Looking for last-minute Halloween costume ideas? Here are 5 inexpensive DIY Halloween costumes you can shop your closet for – no sewing or glue guns required! Or, follow the links to shop these looks for yourself!
Every year I try my best to create an inexpensive capsule wardrobe for back to school on a budget – which for me is $150 or less. I’m sharing what I’ve pulled together for my big boy this year in the hopes that it will inspire you to shop some stylish looks for your little big(ish) guy, for less.
Ever since I’d planned my first born daughter’s nursery 7 years ago, I had a vision for adding vintage Barbie prints to the room that they could grow with.
My inspiration came from places like Posh Tots, Rosenberry Rooms, and other upscale design stores who were selling the framed prints for upwards of $135 each.
Fast-forward to this year. In the process of moving I realized we had four matted square frames that we’d never used! I think it was one of those things that I thought my husband had returned, and he thought I’d returned. Regardless, it was a sweet score that inspired me to revive this decor idea as we began decorating the kids’ new rooms. This time, I found a way to create this art on the cheap. I scoured Amazon for used vintage print Barbie calendars, and found that there are usually at least two 12×12 calendars available for a reasonable price. I believe I bought mine for around $10.
I spray painted my black frames with Rust-Oleum Metallic spray paint I had on hand (love this stuff), inserted my favorite prints, and voila! Vintage Barbie art for less than $15.
I love the look of three frames above the crib, but I’m debating adding the fourth and making it a square formation when Belle moves to a big girl bed. What do you think?
As for the rest of the room…
It’s needs some love. I have big plans, but I’m taking my time.
I recently tried to convince my husband to paint an entire wall of our dining area with black chalkboard paint. He didn’t quite have the same vision I had, so he asked me to hang a chalkboard until we could come to an agreement.
I agreed. After all, I’ve had a giant frame in storage that’s been waiting to be used for years. I bought it at a garage sale for around $10 which was a steal…but how do you fill such a large frame without spending a fortune? The chalkboard was the perfect solution.
If I hadn’t already had the frame, what I really would have wanted is a rustic wood frame. However, since this was likely temporary, I wanted to make this as easy and inexpensive as possible.
The problem: the frame was gold. Really gold. I debated on what to paint it. Silver? Weathered white? Blue? I haven’t committed to a color scheme in our new home yet, so I went with a safe, muted silver. I spray painted it with Krylon Brushed Metallic paint. I had planned to rub wax or wood stain to bring out the details, but I didn’t love that effect on the test areas so I just left it silver for now.
For the actual chalkboard, we bought a piece of thin plywood and I sanded it with a hand sander until it was really smooth. After cleaning it with a lint-free cloth, I painted four thin coats of Rust-Oleum Chalk Paint in black, using a foam roller. I sanded lightly between layers when necessary and removed all the dust with a lint-free cloth. When the paint was completely dry, I rubbed entire board with a large piece of sidewalk chalk to cure it, and then rubbed it with a lint-free cloth to erase it.
You can wipe it clean with a damp cloth for a clean crisp look, or with a dry cloth, which I prefer, for a true, messy chalkboard look.
So far, our family loves this addition to our home. We post fun quotes and verses, and the children love to use it for creating their own art, as well.
In addition to being shared on the fabulous blogs to the right, this post was also shared on Stone Gable Blog.
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Engineer prints are a great way to design a boy bedroom, bringing custom touches through large photo prints on a budget.
I’m very slowly beginning the process of decorating our new home, and focusing on the areas where inspiration strikes me the most. Dub’s room is the one I have the most concrete vision for, and I knew exactly where I wanted to start when I saw this idea for engineer prints for a boy’s room.
I immediately set out taking images of the things most important to Dub. He loved being able to be a part of it in this way.
He loves Legos, video games, and the Wilson brand holds special inside meaning for us
I was able to order the engineering prints online by sending the images to the FedEx Kinkos copy store.
What could be better than a tutu birthday party for your little ballerina’s two year-old birthday?
For baby ‘Belle’s party, I wanted to do something that conveyed her love of dancing and tutus and looked special, but that was simple and inexpensive to put together.
First, for my $3 backdrop, I took 3 white plastic tablecloths from the dollar store for my backdrop. I simple folded them in half length wise, then began rolling them up toward the fold. Once the cloth was rolled approximately 10″ from the fold, I began cutting the rolled tablecloth in strips approximately 3″ apart. Easy!
I finished it off with the vintage bunting we re-use for the girls’ parties each year. I love how this small investment adds something special to every party we have for them.
Next, I layered the table with two tablecloths, sandwiched with some tulle. I had planned to make this an inexpensive “tutu tablecloth” but it didn’t quite turn out that way! No problem though – I still love the effect of the pink tulle as the focal point of the table. To finish it off, I placed the tablecloth over the top and bustled it at the center to better highlight the tulle.
Finally, I placed a trifle bowl upside down and I placed her own baby tutu around the bowl. Then, I just placed the cake on top.
So, I was a little disappointed in the finished result from my local Target bakery.However, I really can’t complain for such an inexpensive cake…and really it looks so cute when it’s all propped out with this gold “2” candle and bunting.
We served ballerina punch, pink Jelly Bellys and dipped marshmallows for a birthday-worthy sugar buzz.
I hope you like ‘Belle’s tutu party fit for a two year-old ballerina. Thanks for stopping by!
This year, Dub wanted his party to be all about Minecraft. I didn’t want our home to look like it threw up Minecraft-licensed decor, so I went with something that we all could get excited about. We weren’t having a big celebration at home either, so I wanted to keep this simple and fairly inexpensive.
First: the centerpiece du jour: his Minecraft cake. Kind of a boring concept, but this is a representation of THE pixelated cake featured on the video game. I was more than happy to outsource this portion of the party and Dub was in love with how it turned out. It was exactly what he wanted!
Next, I created the theme using a brown dollar store tablecloth and some tissue paper “grass.” Super inexpensive for one package to cover this table, and the kids were fascinated by this!
I created a simple and inexpensive tissue paper bunting that added some visual interest in the party theme color (tutorial here).
Finally, I like to decorate with party favors, because it’s the decoration that cleans itself up as the guests leave.
I bought some green lunch bag sized paper bags and cut felt into the shape of a Creeper face. Really, this would have been so much easier with black construction paper and my Silhouette SD, but black felt was what I had on hand so that’s what I used.
I absolutely love the look of these tinsel tassel banners for party decor. Even better? They’re super easy and inexpensive to make.
Dub really wanted a Minecraft-themed birthday party, but I didn’t want a licensed decor explosion, so I began thinking of ways to decorate with color. With lots of Pinterest inspiration, I decided I wanted to give this a try. However, I was surprised to find there aren’t a lot of tutorials out there so I am sharing a quick and dirty tutorial of my own.
I set to work on this particular banner with four colors of tissue paper, green, lime green, chevron and silver metallic (I linked to some examples because I initially had a hard time finding these).
1) First, I took a stack of 8 sheets of tissue in each color and cut them the short length of the pre-cut sheets (approximately 20″) and cut them about 8″ wide.
2) I then folded the stack of sheets in half and began cutting them in 1/4″ strips, stopping about 1″ from the fold. I used a rotary cutter and mat to make quick and more precise work of this, but regular scissors will do.
3) I then unfolded the papers and, taking 2 sheets at a time, began rolling them tightly at the center. Once each set of 2 was rolled at the center I began gently twisting the rolled portion. Once it was lightly twisted I folded it in half and began twisting the rolled portions together. When you’re done it will look something like this. Perfectly imperfect.
4) Thread the tassels through a string or ribbon. I made a single simple knot at each tassel to keep them in place.
All in all, this was a pretty quick and easy project that took me maybe 20 minutes total to complete. I also love that if you source your papers from the dollar store, you could complete three of these banners for just $4! (meaning, each banner is just over $1, with plenty of paper to spare for favors or gifts). I have a feeling various themed tinsel banners will be showing up at more parties around here!
Dub’s party is not for a few more weeks, so I’m letting it hang on our mantle for St. Patrick’s Day. How’s that for multi-purpose party decor?
Find my other Minecraft Birthday Party posts here:
Dress up a common paper lunch bag to be something extra special! EClaire needed to take favor bags to school for her half birthday (summer birthday problems!). I had a few awkwardly shaped items so I needed a decent-sized bag, but I didn’t want to spend much.
As usual, I headed to the Dollar Tree fro some paper lunch bags and doilies. Then, I secured them with these tiny craft clothespins that you can get at Hobby Lobby or here on Amazon. I love how these turned out, and you can make 40 for just $6. Next time, I love the idea of trying these for birthday party favors with colorful doilies and clothespins.
These would be great for Valentines, Birthday parties or even for quick and easy gift wrap for small gifts.
Remember the Princess Candy Necklace favors i made for my daughter’s birthday? Well, I’m all about upcycling my work, so I made a few modifications so we can use them for EClaire’s classroom Valentines. The party favors have been such a hit among all my readers, so I’ve decided to offer these up as a free Candy Necklace Valentine printable, as well.
Just print these out, two-sided, on some card stock, cut a slit on either side of the card and finish with a candy bracelet!
We recently made the decision to sell our “starter” home and build a new home that better accommodates our growing family. We bought this home just months before our wedding, had three babies here and many, many precious memories as a family. We’re ready for the next chapter, but this sentimental mom is feeling a bit emotional about it, as well.
The moment we signed the papers to build our new home I was immediately motivated to take on a project I’ve been meaning to for a long time – make a family growth chart that we can take with us – wherever we go. Our former growth chart was done the old fashioned way – with pencil on the wall of our kitchen (that I still can’t bring myself to paint over even since I’ve made this beautiful new chart).
I’d once tried my hand at an embroidered chart that was supposed to be cute and charming, but didn’t end up looking quite as polished as my inspiration. I also found that I was too lazy to embroider once a year. My laziness factor is high.
So I moved on to those cute reclaimed signs I’ve seen all over Pinterest.
I started with a 3/4″x7″x8′ piece of cedar lumber that I purchased at Home Depot for less than $9. First, I enlisted Dub to weather it for me. I gave him chains and a hammer and let him have at it. I stained it with leftover stain that I used on our stairs for our garage makeover.
From there, I had to get measuring – my least favorite part. Our family is really tall, so I cut my board to 6′ tall and painted 1′ white stripes using leftover paint from the garage makeover. These are some terrible progress photos, but you get the idea.
I actually liked the way this looked when I was done, but I went ahead and sanded it to give it a more distressed look.
Then, I used my silhouette to create the measurement marks. I barely use my Silhouette but I used it for this, figuring it would make the measuring much easier for me. I measured it on the computer, cut it out on the Silhouette and then used transfer paper to stick it right on the board without having to re-measure.
I’m super happy with the way that it turned out! I can’t wait to hang this measurement chart in our new home next year. I can see keeping this chart in our home forever, and measuring little grandbabies someday.
Postscript: after completing my chart, I stumbled upon this cute version by Handmade Charlotte
If I had to do it over again, I think her way of painting the numbers would be a lot cheaper and easier. However, I’d still want to make the measurement marks so that I could tell visually exactly how tall the kids are. Everytime they get measured they want to know EXACTLY how many feet, inches and centimeters tall they are. Because that matters to 4 and 6 year olds.
What do you think? Do you have a family growth chart in your home?
For Eve’s Princess Birthday Party, I was going for a generic princess feel rather than a Disney princess kind of feel. As part of that, I wanted to create some custom party favors. I didn’t really find anything out there I loved for purchase, so I went about creating my own.
You already saw the Candy Button Crown favors I made for the party. Today, I’m sharing the hit of the party – Candy Necklace Cards. I’d seen a super cute concept online, but nothing princess themed. So, I went about creating these myself in PhotoShop, using hair and dress colors that somewhat inspired by Disney princesses, but with look that still felt sweet and unbranded.
This summer is the first summer I’ll be at home most days with the kids since I started my freelance adventure last fall. My 6 and 4 year old are bright, exuberant kids and I knew I’d have to add structure their days if I wanted any sanity. However, with my freelance work I don’t have the ability to be there every moment to guide their day (and who would want to?). It’s also great for fostering their independence as well.
I went to work trying to find chore charts, but none of them were quite right. My 4 year old can’t read the text chore charts, and many of the picture charts were geared toward very little children, or had unattractive graphics.
After doing some research I landed on four requirements:
I wanted a photo chart that my four year old could understand and interact with on her own;
I didn’t want to spend much money;
I wanted the flexibility to change their days up, but I also didn’t want to have to print a new one each week; and
I needed something I could mount to the fridge somehow – I didn’t want a chart that required wall space.
I landed on the concept of a magnetic chart with two categories: “Doing” and “Done.” I saw a few examples that I liked and got to work emulating those based on my needs. However, I needed clip art. It was SO hard to find cute clip art that would work for this! That’s when I stumbled upon Audrey Schilaty‘s blog. She had the exact chart I wanted – for free! Really, it’s the nicest free resource I’ve found. She offers both personal care and chore images, and I used a small combination of both (sad but true: I forget to have my children brush their teeth all to often).
I made it my own with a few modifications:
I drafted my own simple “Doing” and “Done” text document and used just the images I needed from her selection, so it would all print on one page, saving me money.
I printed it on a glossy sheet of photo paper that I had on hand, and then just placed it on an 8.5×11 sheet of adhesive magnet. You can buy packages of adhesive magnet sheets at office supply stores, but I found the most inexpensive option for heavy sheets – I got mine for just $3.59. I cut the small pieces to size, added them to the fridge, and voila – a clean, easy and inexpensive chart.
The kids woke up the first day and had moved two magnets over before I had a chance to remind them about it! So far, it’s been a great success.
I encourage everyone to check out Audrey’s great blog. And, if you’d like a copy of the 1-page version of the printable I used to create my chart using her images, just click the image below!
There you have it – a chore chart for just $3.59. What are your tips for keeping the kids structured in the summer? Let me know in the comments below.
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Last weekend I had the DIY bug – I was really in the mood for a project but didn’t want to spend a lot of money. We’re planning to sell our home within the year and don’t want to invest much more into this house. We landed on a garage to mudroom transformation.