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.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Repurposed an Owl for 2yr Old

This morning we headed to a Birthday party for a 2 year old at the swimming pool so I made an Owl out of old clothes and Dolly helped me make a Birthday card. And then we wrapped it up in Dolly's art work.

Wrapped And Ready To Go.

I was notified only 3 days earlier of the Birthday Party so found myself crafting an owl in my lunch breaks at work, the midnight hour at home and I got up an 2 hours earlier this morning to finish off the job. It took me just over 5 hours to copy and cut my template, find and cut the fabrics and make it as I am not skilled in crafts/sewing (yet).

The wonderful thing is I only used items from home that were saved to have another life, making me Eco proud. The whole gift only cost me $1.45, which makes me Frugal proud.

Hoot Hoot

Cost to make the owl $1.25 (blue fabric, brown felt and cotton thread).
Body - 2nd hand trousers I've worn to tatters but was able to recoup some of the fabric.
Eyes - scrap pieces of felt I made from 2nd hand wool jumpers. 2 buttons from Freecycle.
Beak - Dolly's outgrown and stretched 2nd hand yellow dress destined for the rag bin.
Applique - Large 2nd hand top purchased for $1 for the cute blue fabric over a year ago. Plenty of it left!
Wings / ears - New brown felt we had at home.
Stuffing - from unneeded pillow that lost it's shape in the wash.

Vintage Card Image (1970 - Good Year).

Dolly's 1st ever sounding out spelling on her own was her friends name "Ila"

Cost to make the card 20 cents.
Green Paper - Scrapbooking block of paper purchased about 2 yrs ago. 10 cents a sheet.
Picture - Children's 1970s 2nd hand book for 50 cents, purchased to cut up. 8 images = 6 cents each.
Glue - From home and used some scrap paper.

I felt very satisfied and super proud at my achievement. Lots of people at the Party oohed and aahed at my homemade gift and The Rambling Expat beat my drum. This gift project ticked all my happy boxes: Frugal, Ecological, Perfect for the Recipient and it also Decluttered some of my old worn out clothing. (I've linked up to Erica at Recycled Fashions - my creation is not technically a fashion item but it was made from clothing I had previously purchased in op shops and we had worn to shreds.)

I know I could have a box of gifts waiting for those short notice events, however I have tried in the past with new stuff but the gifts I stashed were never suitable or were forgotten about. Now I have a very different set of ideas and I try to not purchase any new items if I can avoid doing so. I do purchase a few second hand gifts for a handful of people I feel sure about, but I also live in a small flat that is already chaotic and bursting at it's seams so don't want to go down that road too much.

Have you done anything lately to make you jig a happy dance? Even if it did take you forever...


  1. Mr Sft and I have just swooned over your present. Absolutely gorgeous!

    And so ethical too.


    Sft x

  2. I finished the left hand mitten of a pair today. My daughter is 23 and has asked for them for Christmas, as they are upwards of £12 in the shops. She could buy some herself, but asked me to make them. When I asked what colour she wanted she said ' Any thrifted wool you have Mum'.I am so proud of her for thinking that way. I amended a pattern so that they will fit her, and the first one has turned out well-that, along with K's attitude makes me want to do a happy dance.

  3. OH, Wow! I wish I could do stuff like that to do a little happy dance. That owl is adorable. I have a tiny little collection of owls and I really love to hear them hooting at night. Great job to both you and your daughter!

  4. That owl is fantastic - perfect for the recipient, gorgeous and eco-friendly! The perfect gift! :)

  5. Hi SFT,
    Thank you for such a nice comment especially having MR SFT looking too. Men don't seem to applaud craftyness very much. My baby steps in the crafting area are becoming bigger and I'm having fun with it (even thought I'm a very impatient person).

    Hi Miss Piggy Bank,
    Thank you for your kind comment. I always look forward to your frugal posts.

    Hi Scarlet,
    Isn't it wonderful when other people in our circles accept the beauty of simpleness and eco-thrifty living! The more people I can pull in the happier I get.

    Hi Mary,
    I didn't think I could pull this one off. But I tried and worked at it and am the proud creator of the cute owl. If I can do it, someone with patience and skills like you can do it to :-)

    Hi Bryallen,
    With your difficulty in the job hunt you could get crafty to pep yourself up and get some X-mas gifts ready. It's a feel good fun activity.

  6. Woohoo, i love everything about all of this as it ticks all my boxes too. I love that the clothing items were firstly from a thrift store, worn, then reused A++ from me.

  7. That is sooo cute. I want one now!

    I have another suggestion--have a gift drawer, shelf, box, closet. I am sure you have a craft stash even if it is in the form of a button jar, clothes ready for crafts, art box, etc. Yes, I have lost items bought for gifts. I have even forgotten I bought the item!

    Today, I bought some material for a Halloween school outfit for my granddaughter because I saw an outfit like it on a little girl. Everyone says it all the rage, but I am obviously slow. A six inch ruffle was sewn on the bottom part of blue jeans. This mother used a pair that were too short, so that lengthened them. Then, take a tshirt and use the top of the tshirt and sew a ruffled piece of fabric to the chest area to make a little top. Of course one piece of fabric or old skirt will work on top and bottom. Then, there was a piece of inch-wide grosgrain ribbon sewn about an inch from the bottom of pants ruffle and the blouse. Cut as can be. That is my project not yet finished. I will put it on my blog when I finish.

  8. I love the owl, so cute. I am sure that the new owner will adore it! The card is great too, 1970's were good years to grow up in. What a good idea to purchase the book for the pictures. I would have found it hard to cut it up though, well done for producing a thrifty original gift, plus card and wrapping.

  9. Hi NixNax,
    What a pity you live on the other side of Australia. I need an op shopping, frugal living, crafty buddy who gets cross and frustrated just like I do.

    Hi Practical Parsimony,
    I look forward to seeing your project on your blog.

    Hi Saving Pounds in the UK,
    I love books like crazy and only cut this book because it was damaged. The cover was ripped and some of the pages had scribbles - so I saved all the images I could. I also asked the op shop to keep for me their damaged books instead of throwing them in the recycling as I am working on a Christmas gift project for a few of Dolly's friends.

  10. It is wonderful to see your crafty projects with Dolly, teaching children to be resourceful at a young age is really important. Thank you so much for linking up to Recycled Fashion!


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