It’s nearly the end of the year, and aside from gift-buying this is also the time we all turn into Martha Stewart and begin to bake cookies, and create Pinterest worthy crafts. Anything homemade takes time to make and create and therefore is special. I truly think that it’s much easier to go out and buy something semi-generic than it is to find time to sit down and put thought into creating something unique -whether for yourself or a gift for someone else. Needless to say the opportunity cost of your time may be high, but the materials necessary to create your beautiful projects can also add up. So I’d like to share a few quick tips on how to create sentimental gifts and thingamajigs while remaining within your budget.
I’ve mentioned the dollar store before because it can often be overlooked. The dollar store tends to have great seasonal decor and craft material – think Halloween, Christmas etc. Aside from wrapping paper, bows, and bags in which you’ll wrap presents, the dollar store is a great starting points for DIY projects. A great tip for any DIY project is to mix high and low (this actually applies to fashion too). What I mean by that is think about which components are most important and invest in those pieces a bit more. Everything else can be thought of as secondary. For example, when scarp-booking I’ve found that the dollar store has some great scarp-booking materials – pages/paper, stickers, ribbon, themed sets etc. For the book itself I would recommend looking somewhere a bit more high-end. Michael’s has great scrapbooks, and although they can sometimes be pricey if you plan ahead you might catch a great deal. I recently bought a scrapbook at Michael’s for under $6.
If you’re read my post on How to Have a Cheap Christmas you might already be aware that Michael’s has a very handy app with ultra frequent savings and coupons. You don’t need to print anything out anymore all you do is show the code on your smart phone. Before buying anything at Michael’s check the app because you’ll often see things like “50% off one item” or “40% of your entire purchase”. Not using it is just leaving money on the table.
Containers, Boxes & baskets
manufacturers spend so much money on packaging and on delivering their goods in an appealing fashion, and then we just throw it away. Take a creative approach. Some containers can be re-used for your own purposes – such as storage containers etc. Others can be used as a base for gift-baskets, or whatever other crafts your creative mind comes up with! For example the Ferrero Rocher chocolate boxes are great to reuse! They are clear so it’s easy to see what’s inside and they are perfect in size and shape.
Your own home
look around your house for useful stuff first! This is obviously the cheapest of all. You may have bought something last year that you had forgotten about, or maybe you’ll find a new use for something you already own. Check your own inventory first – this way you’ll purge at the same time. Bonus!
Awesome for any DIY project. My proudest garage sale find is a big 24” x 36”, brand new cork board someone was selling for $5 and I bargained down to $3…these can be quite expensive, ranging anywhere $25 -$65 and up (actually $75.92 at Staples right now). Seriously consider garage sales or classifieds such as craigslist or kijiji. One man’s trash certainly is another man’s treasure.
So get creative and look at old things in a new way! I’m sure you’re DIY projects will be just fabulous!
For lots of DIY ideas check this out!
Thanks for reading 🙂