Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Frugal Gifting-Anatomy of A "Winning" Project. (And that prime day thing)

Folks, two people have tried to leave comments and have apparently had them dropped. This may be a one time or server thing, but please let me know if you are unable to post, or unable to reach me by email!  Should you want to contact me by email, you can use either bombergerb@comcast.net  or richlyretired@gmail.com. This info is also on the side but I never want anyone to have difficulty reaching me in any way!  Thanks so much as always for stopping by.

Sigh.  While this is still a designated no spend month (a post coming about that, I promise), today I fell down the rabbit hole into the evil empire that is Amazon Prime.  All joking aside, this was a planned spend.  For fellow bloggers and readers that have Alexa, you'll understand when I said one Echo Dot was not enough.  And, while we arent ready to give up cable due to the sports streaming issues, an Amazon Fire stick had been at the top of the shopping list for awhile. Because the frugal retiree likes instant gratification as well as the next person, instead of waiting for two day shipping, she drove fifteen minutes or so to the big mall. The one where Amazon has a pop up-and came home with all devices.

Seriouusly though folks, a quick perusal tells me that if you don't need tools, big TV's or Amazon devices there is not that much there. But then again I'm not looking for anything else, so my perspective may be different.

Meanwhile.  I am one of those folks that buys things I like. That means fabric, decorative paper, shrimp and lobster, you name it. Yesterday I showed my daughter my star wars fabric that was purchased because my kids love Star Wars as adults and it was on sale. Do I know what I will do with it?  No.  My daughter is mainly different as was my husband. Decide what to get and then get the stuff to make it-and nothing else. Opposites do attract. 

Knowing that all of John's family lives in Texas and love the Texas Rangers (baseball), I had grabbed up a pile of fabric some time back when Hancock's went out of business. I took it home and set it  on a shelf.  A couple weeks ago, I was beginning my decluttering/organization and pulled it back out, took and photo and shared it on Facebook with friends and family.  My sister-in-law sent me a  message and asked "Is there any way you could turn this into something for my wall?".  She and her husband are huge sports fans and have an area with recliners and a big TV and sports memorabilia and art.

I'll admit, I had to think on it for more than a minute. I mean, this was fabric. I'd already made her placemats and napkins and the like, and I understood she needed to go another way. But how to make this into a "picture"?  Most wall art is of a different kind.  Fortunately, my mental computer and Pinterest gave me a solution.  I would cut the fabric in the shape of the picture frame. Then I would cut out a solid piece of fabric in the shape of the state of Texas and attach it to the front. I'd add a couple pieces of embellishment, and put Texas Rangers in modern stickers on the front.  

While it did take me a while to think of what I wanted to do, this will end up being the perfect gift for Susan-and frankly, one that almost anyone could do. 
  1. It wasn't costly, in fact, it will end up being fairly cheap. Even if I had had to buy both pieces of fabric, a few bucks would have covered that.  I purchased a fancy baseball button to be the state capital for a couple dollars and the same for stickers. In fact the most expensive part of the whole deal was the shadow box style frame-which one can find for a dollar or two at any given thrift store on any given day. In my case I had it on hand.
  2. It requires basically no skill. I cut out a piece of fabric slightly bigger than the frame. I cut out a piece of fabric in the Texas shape.  (by printing a map, cutting it out and reversing it). I attached my Texas in red by ironing on via a piece of paper that was sticky on each side. I could also have attached with fabric glue. While my next step is to sew around the edges to adhere the red,  that could be left as it is. Or the edges could have been sealed by getting a cheap tube of fabric paint and putting it around the edges.  The point is, anyone, including readers and kids, could probably do this particular project. The effort was in the deciding what to do, not the doing.
  3. It can be changed around. I could have gotten red white and blue paper and solid red paper and made that into a frame. If I had any art skills whatsoever, I could have painted the thing. On card stock or a piece of paper. And for now, I chose a black picture frame in order to match her decor. But it would also have been fun to get a cheap white frame and maybe "antique" it with some read and blue. Again-a dollar or so at the max, paying full price.
  4. And most importantly, this is a wow, because frankly, team wall art costs a fortune if you were to purchase it at one of those memorabilita stores, or even on Etsy or at craft fairs. Heck, even one of those painted found boards are much more costly. When I make gifts, I usually try to make a knock off or a better version of unique and one of a kind gifts. 
So far I have pulled out the fabrics, run to the store and grabbed my glittery buttons and stickers and tentatively pulled an old frame from my many picture frames. Not counting the store trip (which was done as part of my weeky errands), the active doing time was about fifteen minutes to cut the fabrics and five to iron on the red Texas. So this is a low effort, work on it when you get time gift as well.  And since it's hot and I have alot of inside time, well.............!!  

Because I'm doing a step by step instruction on this for one of my women's groups, starting on Thursday (tomorrow is knitting and happy hour), I'll be posting step by step pictures of everything I've done on Instagram (see the button top left)

And because I'm the Frugal Retiree, everything for this project was pulled from my fabric "pantry", from fabric only purchased on sale. Purchased items like this stickers and buttons, were purchased using a gift card earned from Swagbucks, making this a zero-cost gift (more on that later).

And because I am NOT a Texans fan as such (coming from Baltimore Orioles country before the Nationals even existed), this is a labor of love, as well. I may have to make another one-but I wont be cutting out an Oriole shape any time soon.  A big "O" perhaps?


  1. I have tried to leave you a message 5 x - each time it is deleted by who knows what. So perhaps I shouldn't post. :-)


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