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Monday, 16 June 2014

12 NON DIY cost effective gifts for kids

NON DIY cost effective gifts

Lately I have been noticing a lot of people asking about cost effective gift ideas.  When they see me about to contribute a gift idea I am quickly told "I'm not the crafty type" and I am shut down.
Oh, but dear and gentle readers, I am so much more than just a "crafty type".  I am deeply, unwaveringly  cheap.  And there are many times my craft ideas are just not cutting it or I have over committed my time in a given week and I am in a position where I have to give UN- DIY, inexpensive gifts.
Yet I never want a gift to "look" inexpensive.
So here is a short list of a few inexpensive gifts I have given that are DIY free:

1. Beach ball (two in a package for $1.50 at the dollar store- 75c each), flip flops ($1) and beach towel ($5) =Beach themed gift for $6.75

2. Cowboy hat ($1), bandanna ($1), sheriffs badge ($2), clip on spurs ($2), length of rope for a lasso ($1) = Cowboy themed gift for $7

3. Magnifying glass ($1), tweezers ($1), small net or butterfly net ($1), clear glass containers (empty/clean baby food jar, jam jar or best is empty Ferraro Roche container) ($0) small pad of paper ($1) pencil (25c) and some free printable bug reference cards ($0) = Bug Discovery Gift for $4.25

4. Car/truck/construction themed book ($3-5 at our local book outlet), toy car or truck ($5 at Toys R Us) = Car themed gift starting at $8

5. Mixing bowl ($1), cupcake liners ($1), cookie cutters (69c each, x2 $1.38), whisk ($1), wooden spoon (33c) cake/cookie mix ($1), sprinkles ($1), ready to use icing ($1), cute timer ($1) = cooking themed gift for $8.71

6. Box of baking soda ($1), safety goggles ($1), spray bottle ($1) small container of vinegar ($1) craft sticks ($1), flash light ($1), food colouring ($1.50), balloons ($1), note pad ($1), pencil (25c), ruler ($1), free printable science experiment note cards ($0) = Science exploration gift for $10.75

7. Fort Kit = $8

8. Flower/garden themed story book ($3-5 from book outlet) and small potted plant ($3-5) = Flower themed gift from $6

9. Canvas ($1), paintbrushes ($1), paint pallet ($1), artist smock ($2), paints (small paint pot collection $2), sketchbook ($1), colouring pencils ($1)  = Artist kit for $9

10. Shoe box filled with ten Hot Wheels cars ($1 each) = Hot Wheels gift for $10

11. Puzzle ($7- $12) and Puzzle Saver ($1 from Dollar Tree) = Puzzle gift starting at $8

12. Childs gardening gloves ($2), three seed packets (3/$1), childs gardening tools ($3), terra cotta planter ($1.25) = gardening themed gift for $7.25

Hopefully you can find inspiration in the above list, or it helped to get your creative juices flowing.
With gifts like these you will be able to send your child to all the birthday parties they get invited to!

As a post script, I also wanted to give an awesome "shout out" to Rachel.
For Rachels ninth birthday she decided to have a cooking party. That Guy went to her house and, with her and her guests, prepared a birthday meal of hamburger sliders. In one step her birthday included food, entertainment and cake.   Rachel and her mom got creative with the guest favours and each girl took home a cooking apron they had decorated themselves.  It was a fun filled day with a bit of creative (and cost effective) flair.
One happy nine year old with a
pretty awesome apron!

Friday, 13 June 2014

Last minute Fathers Day gift from child

Good morning, Gentle Readers.  Guess what day Sunday is? Yup, Fathers Day!! Came as a pretty big shock to me too yesterday.  So I needed a quick, easy, and of course frugal craft gift for my daycare kids to make for the father figures in their lives.

When I was in dollar tree and saw a package of three white handkerchiefs for $1.25 the proverbial light bulb went on in my head.   I knew I had Crayola fabric markers at home.  This craft would be easy peasy lemon squeezy and totally adorable.

Out came the fabric markers and the handkerchiefs and I let their little imaginations run wild.
My sweet Audrey

For the children too young to wield a marker, I traced their hands for them onto the fabric.

After each one was completed I had to iron the reverse side for four minutes to heat set the ink.
Four minutes each adds up to a long time.
Ironing turned out to be my nap time activity.

Look how adorably and perfectly unique they are!

And all for 42 cents each.  That's a bargain even to me. ;)

Monday, 9 June 2014

DIY birthday gift for girl

We had a birthday party to attend this past weekend for a pretty special four year old.  I was trying to think of what I could make her when Walter piped up that he wanted to make her something.  More specifically, he wanted to sew her something.
Well how can you say no to that, gentle readers?  You can't! Since Walter has become quite good at sewing pillowcases we thought that would make a nice gift. We rummaged through my fabric stash and found all the fabrics we would be needing which made this a $0 gift for us.  If you had to buy the fabric from the fabric store for this project you would be looking at a cost of $6-$10.

We used the pillowcase sewing method referenced in this blog post. I did add a quick "MEOW" applique    to the trim piece, the same way I appliqued in this blog post.

I also thought it would be cute if I made the birthday girl a sleep mask to go with her pillowcase. Obviously, as suggested above with the "MEOW" applique, I made the mask to look like a cat.  It was pretty darn cute and got quite the response when the gift was opened at the party.

Here is how I made a cat sleep mask:

  First I drew the basic shape of a sleep mask and also cat ears on a piece of paper

Sleep mask pattern
I cut four pieces of grey fleece for the ears
Grey fleece ears to be

Cutting the same ear pattern a bit smaller I made pink triangles for the inside of the ears and pinned them onto two of the four grey fleece triangles. Then with a quick zig zag stitch I attached them.
Soon-to-be cat ears
Next, with right sides together (pink sides in) pin and stitch your ear fronts to the ear backs.  Keep the seam allowance as narrow as you're able. Then turn right side out.
Cat ears
Next, I took an elastic and cut it to 13 1/2 inches. Okay, it wasn't really just elastic I had laying around.  I used a headband I had bought for my daughter and never used.  You can buy inexpensive elastic headbands from the dollar store if you don't have one on hand.
elastic for around the birthday girls head
I layered my grey fleece with a piece of felt and some satin on the bottom so it would feel smooth and wonderful against her face
Three layers in the sleep mask: fleece, felt and satin
Using my paper pattern I cut through all three layers of fabric.  Remember, satin frays quickly so you might want to heat seal the cut edges with a lit match before you continue on.  
I also took a tiny scrap of the pink fabric used for the ears and made a tiny nose.  I sewed that onto only the fleece layer.
Eye mask with nose
I pinned the ears between the layers along with the elastic then gave it a quick top stitch.
Looking pretty cat- ish

Using some black fabric paint I added whiskers and eyelashes.  
I think it's precious!

And here is the finished set together, a cumulative effort between Walter and I.