love to hear about them. Leave your great uses for old towels in the comments, and let&rsquo;s see how far we can push the humble towel beyond the regular shelf life.</p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div align="center"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2F19-ways-to-reuse-old-towels&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F19%20Ways%20to%20Reuse%20Old%20Towels.jpg&amp;description=19%20Ways%20to%20Reuse%20Old%20Towels" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <div align="center">&nbsp;</div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/19%20Ways%20to%20Reuse%20Old%20Towels.jpg" alt="19 Ways to Reuse Old Towels" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/19-ways-to-reuse-old-towels">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-clever-ways-to-reuse-your-plastic-shopping-bags">18 Clever Ways to Reuse Your Plastic Shopping Bags</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/37-brilliant-ways-to-reuse-an-empty-milk-jug">37 Brilliant Ways to Reuse an Empty Milk Jug</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/diy-berlin-style">DIY Berlin Style</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/19-uses-for-empty-cereal-boxes">19 Uses for Empty Cereal Boxes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-ways-to-make-old-things-seem-new">18 Ways to Make Old Things Seem New</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY arts and crafts reduce waste reuse sewing towels Tue, 01 May 2012 10:24:19 +0000 Paul Michael 926046 at http://www.wisebread.com 19 Uses for Empty Cereal Boxes http://www.wisebread.com/19-uses-for-empty-cereal-boxes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/19-uses-for-empty-cereal-boxes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4153157634_0874116d90_z_0.jpg" alt="cereal box hats" title="cereal box hats" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I was a kid, I loved going to the supermarket with my mom. My favorite aisle? Cereal!</p> <p>All those colors and flavors and prizes inside &mdash; it was hard to pick just one box. Of course, while I was eating the cereal, I didn&rsquo;t care about the box at all (except to play the games on the back).</p> <p>My, how times have changed. I still eat cereal from time to time (my favorite is Fruity Pebbles), but instead of disregarding and discarding the box, I repurpose it.</p> <p>Think you can&rsquo;t do anything with an empty cereal box? Think again. Here are 19 ways you can satisfy your craving for the sweet stuff while also saving money and the environment. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/22-ways-to-reuse-paper">22 Ways to Reuse Paper</a>)</p> <h2>1. Notepads</h2> <p>You&rsquo;ll need a few more supplies to make a notepad out of a cereal box &mdash; like Modge Podge, binder clips, and an X-ACTO knife &mdash; but when you&rsquo;re finished you&rsquo;ll have one-of-a-kind pads that your school- or office-mates will envy. Check out instructions to make cereal box notepads at <a href="http://www.infarrantlycreative.net/2011/04/cereal-box-crafts-notepads.html">Infarrantly Creative</a>. Very cool, indeed. If you want <a href="http://makingmemorieswithyourkids.blogspot.com/2010/09/spiral-notebook-make-over.html">cereal-box notebooks to match</a>, you can learn how to make those in a few easy steps too.</p> <h2>2. Gift Boxes</h2> <p>No, you&rsquo;re not just stuffing a gift into a cereal box and handing it over as is &mdash; don&rsquo;t be lazy. Rather, turn the cereal box inside out and decorate the unprinted side however you want &mdash; with paper, ribbons, bows, buttons, or whatever you can think of, really. The recipient will appreciate the thought that went into your handmade masterpiece. Plus, they can re-gift using it.</p> <h2>3. Gift Tags</h2> <p>Cut out whatever shape you want from a cereal box (you can trace a cookie cutter for fun shapes), punch a hole at the top, and address the tag to the recipient. Tie it to the gift with ribbon or string. Easy as that.</p> <h2>4. Bookmarks</h2> <p>Use an X-ACTO knife to cut two rectangular shapes from the same cereal box. Glue them together on the unprinted side. Done in under two minutes.</p> <h2>5. Magazine Holder</h2> <p>Cereal boxes are the perfect size to store your magazines &mdash; and you don&rsquo;t have to do much to the box beside cut it diagonally. Follow these easy instructions on <a href="http://www.allfreecrafts.com/recycling-crafts/magazine-holder.shtml">how to make a cereal box magazine holder.</a> You can leave the holder as is for a quirky bit of nostalgia, or you can spray paint it and redecorate to match your current décor.</p> <h2>6. Placemats</h2> <p>Use the entire front or back of a large cereal box and spray paint it white. Once it&rsquo;s dry, let your kids decorate it themselves using markers. When they&rsquo;re finished, have their personalized placemats laminated at your local Staples or FedEx store. They&rsquo;ll love eating their meals off of something they made.</p> <h2>7. Masks</h2> <p>Cereal boxes are great for <a href="https://www.tinkatolli.me/blog/2010/04/attention-kids-this-is-the-way-to-create-an-awesome-mask/">making masks for kids</a> to decorate, because the cardboard is rather thin and pliable. Parents should cut out the shape since it could be difficult for small hands, but when they&rsquo;re ready, kids can decorate them with crayons, markers, tissue paper, ribbons, and lots of other small items you keep in the craft box.</p> <h2>8. Shipping Boxes</h2> <p>Cereal boxes as shipping containers are especially useful if you sell stuff on eBay or Amazon. Turn the box inside out and glue the seams back together. Put your item inside (along with stuffing if there&rsquo;s room for the item move around), and address and stamp it.</p> <h2>9. Shipping Envelopes</h2> <p>These require a little more work than cereal-box shipping containers, but they're easily accomplished by laying the entire cereal box flat and cutting a large enough piece to cover the enter document along with flaps. Check out this <a href="http://www.newgreenmama.com/2009/10/tutorial-cereal-box-shipping-envelope.html">tutorial for cereal-box shipping envelopes</a> at New Green Mama.</p> <h2>10. Business Cards</h2> <p>OK, so these aren&rsquo;t for everybody, but if you have a creative profession, like art, cereal box business cards are a cool way to let people know how you operate. You could also use these cards to write down important numbers and information and have them laminated to keep in your wallet.</p> <h2>11. Luggage Tags</h2> <p>This is the same concept as the gift tags, expect you&rsquo;ll put your personal information on the unprinted side (paint it white beforehand to make it more visible if you want). To make sure they last, have them laminated. I promise, everyone will ask where you bought them.</p> <h2>12. Postcards</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-importance-of-friendly-letters">Say hello to a friend</a> by cutting out a 4&quot; x 6&quot; piece of cereal box then writing, addressing, and stamping the unprinted side. Pop it in the mail to send a nice surprise.</p> <h2>13. Painter's Palette</h2> <p>If you or your kids like to paint, use a cereal box to put out the colors.</p> <h2>14. Craft Tray</h2> <p>Cut a cereal box down the middle from top to bottom, and reinforce the flaps with glue. You&rsquo;ve got an instant tray to hold craft projects that you&rsquo;re working on.</p> <h2>15. Flash Cards</h2> <p>Don&rsquo;t buy expensive flash cards from the store. Cut out cards from cereal boxes.</p> <h2>16. Binder Separators</h2> <p>Want to separate sections in a binder? Just cut out a portion of a cereal box that&rsquo;s half an inch wider than your loose-leaf paper and punch holes on the left side using a three-hole punch. Stick them in your binder to easily identify which section is which.</p> <h2>17. In/Out Paper Organizers</h2> <p>Employ the same method as the craft tray above, but this time use both sides of the cut box. Put finished papers in one half and to-do items in the other.</p> <h2>18. Scratch Paper</h2> <p>Stop wasting perfectly good (and expensive) printer paper. Open up your empty cereal boxes to use as scratch paper for notes and doodles.</p> <h2>19. Disposable Cutting Board</h2> <p>Ah, never thought of this one, did you? The cardboard is food safe &mdash; there was cereal in the box, after all &mdash; so you can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-disposable-products-you-can-reuse">use it as a cutting board</a> if your others are in use or you just don&rsquo;t feel like washing them when you&rsquo;re done cooking.</p> <p><em>Have even more uses for empty cereal boxes? Also, what&rsquo;s your favorite kind of cereal? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/19-uses-for-empty-cereal-boxes">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/19-ways-to-reuse-old-towels">19 Ways to Reuse Old Towels</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/37-brilliant-ways-to-reuse-an-empty-milk-jug">37 Brilliant Ways to Reuse an Empty Milk Jug</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-128-creative-ways-to-upcycle-your-trash">Flashback Friday: 128 Creative Ways to Upcycle Your Trash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/diy-berlin-style">DIY Berlin Style</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-moonshine">How to Make Moonshine</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Food and Drink arts and crafts cereal gift wrap reuse Thu, 26 Apr 2012 10:24:07 +0000 Mikey Rox 925454 at http://www.wisebread.com No-Sew Ways to Update Your Wardrobe http://www.wisebread.com/no-sew-ways-to-update-your-wardrobe <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/no-sew-ways-to-update-your-wardrobe" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/stencil.jpg" alt="Man stenciling on shirts" title="Man stenciling on shirts" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are many ways to update old articles of clothing that don&rsquo;t involve sewing machines. For those of us who can&rsquo;t tell a bobbin from our backsides, here are some easy, cheap ideas for bringing your old clothes back to life.</p> <p>First, a couple of quick notes about the methods here &mdash; you shouldn&rsquo;t try any of these out on an otherwise respectable piece of clothing that you like and wear all the time, and you certainly shouldn't attempt on very expensive clothing. If you&rsquo;ve never bleached or shredded a pair of jeans before, you might want to have a couple of practice rounds on a pair of jeans that are otherwise unwearable or destined for the dust bin. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/twenty-five-things-to-do-with-old-jeans">25 Things to Do With Old Jeans</a>)</p> <p>Another quick note &mdash; some of the alterations in this article can make clothing harder to care for or require more delicate laundering methods. If you don&rsquo;t have the patience for such things, then you probably don&rsquo;t want to spend time shredding your t-shirt into a fine mesh.</p> <p>Lastly, many of these DIY pieces are trendy and/or eye-catching, so if your style is more classic and conservative, they might not be up your fashion alley. It never hurts to give it a try, though.</p> <h2>Crop</h2> <p>Turning a <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdrgcIqcanA">t-shirt into a crop-top</a> or making jeans into cutoff shorts are such easy tasks that we&rsquo;ve all done them before (probably in 1985, but hey, the 80s are back in fashion). The benefit to DIY cropping is that it&rsquo;s cheap and eco-friendly. Why pay for a pair of cut-off shorts when you can turn an <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxMFq8xp2Ts">old pair of jeans into shorts</a> for free?</p> <p>If you don&rsquo;t have any jeans that you wish to sacrifice, but you <em>really</em> want a pair of cut-off shorts, head to your local Goodwill where you&rsquo;ll find jeans for under $10 that can be cut as short as you like. If you&rsquo;re lucky, you might come across a pair of high-waisted jeans, which are apparently all the rage this season among serious fashionistas.</p> <p>There are <a href="http://diyfashion.about.com/od/nosewprojects/NoSew_DIY_Fashion_Projects.htm">tons of things</a> you can make using various cropping methods &mdash; want some <a href="http://diyfashion.about.com/od/diyaccessories/ss/SleeveGloves.htm">fingerless gloves</a>? <a href="http://www.5min.com/Video/Make-Legwarmers--Warm-Hat-Out-of-a-Sweater-88792608">Leg warmers</a>?</p> <h2>Shred/Slash</h2> <p>If your t-shirt already has holes in it, you might as well <a href="http://honestlywtf.com/diy/shredding-diy-2/">shred it</a> and turn it into a punk rock item of hotness. Threadbanger offers a tutorial for <a href="http://www.threadbanger.com/secretlife/episode/SLB_20100805/t-shirt-reconstruction-how-to-resize-your-shirt-and-how-to-give-it-a-braiding-effect-secret-life-of-a-bio-nerd">creating a built-in fabric braid</a> diagonally across a t-shirt (start the video at 3:15 to see the shredding and braiding; the first part of the video deals with re-sizing a too-big t-shirt).</p> <p>Shredded t-shirts go well with undershirts, and Generation T shows you how to <a href="http://www.generation-t.com/t-shirt-projects/i-love-to-create-slashed-peekaboo-t-shirt/">shred a shirt</a> and combine with a painted undershirt for a peekaboo look that&rsquo;s rocks without necessitating a nip-slip.</p> <p>For a t-shirt that is finely shredded, you&rsquo;ll want to <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFkQgc6sERs&amp;feature=related">view the tutorial from Salina Bear</a>. It&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/massive-list-of-things-to-do-while-watching-tv">work you can do while watching TV</a>, because it takes forever. If you are planning on attending a Poison Concert, Heavy Mental teaches you how to <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsesXTShep8&amp;feature=related">create a laddered t-shirt</a>. You can even <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjPSdWrPfq4&amp;feature=fvwrel">braid a totally shredded t-shirt</a> if you are interested in showing more skin than you ever thought possible while still technically being clothed.</p> <h2>Bleach/Color</h2> <p>Bleaching is one of those fantastic DIY options that waxes and wanes with clothing trends, but it&rsquo;s back now in abundance.</p> <p>You can bleach portions of a garment or an entire item of clothing. I find denim rather hard to bleach evenly, and have had better luck painting bleach onto clothing in specific patterns and designs. Many people swear by washing your dyed clothing in vinegar afterward to set the dye (I&rsquo;ve heard the same tip for preserving bright hair color, as well).</p> <h4>Ombre</h4> <p>If you&rsquo;ve never heard of the term &ldquo;ombre&rdquo; before (or have, but never knew what it meant), here&rsquo;s a quick definition: Ombre, French for &ldquo;shadow,&rdquo; also refers to a style of fabric coloration in which one color fades gradually into another. Any color gradient is possible, although ombre seems to imply a darker color seeping into (or out of) a lighter one.</p> <p>Here&rsquo;s a photo of <a href="http://www.denimology.com/2009/08/sienna_miller_in_j_brand_ombre_jeans.php">Sienna Miller in ombre jeans</a>. See? You&rsquo;ve seen the style before. Here&rsquo;s a gorgeous example of a <a href="http://www.etsy.com/listing/77367099/uye-surana-collection-cecilia-free-flow?ref=v1_other_2">dress with an ombre</a> dip-dye effect from Etsy.</p> <p>You can <a href="http://voguishdoodles.blogspot.com/2011/06/diy-doodle-it-yourself-ombre-denim.html">get the ombre look</a> from <a href="http://www.whowhatwear.com/website/full-article/do-it-yourself-dipdye-jeans/">dark clothing using bleach</a> or <a href="http://www.michaelkors.com/store/catalog/prod.jhtml?itemId=prod9520034&amp;parentId=cat17101">dip-dye a lighter item of clothing</a> using cloth dye, like Rit. I achieved a blue ombre t-shirt by lowering the upper half of a shirt into a bucket of Rit dye and leaving it there overnight &mdash; the color gradually seeped up another few inches on the shirt, leaving a nice gradient blue color that faded into white at the bottom of the shirt.</p> <h4>All Over Color</h4> <p>Trends in denim color change every few years &mdash; back in 2001, no one would have dreamed of wearing acid-washed jeans, but in 2011, they are back with a vengeance. Dark denim is still popular, as are black and gray washes. If you have a pair of jeans or a jacket that you want to update, you can do so simply and cheaply with <a href="http://www.ehow.com/how_4412325_redye-jeans.html">fabric dye like RIT</a>.</p> <p>If you are looking to age a pair of too-new jeans, the jeaniouses (see what I did there?) at Threadheads have a tutorial for <a href="http://www.howcast.com/videos/1064-How-To-Dye-Jeans-With-Coffee">adding a vintage, distressed look to your denim</a> that involves using coffee grounds and a cheese grater. You could also use <a href="http://www.ihanna.nu/blog/2010/09/tea-dying-fabrics/">tea staining for a vintage fabric look</a> &mdash; it&rsquo;s a trick often used by quilters to give new material a more burnished appearance.</p> <h4>Tie-Dye</h4> <p>A favorite project for many a disillusioned teenager, tie-dye is an age old art that can be completed in any number of patterns. Watch this <a href="http://honestlywtf.com/diy/diy-bleach-tie-dye/">super-easy tie-dye bleach tutorial </a>from Serious WTF that turns a simple black shirt into an awesome article of style.</p> <h2>Spray Paint</h2> <p>Using either regular spray paint or specialized fabric paint, you can use your clothes as a canvas for an amazing array of freehand or stenciled designs. Check out the <a href="http://www.generation-t.com/t-shirt-projects/i-love-to-create-spray-4-ways/">stenciled cotton dresses</a> from among the crafty T-shirt projects from Generation T. If you have a pattern that you can paint and press onto fabric, you can create funky, wrinkled variations of that <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lj0NN0Q-qP8">pattern using regular spray paint</a>, almost like screen printing, as shown in this tutorial by Fashion Enemy.</p> <p>Spray paint is also a fantastic way to update metal jewelry like cheap dangly earrings or brass bangles.</p> <h2>Paint/Draw</h2> <p>Color blocking is a huge trend right now, along with ombre pieces, so it&rsquo;s hard to go wrong in adding big blasts of color to pieces in your wardrobe. One of my favorite examples is the color blocking performed by the brilliant creators of Honestly WTF, who <a href="http://honestlywtf.com/diy/diy-color-block-moccasins/">painted a pair of moccasins</a> with pastel colors. You don&rsquo;t have to stop at simple colors, of course &mdash; you can draw or <a href="http://store.derangeddesigns.com/nosewdiy.html">paint any design</a> on a shoe, shirt, skirt, bag, or anything with enough space to accommodate your style. One of my craftier friends bought a pair of beige canvas shoes at WalMart and added a significant cool factor by coloring the straps with markers in colorful abstract geometric shapes. I honestly thought she had bought a pair of designer shoes until she clued me in.</p> <h2>Fabric-ate</h2> <p>OK, so it does involve a needle and threat of sorts, but it&rsquo;s not really &ldquo;sewing&rdquo; per se. To add interesting texture and dimension to a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-recycle-and-reuse-old-t-shirts">t-shirt</a>, pair of jeans, or any article of boring clothing, buy a skein of soft-but-interesting yarn and thread it through a garment in a pattern. You can do the same with small (or even large) strips of different colored fabric by making small slices in your clothing with an X-Acto knife or scissors and threading the fabric through. Secure the ends of the fabric strips or yarn using small stitches (a needle and thread).</p> <p><em>What kinds of DIY projects do you use to update old clothing items? Share your tips in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/no-sew-ways-to-update-your-wardrobe">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/19-ways-to-reuse-old-towels">19 Ways to Reuse Old Towels</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-to-use-your-outdoor-furniture-inside">5 Reasons to Use Your Outdoor Furniture -– Inside</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-diy-clothing-projects-for-men">13 DIY Clothing Projects for Men</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-your-own-coupons-20-great-free-gift-ideas">20 Great, Free Gift Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-gifts-you-can-make-today">25 Gifts You Can Make Today</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Lifestyle arts and crafts budget wardrobe clothing update wardrobe Mon, 18 Jul 2011 10:24:22 +0000 Andrea Karim 619528 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Artists Who Became Art Entrepreneurs http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/10-artists-who-became-art-entrepreneurs <div class="field field-type-link field-field-url"> <div class="field-label">Link:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/innovation/article/10-artists-explain-how-they-became-art-entrepreneurs-thursday-bram" target="_blank">http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/innovation/article/10-artists-explain-h...</a> </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/small-business/10-artists-who-became-art-entrepreneurs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000008967697Small.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There's a certain belief that the only way for artists to make money is to sell their artwork, preferably through a gallery. But the truth is that an artist can use his or her creativity as a jumping off point for creating a business. Check out what these ten artists-turned-entrepreneurs have to say about their experiences making the leap.</p> <p>Benjamin John Coleman built his hobby into <a target="_blank" href="http://www.origamibonsai.org">Origami Bonsai</a>, a full-time business.</p> <blockquote><p>I was laid off about six months before the recession began from my job managing the construction of propane delivery trucks. The recession began as my unemployment ran out. I did not qualify for extensions. Sent out hundreds of resumes, got no responses. My hobby business, making Origami Bonsai plant sculptures tanked. I couldn't pay my rent. Then I realized I had enough sculptures in stock to write one hell of a book. I wrote the book and was amazed to discover that two publishers were interested in it. Tuttle released my first book &quot;Origami Bonsai&quot; in April of 2010. In January of 2011 I was notified that it was being reprinted, so I guess it's a hit. Since leaving the propane truck company I've filed for two patents, obtained one trademark, written four books, and created the first mass produced origami flower in the world.</p> </blockquote> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.miriamrowe.com">Miriam Rowe</a> finished a master's degree in jewelry and silversmithing last fall and immediately went into business for herself.</p> <blockquote><p>I was given an amazing opportunity to smoothly transition from the academic art world to the numbers-driven business world. The town I live in offers a year-long incubation scheme for new graduates. The program is called Design Space and is supported by my town's city council. It offers one year of business classes, a free studio space, and mentoring advice for a selected group of participants who agree to work at least 30 hours a week as self-employed artists. I was planning to start my own jewelry business before I had heard of Design Space, but when I was offered a place I accepted wholeheartedly. Even though I am only a few months into the program, my business has grown immensely and I already have customers in the United States, Canada, and several parts of Europe.</p> </blockquote> <p>Nancy Cleary took a different path than the typical graphic designer when she founded <a target="_blank" href="http://wyattmackenzie.com">Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing</a>.</p> <blockquote><p>A classically trained graphic designer from the renowned R.I.S.D., I was a bit of a sell-out not when I decided not to continue with a high-income job at a design studio doing high-brow design. Instead, I launched my own publishing company and used my art background to design and promote books and brand authors. Financially it was an incredibly difficult transition moving from a great paycheck to a struggling business in the red, but we endured because of our devotion to empowering authors' careers beyond their books (and the addition of our consulting fees which kept the ever-so-difficult publishing model afloat until royalties were enough to cover overhead). We are now celebrating 13 years and over 150 titles!</p> </blockquote> <p>Ron Kaplan knew from the start that he wanted to make money with his art and started <a target="_blank" href="http://www.surfohio.com">Surf Ohio</a> with that goal in mind.</p> <blockquote><p>When I realized as a high school art student that I could design and then print t-shirts myself (in my parents' garage!), I was off on a graphic design education track that included making extra money on the side in the imprinted sportswear business. I found it exciting to create art that then was almost immediately worn and enjoyed by many. Ultimately I dropped out of college after two years to pursue that as a full-time career, starting my own screenprinting/graphics shop (Kaplan Graphics, Inc.) in my hometown of Columbus in 1982, at age 23.</p> </blockquote> <p>Glenton Davis left behind a promising career at J.P. Morgan when he wrote and produced a record. Since then, he's founded <a target="_blank" href="http://www.soulpopu.org">Soul Pop U</a>.</p> <blockquote><p>It is Soul Pop U's mission to empower young people to affect global change beginning in their local communities, by utilizing holistic development and pre-professional programs in creative entrepreneurship. We bring this mission to life by connecting emerging artists in the entertainment business with middle and high school students in local communities, sponsoring them, and sending them into local middle and high schools where they introduce young people not only to the entertainment industry, but also to what it means to 'go for the gold.' Our artists facilitate comprehensive arts education programs which combine performance, arts education, and entrepreneurship to inspire students to reach their full potential.</p> </blockquote> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.karenlucchesedesigns.com">Karen Lucchese</a> got serious about making a living from her art a few years ago.</p> <blockquote><p>I am happy to say that after many rejections and hurdles along the way, I am finally in the process of signing a licensing deal that will put my black and white line art on canvas. The canvas line called 'Inspired Ink' will help to teach kids how to paint. The concept of a paint by number but modernized for today's tween and teen. The designs are tattoo inpired and are very bold and fun.</p> </blockquote> <p>Michelle Dyer was able to take a common situation in her field and make it work for her when she started <a target="_blank" href="http://www.survivaljobsforactors.com">Survival Jobs for Actors</a>.</p> <blockquote><p>I founded Survival Jobs for Actors. When I was an actress I needed a Survival Job to pay the rent, but couldn't find a resource out there, so I created one. It's a job board focused on part-time, temp, and flexible work that's great for actors, i.e. Cater waiter, temp reception work, promo gigs.</p> </blockquote> <p>Brad Guigar's web comics, including <a target="_blank" href="http://www.greystoneinn.net">Greystone Inn</a> and <a target="_blank" href="http://www.evil-comic.com">Evil Inc.</a>, have become staples for online readers and form the basis of a business.</p> <blockquote><p>I'm a cartoonist who self-publishes on the Web. My business centers on my Web sites as well as selling merchandise directly to my readers. I've self-published about 15 books, and I've started a subscription Web site, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.webcomics.com">Webcomics.com</a>, to help other cartoonists build their businesses.</p> </blockquote> <p>Debashri Sengupta found herself in the U.S. without a work permit, founding <a target="_blank" href="http://www.keepsakeblossoms.com">Keepsake Blossoms</a> as a result.</p> <blockquote><p>It was quite strange to just sit around and do nothing. So I took up the art of making flowers from DECO Clay. I have been selling these hand crafted clay florals as wedding flowers and home decor for over three years now and quite successfully. In these three years, we moved from Hawaii to Puerto Rico and then to Arizona. We intend to stay here for some years at least. So I am trying to expand my business now and hope to employ at least a part-timer soon. I now have a gorgeous website, a blog that gets around 3000 people every month and I have also started teaching classes, giving more people the opportunity to start their own business and spreading around the joy of making these flowers. This clay that I work with has been featured on the <i>Martha Stewart Show</i> a few times and has helped create more awareness about the product.</p> </blockquote> <p>Eric Telchin turned one individual photo into the inspiration for an entire business, <a target="_blank" href="http://www.boyseeshearts.com">Boy Sees Heart</a>.</p> <blockquote><p>On July 31, 2009 a puddle of melted ice cream changed the way I viewed the world. In October, 2010 I launched a web site, BoySeesHearts.com, with the intention of changing the way the world views the world. I see heart shapes in everyday objects: ice cream spills, litter, trees, coffee grinds. I photograph these found hearts with my iPhone and create abstract and representational art. When the response became overwhelming, I started selling made-to-order prints and apparel featuring these designs, comprised of over 1700 found hearts. Since its inception, I've launched a line of limited edition gallery pieces and have been featured on ABC's <i>Extreme Makeover: Home Edition</i>, <i>NYMetro Parents Magazine</i> and was selected as <i>AHA Life's</i> unique discovery for January 20, 2011. In my opinion, I have been successful in launching this business because I have translated the principles of the found hearts into every aspect of the operation. At the end of the day, it all comes down to love.</p> </blockquote> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/thursday-bram">Thursday Bram</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/small-business/10-artists-who-became-art-entrepreneurs">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/250-tips-for-small-business-owners">250+ Tips for Small Business Owners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-small-businesses">Best Credit Cards for Small Businesses</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/19-ways-to-reuse-old-towels">19 Ways to Reuse Old Towels</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-inspiring-stories-of-normal-people-building-a-thriving-online-store">4 Inspiring Stories of Normal People Building a Thriving Online Store</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-helpful-tools-to-manage-your-small-business">6 Helpful Tools to Manage Your Small Business</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Small Business Resource Center art business art entrepreneur arts and crafts creative business small business Fri, 04 Mar 2011 22:30:13 +0000 Thursday Bram 491548 at http://www.wisebread.com 45 Other Things to Do on Super Bowl Sunday http://www.wisebread.com/45-other-things-to-do-on-super-bowl-sunday <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/45-other-things-to-do-on-super-bowl-sunday" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/knitting_1.jpg" alt="Knitting" title="Knitting" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I'm not a football fan in general &mdash; clutch your pearls! &mdash; and I&rsquo;ve been particularly disinterested in the Super Bowl since 2005, the year the half-time acts got all family friendly because Janet Jackson showed a little booby 12 months prior.</p> <p>Am I bitter? For sure. But I won't be bored, and neither will you with these alternative game-day activities.</p> <h3>1. Bake a Milky Way Bundt</h3> <p>Gotta love a good Bundt. But this&nbsp;<a href="http://www.cooks.com/rec/doc/0,173,147165-224204,00.html">Milky Way Bundt</a> recipe, courtesy of Cooks.com, takes the cake. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dump-cake-and-other-sweet-easy-treats">Dump Cake and Other Sweet, Easy Treats</a>)</p> <h3>2. Challenge a Facebook Friend to a Game of Scrabble</h3> <p>Just make sure you find someone who&rsquo;s committed to finishing a game in one sitting. It&rsquo;s annoying when it spans several seasons. I&rsquo;m talking to you, Jake A.</p> <h3>3. Rearrange Your Bedroom</h3> <p>Position the bed in front of the mirror.</p> <h3>4. Update Your Contacts</h3> <p>I&rsquo;m notorious for getting drunk, making new friends and naming them in my phone after the establishment in which we met. For example, Frank Hooters or Mandi IHOP. The next day I have no idea who they are, and I never speak to them again. Time to downsize.</p> <h3>5. Write a Letter to Your Congressperson</h3> <p>Surely there&rsquo;s something you need to get off your chest. I still can&rsquo;t legally marry in most states. That&rsquo;s a start.</p> <h3>6. Catch Up on Your DVR</h3> <p>My DVR is loaded with episodes of &ldquo;The Graham Norton Show,&rdquo; &ldquo;Skins,&rdquo; &ldquo;Being Human,&rdquo; and &ldquo;Smurfs&rsquo; Adventures.&rdquo; What do you have waiting for you?</p> <h3>7. E-file Your Taxes</h3> <p>Get ahead of the game &mdash; and get your refund faster &mdash; by filing your taxes online. Easy-breezy.</p> <h3>8. Dust</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s a dirty job, but somebody&rsquo;s got to do it. Yep, even you.</p> <h3>9. Go Sledding</h3> <p>What good is all this snow if you don&rsquo;t make proper use of it? There has to be a hill close by that&rsquo;s calling your name.</p> <h3>10. Clean Out Your Closet</h3> <p>Make a charitable contribution &mdash; to your local thrift shop or your best friend &mdash; while making room for new spring additions.</p> <h3>11. Make a Handmade Valentine for Your Sweetie<o:p></o:p></h3> <p>Mine will be an interpretation of one of <a href="http://www.jackthreads.com/sales/2058">these prints by Gaping Void</a>. He&rsquo;ll return the gift in kisses.</p> <h3>12. Sanitize the Refrigerator</h3> <p>And while you&rsquo;re at it, throw out anything more than one month past its expiration date. You don&rsquo;t want to start the next global pandemic, do you?</p> <h3>13. Film Your Own Commercial</h3> <p>The sky is the limit, but <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcfViklWRsU">this amateur submission is pretty darn funny</a>.</p> <h3>14. Learn How to Play Texas Hold &rsquo;Em</h3> <p>A good way to earn some extra cash &mdash; if you know how to play better than your unsuspecting friends.</p> <h3>15. Memorize the Budweiser Pledge</h3> <p>One of my fraternity brothers could <a href="http://www.helium.com/items/1080802-budweiser-beer">recite this verbatim</a>. I always thought it was kinda neat. One of those idiot savant qualities that you can&rsquo;t help but envy.</p> <h3>16. Scrub the Tub</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s not supposed to have a ring around it. Neither should the toilet, for that matter.</p> <h3>17. Make Decoupage Magnets</h3> <p>I picked up the necessary items to <a href="http://www.craftbits.com/project/craft-marble-magnets">make these magnets</a> at my local craft store for under $4. A lot of times Michael&rsquo;s has a 40% off one item coupon in the weekly circular, and you can save even more money by cutting pictures out of magazines (or old photos!) instead of buying scrapbooking paper like the post suggests. You don&rsquo;t need a circle cutter or a cutting mat, either. Regular scissors work just as well.</p> <h3>18. Read the Book &quot;Swamplandia!&quot;</h3> <p>I&rsquo;ve heard and read so many excellent reviews on this new release. I can&rsquo;t wait to dive in.</p> <h3>19. Sign up for RentAFriend.com</h3> <p>I did. You can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/extra-income-online-5-websites-that-can-seriously-pad-your-pockets">read all about it right here</a>.</p> <h3>20. Embark on a Local Road Trip</h3> <p>You don&rsquo;t have to go far &mdash; or spend a bundle &mdash; to see new sights and enjoy exciting experiences. Hop in the car and take a drive.</p> <h3>21. Take Down the Christmas Decorations</h3> <p>Seriously. It&rsquo;s almost Valentine&rsquo;s Day.</p> <h3>22. Call Grandma</h3> <p>Full disclosure: Mine called me at the end of December, and I still haven&rsquo;t returned her call. I think it&rsquo;s time to take my own advice</p> <h3>23. Create a Five-Year Plan</h3> <p>If you make a formal plan, you&rsquo;re more likely to achieve your goals. But you don&rsquo;t have to believe me. Wise Bread writer Janey Osterlind <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/trade-in-new-years-resolutions-for-achieving-life-goals">details how in this article</a>.</p> <h3>24. Hold a Séance</h3> <p>You&rsquo;ll need a Ouija board, a few candles, and an open mind. Extra points for authenticity if you can convince your friends that the poltergeist living in your basement is showing you &ldquo;signs.&rdquo;</p> <h3>25. Build an Igloo</h3> <p><a href="http://www.airbnb.com/rooms/14255">A few geniuses in Slovenia charge people to stay in theirs</a>. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.</p> <h3>26. Learn Spanglish</h3> <p>This really depends on how ambitious you are. I would start with the bad words.</p> <h3>27. Alphabetize Anything That Has a Title</h3> <p>There&rsquo;s just something about books and movies filed from A to Z that soothes the soul. At least for someone with OCD, like me.</p> <h3>28. Roll Loose Change</h3> <p>Everybody has a change jar. It may not look very promising, but I bet there&rsquo;s at least $30 in yours. That&rsquo;s enough for groceries, a partial tank of gas, or a movie with concessions. Your call.</p> <h3>29. Take Up Knitting</h3> <p>The possibilities are endless. You can make scarves, sweaters, potholders and lots of other things that old people will like. <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uw-nUvGrBY">Learn knitting basics</a> with this video.</p> <h3>30. Feed the Homeless</h3> <p>Not everybody cares about the Big Game. Some people are just tryin&rsquo; to stay alive.</p> <h3>31. Study the Science of Mixology</h3> <p>Anyone who can make a cucumber cocktail is OK with me.</p> <h3>32. Give Yourself a Mani-Pedi</h3> <p>You&rsquo;ll save cash &mdash; and your man will thank you for clipping those claws.</p> <h3>33. Discover Chatroulette</h3> <p>You&rsquo;ve heard the stories. Now experience the eye-bleaching action firsthand.</p> <h3>34. Put Your Gym Membership to Use</h3> <p>Trust me, there will definitely be an elliptical machine available this time. No excuses.</p> <h3>35. Make Reservations at a Fancy Hot Spot</h3> <p>Can&rsquo;t ever snag a table at that uppity new restaurant? Tonight&rsquo;s the night!</p> <h3>36. Host a Pre-Oscars Viewing Party</h3> <p>Rent two of the Best Picture contenders and pretend like you&rsquo;re part of the Academy. Before the show begins, critique each other&rsquo;s outfits.</p> <h3>37. Practice the Art of Cake Decorating</h3> <p>One of my aunts recently took a class and I was impressed. She&rsquo;s no Duff Goldman &mdash; yet &mdash; but for a novice she really knocked my socks off. You can do it the DIY way by picking up a decorating kit.</p> <h3>38. Go Mock Shopping</h3> <p>When I was bored and broke in college, I would head to the town Walmart and stuff my cart full of fancy items. Fancy for Walmart in 2001, at least. When I had everything I needed, I would abandon the cart at the end of a dark aisle for an unsuspecting employee to find and curse me for later. It was strangely satisfying.</p> <h3>39. Get a Tattoo</h3> <p>Just don&rsquo;t use <a href="http://nymag.com/daily/entertainment/2011/01/rapper_face_tattoos.html">Gucci Mane</a> for inspiration.</p> <h3>40. Volunteer to Be a Designated Driver</h3> <p>Chances are all your friends will be blacked out by the time the game is over. Be a hero. Save some lives.</p> <h3>41. Replace the Photos in Your Frames</h3> <p>People are doing this less and less as time goes on, because many of us put them online for the world to see instead of printing them out to enjoy at home. That's the downside to digital cameras, and it means that our hard-copy pics are out of date. Give your frames a facelift by ordering prints from Kodak Gallery, which offers <a href="http://www.kodakgallery.com/gallery/lp/new-member-offer-a/offer.jsp">50 free to new customers</a>. That&rsquo;s enough to share.</p> <h3>42. Clean Out Your Carryall</h3> <p>God only knows what you've got in there. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-items-city-dwelling-dudes-should-keep-in-their-bags">All you really need are these nine items</a>.</p> <h3>43. Manscape</h3> <p>Although if you're opposed to watching the Super Bowl, common sense says that you're already groomed better than a prize-winning poodle.</p> <h3>44. Attend a Church Service</h3> <p>It's long overdue. Plus, free wine!</p> <h3>45. Learn to Like the Super Bowl</h3> <p>If you don't, nobody will hang out with you. Living proof.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/45-other-things-to-do-on-super-bowl-sunday">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-you-can-do-in-denver-that-you-cant-do-anywhere-else">8 Things You Can Do in Denver That You Can&#039;t Do Anywhere Else</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-everyday-routines-of-wealthy-people">5 Everyday Routines of Wealthy People</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-fun-and-cheap-things-to-do-during-the-weekday">8 Fun and Cheap Things to Do During the Weekday</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/spice-up-the-conversation-by-skipping-what-do-you-do">Spice Up the Conversation by Skipping &quot;What Do You Do?&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-fabulous-last-minute-places-to-spend-new-years">8 Fabulous Last-Minute Places to Spend New Year&#039;s</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Entertainment Lifestyle arts and crafts cheap entertainment getting things done Super Bowl Thu, 03 Feb 2011 14:00:10 +0000 Mikey Rox 487650 at http://www.wisebread.com Don't Buy Memories, Make Them http://www.wisebread.com/dont-buy-memories-make-them <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/dont-buy-memories-make-them" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/buses.jpg" alt="Buses" title="Buses" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="240" height="172" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I'm all about cheap, or at least cheaper, gifts this holiday season. Further still, I'm all about creating gifts that actually last in value and relevance past the next news cycle, and I'm really &quot;bout it, bout it&quot; when it comes to gifts my toddler son won't have broken and be crying over by December 26.</p> <p>This year I thought of something to give him that could address all of those concerns. Here's the backstory:</p> <p>Lexington I. Leffall, my first-born masculine child,&nbsp;loves things that move: planes in the sky, big trucks that rumble and grumble, and trains that have gone from being &quot;choo choos&quot; to &quot;train trains&quot; and now just plain &quot;trains.&quot;&nbsp;</p> <p>But what he has the most affinity for is buses. His first complete sentence, coming at about 16 months, was not a sentence but a musical phrase yelled out at an ear-bleeding level: &quot;ALL THROUGH THE TOWN.&quot; (He had a musical yellow bus with a red button on it, that when pressed, it blurted out <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnupL42gmF4">this song</a>.)</p> <p>And all through the town &mdash; and country &mdash; we went together. We moved on airplanes, buses, trains, and trollies in my native Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Chicago, parts of New Mexico, San Diego, and New York City. Peering out of the window, his eyes were illuminated with the type of joy, wonder, and intrigue that evokes envy in a grown man with &quot;real-world&quot; issues, wishing I could be as passionate about something this little guy is about things that move.</p> <p>Wherever we go, Lex grabs all the brochures from the buses and trains, attempts to read them, plays with them, and calls out the stops as if he is the driver, conductor, or operator. He has dozens and dozens of brochures from a half-dozen cities.</p> <p>So this year I cut, pasted, and stenciled. With the help of a craft enthusiast, I created a masterpiece of memories: a scrapbook called &quot;Lexington's Book of Buses, Trains, and Trollies.&quot; (Shhhhhhhhhhhhh, don't tell him; it's for Christmas). It takes a little time, effort, and creativity for that person you love and care about. But scrapbooks are a great way to preserve memories, especially for little ones who still get thrills from just looking at pictures of the things they love, whether they're buses or butterflies.&nbsp;</p> <p>If you think scrapbooks are corny or time-consuming, or you don't know where to start, there are sites such as <a href="http://www.scrapbook.com/">Scrapbook.com</a>&nbsp;that can stoke the fire.</p> <p>So &quot;scrap&quot; the wonton consumerism and hit the books, so to speak. If you already have pictures, old magazines, or in my case, bus brochures, the source material is free. The cost of an album or book and materials is nominal at $20 to $45 compared to (insert the price of whatever hot doo-hickey here) that will be obselete by <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boxing_Day">Boxing Day</a>.</p> <p>Sure, you'll get a few other trinkets to play with, champ, but I hope you like you big book, Lex!</p> <p>I can't wait to see his face.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jabulani-leffall">Jabulani Leffall</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/dont-buy-memories-make-them">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-give-thoughtful-gifts-on-a-scrooge-like-budget">How to Give Thoughtful Gifts on a Scrooge-Like Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-board-games-for-children">The 5 Best Board Games for Children</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-money-saving-tricks-to-know-before-buying-an-engagement-ring">12 Money-Saving Tricks to Know Before Buying an Engagement Ring</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-places-to-get-cheaper-diapers">5 Places to Get Cheaper Diapers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-infant-nail-clippers">The 5 Best Infant Nail Clippers</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Shopping arts and crafts cheap gifts Christmas gift ideas for kids Fri, 10 Dec 2010 14:00:09 +0000 Jabulani Leffall 361552 at http://www.wisebread.com DIY Berlin Style http://www.wisebread.com/diy-berlin-style <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/diy-berlin-style" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/berlin_thing.jpg" alt="Berlin Graffiti wall" title="Berlin Graffiti wall" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">I am a believer in the idea that wealth can stunt personal creativity. When you can buy it all, what’s the need to invent anything? </p> <p class="MsoNormal">When I was a kid my mother forbade me from playing with makeup. But I wanted to so badly that I chopped up the insides of my color pencils to a fine dust and turned them into eyeshadow and blush.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Of course those wild invention days are over now that I am entitled to buy my own cosmetics, but I’m still, and will always be, a fan of DIY. </p> <p class="MsoNormal">One of the greatest parts about traveling is being inspired and finding new ideas and fixes for everyday life. And in Berlin, I couldn’t help feeling thrilled at the creativity that percolated from the mix of youth, artists and students living in a fashionable and historic city. Combine these minds with shoestring budgets, and you get some of the most vibrant DIY ideas all around the city. Of course, many of these can’t be replicated exactly, but they do get the brain juices flowing.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Drink pouch purse:</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal">I saw one like this hanging in my host&#39;s kitchen. </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/juice_bag.jpg" alt="juice bag" width="330" height="440" /> </p> <p class="MsoNormal">This is a great way to recycle and indulge your arts-and-crafts urges. I’ve actually seen these around in the U.S. but maybe I didn’t notice them as much in the local Urban Outfitters, where novelty trumps practicality. It’s a little too kitsch for me to tote around as an everyday purse, but can be great for the beach or to carry groceries. Learn how to make one of your own <a href="http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Capri-Sun-Purse">here</a> (sewing machine needed).</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Re-used vintage furniture:</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Much of the charm of Berlin comes from the mismatched furniture you see in the various bars and cafes. According to my Berliner host, much of the East is inhabited by students and those who have little money. So instead of shooting over to the local IKEA, the locals have actually picked up bits and pieces from flea markets and, if necessary, revamped them.<img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/Berlin_Jopunk_039.jpg" alt="sofas berlin" width="330" height="440" />.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Like these tweed chairs here.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Wall Paint:</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Some of it is just graffiti, but interesting nonetheless. I wouldn’t have thought of many of these color combinations on my own. I&#39;m not sure I would paint my own house the same way, but it shows how paint can add life to otherwise ordinary walls.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/Berlin_Jopunk_028.jpg" alt="berlin paint 1" width="440" height="330" /> </p> <p class="MsoNormal"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/Berlin_Jopunk_044.jpg" alt="berlin paint 2" width="330" height="440" /></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>A Little Mint:</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal">I was surprised how a little mint in my tap water could make me so happy on a hot, summer day. I’m not a big fan of lemon, so this was a nice, different touch.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/Berlin_Jopunk_034.jpg" alt="mint water" width="440" height="330" /></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Surrounded by some good carrot cake and green lime beer -- and more examples of spruced up furniture.</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>And…the random invention:</strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/Berlin_Jopunk_037.jpg" alt="truck crate wall" width="440" height="330" /></p> <p class="MsoNormal">A pile of shipping crates or a funky door? It was funny to see “Hanjin”, a label I’ve seen many times rolling on trains and trucks, as part of an entrance to a concert venue/bar.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">After all this, I was motivated to do some of my own DIY. I decided to make my own postcards out of the cool fliers I found in the bars and cafes around town. Sorry, I ran out of batteries before I could snap pics of them, but I can say they were much more interesting than the touristy European church postcards at your local souvenir store. Just glue some writing paper on the back and post and send as normal!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/joann-hong">Joann Hong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/diy-berlin-style">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/19-ways-to-reuse-old-towels">19 Ways to Reuse Old Towels</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/37-brilliant-ways-to-reuse-an-empty-milk-jug">37 Brilliant Ways to Reuse an Empty Milk Jug</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/flashback-friday-128-creative-ways-to-upcycle-your-trash">Flashback Friday: 128 Creative Ways to Upcycle Your Trash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/19-uses-for-empty-cereal-boxes">19 Uses for Empty Cereal Boxes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-old-furniture-shine-with-these-simple-refinishing-tricks">Make Old Furniture Shine With These Simple Refinishing Tricks</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY arts and crafts bags berlin DIY Do It Yourself Europe furniture reuse Tue, 24 Jul 2007 10:25:27 +0000 Joann Hong 886 at http://www.wisebread.com DIY - Silk Flower Brooch http://www.wisebread.com/diy-silk-flower-brooch <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/diy-silk-flower-brooch" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/6832113742_bd7429cfbb_z.jpg" alt="silk flower brooch" title="silk flower brooch" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="209" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There's a company in my area that makes silk flower brooches that are sold at Nordstrom for $60 a pop. I occasionally see these silk flower brooches at Nordstrom and feel like, well, screaming.</p> <p>Why? Because I know that each brooch costs less than $5 to make.</p> <p>The silk &quot;poppies&quot; that are used cost $4. They ship from India, and so that adds about $0.10 to the cost of each poppy. A pin backing and a fake leaf are glued to the back. That's about $0.07 worth of materials right there. The women who make the pins are paid roughly $9 an hour, and can make as many as 30 pins per hour. So that's another $0.30 right there. How do I know this? I nearly worked for the company that makes them. I've seen the cost break-down, and it ain't pretty. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-places-to-find-inexpensive-accessories">10 Places to Find Inexpensive Accessories</a>)</p> <p><img width="448" height="300" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/fakeflowers.jpg" alt=" " /></p> <p>Yet some <em>upscale women will pay $60 for these things</em>. Well, live and let live.</p> <p>Or, in true Wise Bread fashion, do it yourself and save big.</p> <p>Flower brooches are frighteningly easy to make. The basic instructions:</p> <ol> <li>Get a silk flower of some kind.</li> <li>Remove it from the stem.</li> <li>Glue a pin to the back, either in the center or just above the center of the back.</li> <li>Cover the spine of the pin backing by gluing something pretty, like a fake leaf or a piece of felt or velvet.</li> <li>Pin to coat or give as gift.</li> <li>Feel good.</li> </ol> <p><img width="448" height="336" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/foam.jpg" alt=" " /></p> <p>Flower brooches are also <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-last-minute-gifts-for-mothers-day">great Mother's Day gifts</a>. I don't even like having to &quot;celebrate&quot; holidays like Mother's Day, because I don't think they are much more than a Hallmark ploy to get you to spend spend spend. My mother, in fact, never gave a rip about Mother's Day. But as I get older, I want to be sure to make small gestures (besides foot rubs) so that my mum knows how much I love her. One way to do this that is sincere, and frugal, is to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-gifts-you-can-make-today">make stuff</a>. Yes, buying an expensive bouquet of flowers is nice, but sometimes, a gift from the heart is more precious.</p> <p>Plus, my mum has this weird theory that I have artistic talent, all evidence to the contrary.</p> <p><strong>Here are some tips for making flower brooches:</strong></p> <p>Get your hands on a hot glue gun, if you don't already have one. Using these things is kind of an art, and you will get burned a few times. Practice makes perfect and all that. The glue guns at my craft store cost between $2-15 dollars. Mine is a $9 model that's pretty bad-ass.</p> <p>Don't buy ridiculously expensive pin backings. Sterling silver really doesn't do much for the backing, and costs too much and won't be seen anyway.</p> <p><img width="314" height="235" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/backings.jpg" alt=" " /></p> <p>When making brooches, you want the back of the flower to be almost completely flat. Because of the way these fake flowers are put together, sometimes you have to cut off the plastic that holds it all together in order to get a good, flat back. In this case, you'll have to reconstruct the flower using hot glue. It's not too hard, though.</p> <p><img width="314" height="235" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/cutpink.jpg" alt=" " /></p> <p>If you have some silk flowers that are less-than exciting, you can always take apart two flowers and combine them. Use the same kind of flower for additional petals, or two or three different kinds of flowers for a sort of hybrid flower.</p> <p><img width="448" height="336" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/pinkwhiteb4.jpg" alt=" " /></p> <p><img width="301" height="304" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/hybridpinkwhite.jpg" alt=" " /></p> <p>The little leaves that you glue over the pin's spine can usually be found in the bridal supply section of a craft or fabric store, because they are often used in veils.</p> <p><img width="448" height="336" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/whiteflowerleaves.jpg" alt=" " /></p> <p><img width="297" height="298" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/whiteflowerback.jpg" alt=" " /></p> <p>The center of the flower is a good place to glue something really cool. On the flower pictured below, I glued an antique button that I bought at a thrift store. It has rhinestones, and complements the subtle colors of the flower perfectly.</p> <p><img width="448" height="336" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/antiquebutton.jpg" alt=" " /></p> <p>You don't have to put anything in the center because a lot of fake flowers look better with their fake centers. But other ideas include regular buttons, smiley faces, crystals, beads, pearls, or even those polished glass pebbles that you put into fish tanks. Below is a small white lapel pin that I made with a cheap mother-of-pearl button for a center.</p> <p><img width="290" height="269" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/whiteflowerfront.jpg" alt=" " /></p> <p>The brooches that I made for upcoming Mother's Day cost me under $10, and that's for both Mum and Gram. Now, I just <a href="http://consumerist.com/consumer/frucall/can-i-get-this-cheaper-online-call-frucall-215463.php">need to make a couple of cool cards</a>, and I'll be all set.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/diy-silk-flower-brooch">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/diy-berlin-style">DIY Berlin Style</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/19-ways-to-reuse-old-towels">19 Ways to Reuse Old Towels</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-diy-ideas-for-creating-inexpensive-art">12 DIY Ideas for Creating Inexpensive Art</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-keep-diy-projects-from-ruining-your-life">How to Keep DIY Projects From Ruining Your Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/37-brilliant-ways-to-reuse-an-empty-milk-jug">37 Brilliant Ways to Reuse an Empty Milk Jug</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY arts and crafts Do It Yourself fashion gift Mothers Day silk flowers Mon, 23 Apr 2007 20:47:40 +0000 Andrea Karim 548 at http://www.wisebread.com Pursenalized http://www.wisebread.com/pursenalized <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/pursenalized" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000076468369_Large.jpg" alt="Stylish woman with red handbag" title="Stylish woman with red handbag" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Like many Wise Bread bloggers, I love Target for a number of reasons. I love their sales racks, where you can find perfectly good wool skirts for $4.99. I adore that they carry clothing sizes that fit women like me, women who could be featured in a remake of Sir Mix-a-Lot's &quot;Baby Got Back.&quot; Target has brought style to the masses, and for that, they will always be a favorite of mine.</p> <p>The only problem with shopping at Target is that everyone else shops there, too. Thus, you are bound to run into people who are wearing the EXACT same thing that you are, or carrying the same handbag. The latter is my current problem.</p> <p>Now, this might be further proof that I have yet to conquer my vanity, but I like to stand out a little bit. Shopping at Target and other large chain stores can make this difficult, because they sell so much stuff.</p> <p>So, when I'm slummin' it with a $21.99 Target handbag, and I frequently am, I want to avoid standing in line at the grocery store sporting the same bag as the three women in line in front of me. I can't help it.</p> <p>In fact, when I went to Target a couple of weeks ago, I picked out a black fake leather hobo-style handbag that I thought was particularly nice &mdash; not overly wrought, not to young and whippersnappery, no garish patterns. As I was walking out of the store, I saw not one, but two women in the parking lot with the same purse.</p> <p>I gazed down at my new purchase. I could return it. It's easy enough to return stuff at Target, right? But I actually liked this bag quite a bit. So I decided to personalize it.&nbsp;I walked back in to Target and immediately found what I was looking for &mdash; a long black scarf with multi-colored polka dots. Polyester. Cheap. I purchased it and drove home.</p> <p>Once home, I got to work immediately (don't you love how fashion can spur you into action? I do). The idea was really simple. I removed the long braided strappy things with a pair of sharp scissors and threaded the scarf through the purse's rivets instead. I tried tying the scarf in a variety of styles before settling on one.</p> <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/handbag.jpg" alt=" " width="448" height="336" /></p> <p>I LIKE it. It feels so French, or at least my idea of French.</p> <p>Now, this isn't revolutionary, not by a long shot. But it's a bag that will probably last me six months or so (if you do the math, that's $2.33 per month of use). I can change the scarf out for others if I want, or remove it all together and hang bunches of cheap charms from each rivet. So far, no one has recognized the bag, but lots of people have complimented it.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/pursenalized">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-eye-masks">The 5 Best Eye Masks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-is-gasoline-so-cheap-a-cost-comparison-of-40-common-household-liquids">Why is Gasoline So Cheap? A Cost Comparison of 40 Common Household Liquids</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-being-late-on-tech-trends-saves-you-money">5 Ways Being Late on Tech Trends Saves You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-anti-itch-creams">The 5 Best Anti-Itch Creams</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-reusable-straws">The 5 Best Reusable Straws</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping accessories arts and crafts customized handbag purse scarves shopping target Fri, 02 Feb 2007 18:42:06 +0000 Andrea Karim 247 at http://www.wisebread.com