Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Frugal 101: Making Stuff

I am SO sorry I left you all hanging- I know you just can't rest until you see the rest of my Frugal 101 series (right??)  I tried.  I really did.  I had part two- all about making stuff, and fun and easy gifts.  I had at least 15 hyper-links embedded, to show you tutorials and examples.  I was starting to put in pictures.  Then...I don't know, exactly.  My font went to about 36 pica, the lines were double-spaced, and it wouldn't auto-save.  I shut down and hoped for the best...and the post is still there, and all the links and pictures are GONE.  Sigh.  *whine moan complain*

OK, that's out of my system!

Seriously, I think this is a HUGE part of living an abundant and frugal life.  I love giving gifts and making people happy, and feeling like I don't have enough to spare to give a nice gift makes me feel so wretched.  I think that's why I started making as many gifts as I could.  But, make no mistake: it takes time, so plan ahead!

Homemade goodies are great, because they're inexpensive, appreciated, and you can make MULTIPLE gifts at the same time (a huge boon in the holiday season.)  Make jam in the summer, and package in small containers for easy holiday gifts.  Cookies and candies can be fairly easy to whip up- I think my favorite holiday treat so far to pass out was these pretzel bites.  They're so tasty, and my 2-year-old was able to help.

Check out my sidebar for tutorials- crayon rolls, purses, small home items, etc.  

Another favorite gift of mine is jewelry- with a few skills (how to open and close jump rings, how to use crimp beads, how to...string beads on wire, string, or pins) you can make an astonishing number of things, for sometimes pennies on the dollar of what you'd pay at the store.  

Honestly, the hardest part of jewelry-making so far has been figuring out what materials to use, but you'll get the hang of it pretty quickly after using a few tutorials online and seeing how different pieces behave.

Embroidery is another easy, inexpensive skill to learn, that makes ordinary gifts "special."

What about you?  What do you make for your family or friends?  Do you think it saves you money?


Sam said...

Lovely pics! I used to make scarves for everyone, but I'm not sure anyone even wore theirs once, so I stopped. :) And I've mentioned that I often bring fudge or gingersnaps to holiday gatherings. :)

Casey said...

So true! I've challenged myself to make all of our gifts and so far I've been mostly able to stick to it. I love it because now I can give a gift to anyone I want without having to worry about our budget... I just have to get creative! A bonus is that I never have to worry about someone else giving the same gift as me. :)