Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween Treats

I know Halloween is basically over but I had to share this great free treat. I work at a local fabric store and sometimes I do get the best stuff for free. They were tossing these lovely ghost plates in the trash last year and I quickly snatched them up. So cute and they are glass. I made some yummy cookies and there you have a wonderful free gift for friends and neighbors.

I'm not saying I actually condone dumpster diving... but I'm not saying I don't either... you never know what you might find.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I Heart Burlap

I love burlap. I know it's crazy the stuff itches like crazy, what can you really do with it? Well recently I've learned that you can do a lot with it. I've seen it on purses (done that one myself), used as matte's for pictures, used for table runners, and my personal favorite place mats.

I don't remember where I saw these cuties first so I can't link back to it. She had them made with just numbers on them, I decided to personalize them. Each family member has one with their name and a different ribbon, I also made two extra for guests.

They were completely easy and completely FREE! I got some burlap from a friend that had a give-away-day at her house. I used my Cricut (I know it's one of those "gadgets" I said you could do without but I also got if for free from my mom, don't judge me) to make stencils from contact paper, and had ribbon and buttons around the house. Here are the results:

Basically you cut the burlap to the desired size, I used an old place mat for a reference, then used acrylic paint and a stencil to do the name. You can use any ribbon you like and just hot glue it around the edge. On some I also embellished with buttons. The possibilities are basically endless for this FREE project.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Patience Grasshopper!

Freegifting is an art, seriously. It takes creativity, vision, work, and A LOT of patience. Sometimes that item that you are looking for is illusive and cannot be had for a good deal, be patient something will come along.

My daughter has been wanting a sewing machine for some time. Hers broke a few months ago and frankly it was not that great to begin with. I don't really trust new sewing machines. I know that sounds crazy but give me an old Singer, or Kenmore any day over a new machine with lots of buttons, and lights. So I started looking around at garage sales, Craig's List, Ebay etc. all the places where they sell those great old machines. However old machines do come with a hefty price tag if you find a nice one.

This is where patience comes into play... searching many, many garage sales... searching Craig's List SEVERAL times a day... hoping that gem will become available and hoping you have quick enough Internet so your e-mail gets there first!

SCORE!!! Finally the moment I'd been waiting for, after months of looking I found a great little machine on Craig's List for FREE!! Yes, FREE!! I called the woman who was giving it away and went the next day to pick it up. It hadn't been sewn on for years and she didn't know how well it would do. I brought it home, cleaned it up, oiled the snot out of it and so far it's a great find! Here is a picture of it, I hope that my daughter will get years of use out of it.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Using Your Stash

The key to free gifting is simple, use what you have. I know this is a foreign concept for a lot of people. There are so many cute things in the stores nowadays, new fabric designs, cute crafting papers, adorable embellishments, and don't get me started on the gadgets. There's a gadget for just about anything that would make your life so much better. DON'T FALL INTO THE TRAP! You have cute stuff at home, you can often do without the gadget, and seriously you'll respect yourself more in the morning if your project was free (or really cheap) rather than spending money unnecessarily.

I know you all have a "stash", you know what I mean even if you don't want to admit it. Any self respecting crafter has a stash of some kind, fabric, paper, stamps, ribbon, the list could go on and on. Heaven forbid you have several hobbies then the stash can be pretty extensive. Mine consists of LOTS and LOTS of fabric, some paper, stamps, embellishments, gadgets, paints etc. I try and use what I have before I hit the craft store. Usually I can find enough fabric for any crafting project, and enough paper for most paper projects in my craft room.

Well I did some "Stash Crafting" today and this is what I came up with:

You have to remember that my crafting skills far outweigh my photography skills! These are tiny little composition books that I found on clearance months ago for about 60 cents each. They are about 4" x 2 1/2" and are stinkin' adorable all on their own. Here's how I did it:

First cut a piece of cute paper just bigger than the outside cover of the book. I wanted the black spine to show so it worked best to use the already straight edge of the paper so it will look neat and tidy.

Apply glue (I used a glue stick) to both the paper and the book. Press the paper into place. Use scissors to cut the paper to the size of the book, after you glue the paper on. Add embellishments to your hearts desire! You have a great gift. I think all in all I only spent about 75 cents and that wasn't today, remember I used my stash.

So use your stash and your imagination and see where they take you.