Littlehouse Decor

It might be my Spring Fever flaring up, but giving thrift store finds a fresh, new life has been at the forefront of my mind lately.  A fresh coat of paint can give any item a new life.  A dated candlestick or forgotten picture frame will flip the creative switch in my brain and I go into total DIY mode.  Luckily for me, this seems to be contagious.  Between my thrift store finds and my mom’s painting, I could fully furnish a little house…..if only I had an apartment.

Recently, I gave myself the challenge of going to a few second-hand stores on a budget of $20.  I am surprised to say that I did not go over my budget.  Here is what I came home with:

 

 

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There wasn’t much fixing, painting, updating needed for these pieces.  I painted the candlestick white so it would fit in well with other decor items that I have.  The rest of these items just needed a little elbow grease to get the sticky price tags off.

My only concerns with having Spring Fever/DIY Fever is that I’m afraid I will have too much furniture and decor when I find an apartment of my own.

Disclaimer: I understand a Ceramic Popcorn Tub is NOT decor, I just really love popcorn and couldn’t pass it up!

 

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Gift Tag Trees

If you are anything like me, you have great expectations for the presentation of your Wrapped Christmas Gifts.  Unfortunately for me, I usually run out of time and end up buying sticker gift tags from a dollar store.  This year is no different.  However, I found a cute idea after all my Christmas wrapping was done. I am sharing this idea for those of you out there who haven’t wrapped presents yet  or want to save the idea for next year.

To start these adorable paint sample gift tags, you will need to go to a hardware store and collect paint samples.  Other items I used include: permanent markers, hole punch, glue, & twine.

Depending on the size of the paint sample, you can end up with a few different sized trees.  Draw lines on the back of the paint sample so you can plan out the size and shape of each tree.  To create a variety of trees  use different sized triangles or layer them up to make larger trees.  Once all the trees are cut out you can decorate them with polka-dots, Christmas lights, or garland.  Don’t forget to add To: and From:

I also used twine for a few of the gift tag trees so they can easily be added to a gift bag.  The left over trees were used to decorate already wrapped presents!

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Holiday Gifting

Nothing gets the Holiday Season started like the panic of buying the perfect gift. It never fails, the Holiday Season will creep up on me and I blank on all the great ideas accumulating in my mind. When November rolls around the panic sets in because I can’t remember my gift ideas or how many gift I need to give. If gift giving causes you anxiety or turns you into the Grinch, I’m here to bring you back on board the sleigh with the big red guy in red.

It is never too early to start planning and buying gifts. Whether it’s just making a list of who you’re buying for or hitting up some early sales, the sooner the better. I’m not ashamed to admit I bought a gift this year way back in July. Sometimes an idea will hit you like a cold December wind or the prices are too good to pass up. My suggestion to get started early is to make a list of everyone you need a gift for. This way, you can easily keep track of whom you still need to buy for.

Next, don’t break the bank on gifts this year. Spending more than you can afford will only cause more anxiety and diminish the magic of the Holiday Season. Personalizing gifts or following a theme can help you save money and impress the one receiving your gift. Keeping a theme among a few, small, well thought out items will mean more to someone than an average gift you potentially spent too much on. Fun themes to follow can be color, scent, or hobby. If a friend enjoys baking, a colorful cupcake tin, cute oven mitts, and ingredients for funfetti cupcakes would be a cute and reasonably priced gift. Personalizing the theme to the person makes the gift more exciting and special. Spending tons of money isn’t necessary to guarantee a great gift.

Gifting on a budget can also be easier if you watch sales and collect coupons. If you find a great item on sale, snap it up right away. It’s better to be prepared than scrambling on Christmas Eve. Collecting coupons is a great way to knock out multiple gifts in one purchase. Coupons and deals around the Holidays are fairly easy to find. A great deal to look for is when you spend a certain amount you can get $10-20 off your purchase. I get these types of deals in my emails so keep an eye out for those. In fact, I received a coupon for $10 off a purchase of $35 at Charming Charlie’s. Stay tuned to see how I turned that deal into five different gifts.

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Lastly, don’t forget the presentation. The presentation is the first impression of what could be inside. For presents that simply need wrapping paper, be sure to have clean corners and use enough tape. It is also important to avoid rips and tears in the wrapping paper. When using gift bags, wrap fragile items in tissue paper and then use one or two pieces to fill the bag. A trick for the tissue paper is to push the center of the sheet into the bag and bring the corners up to poke out of the bag. Gifts that are large or oddly shaped can prove to be difficult. Sometimes the easiest remedy for large gifts is simply to add a large bow and decorative gift tag. A cute addition to any gift is to use a Christmas ornament as a decoration; it can be tied to the handle on a gift bag or taped to a wrapped present along with the gift tag.

Hopefully with these tips for gift giving you can spend less time stressing and more time with family and friends.

With my $10 off $35 purchase from Charming Charlie’s I bought five scarves, necklace, ring, and a set of earrings. After using my coupon and shopping the sale rack, my total came to $31 and I had the start of five different gifts. Here are my five gift ideas based on my purchase from Charming Charlie’s.



 

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Black & White Scarf

Seasonal Scented Candle

The scarf came in under $4 and a Seasonal scented candle from Bath & Body Works ranges from $4.50 to $20 depending on the size. This gift would work great for a co-worker or roommate.



 

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Yellow Scarf with Blue & Yellow Tassels

Recipe for Gingerbread Pancakes

Again, the scarf was less than $4. The recipe for Gingerbread pancakes is very festive and freeeeeeeeee. Any Gingerbread pancake recipe on the Internet will work: I prefer the one on Food.com. A cute way to present this gift is in a mason jar. This gift can be given to a relative or any friend that loves cooking.



 

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Blue & White Chevron Scarf

Travel Coffee Mug

Hot Chocolate Mix

Who can say no to a $4 scarf? You can find a nice travel mug at Wal-Mart for about $10 and a single packet of flavored hot chocolate is about $1. This $15 gift is great for any chocolate lover on-the-go.



 

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Pink Scarf

Ring & Necklace

Charming Charlie’s should really pay me for this….This entire gift can be found at Charming Charlie’s. The ring and necklace were both on the clearance rack so this gift came in at under $12. Roommates, co-workers, or siblings would love to receive this gift.



 

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Brown & White Chevron Scarf

Mini Liquor

Mug

The novelty mug can be found for a range of prices. It all depends on what you are willing to spend. The mini bottle of liquor is just a few dollars and turns any cider or hot chocolate into an adult beverage. The scarf was obviously $4. I would love to receive this gift, so I’m guessing anyone over 21 would too.