Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Money Saving Tuesday- crafts

I love crafts. Luckily so do my kids. Sometimes Madeline will ask "what are we making today mommy?" I love that!

Crafts can be expensive if you let them. Buying all those little kits adds up. So I try not to (even though I am tempted by the pretty illustrations on the boxes...) But where to get the ideas and supplies?

With little kids construction paper is cheap and easy. A bottle of glue, some paper, scissors and crayons (or paints if you are feeling brave)and you can make tons of things! This week in honor of Easter we are making baby chicks (I will post pics of them later), sponge painting bunnies (Ramblings of a Crazy Woman) and making an Angle Rolled Away the stone craft ( All are being made with things I have in my house and all will be enjoyed by kids and mama alike.

I get a lot of questions about where I get my ideas. People have told me how creative I am. HAH! I am not super creative, but I like to have fun and do creative things. So I find ideas. I used to buy books of ideas when I was teaching and had the money to do so. Now my main goal is to do things without spending money if I don't need to. So where do I go? Books at the library (my favorite place), other blogs (love you all!) and websites are a wonderful source for ideas. And when I see an idea I like but do not have the supplies for I don't run out and buy them (okay, well sometimes I do), I try to modify them. If something calls for foam and I don't have it, paper will suffice.

Another place I get ideas is Oriental trading. I LOVE their products, who can resist things that come with each project separately wrapped with all pieces included (no cutting or sorting by mom needed). But the cost adds up, plus do I honestly need 12 projects for my 2 kids? So I look through the catalogue, get ideas and often make the items myself. Or I substitute and make something similar. I saw a cute hand print butterfly idea that I simply cannot justify buying BUT I can make with things I have at home. I also saw a whale flowerpot craft that I cannot justify buying either, but can modify with a yogurt cup (tons of those lying around and free), paper I precut, googly eyes that we always have and some paint. Cute craft for a fraction of the price. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Oriental Trading, but if I were to buy their crafts I would blow my craft budget in a month instead of a year.

Some of my favorite blogs and websites are:
Totally Tots
The Crafty Crow
Preschool Express

And when I am looking for a craft for a specific season or holiday or letter I google it. There are so many ideas out there it is amazing!

Doing crafts with kids can be expensive and messy. But it doesn't have to be...well I can't promise anything about the messy part, that is all up to your kids but daddy's old t-shirts make GREAT free smocks! Look at some of the sites I mentioned, look around your house and see what you can do. HAVE FUN!

1 comment:

Fiona said...

I try to save money too as the craft kits are expensive. My latest idea is to go to wallpaper shops and tear of bits of the sample sheets-they can be used to make collages etc.. and totally free :-)