Frugal Family Fun: Rainy Day Umbrellas

Rainy Day Umbrellas

I made these on a recent rainy day with my daughters. Theirs were much different (especially the 19 month olds!) but we had fun making them & they love the umbrella banner! I saw the umbrellas on paper over on My Kids Guide & after making them decided to see how they’d do as a banner & I am so glad I did! I think it could make for a cute birthday party decoration, fun tea party or even a baby or wedding shower decoration!

What you will need:

  • Construction Paper
  • Glue (I used washable glue sticks)
  • Tape
  • Pipe Cleaner (I had these in my craft stash already from the Dollar Tree)
  • Cupcake liners (I had left overs from parties as well as a pack I’d picked up from Valentines clearance)
  • Marker
  • Scissors
  • String, ribbon or yarn if making the banner

Instructions:
If you are making these with very small children who can’t use scissors you may want to do the first 2 steps before hand.

  1. Cut pipe cleaners to length if necessary (I cut mine in half & some in thirds).
  2. Cut a small slit in the center of the cupcake liner.
  3. Bend the end of a pipe cleaner into a curve.
  4. Push the straight end throw the hole in the middle of the cupcake liner.
  5. On the inside of the cupcake liner tape the pipe cleaner to the cupcake liner.
  6. Lay your umbrellas on a flat surface back side facing up, spacing them out how you want your banner to look.
  7. Place a piece of string, ribbon or yarn near the top of the umbrella.
  8. Tape the string to the cupcake liner & hang.

Twine Covered Vases

Twine Covered Vases

Twine Covered Vases

These super cute vases cost me next to nothing. I used Starbucks Frappuccino bottles (these were a gift so they cost me nothing), hot glue that I have oodles, acorns for the fall ones & mini pine-cones for the winter ones (free :-D ) & twine that was left over from another project. We all have bottle and jars we can re-purpose so just find ones that you like the shape of.

What you will need:

  • Bottle or jar
  • Hot glue gun & glue
  • Twine
  • Embellishments

Instructions:

  1. Prepare bottle by cleaning & drying. There was a sticky residue left on mine from the label. I didn’t bother trying to remove it since it would be covered by the twine & could even help hold it in place.
  2. Put a small line of hot glue on the bottle (I started along the edge of the lip of the bottle) and lay the twine on the glue
  3. Keeping the twine taught wind it around the bottle putting a small line of glue every couple of rounds
  4. When you reach the bottom cut the twine and secure the end with hot glue.
  5. Yes, it really is that easy.

Embellish anyway you’d like. For my acorn vases I hot glued the acorns to a length of twine and then tied it around the vase. For the pine-cone vases I tied twine bows around the vases & hot glued the pine-cones to the bows.

I think these would look great as a centerpiece on a table (maybe even with some greenery of wintry stems) or you could even make them into place holders & add name tags to them.

Easy Frugal Christmas Wreath

Easy Frugal Christmas Wreath

Easy Frugal Christmas Wreath

I love Christmas wreaths & I love the use of deco mesh in them that is so popular right now. What I do not love is the price of pre made wreaths that are a minimum of $25.00 and go up to the too ridiculous to mention price. I didn’t want to do a 100% deco mesh wreath because of cost & I wasn’t going for the Candyland look. I made 4 of these for about $8.00 each. This project was fast & easy. I bought all my wreaths & a roll of deco mesh at Hobby Lobby for 50% off. The bows I bought at Big Lots. If you wanted to wait to make these after Christmas you could make them even cheaper with clearance prices!

What you will need:

  • Artificial greenery wreath
  • Roll of deco mesh (I used one full roll for my 4 wreaths)
  • Bow &/or other decorations
  • Scissors

Instructions:

  1. Prepare your wreath by removing any tags & fluffing out all the pieces
  2. Unroll a few feet of your deco mesh (do not cut it yet)
  3. Loosely fold the mesh in half and pinch the end together
  4. Place the end of the deco mesh into the wreath so the end is not showing
  5. Take a piece of greenery from each side of the deco mesh & twist the greenery around it just like a twist tie. (This secures the deco mesh without needing any other fasteners)
  6. Move down the wreath a few inches keeping the deco mesh loose and make a poof
  7. Put the mesh down into the wreath and secure it the same way
  8. Repeat all the way around then cut the deco mesh before securing the last section.
  9. Secure the last piece & be sure to tuck the end inside the wreath so it will not be seen.
  10. Attach your bow using the wire on the bow or looping a piece of greenery through the back.
  11. Hang wherever you like & enjoy! (I used large suction cups to hang mine on my windows. You could also use Command hooks.)

I love mine! They look so nice on all of my windows & I know they will last for years to come.

Frosty Tea Light Holders

Frosty Tea Light Holders

Create a wintry frosty setting yet warmed up considerably from the soft glow of flickering candlelight with these super easy and inexpensive frosty tea light holders. This is a great way to upcycle food jars that otherwise would go in the recycling bin.

The cost of this project is super cheap and you may already have all the materials on hand except the Epsom salts which can be found at just about any grocery, drug or national chain store.

Materials Needed:

  • Jars of any size(s) you wish. Cleaned & dried
  • Mod Podge (or white school glue mixed 1/2 and 1/2 with water)
  • Paint brush
  • Epsom salt
  • Ribbon, embroidery floss or any other pretty thing to tie around them
  • Shallow pan or box
  • Wax paper, foil or paper plate to sit you candle holder on to dry

Instructions:

  1. Pour a layer of Epsom salt into your pan or box.
  2. Coat your jars with Mod Podge using a paint brush.
  3. Sprinkle, roll or whatever method you like the Epsom salt onto the jar.
  4. Sit on wax paper to dry.
  5. After it’s completely dry tap the jar to remove excess salts & tie a pretty bow, drop in a tea light candle & enjoy!

Notes: I sprayed mine with with a clear gloss to make sure it was more icy looking but I don’t think it’s necessary. I think I want to see what it looks like with glitter too! These look great on my cake stand with some pine cones & ornaments.

Thumbprint Heart Christmas Ornaments

Thumbprint Heart Christmas Ornaments

Every year I make some kind of ornament for my family that involves my girls. This year I made thumb print heart ornaments. One side of the heart is my 3 years old thumb print & the other is my 15 month olds thumb print. This is a great way to preserve how little their precious fingers are and I hope they will treasure these homemade holiday ornaments when they are all grown up.

What you will need

  • Crayola air dry clay (I used white)
  • Rolling pin
  • Skewer or small straw
  • A cookie cutter, glass or other container with an opening the same size that you’d like your ornament to be. You can also cut it free hand with a knife.
  • Acrylic craft paint
  • Paint brush
  • Embroidery floss or similar to string the ornament
  • Thumbs  ;-)

Instructions

  1. Roll out your clay to about 1/4 inch thick
  2. Cut out shapes (I used a wet finger to smooth all the rough edges out but you don’t have to do this)
  3. Press thumb into the clay angled slightly then repeat angled the opposite way so that just the bottom of the thumb prints are touching forming a heart shape
  4. Use skewer or small straw to make a hole in the top
  5. Let dry completely (a couple days)
  6. Paint with desired colors, string & hang!

I also added my daughters names & the year to the back with a Sharpie marker. The hearts aren’t perfect but Grandma will sure think they are!