Thrifty Christmas 2014

I’m a rubbish blogger, I’ve just not had time to run Thrifty Christmas this year as it takes up so much time. This time round I’ve started a Pinterest with all the cool ideas I’ve found from around the internet.

If you’d like some inspiration have a look, there are some lovely, simple ideas there that anyone would love to receive. :

Follow Liz’s board Thrifty Christmas on Pinterest.

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Decking the Halls

I can’t believe it’s Thursday, where did the week go?  I’ve been finishing off a new blog for a customer and when that’s done I am finished for the holidays yay!!

We put the tree up at the weekend, well Miss L did most of it but she’s fantastic at decorating trees and then she did the hallway as well, so now it’s feeling properly snugly and Christmassy here 🙂

This morning, inspired by the fabulous post by Bye Bye Birdie over on Thrifty Christmas I decided I get my Christmas Wreath done.  I kind of cheated and bought a blank Christmas Tree wreath from the market this morning. Then I broke the glue gun, ribbon, cinnamon sticks and some festive dried orange and made the wreath all pretty – took me about 10 minutes, and I think it turned out ok – well as no one wants to actually use the door knocker!

And to make the entrance perfect for the holidays, I’ve added my new doormat that I found in TK Maxx for a fiver yesterday – it’s soooo pretty! Not super festive but brightens up the hallway.  All I need to do now is get rid of all the post and paperwork that cluttering the hall table, but that’s a much bigger job, for another day!

How are your decorations coming along?


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{Easy to Make} Simple Flower Buckets

I love making these little flower buckets. They are a nice little thing to make for either a ‘thankyou’ present, to leave scattered about the house or for on a Christmas table.  They only take about 10 minutes to make and really simple but look good.


I’ve bought some inexpensive buckets to make them with this year (£2.80 in Hobbycraft) but you could easily do them in terracotta pots or in a mug – anything you can use as a container really.

You don’t need that many flowers just some with stout steams, I’ve used 7 red roses in this one.  Check out your local market, which will often stock interesting colours and if their anything like mine really cheap – a bunch of roses at mine is £1.50. If you don’t have a market a bunch from your local supermarket will do.

Check out your garden, if you’re lucky enough to have some Holly and other greenery out there use that to fill in any gaps or maybe cinnamon sticks to make it smell extra festive.

What you need:

A Container

Flower Foam (Wilkinsons, Hobby Craft and Supermarkets now stock it)




Extras like ribbon, cinnamon sticks or maybe diamonte’s or pine cones on sticks?

How to make

1. Soak the Floral foam for a few minutes in some water and then pop in the container.

2. Trim the steams of the flowers to a bit shorter than the container, for the mini buckets I did them to 5 inches.

3. Fill the container with flowers, do it so you’re happy with it. Easiest way is to get the heads so they are level with the top of the container.

4. Either leave it as is, or add some cinnamon sticks, diamonte’s or pine cones on sticks in with the flowers, ribbon around the bucket.

5. Pop in a small box with some tissue paper give as a gift.

Check out more simple Thrifty Christmas ideas from other crafty bloggers here







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Thrifty Christmas is Up and Running

Just a quickie as I have to get some work done but I’d like to thank you all for your lovely comments about Thrifty Christmas, it’s really appreciated!

I’ve now got the site up and running and you can find it here  and I’ve done a Facebook site: and a Flickr Page too so you can share your photos

The Linky is at the bottom of the page at the moment if you’re looking for it, and please let me know if you’d like to do a guest post – obviously I’ll be linking back to you and your blog. If you don’t have a blog, just email it to me with some photos 🙂  I’m so looking forward to this and seeing what everyone comes up with, thanks for helping me! x




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Thrifty Christmas is Coming…

Ok don’t shout at me! I know we are only in October so I’m doing a soft launch of this year’s ‘Thrifty Christmas’ now. That way it’ll give people time to make their gifts over the next couple of months.  In fairness I’ve not written or made anything yet, but I’ve also been hording tea cups, buying bulbs from the market and looking at crafty kits on Ebay. I’ve also been Pinning some ideas for inspiration on my Pinterest.

You can see my Christmas Board here.  Just let me know if you like a Pinterest invite in the comments and I’ll send you one.

This year it will be a little different as I’ll be giving Thrifty Christmas it’s own mini site (*cough* in theory. Blog in Blog is not being my friend at the moment!) or something!. So not only will there be a linky for people to link their posts to, I’m also looking for guest bloggers to share their crafty goodness too.  All ideas are well welcome – Presents, Decorating and Recipes just leave me a message on the blog or mail me

And for those without the time or who aren’t crafty there will also be posts about inexpensive interesting ready bought presents. So if you see something a little different and you think it’s cool let me know and I’ll put it on the site.

I’m hoping to get the site up in the next week or so, sorry for the delay! I’m so looking forward to seeing everyone’s ideas 🙂

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Stocking Fillers – under £10

We ran out of time last night for putting decorations up, so we’re doing it tonight instead and I can’t wait! Miss L has already done the stairs and we’ve put up the cards that have arrived from early bird friends and family.  Work is almost over – I’m just doing bits and bobs now so I thought I’d indulge myself this morning with a spot of online window shopping.

So if you are running out of time to make presents with Thrifty Christmas or aren’t craftily inclined here are my pick of online presents under £10.

Tescos Knitted Slippers - £5
Cath Kidston Tea Towels - £10
(Amazon) Violet Posy Book Store - The Creative Family £7.07
Cath Kidston Bed Socks £8
Tesco Cable Knit Hot Water Bottle - £7
Cath Kidston Kids Bunch Floral Hand Bag - £10
Monsoon Perfume Bottle - £10
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{Thrifty Christmas Guest Post} Citrus Christmas

Today’s Guest Blogger is my very good friend and coffee buddy Karen from The Rubbish Diet one of the most creative women I know.  I spotted on Facebook that she had made some fabulous looking Christmas oranges and I thought you’d all like to see them.  So over to Karen…

Citrus Christmas

If you’re as unskilled with the sewing needle as me, don’t lose heart this Christmas, as it is still possible to add your own special and home-made touch to your festive decorations with something as simple as an orange.  If you like the natural look, a pack of just five orange slices can set you back at a rate of £1 a shot, so it makes economic sense to make your own.  Besides, they’re really fun, make excellent presents and fill the home with festive scents too.  You don’t need any special equipment, just an oven set on a low heat will do.

Preheat oven to a low setting, e.g . 100C.

Using a sharp knife, cut across the orange to create slices that are around 5mm thick.

Press the slices with kitchen paper or an old tea towel to soak away excess orange juice and arrange the slices on a non stick baking tray.  Use baking parchment if necessary.

Bake in the oven for a couple of hours (turning over the slices half-way) then transfer to an airing cupboard overnight when the slices are dry to the touch.  This simply saves energy.  If you don’t have an airing cupboard, just keep baking for an extra hour or two, checking and turning the slices every half hour.

When the oranges slices are dry, they will be almost translucent and will look gorgeous set again the tree lights.  Simply poke a hole through the top with a skewer and use ribbon to hang them onto your Christmas tree.   They also look gorgeous when added to wreaths.

Alternatively create a citrus bauble, by arranging the slices to form the shape of an orange, smallest slices at each end, with the largest in the middle.  Thread a length of ribbon through the centre of the slices, creating a loop at the top and tying the ribbon at the bottom to secure the slices.  Cut away the excess ribbon and you’ll have another beautiful decoration with which to grace the tree.

A few things to consider:

Keep costs down by buying your fruit from the market.  However, seek out fair-trade where possible.
For smaller decorations, try satsumas and clementines, which work out even cheaper or try lemons and limes if you prefer an alternative colour scheme.

Use natural, compostable materials such as raffia or string for hanging and threading  the decorations.  This way the whole of the decoration can be composted when Christmas is over.

Some people recommend using a spray fixative to help the decorations last the season. However, I find that if the slices are dried properly using the instructions above and are not damp to the touch, they will last through December and into the new year.

Top Tip:

Children love getting involved with these simple decorations, especially laying out the slices on the baking tray and threading them once they are dry.  Another easy activity to try with the kids is to get them to decorate small fruits with cloves.  Again, pop in the oven for a couple of hours to dry.  They’ll also look fabulous on the tree, while keeping sticky fingers at bay.

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{Link Love} Make Your Own Christmas Stocking

Image with kind permission of Cherry Menlove

I have bit of a blog crush on Cherry Menlove’s beautiful site….well a huge crush actually and it’s a favourite on my G Reader :). Not only is her site beautiful she also manages to be stylish and have a beautiful home, whilst bringing up her adorable twin babies!.

Today she posted how to make your own Christmas Stockings and I just had to link to it as I thought you all would love it as part of Thrifty Christmas.  Pop over and check out her blog and thank you Cherry for your generosity in letting me post this x

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{Link Love} Thrifty Christmas Edition

In the aftermath of Halloween (as you can see I need to de-Halloween my blog and you should see the state of my house that needs doing too!) I thought I’d sit down with a coffee and share with you all the fantastic posts I’ve spotted round the internet for Thrifty Christmas for both decorations and gifts.

First up are some posts that my friend Amanda from PMT Cupcakes sent me for making  Christmas decorations – thanks Amanda xx

Sewing Decorations
Paper Ornaments

And from my Google Reader:


How to make a Camera Strap Cover – Tip Junkie
Christmas Napkins – Home Baked
On the Go Baby Changing Kits – Lovely Design
Pimping an Ikea Pillow – Stylizmo Blog

Handy Craft Sources

Free Holiday Scripts – Just Something I Made

For more ideas check out Thrifty Christmas, we’ve got 39 idea gift ideas on there so far and if you have anymore please feel free to add them. Right coffee break over back to de-Halloweening the house 🙂

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{Thrifty Christmas} Guest Post – Rock and Bowl

Today’s guest post is from the blog ‘Where the Brass Band Plays’ over to the fabulously named tiddlyompompom

Last year we had a makey-doey christmas. We did it out of necessity (huge family, maternity pay ending etc etc), but it turned out to be really fun. Hard work, but fun.

One of the things we made were bowls from vinyl records. So easy and so cool. I was asked by several people how we made them, and I promised to write it up here so they too could melt stuff. Being the kind of person who gets things done eventually, here, ten months later, is how to make a record bowl.

You will need:

  • an oven (230F, 130C, 1/2 gas mark)
  • a record you no longer wish to listen to
  • an oven proof bowl
  • a bowl to put record in to shape it
  • oven gloves

First up, choose a record that you no longer want. We got some from charity shops and were able to choose bands appropriate to the person we were giving it to.

a record that needed to be melted if ever there was one

Put the oven proof bowl upside down on the oven shelf and place the record on top of the bowl.

cooking a record

Leave for ten minutes.

WARNING: The record will be UNBELIEVABLY HOT when you take it out, so use oven gloves or tongs. Unless you don’t want skin on your fingers, in which case carry on.

Put the record into your other bowl and shape. You will have to work fast as the vinyl will cool quickly.

record bowl

If you’re not happy with the shape of your bowl, just put it back in the oven and start again.

Once you have got it into a shape you are happy with leave it to cool.

record bowl 2

Then use/give away as you please.

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September is flying by, it seems like moments ago Miss L was heading back to school and I was starting up work again. But between settling her into her new school and getting my head back into work, it’s put me totally behind in getting Thrifty Christmas up and running. I’ve not had a chance to make a thing yet, even the easiest tiny project I was going to start is still sitting on the side in the hallway. So I’ll be launching it on October 1st instead – sorry about that!  But I have been collecting links from more organized folk to give you some inspiration in the meantime and I’ll post that soon.

At the weekend we had lots of fun walking the dog and collecting conkers from the local trees. I do think Miss L is the only small child in our town who still collects them, as there are loads on the ground and still in the trees.

As much as I hate to say this because it makes me feel old,  they would have been long gone by now when I was a kid.  I remember spending hours with my friends throwing sticks at trees to knock them down.  I guess they’re not allowed to play it at school anymore, it does make me wonder why. Has anyone actually ever been blinded by a conker?

Yesterday after school,  we spent time putting holes though them with a screwdriver and then stringing them which led to a family game of conkers which Paul one due to my rubbish threading 🙂 Pah round 2 today after school I think, I need to win back my crown!

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Thrifty Christmas is Coming…

Yes I know it’s August, and no I’m not my mother just yet 🙂

But I’ve been thinking and talking to people on Twitter, and last year I think I did Thrifty Christmas a little too late in October. Some people didn’t have enough time to make all the wonderful goodies (handmade/foodie/crafty ideas) you all suggested. So this year I’ll be launching it on September 17th and I’ll have a dedicated page, with new fancy linkys with images, and badges all ready to go!

I can’t wait to see what you all come up with!

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