Our Frugal Lifestyle

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Passionate about eco-frugality. I used to party hard, clubbing my way from pay-packet to pay-packet. Never getting ahead, just getting by. Then came our much wanted baby with no savings in the bank - only an old car. Changes were made to our lifestyle and we didn't turn back. In the past 6yrs we purchased a flat, found employment, lived below our means, built an emergency fund, purchased a reliable car and saw the financial benefits of our frugal lifestyle. Our only debt is our mortgage. Our aim is to manage our cash flow wisely, pay off our home quickly and eventually work for pleasure, not necessity. Join us on our journey, share insights, tips and tricks to help us and others to get ahead while having a good time.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Repurposed Gifts Ready To Give

Hello Friends,

My daughter (Dolly) and I were super lucky this afternoon. We found a handful of various glass beads in the garden. When our lovely Thai Lady neighbour saw us digging around in the dirt and weeds she promptly told us she had dropped them when taking items to the op-shop as they are leaving the country soon and had a few more that we could have. And so she gave us a good handful.

I then spent an hour cutting jewellery and blinged clothing that I had purchased from op shops for very little money and placed all the beads in a bowl. So pretty :)

I gave Dolly 3 plastic containers and assisted her in dividing her beads equally into the three. Two for friends and one for herself. She concentrated hard counting and sorting with lovely results. I added some fishing line and jewellery wire that I had at home into each container. These are now beading kits ready to be gifted.

Then we started on another project with crayons that weren't being used as Dolly has long ago graduated to textas.

These were "cooked" by Dolly who melted them down in delicious looking colour groups.

Dolly said it looked like chocolate and asked to lick the spoon. I refused explaining that it was toxic and wouldn't taste good. I saw her secretly with her back turned on me having a lick when it had hardened. The cheeky monkey was obviously disappointed as she didn't go for seconds.

We poured the melted crayons into christmas chocolate moulds I had purchased in an op shop long ago and never used.

This is the result... Christmas crayons for a baby's first masterpiece creations. Nice and chunky for a little hand to clutch.

And now three upcycled gifts made by repurposing stuff.

Three year old Dolly has put a lot of time and heart into her gifts and is very proud of herself while I saved a few more dollars.

The total spending was $7.00

5$ for 2 re-useable screw top plastic containers and $2 for beaded op-shop tops. Every thing else was already owned 2nd hand items. Crayons and chocolate moulds from op-shops, ribbons from presents of past years, beads from op-shop junk jewellery and neighbours de-cluttering, fishing line from The Rambling Expats fishing gear. (Metal wire was purchased new 2 years ago).

We were heavily inspired by these talented young girls: CLICK HERE.

I love the thrill of creating gifts with repurposed items and in doing so minimising my families impact on our planet and saving money in the process. I know I could have avoided the plastic containers and used some from home (would have been more eco and thrifty) - but I really wanted screw lids to prevent bead spillage.

Are you upcycling or repurposing too?


  1. Oh what a clever Dolly - and Mummy! I'm so enjoying watching your parenting skills which are truly fab:) She's a lucky little lady for sure. I'm inspired by your thrifty finds and ebay sales (I think I've said that before)and I'm going to start a few sales myself after the house-moving is done. Hope you have safe journeys and great times wherever you are this holiday!

  2. Almost all of my name brand Xmas gifts r from yard sales. Such great stuff and all of it new. Did u spray the molds either Pam nonstick before pouring? I am going to do this with my nephews!

  3. No I didn't need to spray the moulds. Once th crayon hardened a few hours latter they came out quite easily.

  4. I love the recycled beads. Gorgeous!

    The crayons ended up being a really fun project for us. Looks like it was the same for you :).

    And I totally agree with your assertion - I love the thrill of creating gifts from something I've repurposed! I even made bibs this year for my grandchildren using old towels as a backing and some scrap fabric. It's so much fun finding new ways to see stuff around my house, and really, it takes the stress out of the holidays for me, because I'm not rushing around trying to buy the perfect gift. You know?


Thanks for commenting - I love getting feedback, sharing experiences and learning from you.