Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thrifty Christmas: Personalized Crayons, Gifts under $5

Ok, I must go off to work...and with that I have no internet access (bah hum bug!)...and won't return until my Thrifty Christmas daily postings will be on hold until then...I know, I know, I can pre-post and I have in the past, but this time I've been busy with some company, busy packing and well...just busy! BUT, before I go, I've been doing a little "blurfing" (blog surfing) and Lauren Meader came up with the CUTEST idea for personalizing crayons and a carrier (one of her timeless templates...the stocking below was using one of her timeless templates). So if you are looking for a cute idea for a child, but don't want to spend a lot of $$$$ check out her link here ( )
And hey, have a great Thanksgiving...I'm gonna be working, BUT I'll still have some turkey and all the fixings...yummmm!!!!!! and I'll be back on Monday...and for those that are wondering WHAT I'll be working on... we'll be at a horse show, the show starts on Friday, but we go a few days early to prep the horses and well, just move in...that's a production in and of itself!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thrifty Christmas; FREE Template Stocking Stuffer, Gift Wrap

Don't ya just love the word FREE? Me Too! Below I made this adorable stocking box with a free template from Paper Trey Ink found here ( )
This was truly an easy peasy project, took me under 15 minutes to make from start to finish. Laruen Meader did an excellent job designing this!

I decided to try unconventional Christmas colors and used some purple paper I've been saving for-evah! I also did another glittered snowflake, only in purple (of course). Wouldn't these look cute as party favors?


Here's a close up of my glittered snowflake.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thrifty Christmas: Gift Wrapping

Look what I did with the little snowman pin I made yesterday...I turned him into a package decoration! I cut my shapes out on my cricut (Joys of the Season snowflakes & George heart), inked the edges and glittered them up in various glitters (the chunky glitter is mica glitter I bought off of ebay last year for another project). I stamped a little tag (using my $1 Studio G stamps), and attached a button from my stash and some cheap offray ribbon. I think they turned out so pretty and primitive!
Recipe for above snowman package decoration:
  • Snowman pin made yesterday (see yesterday's post for directions)
  • Red Snowflake from Martha Stewart Punch
  • White Heart from Cricut using George cart
  • Sentiment: Studio G
  • Ink: Tim Holtz Vintage Photo
  • Glitter: Making Memories (fine) and Mica (source unknown)

Recipe for above Snowflake Decoration:

  • Snowflakes: Cut from Cricut, Joys of the Season Cart
  • Glitter: Brown Martha Stewart, White Mica Glitter
  • Button: From stash
  • Sentiment: Studio G
  • Ribbon: Offray

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thrifty Christmas; Gifts Under $5, Snowman Pin

This adorable little snowman pin was made using materials I already had on hand. So easy to make, so quick to do. These would be super simple to do in mass quantity! You could also change the snowman's personality with your ribbon scarf...and also to match the recipients personality!

Supplies Needed:
  • Sticky Pin Back
  • 2 White, 2 hole buttons in different sizes
  • 4 seed beeds or rhinestones (I used rhinestones for my example...what I had on hand)
  • Ribbon
  • All purpose Glue
  • Scissors
  • Toothpick
    Step One: Remove paper from sticky pin backing
Step Two: Apply buttons with the smaller button's holes going horizontally, and the large button's holes going vertically

Step Three: Squeeze glue onto a scrap piece of paper, and using your toothpick place a dab of glue over each button hole and place your rhinestones/seed beads.

Step Four: Fold your ribbon in half.
Step Five: Place ribbon behind pin back, around the neck area as shown above. Now pull the ends through the loop.
Step Six: Trim the end of the ribbon scarf with your scissors. Place a little glue on the side of the snowman body and glue the scarf ends down. Let dry!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thrifty Christmas Ideas Galore

Today I don't really have anything to show you, however I have found a really great idea site here
Have a look around, it's a pretty extensive site with lots and lots of great thrifty gift ideas!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Baby, it's COOOLD outside!

Brr...ok, no Thrifty Christmas tonight, I'm beat, I've spent an entire week out in 30ish degree weather (as the HIGH)...and I'm not used to it...well yet, at any rate...
And since it's cold, I'm not sleeping as well as I normally do...WHY? you ask...because I end up with ALL the hounds of H.E. Double Hockey Sticks on MY side of the bed...and why only MY side? K moves around too much for their liking, apparently I sleep like a rock...that is until I wake up without blanket or scrunched OR falling off the edge of the bed...ever see the Marmaduke cartoons? Now imagine 2 dogs doing that...sigh.... and it doesn't matter If I move to the sofa, they ALL move with me...I'm like the Pied Piper...only with dogs...and if they can't find a place next to me...well, on TOP of me is ok with them! LOL... I'm usually somewhere on the bottom of the dog pile...sigh.... at least I'm good for something... dog warmer wasn't exactly something I've put on my resume....LOL

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thrifty Christmas; Kids Crafts, Gifts Under $5, Paper Clip Bookmarks

Here's a SUPER QUICK craft that even the kids can do...paper clip book marks. Take a Jumbo Paper clip (found mine at Wal-Mart), and put a matching sticker on the front and back and tie off a little ribbon. So quick, so easy, so cute!
  • Jumbo Paperclips
  • Stickers: Flower by Martha Stewart, Heart by Miss Elizabeths
  • Ribbon: Various

A Big THANK YOU to Jennifer McGuire!

One of the blogs I frequent ( or see link to the right....) Jennifer McGuire, had a small contest of sorts and well, I won a little something...back in September... and that something just never showed I emailed her just to let her know the prize didn't make it. Not only did she profusely apologize, she sent not one, not two, but THREE stamp sets and a personal card. What a CLASS ACT! Not only do I admire her artistic ability, but her service as well, if you get a chance, go cruise around her blog, what an outstanding individual in a day where customer service barely exist's...she definately went way beyond anything I expected. Thank you again, Jennifer!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Thrifty Christmas; Gifts Under $5, The Birthday Book

Here's a simple, but thoughtful gift, the birthday book, it holds everyones birthdays in it...and the's only 3" X 3", so it fits perfectly in a purse!

I purchased inexpensive spiral bound albums (found at Wal-Mart last year) and using my scrap paper, I made several of these up! I used my word processing program to make the dates and lines for each page. These were super simple to make and well received!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Thrifty Christmas: Gifts Under $5, Birthday Calendar

Ok, Ok, I KNOW, calendar = boring....EXCEPT this calendar has all the birthdays ALREADY IN IT! This is my most requested gift in my family (and trust me on this one, I didn't do it ONE year and got my hind end chewed off...I ended up doing them ANYWAY!). So I purchase the $1 calendars, fill in the birthdays and put Mrs. Grossmans stickers to go with that month's theme (in this example April, Easter, so flowers, grass, bunnies, chicks and baskets) and a nice balloon or candle sticker on each date that has the birthday, along with the birthday recipients name. Now WHO wouldn't like a calendar already filled out for them at the beginning of the year?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Thrifty Christmas: Gifts Under $5, Take Out Menu Binder

Here's my "go to" gift usually reserved for bridal showers, but would make a GREAT gift for those that have everything! Also makes a great gift for single people or super busy families! This is my personal Take Out Menu Binder and it gets used more often than I care to admit, however it's soooo handy having all my take out menus in one place! No more searching here or there to find the restaurants phone # or trying to figure out if that was the place that made the 5 lbs. of cheese pizza! LOL. All I have to do is flip to the correct tab and look through the page protector the menu is easy! And easy and quick to make too!

Supplies Needed:
  • 1" Clear View 3 Ring Binder
  • 3 Hole Punch
  • Clear Page Protectors
  • Cardstock (12X12 and 8 1/2 X 11 Heavy cardstock)
  • Label Maker (or stamps)
  • Punch (for tabs)
  • Brads


  1. Start by measuring your front cover, this is going to be bigger than your standard 8 1/2 X 11 (they all vary slightly from manufacturer to manufacturer of your binder, so make sure you measure).
  2. Cut your cover (s) (remember to do something to the back also!) and decorate. In mine I used patterned paper, Mrs. Grossmans stickers, and my Cricut for the lettering.
  3. Now measure and cut your side strip. Slip it in the binder 1X to make sure it's the right size before decorating. Do NOT decorate this very lumpy, it's difficult at times to slide this one down because of the narrow opening! IF you have trouble sliding it in the narrow opening, use a thin ruler to help you.
  4. Now figure out your Tab labels for inside, I chose to go with; Pizza, American, Mexican and Chinese. 3-Hole punch 4 pieces of 8 1/2 X 11 cardstock (these are the dividers, so you want something sturdy!)
  5. Create your tabs and stagger them, make sure you again use heavy weight cardstock for the tabs as well as attach them with brads (I also ran my tabs through my xyron as well as attaching them with the brads), these will get a lot of use and you don't want them to fall apart on the recipient!
  6. Place in binder and put a few clear page protectors between each.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Thrifty Christmas: Nail Polish Carton, Gifts Under $5, Teen/Tween Gift

I saw this nail polish carton on Diane's Blog here

It's perfect for those mini-nail polish bottles that are perfect stocking stuffers and teen/tween type of gifts! (Also great for Secret Santa stuff too!). After a little tweeking from Diane's original tutorial (not all nail bottles are the same height and width) I came up with this:
Here's a quick version of the tutorial (please note these measurements may have to be tweeked to fit YOUR nail polish bottle!):
  • Cardstock measures 5 1/2" X 1 1/4"
  • Score at: 3/8", 3/4", 2 3/8" 3 1/8", 4 3/4", 5 1/8"
  • Fold
  • Put glue dot or pop dot on bottom of bottle, and place bottle in carton
  • Punch 2 small holes in the top of carton and thread ribbon through and tie off
  • Add decoration to front and/or back.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Thrifty Christmas, Gifts Under $5, Journal & Pen

DH's aunt unexpectedly gave me a little journal with a pen, just cuz (don't you love little gifts like that?)...and I just LOVED it, it was spiral bound and I could make up my lists and she tied the pen on with some pretty ribbon...I felt special just having it, I mean it IS nicer than having your grocery list on the back of an old envelope! So,while shopping around, I found some nice Christmasy journals in the Michaels $1 section, and I prettied them up with the ribbon I had on hand.

I put the journal and pen in a Perfect Fit Box (here's the tutorial in case you missed it )
I tied the box with some ribbon I had on hand and stuck a pretty pin in it, the idea and tutorial from Sharon Johnsons blog ( ) Made up a quick litte tag and ta da! My little gift is ready to go!


  • Paper: My Stash
  • Stamps: $1 Michaels Section
  • Ink: Studio G
  • Dies: Nestabilities
  • Other: Bead Findings
  • Ribbon: On Hand

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Thrifty Christmas: Free, yes FREE Nugget Wraps

Have you seen the adorable nugget boxes? These are a quick and easy gift for anyone on your list. Using Hersey's nuggets you can wrap them in patterened paper or stamp on computer address labels and wrap. Here's a link to free Christmas Nugget Wrappers (thanks to Jo-Anne J) just print and wrap! ( )
Note the picture above was taken directly from split coast stamps tutorial linked below.

Here's a tutorial on the nugget boxes ( )

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thrifty Christmas: Christmas Ornaments

I saw these on Amy Rysavy's blog ( ) and all I have to say is WOW! These are stunning! These beautiful ornaments started out as clear ornaments and she used a reinker and glitter, here's her tutorial on it
It looks super easy...maybe just a hint messy. Wouldn't these make a great gift for a new couple or someone that just graduated from college? I have a bunch of these clear glass ornaments (if I can find them, purchased AFTER Christmas in the clearance aisle). I also think these would look great on packages or wreaths or, well even your tree (go figure! LOL).
Be sure to also browse Amy's blog, she's got some wonderful ideas and is so uber talented, she inspires me so much!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy Birthday Kevin!

November is a busy month in our house, it goes anniversary, birthday, birthday, birthday, birthday and then Thanksgiving! LOL!

Anyway, today is Kevin's birthday and I just wanted to wish the most special person in my life to have a great day and a zillion more just like it! I love you, honey! We may not be wealthy, but we are rich in love (and dogs! wink!).

I got him something special for what I call our "merry birth-a-versary" (anniversary + birthday + Christmas)...and I'll reveal that when it finally get's here! Hopefully with a picture of him enjoying it!

Happy Birthday Kevin, I LOVE YOU!

Thrifty Christmas: Easy and Inexpensive Christmas Tags

A day late and a dollar short...well that seems to be my mantra! LOL... anyway, here are the tags I promised YESTERDAY!

The first is my VERY favorite! Address labels printed right off of the computer. For those that can't see what it says it says To: (fill in the blank) and Love: Kevin & Paula. I leave enough room to stamp if I want to match my gift wrap (this year I have snowflakes and snowmen...sooo cute). What I love about address labels is that they are:
  1. Thrifty (I purchased my addy labels at Dollar Tree and got 15 SHEETS! WOW!)
  2. They never come off the package, when I mail my packages I never have to worry about the tag coming off and the recipient wondering who the intended gift is for!
  3. Being pre-printed makes it super quick!

The second idea is to recycle those old Christmas cards! Here, I just punched a tag shape with my tag punch, but I've also done squares and circles! K has an aunt that cuts around the shapes with scissors, so cute and a nice way to recycle!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Thrift Christmas: Gift Ideas

I saw this post on 2 peas in a bucket and it's quite a lengthy post, but has some GREAT's the Link


Thrifty Christmas: Thrifty Gift Wrapping

You can spend big, big money on wrapping paper, ribbons and bows for Christmas, just take a stroll through Wal-Mart, Target or even Hallmark. So here are my "tips" for cinching up that wrapping paper black hole:
  • After the holidays, take advantage of the clearance wrapping paper and store until next year
  • Purchase a generic paper (like I've done here) that will work for any holiday, I generally find mine on clearance or the dollar stores.
  • If you like the regular Christmas paper, shop at the Dollar Stores and shop EARLY for the best selection.
Bows (to me) seem like a HUGE waste of money (not too mention get crushed and pop off!), so here's a few ideas to replace them:
  • Tulle (found on clearance or I've seen it at rolls at Dollar Tree), lend a certain elegance to a simple wrapped package (see pic above), I've never gone wrong with tulle and one spool goes VERY far!
  • Thread (yes, thread, see picture above) wound several times looks fabulous and is something I have every color of in my sewing cabinet. You can finish it with a simple bow, I finished it with one of my glittered snowflakes.
  • Jute, looks FABULOUS on mens packages, especially if you've wrapped them in "shipping" paper.
  • String (like kite string) also looks great
  • Fabric strips, torn, also looks great on shipping paper packages
  • Mini Candybars make great bows AND get eaten!
  • Ornaments (I personally love the snowflakes at the dollar store that come in packages of 10!)

Do you have any wrapping ideas? If so, I'd love to read about them, just leave a comment!

Tomorrow I'll discuss quick and easy (and thrifty!) package labels...

Happy Anniversary Baaaaby, Got You on my Miiiinnnnddddd....

Ok, so I've got a certain song on my mind...LOL...

This is an interruption of our regularly scheduled program by the "I Love You" Broadcast Institute, had this been a "real" interruption there would not be any more cards, gifts or boxes to see. Again, this is ONLY an interruption of our regularly scheduled program...

Today is our 5 year anniversary and I have to say "my how time flies!" Above is one of my very favorite pictures of us when we were first dating, it hangs on my refrigerator and brings a smile to my face everytime I see it! And for those of you not use to the "horse show" world, I'm tying his tie, right before he's going to show a horse. My MIL snapped this little moment of us...sometimes she just gets the "best" pictures! This one is definately treasured.

Sometimes I feel we've lived an entire lifetime in those 5 short years. We work together also and I feel that's brought us closer together. I wouldn't change a thing! Honey, I Love You and Happy Anniversary!

Ok, now back to our regularly scheduled program of paper crafty things! :)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Christmas has gone to the Birds!

I was soooo excited when I saw the sketch for this card...while I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do with it, and mulled it over for a time, I'm very pleased with how it turned out. I love Inkadinkdo's Winter Birds, they are really Christmasy! I also got to finally use one of my sequin snowflakes on something (I have a baggie of like hundreds of them...LOL). Not see extremely well seen in the photo, is the Ice Stickles I dotted the snowflakes them a touch of shimmer. Anyway, enjoy!

Paper: My stash (sorry can't be of more help there LOL)
Stamps: Inkadinkado Winter Birds, Studio G Sentiment
Ink: Marvy (red), Hero Arts White
Dies: Nestabilities Scallop Circle and Circle
Punch: McGill 3" Word Tags
Embossing: Cuttlebug Snowflakes
Other: Sequin Snowflake, Ice Stickles, Acrylic Rhinestone,

Thrifty Christmas Tutorial: Mini Pizza Box, Gift Under $5 Manicure Kit

I saw this adorable Pizza Box and just had to recreate it, here is the original link at Jen Del Muro's blog
I just put to visual, what she wrote down.

I also found a small manicure set and sample nail polishes at a drug store on sale this week, so that's what's going in my box, this would be a great gift for a teenage girl, or a woman that works in an office, or great for someone that travels quite a bit!

Here's the recipe for my Decorated Box:
  • Stamp: Snowman by Rachelle Anne Miller
  • Ink: Stampology Onyx
  • Cardstock: Lavendar from my stash
  • Ribbon: Organza
  • Punch: Marthat Stewart Snowflake
  • Other: CB Snowflake Embossing Folder, Colored Pencils, Nestabilities Circles, Prisma Glitter, Stickles

Now onto the actual Tutorial!

Supplies Needed:
  • Cardstock 6" X 11"
  • Cutter with Scoring Blade/Scor Pal or Bone Folder
  • Scissors
  • Double Stick Tape
  • Embellishments of your choosing
Step 1: Score the short sides of the cardstock 1"

Step 2: Score the long side of the cardstock at 1", 5", 6" and 10"

Step 3: With scissors, cut tabs where scores meet as seen below

Step 4: Flip cardstock over, and put double stick tape on tabs

Step 5: Fold up box, attaching the flaps to the inside of the box

Here's what your box should look like. Here's what the manicure kit and nail polish look like in the box...good fit!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Thrifty Christmas Tutorial: Glittered Snowflakes

I've had a few questions about where I "buy" my pretty snowflakes... I don't buy them (that would go against "thrifty"), I MAKE them, so here is what you need:
  • Paper
  • Snowflake Punch (Martha Stewart used here, but any will do)
  • Glue Pad (Martha Stewart used here, but any will do)
  • Glitter (Martha Stewart used here, but any will do) are ya catching a theme here? LOL
  • Bead Catcher (or a scrap piece of paper to catch the glitter)
  • Baby Wipes (or something to clean your fingers up, this can get a little messy)

First: Punch out your shape

Second: Add glue to your glue pad (if needed, I find my dries out after one session of use)

Tap your snowflake directly on the glue pad, coverage is what's important here... Don't worry if you get a little on the back...

Remove snowflake from glue pad, flip over so that the sticky side is up, place on your "glitter catcher" and sprinkle with glitter.
Wipe your gluey fingers off!

Shake your snowflake off of loose glitter and place somewhere to dry. After it's dried I use pop-dots to attach it to packages, tags and cards (or whatever else you can think of!)

This is a really inexpensive embellishment that looks very expensive (have you BEEN to Hallmark and see what they cost? Oy!) and very elegant.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Perfect Fit Box Tutorial

I've had lots of requests on "how I make my boxes". So I call these my "Perfect Fit" boxes because I make them so that the gift fits "perfectly". So, let's get "on with the show" shall we?

Supplies Needed:
  • Gift to be boxed
  • Scratch Paper and Pen (for writing your calculations down)
  • Cardstock (2 sheets 1 for bottom, 1 for top)
  • Ruler
  • Cutter
  • Score Blade (what I used)
  • Double Stick Tape
  • Scissors


Step 1: Measure your gift, you want Length, Width and Height. Write these down on your scratch paper.

  • Height: I usually add 1/2" to my original measurement, this gives a little room to add tissue or packing. So here it would be 1/2" + 1/2" = 1" for Height.

  • Length Measurement: is Length + Height + Height + 1/8" = Total Length to cut (my example would be 7 1/8" + 1" + 1" + 1/8" = 9 1/4")

  • Width Measurement: is Width + Height + Height + 1/8" = Total Length to cut (my example would be 5 1/2" + 1" + 1" + 1/8" = 7 5/8")

For BOX TOP I use the same measurements, only I add 1/8" to Width and Length.

  • Length: Length + Height + Height + 1/4" = Box Top
  • Width: Width + Height + Height + 1/4" = Box Top

Now that we have our measurements 9 1/4" and 7 5/8", I can cut out our box bottom.

Step 2: Score the Box

We're going to score the Height, for this example it's 1", I do this for all 4 sides of the cardstock.
Box Top, after you score, stamp or decorate now...
Step 3: Cut little slits where my score lines have met.

Step 4: Add double stick tape to the back of one of the tabs on each corner

Step 5: Fold Box Together

Step 6: Repeat for box top using box top measurements.

Here's our finished product, a PERFECT FIT!

I also have this tutorial as a .pdf file for printing (this means you'll need Adobe to read it). Here's the link:
Happy Box Making!