Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Thrifty DIY Gifts

Hello Readers! I feel like my posts have become few and far between recently! I am so sorry for that, but my summer has been outrageously crazy. I just took about a 2 week trip up to Canada with stops in Lockport, Lancaster, and New Milford before making it home! I went up to Canada for the wedding of one of my best friends, Alyssa Magee Lowery & her fiance husband Joshua Lowrey! It was a beautiful wedding, and I was thrilled to be a part of it! Here is a preview of the beautiful couple! Many more pictures to come!

When I returned home we went into an immeadiate weekend celebration of my sister's birthday! She turned 24 today! Happy Birthday Gabrielle! This morning in honor of her birthday my mom, sister and I made mixed berry scones from scratch and played parcheesi!

Either way the point I am trying to make is... what do weddings, birthdays, and travel have in common?
That's right you guessed it... money. Spending money. I couldn't get around not spending the money on my gas and since I have been very low on cash lately I had to cut my funds where the gifts were concerned. I hope that like the quote says, "It's the thought that counts"; Alyssa, Josh and Gabby won't be offended by this post revealing how little I spent on their gifts since I did invest time, love and creativity into them instead!

So for all of you money strapped crafters out there I have three easily personalized and creative, but most importantly cheap gift tutorials!

Gift 1: Customized Mugs

Cost: $ 2.00 

Gift 2: Chalkboard Coasters

Cost: $ 10.00 

Gift 3: A Line a Day Calendar 

Cost: $ 5.00 

Gift 1: Customized Mugs 


2 mugs ($1 each at Dollar Tree)
Inspiration and Imagination


Draw a design on the mug using Sharpies. 
(I found that black works very well and colors show up lighter than normal)
Don't forget to think about doing both sides of the mug! 
Here I stole an idea from A Beautiful Mess for one side of the cup 
and did a super mushy love message on the other side. 

Idea: Write a cute phrase, names, or try an abstract drawing! 

Once you are happy with your design place on a baking sheet and in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes! 

Tip: Add a tag for the cup to explain care of mugs.

Important Note: 

Once you carefully remove the cups from the oven let them cool completely before washing or using! 

Gift 2: Chalkboard Coasters


4 tiles (.35 at Lowes) 
Chalkboard Spray Paint (about $7 at Ace Hardware) 
Felt Adhesive (about $2 at walmart) 
Chalk (.50)


Find a well ventilated area (i.e. outside) and lay out your four tiles. 

Spray a light but even coat of the chalkboard paint and allow time to dry. 
Do several layers until well coated. (I did 3) 

Next take your felt adhesive and cut the size backing you want. 
Apply to chalkboard tile. 

Tip: Watch the thickness of the felt backing you buy. Mine was thick so you can see the coasters are a little high off the table. 

Make sure you wait 24 hours before using any chalk, and when you do start by doing a light chalk coating on each tile first. 

Erase the chalk coating, write your message and wrap with a pack of chalk! 

When I gifted this I combined gifts 1 & 2 for a cute mug/coaster combo. 
Here's how I wrapped it up! 

Pictured above Left to Right: Her Mug, 4 coasters and a box of chalk, His mug & washing instructions

Gift 3: A Line a Day Calendar


379 large index cards (Dollar Tree 100 pack $1 each) 
Markers or Stamps
Basket, Carton or Container of some sort (Thrift Store $1) 
Pretty Paper for Dividers 


Take your index cards and start writing! Label the day on each card. You get to really design and personalize each thing. I did the first day of the month with the month and 01 and color code on it. The following days contained only the date in the coded color.

Tip: Try using stamps for a more uniform look or markers for a more handwritten feel

Next make your dividers. Take an index card and place it on the desired colorful paper. Make the divider slightly taller than the card so it will stick out of the stack! Make 12 dividers for each month... I decided to label the back of the dividers and leave the fronts plain! 

*Notice how the dividers are sticking out above the index cards and are all different patterns! 

Next make an explanation card to explain to your giftee to explain what they should do with this calendar. 

Lastly place all of the cards in the container of choice. I purchased a basket and tied it with a bow! 

Here is my sister's first entry into her Line a Day journal: 

Tip: Add little headings on important holidays like the person's birthday, anniversary, or other big holidays! 
Also don't be afraid to try different things. Here is the original project that inspired mine. It has some differences from mine and will give you another great example of creative ways to make this project! (click here) 

I hope you have enjoyed all these craft/ cheap gift ideas. Most don't take a very long amount of time and are nice gifts for a wide variety of people. Not to mention cool enough to make for yourself as a cheap treat! You better believe I am making a mug and calendar for me once I get a free minute :) Have a lovely day all. I look forward to posting again very soon! 

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