15 Christmas Crafts Under $15: Project 9, Christmas Card Holder



In past years when I’ve gotten Christmas cards, one of two things would happen; I would either let them sit in a pile until after Christmas and then feel bad I didn’t put them up, or I would randomly tape them around the full length mirror on our basement door.  So I decided this year I needed something a little more organized, nicer looking, and higher up that little hands couldn’t get too.  In our living room we have a set of two windows that are higher up than standard windows and our TV sits in front of these windows.  I decided this would be the perfect place for a card holder because they would be visible (being right above the TV) and out of reach.  This might be the easiest of all the Christmas projects in this series.  All I did was cut the ribbon, attach it to the window sill, and clip my cards to the ribbon!  The ribbon was $.89, and the clothespins were around $1.50.  I bought a package a long time ago for another project and I had quite a few left over.







15 Christmas Crafts Under $15: Project 8, Homemade Snowglobe


Christmas is getting closer!  I am so excited about this project because I love mason jars of any kind.  So here is a tutorial for a homemade snowglobe in a mason jar.  Here’s what you need:

Glass jar

Miniature tree or figurine

E6000 glue or crazy glue

Distilled water



The tutorial I had seen online for a snowglobe said that you could find glycerin at Walgreen’s, CVS, etc.  So I looked at several drug stores, Kroger and Target for glycerin and every place I looked I got a crazy look when I asked for glycerin.  They said “what’s that?”  I thought I was going to have to give up on my snowglobe, until I happened to read that glycerin is also used in baking.  So I looked at Hobby Lobby, and lo and behold there is was, and for a lot cheaper than Amazon or CVS’s website was selling it for.  So my suggestion would be look in the baking aisle at a craft store, you’re more likely to find it there than a drug store.

First you  need to glue your tree or figure to the lid of the jar.  I used E6000 glue, but you could also use crazy glue if you already have that.  Let the glue sit for 24 hours (I wouldn’t rush this step since the glue will be submerged in water you want to make sure it is good and tight).  I got my miniature tree from the Dollar Tree and I didn’t notice until after I got home how crooked they were, so look for the straightest trees you can find.


After the glue has set for 24 hours, fill up your jar with distilled water, add a dash of glycerin and some glitter.  You know that frustrating feeling when you know you have something, but just can not find it?  I had that feeling with this project.  I know I have white glitter somewhere in the disaster zone that is my crafting area, but I couldn’t find it.  So I ended up using pink.  I like how it turned out, so it was fine I couldn’t find the white, but man was it frustrating.  Once you have added the water, glycerin, and glitter to the jar, insert the tree and screw on the ring.  I ended up having to add some more water to my snowglobe because there was a big gap at the top.  I was afraid it would overflow when I inserted the tree, so I added a little at a time.

My daughter really loved watching the glitter drift down to the bottom.  She really wanted to do it herself, but mommy supervised with this one, I did not want to spend my evening cleaning glitter up off the floor!

For this project I spent $.99 on glitter, $1.49 on the glass jar, $.50 on the tree, $1.49 on the glycerin, and $.89 on the distilled water.  So the grand total for this adorable homemade snowglobe was $5.36.  I think these would make awesome gifts, and you could make tons of snowglobes out of one bottle of distilled water and glycerin!





15 Christmas Crafts Under $15: Project 6, Felt Pillow



Happy Friday!  Today I have a Christmas pillow inspired by this pillow.  Pillows are great for beginners, they are so easy!  Here is how I made this holiday pillow.

First I made a template in Photoshop for the felt letters, if you would like to download the template I made, you can get it here.  Cut out the letters for your template.



Trace the letters backwards onto your felt.  The reason you will want to do it backwards, is so that you will not have any pen marks showing after you cut out and sew on the letters.



After you have traced and cut all the letters out of the felt, place them on your fabric and pin in place.  I used white cotton fabric and each piece was 9.5″x13″.  If you have a pillow that you would like to create a cover for your fabric pieces will be a little different.



Sew the letters into place.



I have to admit, this was not my finest sewing job.  The letters are a little crooked, and at first I thought I was going to have to redo it.  But after stuffing, you can’t really tell that some of the letters are crooked, so that worked out well!  Next pin the right sides of the fabric together.



Sew around the edges, leaving a space of about two to three inches unsewn.



Trim excess fabric from the edges and corners.



Turn the pillow right sides out and press.  Make sure you poke the corners out all the way, I use a chopstick to do this.



Stuff the pillow and slip stitch the opening closed.






15 Christmas Crafts Under $15: Projects 4 and 5

I’m sorry I missed yesterday, I had a very busy day after work yesterday.  So today I have two projects for you to make up for it!  The first is a felt tree for toddlers to play with.  As soon as I saw this idea, I knew I needed to do it.  If you have a young child (or two) around your house, your tree is probably like mine.  It looked so nice that first night I put up all the ornaments after the little one went to sleep.  But she had other plans.  This hasn’t completely stopped my little girl from trying to redecorate the tree, but she has really loved this felt tree.  She is 16 months, so she still has a little trouble getting the ornaments to stick on, but for the most part she can do it herself.  Just be warned, cats loved this toy too…


I used a half a yard of felt which was on sale for $2.99/yd and approximately 6 sheets of felt that were $.34 each.  So my grand total for this awesome quiet toy was $3.52!

The next project I have for you all is an ornament wreath.  I have wanted one of these for a couple years, and I decided to try to make my own this year.  It really was easy.  Here is a great tutorial for how to make this simple wreath.

Here are the supplies you will need to start with:


I used ten packages of ornaments from the dollar store which ended up being around 70 ornaments.  The hanger I already had and the ribbon I got on sale for $1.99.  So my total for this wreath that would was $11.99!  I do wish I had stuck with only gold and silver or silver and red ornaments, rather than all the different colors, but I had a cranky toddler with me and was trying to very quickly get my supplies and get out of the dollar store!




15 Christmas Crafts Under $15: Project 3, Decorative Apothecary Jar



I love apothecary jars, I think there is something so classic about them.  They are so versatile and can be used for any season.  I bought this big one for Cora’s first birthday party this past summer.  The theme was The Very Hungry Caterpillar and on the dessert table I set up a display with each of the fruits the caterpillar eats and I used this big apothecary jar for the oranges.  And since then I’ve been using it to decorate with.  This fall I filled it with hedge apples and pine cones, and now I have made a Christmas display in it.  I used dollar store ornaments, scented pine cones from Joann (this part could easily be free if you have any pine trees around you), and epsom salt.  You can use any kind of glass jar or vase to make your display.  I got this one from Marshall’s for $9.99 but Hobby Lobby usually has some pretty ones and they put their glass 50% off pretty often.  I didn’t count the cost of the apothecary jar since I already had it, but they are relatively inexpensive.  My cost for this project was $1 for the ornaments (I mixed and matched my ornaments from a bunch I bought at the dollar store, but I used about as many as were in a package), $3 for the pinecones, and I already had the epsom salt, but I think it’s generally around $1.50.  So my total was $4!  This is a really simple, easy to throw together Christmas decoration!




DSC_0694  DSC_06932


15 Christmas Crafts Under $15: Project 2, Berries Monogram

Hello all, day 2 of 15 Christmas Crafts Under $15 is here!  Today I have a very awesome monogram to hang on a door, cabinet, or mirror for you.  I found this while browsing Pinterest and loved it!  Mine ended up looking a little different because I bought a different kind of berries.  Here are the ones I got:



I got all of my supplies at Michael’s.  I ended up using four stalks of berries total.  All you do is snip the berries off and then hot glue them to your letter, it’s that easy!  I would recommend trying to find smaller berries than I used because I ended up having the do two layers in some places since my berries were so big, there were some gaps left and you could see the black letter underneath.  I decided not to use this on my front door because the letter is a little too small, and the berries are about the same color as my door, so you could barely see it from the sidewalk!  I haven’t found the perfect spot for it yet, but I’m still looking.  Here is the finished product:



I got the berries on sale for $.99 each, so $3.96 for the berries.  The ribbon was $4.99 and the letter was $3.99.  I had a 15% off coupon, so with that and tax the total for this project was $11.66.  You could do it way cheaper if you already had the ribbon or if you got it on sale for a better deal than I did this time (I was at Joann today and they have their Christmas ribbon 70% off!).  See you tomorrow for another exciting Christmas craft!

15 Christmas Crafts Under $15: Project 1, Yarn Wrapped Trees

I’ve been a little MIA this week I know.  If you recall in my last post I was home with a sick baby last Monday, well guess who got it next?  So I have spent this week resting up and preparing for an awesome series I’ve planned for you all.  I am spending the next 15 days posting a new Christmas project each day that is $15 or less.  So I’m calling it my 15 Christmas Crafts Under $15 series!  I love decorating for Christmas, but decorations are not cheap.  And if you’re like me, you probably see things in stores, and think, hmm I could make that.  Why pay $20 for something you could make for just a couple of bucks?  So here’s my list of Christmas projects you can do on the cheap (by the way, most of these projects cost way less that $15!)  As I’ve probably said before I love Pinterest.  I wish it was my job to get paid to pin things all day long (I would totally be rich, haha).  Some of these projects are ones you can find on Pinterest.  A couple are some originals I have thought up, and a couple are my spin on some projects I’ve found on Pinterest.

Enter our first Christmas Craft: the yarn wrapped tree!



I love the way yarn looks wrapped around things, I’m not sure what it is about it I love, but I think it looks great.  Here is how you make these cute, easy trees.

First you need to make the base.  You can buy styrofoam cones, but since this series is all about doing things cheaply, I made my own cones out of cardstock and a paper plate.  I used hot glue to secure the cones.  Eek, excuse the mess on the table in the background!!



Next add a line of hot glue near the tip of the tree along the seam.  Then place the end of your yarn on this line of glue.



Then begin wrapping your yarn.  You may need to add a little more hot glue to the tip to get the yarn to stay in place while you begin wrapping.  As I went down the tree, every 10 rows or so I would add a dot of hot glue to help keep the yarn in place.  Then once you get to the bottom, hot glue the yarn all the way around the last row on the tree.  The first tree I did, I lined up the yarn neatly, but then while I was gluing around the bottom, the top half got loosened and shifted a bit.  While the nice, tightly wrapped look is nice, I actually liked the way the loosened, messier part looked (you can see the smallest tree is the one where this happened; the top is loose, and the bottom in neat and tight).  So on the next two I didn’t worry about staying lined up when I wrapped the yarn, I just made sure you couldn’t see the white anywhere.  You could make as many of these little cute trees and set them up along a mantle (I don’t have one, boo).  I think this would also look cute with some of that fancy yarn with fibers sticking out of it.  I’m not a knitter, so I don’t know that official name for that yarn.


So here’s the breakdown on price.  I already had the cardstock and paper plate so that was free (you could also use a cereal box broken down, anything with a little bit of structure to it).  I had to buy the yarn because I didn’t have any colors that would work.  Joann had the skeins I used on sale for 2 for $5, plus I used a 15% off coupon.  So my grand total for this project was $4.25, although if you already have yarn, it could be free!  It doesn’t use much yarn at all, so you could use leftovers you had from another project.

See you tomorrow for the next Christmas Craft Under $15!

Homemade Laundry Detergent


I don’t know about you all, but when I would shop for laundry detergent, I often wondered why it was so darn expensive.  Then after having a baby and cloth diapering, we REALLY started going through detergent quickly.  When I started using Nellie’s All Natural Laundry Soda on our cloth diapers, I loved it and was using it on everything.  But it’s a little pricey and I haven’t found anywhere in town that sells it, so I decided it was time to look for something else (for everything but the diapers).  So of course I had to turn to Pinterest.  All you need to make your own laundry detergent are these three items: Arm and Hammer Washing Soda (not baking soda!!), Borax, and Fels-Naptha soap.  I looked for Fels-Naptha at Target but mine didn’t have it.  Luckily my Kroger did, so that’s where I get it from when I’m ready to make a new batch or two.

First grate the soap with a grater.



Next mix in 1 cup of the washing soda and 1 cup Borax.



In order to mix the soap flakes with the powders well, I put it in the blender.  I do this in parts because the first time I did it, I put all of it in the blender and overheated the blender, oops. So I would recommend doing it in parts.  After blending put it a container and use 1 tablespoon per load.  Sometimes if it’s big load I put two scoops in.


This recipe with make enough detergent for approximately 64 loads.  After the first time I made this detergent I wanted to figure out how much I was spending per load versus the Nellie’s.  I paid $3.15 for the washing soda, $3.99 for the Borax and $1.19 for the Fels-Naptha.  I estimated that I could get four batches out of each the washing soda and the Borax.  So it came up to $2.98/batch and $.05/load of laundry.  The Nellie’s is approximatly $17 (including shipping) for 100 loads, making it $.17/load.  That’s a pretty big savings!  I still buy my trusty Nellie’s for my cloth diapers, but for the rest of our laundry I love this homemade detergent, and so does my checking account!

Casserole Dish Carrier

I found this tutorial for a casserole dish carrier on Pinterest (of course) and had to make it.  It was always a pain for me to transport casserole dishes because I didn’t have a carrier.  Well now I do!  I got this awesome fabric from Hancock Fabrics on clearance for $3.59/yd!  Also should I mention that the colors in this fabric are my favorite color combinations?  I love love love pink and orange together (they were my wedding colors) and I am always really drawn to these colors, especially for summer dresses for Cora.  I was super excited when I found it on the red tag table because let’s be honest, there’s not always the most beautiful stuff on that table.  But every once in a while you find a gem like this, so it never hurts to look.    I got some matching solid cotton fabric to match for the lining and I used white belting for the handles based on this modification.  I also recommend Jill’s suggestion of lengthening one piece to account for the handles on a Pyrex.  I followed the original tutorial and it was a tight fit, so I will be doing the longer length next time.  The original tutorial can be found here.  I might try to modify the pattern to create a square carrier to carry my Corningware dishes.  That’s a project for another day though.  I will definitely be making some of these for Christmas presents this year!

Happy sewing!

Orange Infused Vinegar


Up until a couple years ago I never gave much thought to the cleaning products I bought or how much I spent on them.  Every couple months on one of my trips to Target I would buy a bottle of Lysol surface cleaner and be on my way.  Then I started getting interested in green cleaning products, but as some of you may now they are fairly pricey compared to conventional cleaners.  So I forked over even more money for a product I was trusting a big company to guarantee was good for my family and the environment.  But I still couldn’t pronounce the ingredients on the bottle.  So, I started looking in cleaning with vinegar.

Wow, who knew all the amazing uses for vinegar?!  I always just assumed it was mainly used for canning and I had a small bottle of it waaaay back in one of my cabinets.  And I started cleaning with it.  At first I used essential oils mixed with vinegar and water to create a cleaner that would have a pleasant smell.  But part of the reason I switched to cleaning with vinegar was to save money, and essential oils are not cheap.  Yes, the bottle lasts a long time, but I wanted to try a recipe that didn’t require a big up front cost.  So here’s how I make orange infused vinegar for surface cleaning.

All you need are two ingredients.  Yep, that’s it vinegar and a couple of oranges.  I bought this huge bottle of vinegar for around $2 (on sale plus a coupon) and these two oranges for $.76.


Peel two oranges and put the peels in a Mason jar.  Pour vinegar over the peels and fill up the jar (If you have a monster jar, only fill it up halfway).  Put the lid on the jar and store for two weeks.  Eat your oranges and smile, you just made super cheap cleaner!  In two weeks pour the vinegar into a spray water and fill the rest of the bottle up with water.  It smells awesome and does a great job cleaning!