Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Anyone Interested in Guest Posting on Full of Great Ideas during the $0 Budget Month?

As January 1st and our $0 Budget month is rapidly approaching, I thought I would put out an offer to all my fellow bloggers out there. Are any of you interested in doing a guest post on Full of Great Ideas during January’s $0 Budget/Spend Free month?  

I really want to make January full of as many fantastic $0 projects, tips & tricks and saving techniques as possible and since you all have amazing ideas, I thought this would be a fantastic way of sharing older posts you have done.

What do you think? Would you like the chance to guest blog at Full of Great Ideas?

If you’d like to guest blog at Full of Great Ideas during the $0 Budget Month, here are a few ideas as to the posts I am looking for:
·         The project must have been done with materials you already had at home. So $0 budget.
·         If you have a way of doing something that is far cheaper than the traditional method, please share!
·         If you have found a way to save money, time, etc. that you think others could benefit from, we would love to hear about it. This could include recipes, household activities, etc.
·         Anything else you think will fit into the $0 Budget Month challenge, please include it.

 So if you are interested, here is what you need to do:
·         Create a post that introduces yourself and then shows off no more than 3 projects, tips, crafts, saving tricks, etc. that you have previously blogged about. I recommend only include one or two pictures per project.
·         If you have enough projects that you can do 2 guest posts, please send them in different emails. I cannot guarantee both will be posted, I don’t know what demand I will have J
·         The layout of the post could be: your blog header or a photo of you, a short introduction on yourself and your blog and then your three projects. Please include links directly to the projects.
·         Please don’t make this a tutorial, I want you to introduce yourself and encourage people to come to your blog for your full tutorial or instructions.
·         Email me the blog post code to fullofgreatideas(at)gmail.com. It is really easy to pull your ‘code’ for a blog post. On Blogspot and Wordpress, there is a little tab on the upper right hand corner of the box where you type out your post called ‘HTML’. This is where you find your code. Once you have completed your blog entry, save it and then click that tab. Copy every last letter or symbol in that box, paste it into the body of an email and send it to me. 

As I receive your code, I’ll schedule a day for you in January and let you know when you will be featured. I would greatly appreciate if you could post on your blog that day letting your readers know you are guest blogging at Full of Great Ideas during our $0 Budget Month.

Let’s help everyone save some money after Christmas!

If you have any questions, please feel free to send me a note and I will try to help.

Stephanie at Full of Great Ideas

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Monogrammed Ornament using Nail Polish

I came up with this Monogrammed Ornament idea by trying to post crafts that did not require a Silhouette or Cricut (as promised). This is a glass ornament was really simple and is nice on the tree.

Materials:
Glass ball ornament
Monogram Stickers (I got mine at the Dollar Store)
Nail polish

Method:
I have this really horrible red glitter nail polish. The color is nice as it is a deep red but the glitter gets everywhere! When you try to remove it from your nails, you are litterally left with glitter all over your hands, counter...horrible stuff. And being the pack rat I am, I never threw it out. I guess I knew it would come in handy.

I cut the monogram initial sticker out of the sticker book.
 Using the outer part of the letter as the template, I stuck it carefully to the ornament.
 I used a small section of a toilet paper roll to keep the ball from rolling around on the table. This is an important step..otherwise you might end up with nail polish on your surface.
Paint the area you want colored with a good amount of nail polish. I didn't know if 2 coats would work, so I did one thick coat of red nail polish.
 Once done, let it dry. This is the step I failed to do. I quickly removed the sticker and didn't end up with really clean lines. Be patient and wait until it dries completely. It will take a little longer because the nail polish is thick.
 Once dry, hang it on the tree. The lights actually shine through my nail polish and look amazing.
Sorry I couldn't get a great photo of it. But I think you get the idea.

I had all the materials on hand so it cost me nothing! There are so many possibilities you could do with this.

Merry Christmas everyone.
Stephanie

Snowman Ornament

This is not an original idea from Full of Great Ideas but I thought it was so cute that I would share it with all of you looking for some Christmas ideas.

I Pinned this snowman ornament what seems like ages ago and completely forgot about it until this week. Do you also have this problem with Pinterest? You pin hundreds of things, but never actually make any of them or you simply forget what you have in your folders. After finding this cutie again, I have started to go through my pinned folders to see what I want to make.  Well this snowman originated here on the Craft Elf site.

I did this with my kids, so it is a child friendly craft.

Materials:
  • Glass ornament
  • Artificial snow
  • Black and orange fabric puff paint
  • Funnel

Method:
Remove the hanger from your glass ornament. Please be careful if doing this with kids, some of the edges on the mouth of the ornament can be pretty sharp. I don't want any little fingers cut :)
Using the funnel, pour the artificial snow into the ornament until it is completely full. The artificial snow is really messy and get everywhere so do this slowly and not around a candle :)
Put the top back onto the glass ornament and paint black dots for the eyes and mouth.
I love the puff fabric paint because it is glossy and give dimension to the face.
Add an orange nose (my orange was a little lighter than I would have liked, but it gloss in the dark and that is what the kids wanted). Start with the fattest part of the nose and work towards the tip. This makes the best shape I find.
If your kids make the ornament, you can put the date on the back with paint.

Let it dry completely and hang it on the tree.
The craft took maybe 5 minutes and cost me nothing, since I had everything on hand. Isn't he cute?!

Merry Christmas everyone!
Stephanie

Thursday, December 8, 2011

My 1 Month, $0 Budget challenge (V2.0) starting January 2012 - Want to do it with me?

As you know, last March my husband and I made a decision to not spend any money on non-essential items. As I said then, March became our 'spend free' month....a moneyatorium month...a spending moratorium month. We didn't allow ourselves or our kids to spend money on anything other than what was absolutely necessary.  We could buy fresh produce and other essential food items but could not buy any meat or frozen veggies until all we had in the freezer was used up. We weren't/aren't having financial troubles; we were just shocked at how much we spend! We took a serious look at our spending habits and realized we needed to step back and re-evaluate what we needed to spend money on. See the full post here.
March's spend free month produced amazing results for us as home owners and parents. I spent days purging everything from my linen closet and kids clothes to crafting materials that I knew I would never use. We spend weekends as a family playing games and not rushing around a store. We gave more to charity in that month than we did in the entire year and we felt amazing for it.

Well, as this Christmas season is rapidly approaching and our credit card bill is even more rapidly growing, I feel I need to do this spend free month again. I thought January would be a good month because by the time our credit card bills arrive mid month, I will already by well into the month and I will be saving money. I won't feel quite as bad when I open those envelopes.

After receiving a very nice note from Mother Hen Strikes Again (who is also doing this in January), I thought this might be something we could all do together. Who doesn't love the support of thousands of strangers to get through a month of not spending?
What I am proposing is a month long challenge where we all vow to not spend money on non-essential items. No crafting supplies, no home decor, no clothes...nothing you cannot literally live without. If you are interested, I would host a party once a week and we can share with each other what we made, accomplished or any other thing we feel the others would benefit from. What do you think? Is anyone out there interested in participating in this? Please leave a comment a tell me what you think.

Now, do we all go out and stock up on crafting items (like hot glue sticks, modpodge, etc.) in the month of December in order to have enough for your spend free month...no. That really defeats the purpose of the spend free month. However, if you do, we will not judge. We are trying to support each other and help everyone out with saving a few dollars after Christmas.

I am sure many of you are just like me and have stashes of stuff all over your house. I think my first post will be photographs all my crafting materials to share with you how much crap stuff I have hoarded.Here are some photos from last year. I can guarantee this years will not be any better.
 I don't need ANY wood!
Fabric? I have three huge tubs of it..just in case I ever want to sew something.
 Spray paint anyone??? The worse part is, they are three deep!
Let me know what you think and if you have any suggestions. I would love to hear your feedback and whether or not you would like to participate.

I hope some of you out there will participate and we can motivate each other!

Have a great Thursday everyone and I will have some cute ornament posts tomorrow.
Stephanie at Full of Great Ideas

Monday, November 28, 2011

Lucky Bamboo Gift

My husband and I have always loved to look and symbolism of bamboo. When we were visiting Korea years ago when our daughter was young, these plants amazed me with their beauty while growing around some of the most breathtaking temples. Every time I see these plants, I am reminded of one of the best vacations I have had.
When my brother and sister-in-law got married they used these as centerpieces on their tables and I was instantly in love with homemade bamboo arrangements.  Arranging bamboo this way makes simple, inexpensive and versatile gifts. I have given these to family members, friends, neighbors and co-workers for Christmas, birthdays and any other occasion.
Bamboo is believed to provide fantastic Feng Shui to a home, if used in the right combination.
According to About.com the number of bamboo shoots represents different things:
  • "Two stalks represent love.
  • Three stalks represent Fu (happiness), Lu (wealth), and Soh (long life).
  • Five stalks represent the areas of life that represent wealth (e.g., spiritual, mental, emotional, physical, and intuitive).
  • Six stalks represent good luck and wealth.
  • Seven stalks represent good health.
  • Eight stalks represent growth.
  • Nine stalks represent great luck.
  • Ten stalks represent perfection.
  • Twenty-one stalks represent a powerful blessing.
Important: you'll never find a traditional lucky bamboo arrangement with four stalks. In Chinese, the word for four is close to the word for death, so a gift of four bamboo stalks would be considered very rude, as if you had wished death on the recipient!"
Using the glass vase I etched here, three bamboo shoots and some decorative rocks, I created the bamboo arrangement. These bamboo gifts provides great height to a table without the bulk of most plants.
When I purchase bamboo, I like to make sure it has a nice green color to it, large roots and two stocks of leaved coming from the top. If you are ambitious, the second leaf stocks can be broken off and put in water to start another bamboo shoot.
 Carefully place a few inches of clean rocks on the bottom of the vase.
 Arrange the bamboo so the shoots are tight together and tops fit together well.
Gently place the roots on the rocks and carefully place rocks over the roots. I was not able to get my hand into the vase so I recruited my son and his small hands to help.
 Place another few inches of rocks over the bamboo roots until the shoots are stable.
Fill the vase with water to cover the rocks. I change the water on these arrangements every few weeks so the rocks don't get yucky.
For extra luck (and stability), tie a red ribbon around the three bamboo shoots. I wish I had a thicker red ribbon, but I don't have it on hand so you will have to see it with the thin Dollar store ribbon.

I purchase all the materials for this gift idea at Ikea for approximately $14 in total. $6 for the vase (you can find some cheaper), $6 for bamboo ($2 each) and $2 for the rocks.

The best part of this is you can keep the bamboo in the little holders it comes in for quit a while and assemble the vase at the last minute before you give the gift.

How is everyone's Christmas shopping coming? I am working through my list pretty quickly.

Have a great week,
Stephanie

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Glass Wedding Invitation Christmas Ornament

As you know from my wedding date art post, my brother got married this summer so I was hoping to create him a First Christmas ornament. After searching through Esty for some ideas (it is inspiration for me just like Pinterest is), I found these cute wedding invitation ornaments.  Adorable but the price tag was too steep for me. $20 each... Seriously!?! I know the saying goes "time is worth money" but as a crafter, saving money is worth more to me than time. Do you agree? 

I knew if it was on Etsy, someone created it elsewhere...so I searched and I think I found the original blogger who posted it. I might be wrong and please correct me if I am but Christy at ...from glitter to gumdrops posted this idea months ago...so I will give her credit for launching it into the Blogging world. Great idea Christy!

As you know, if I post an idea I always do it for a more reasonable price than the original item. This craft is by far more reasonable to make. I bought the glass ornament from Michaels for 6 balls for $4, I had the ribbon and glitter balls on hand. So for under $0.70, I have a great Christmas gift for my brother's first Christmas with his new wife.
It is rather funny that it is being sold on Etsy because this is the easiest ornaments I have ever made! If you have a pair of scissors, you too can make it. Plus, you can make it for so many people. Think about the possibilities, it can be done with a wedding invitation or any other announcement (i.e. birth, retirement).
I started with my brother's wedding invitation. With my rotary cutter, I cut the invitation into almost equal sized pieces. I tried my best to break the words up nicely.

I cut out the beautiful logo they designed for themselves and was stamped on the bottom of their invitation.
I slightly curled the names, date and logo and slipped them into the ornament. I made sure these were tight to the glass in all the same direction. I wanted them to lay against the front of the glass so that you could clearly see the information.
Following Christy's directions, I curled all the other strips of paper and carefully put them into the ornament. Word of caution, my glass ornament had a really sharp edge. So every time I was absent minded and stuck my finger into the top, I got a nice slice. So use something else to push the paper in.

I wanted to add a little color and make them a bit more Christmas, so I added some silver and red glitter balls I had on hand from the Dollar store. If you don't have these, you could always add a bit of glitter into the ball.

I tied some shiny red chord around the neck of the ornament and used the same to hang it on the tree.  It is much prettier in person with the Christmas lights behind it.

Easy as 1, 2, 3. The entire project took me under 5 minutes and cost under $1.00.

I am now going to go dig through all the stuff I have hoarded have in storage and see if I can find my wedding invitations and do the same for me and any other person I can.

I have yet to decide but I might etch 2011 on the back of the ornament. I will see how ambitious I am closer to Christmas.

Do you see the possibilities with this project like I do?
Enjoy,
Stephanie

Side note: I have felt horrible lately because so many of my posts have used my Cricut and I know many of you who read this do not have a electronic cutter. So I promise I will try to make more crafts without the use of my cutter.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Christmas Highlights from Full of Great Ideas 2010

Over the past year, Full of Great Ideas has grown from a baby blog to a toddler blog. So for those of you who are new to Full of Great Ideas, I thought I would do a quick summary/highlight of my 2010 baby blogger Christmas posts.  Some of these ideas are creative and others are not; either way I thought it was worth a quick post to share them with all of you.  

If you have not seen my Frugal Gift Idea page, be sure to check it out too for some great DIY gift ideas.
So here goes...my 2010 Christmas crafts:
I made this simple but adorable ornament out of an old golf ball, sharpies and a picture hook.
Using pine cones I found in the woods (be careful..spiders love pine cones), an old basket and some Christmas lights, I made this beautiful lit Christmas basket.
We made these customized personal note pads for our kids teachers using printer paper and cement glue. They were great and very simple.
Using a little floral wire and some scrapbook paper, you can make this adorable Christmas ornament for next to nothing.
This simple and inexpensive ornament tree was made using a foam cone, garland tinsel and Dollar store ornaments. Be prepared you need lots of hot glue for this one.
Buy a cheap Dollar store ornament, paint your child's hand with white paint, draw faces with some Sharpies and you have an adorable Christmas ornament that you will cherish for years to come.
Using fabric paint, I made the snowmen out of my kids foot prints and the trees out of their hand prints.

I hope this gives you some inspiration over the holiday weekend.

Enjoy!
Stephanie

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