Thursday, October 30, 2008

Late Nite Wags Run

I wasn't sure if I was going to take advantage of the Wags $5/$20 that came out last week. And I was told by a Wags employee that this handy coupon, or one similar to it, will be released every week. So, I guess we'll see! Here's what I got:

Transaction 1

4 Bags M & M's $10

Venus Embrace Razors $8.99

All Free & Clear $6.98 (too good of a deal to pass up)

Rimmel Foundation $7.49 (I really like this stuff!)

Coupons used:

2 x -$1 M & M's

2 x $1 off M & M's ES Q

$4 Venus (Vocal Point Q)

2 x $1 All Detergent

$1 Rimmel

$5/$20 Wags Q

Total before taxes: $17.45 (OOP a little higher because I got the 2nd All)

Transaction 2

Venus Embrace Razor $8.99

-$4 coupon

OOP $5.45

I will get rebates on the M & M's ($5) and the Rimmel ($7.49). I got $8 in RR for the razors (that's why I broke into 2 transactions)

The razors will be stocking stuffers and I'll use the M & M's to make cookies!! YUMMY!!!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I got Tagged??!!

How exciting...although I'm not quite sure how it works! But thank you SO much for the acknowledgement and the opportunity to tell you a little more about me.

I've been out of town, so this is the first chance I've had to respond to the 3 people tagging me: Coupon Clippin Mama B, That's Just Nifty Thrifty and $aving Makes Cents. Thank you, ladies!

7 "Unknown" Facts About Me
1. I am a first time mom of identical twin boys.
2. I know how to fly a Cesna Airplane. That's FLY, take off and landing are totally different!
3. I am a buyer for a modern furniture store and often "star" in our commercials. Ha, my 30 seconds of fame...
4. I have been published in local & national magazines (Goal I set in college as a class assignment. Think I'll get the extra credit??)
5. This isn't necessarily a positive thing, but it's a funny story and a lesson learned. First time I got really intoxicated, I threw the front of A LOT of people. Like I said, lesson learned!
6. I am a painter. I have a hard time "finishing" my pieces.
7. I love driving my "toaster"...a Scion xB. I figured with number 5, I could go easy on the last one.
I am tagging the following:
So Cal Saver
Newlyweds! (she has twin boys a month older than mine!)
Just a side those I tagged, and you've already been tagged by another, I give you "permission" to sit this one out :) No need to keep going round in circles on it!!
So, there you have it. Thanks again!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Light Up Your Life

Many of you guessed a lamp shade for this project. Great guess, but that's later in the week (thanks for the idea!)- I chose this as the first project because it is so easy, and you probably already have these things around your house. This is also a great way to repurpose some items in your home and give them new, I mean life!

Materials Needed:

Candle, any color

Ribbon (some you saved from Christmas last year?)

A button (or two, or three, or...)

Glue Gun

I actually picked up the candle at Target when they had all their Christmas stuff 90% off. So it cost me 30 cents. It had a silver ribbon around it with a snowflake charm. I removed the ribbon and charm, which I used on a necklace; 2 items for the price of one! I cut a piece of ribbon long enough to wrap around the candle. I hot glued one end, then wrapped the ribbon around, folded the end under to create a clean edge, and hot glued it in place. I then took a button and hot glued it in the middle of the ribbon seam. And that's it! I had a plain white pedestal I received as a gift and placed the candle on top of that.

The great thing is, the ribbon can be easily removed and replaced with another color. So, if you change your color scheme, the season changes or it's a holiday celebration, you can swap out the ribbon to match your decor.

More ideas on the way, so if you like this one, come back and check the others out!!

Let Me Push Your Buttons

...into a design masterpiece! I'm talking about those buttons you get with a new shirt or pants, attached in a little baggie. Seems mine never fall off, and when they do, I can't find them! I usually complie them in a baggie, like the one below, but I was starting to gather quite a collection! So I started thinking... just what can I do with all of those?

So this is a new series; I hope you enjoyed the last one. The designs are simple, and can be done by yourself or with the family. I also like to use things I already have so I'm not spending more! That defeats the thriftiness of it all. But I will say, something new is nice every now and then!!

Get all your buttons and spread them out, and pick a few favorites. You won't need many (the first project only requires one button!) but it will give you a better way to save all of them!!

Come back tomorrow and I'll shed some "light" on this series! That was a hint, by the way...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Halloween Decorating

It's been a few days since I posted my series on decorating for Halloween frugally. I would LOVE to see pictures of how it turned out!! So much so, that I'm starting a new contest!! That's right, not only did you get decorations for free or close to it, you'll win something out of it!!

Please email me pictures of your "haunted houses". I will host a picture gallery, then annouce a winner. In the comments, let me know you're entering and if you enjoyed the series. Should I do more like it?? And was it fun for your children, too?? I'd love some feedback!

The prize will be announced in the next few days. I am out of town, and doing this on a time-limited computer!! Thank you everyone!


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Customer is Always Right...

...except if she's using coupons! I rarely have trouble using coupons. It's not worth the time and effort to get up a great scenario only to have it ruined when the cashier tells you your coupon is only valid on the 6.0 ounce toothpaste, not the 4.0 ounce tube. why is she being so difficult?? Well, it's not really her, per say, but the advancement of computers. Now, registers will select the product the coupon is valid for, and link them together. Not that you would intentionally try to pull one over, but it's hard to do these days!

So why do I bring all this up? No, I didn't try to use a coupon for an item I didn't have, I merely wanted to get some good deals with the coupons I DO have for the items that match them.

Let me start off by saying I NEVER have issues at CVS. I have respected the cashiers telling me "no", until I have learned the ropes, and they know that. So my transactons always go smooth as silk. Until Friday night.

I asked if I could use a Walgreens coupon from the Easy Saver on the SoBe water at CVS. The manager (in the office), yells 'NO!". We don't take ANYTHING from Walgreens. Well, considering they are RIGHT ACROSS the street, maybe you should. So I said okay, well, I have manufacturer's coupons from tearpads at Walgreens I'll use. MANUFACTURER'S coupons. Well, they say Walgreens on them, not only valid at Walgreens, just "Walgreens" printed on them. The cashier scanned them, and theywent through just fine, but wait, it says Walgreen...

So she calls over a- manager?? I don'tknow if she was the maager or not, but the lady refused my coupons. She commented, tese are copies anyway. Um, NO. I'm not committing coupon fraud over 40 cents and 3 ECBs. THEN she starts looking through my other coupons. These are are copies, too. I said, "you are allowed to take those. I verified it with CS. If they scan, they are valid. I shop here once or twice a week. the cashiers know me, and I am NOT going to risk being able to shop here for 40 cents! You have a great rewards program, and I want to be able to take advanatge of that. NOT take advantage of you." She just says, Hmmm, then gets to my Excedrin coupon and my CVS Excedrin coupon:

"You can't use these together."
"Yes, I can. One is a store coupon, and one is a manufacturer's coupon."
"Well, this one says "do not double". If you use them together, that's doubling."
(laughing on the inside). "No, that's not doubling. If you doubled that one to $4, that's doubling. The CVS one is for $3, so together they are $5. I'm stacking them, not doubling. CVS allows that."
"Well, I just don't think you can do that. And THIS one is a copy."

ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? So I said, "forget it. I'm not getting any of this stuff." I looked at the cashier, apologized for wasting her time, then looked at the "manager" and said. I have NEVER had any trouble with using coupons. I am familiar with the coupon policy here, and I follow it. I will just call customer care on Monday, and we'll get it straightened out."

Then I realized my CVS papertowel coupon was expiring the next few days. I'll be out of town, and they are FREE, so I went back inside to get them. The cashier apologized and said the other lady is from out-of-town and won't be here long. I told her I understand them being cautious, but like I said, 40 cents isn't worth it. No biggie, I'll be back!

So avoid this trouble. How? Take the following steps prior to coupon shopping...
  1. Be sure the item stated on the coupon is the item you are buying.
  2. Check the expiration date! This is a minor detail that often gets overlooked, but most registers will catch it, or the cashier will.
  3. Email the store you frequent and get their coupon policy. I would even print it out and keep it in your coupon binder.
  4. Keep transactions small, if possible, so not to overwhelm you or the cashier when using so many coupons.
  5. Make a list of the items you are buying, with prices and even coupon amount you are using. this comes in very handy when working up scenarios.

I knew the coupons I was using and the items I was getting matched up. I knew I was in the right. But me walking out and refusing to buy ANYTHING when I was given a hard time struck a cord with the troublesome lady. She started to back pedel, and I refused to buy anything. When I went back in to get the papertowels, I just said, I know this coupon is okay, I got it here!

And if you need help with all this coupon stuff at CVS, you'll want to visit The Thrifty Mama's site on how to shop CVS. NOW is a great time to start because she is starting from the ground up!! Take a look HERE.

Thanks for hearing my vent, and GOOD LUCK!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Baby Food Bargain

I left for work yesterday on a mission- to get baby food. As a mom of twins, it's hard to gauge what they are going to eat in a week! But with my trusty binder in hand, off to the store I went. I stopped at Shnucks, formally know as Seesles's by Albertsons, because they will sometimes run specials on my favorite type of food, Beechnut. Well, sure enough, the 2nd foods are on sale for 40 cents a jar! Typically they run about 55 cents, so i was pleased. They also had several flavors on close out. So I snagged a few jars, along with the Green Giant Steamers on sale 10/$10, a family sized tub of Mosse Tracks ice cream and some Uncle Ben's rice. I used a couple Beechnut coupons I received from them (just call and ask!), $1 Green Giant Qs from this past Sunday's insert and a coupon for free Uncle Ben's cajun style rice that was mailed to me. Then I decided to stop at Kroger to get more deals, including the new Glade money maker!
The latest money making deal is the new Glade deal. It's as good as the last one, and you can get the details from The Thrifty Mama; just scroll down until you see the Glade deal!

So I grabbed up more baby food, Glade Oil warmers, Johnson's Buddie Bars, Tums Smoothers and a Febreeze Noticeable starter kit.

Here's a pic of my haul. The only thing not pictured is the ice cream (I left it at work to thank evryone for letting me do a quick run on my lunch break) and the Glade warmers. Frankly, there were just too many to put on the counter!!

Not too shabby for a total OOP of about $6! All of this was free after Qs: GG vegies, Uncle Ben's rice, J & J Bars, Tums Smoothers and the Febreeze kit. I actually got overage from the Tums and Febreeze! The Tums were on clearance for .84, and I had $1 off Qs. The Febreeze was $7.99, and I had a $5 Q from the paper and another $5 Q loaded on my Kroger card from the P & G website. (Thanks again, Thrifty Mama!) Kroger has a TON of stuff on clearance right now in the pharmacy section, so check it out. You could get great stuff for free or close to it when you pair it with coupons!!

As for the Glade money maker- I bought 8 this morning. I paid 27 cents OOP and walked away with 8 warmers and $32 in catalinas for money off my next purchase. AWESOME!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Part 3: Cottonball Creepy Crawlies

I'm sure many of you remember making spider webs "the old-fashioned way", besides collecting spiders and having them do it! I'm talking about using cottonballs. Just unroll them, and gently spread the cotton out! Best thing about this decorating idea is that most of this stuff you will already have!!

1. Gather your materials: large cottonballs, 4 toothpicks for each spider, black paint, redish fingernail polish and double-sided tape.

2. Put some of the black paint on a paper plate or even a regular plate. It will wash right off (just clean it in a reasonable amount of time). Leave to dry.

3. Unroll the cotton ball.

4. Find a home for your web. Bricks work great because the cotton snags on it. If you don't have brick, use the double-sided tape to hold the web in place.

5. Break the toothpicks in half. Stick each piece in the cottonball body. Four on one side and four on the other. Using the nail polish, paint 2 eyes on the spider. Place the spider in its new home; you may need to secure it using the tape.

And there you have it! Spiders and webs. What did this cost me?? NOTHING!


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Part 2: Cereal Box Cemetary

So you scored some great deals on cereal. With the cost of cereal getting ridiculously high for air and sugar filled puffs, and milk costing more per gallon than gas, it's good to get all you can out of it! So here's my plan for you...

Making Cereal Box Tombstones

1. Put rocks, sand, rice or other "heavy" substance in the box to anchor it. Glue the open end of the ceral box closed. You could tape it, but the paint make not stick to it.

2. Paint the box with black paint: acrylic or spray paint. It doesn't even have to be solid black. Mine is a deep brown with navy blue. It gives it a little more depth than black. But then again, I couldn't find my black paint, so I just used what I could find!! Let it dry.

3. Paint on an epitaph with white paint. Use clever names like this one: Lota Bones. (lot of bones, lol). You can even water down the paint a little and with the box standing up, paint RIP. The watery paint will run, making it a little creepier...

4. Make several and place throughout your yard. If you don't have anything to put in the bottom of the box, tape a sharpened pencil to the back, with half of it protruding past the box, and stick it into the ground.

Remember these won't be waterproof!!

Glad in Glade WINNER!!

Congratulations to Managing Mommy! She is the winner of the Glad in Glade contest. I will be mailing your prize package out next week.

THANK YOU to all those who participated, and I will have another contest soon!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Halloween on Almost a Dime: Part 1, Frugal Phantoms

Well, with Halloween quickly approaching, I am running out of time to decorate, my favorite part!! And with 2 babies, I ran out of money a long time ago!! So here are a few, family friendly ideas for Halloween. I'll start with one idea today, and give 2 more, one on Saturday, the final on Sunday. By Monday, you'll be ready for Halloween!

So what do you do with all those plastic shopping bags you get after unloading your groceries? Well, if your local grocery store doesn't take them to recycle, offer you a discount for using your own (mine just started!!) and you don't have a dog (these make great bags to pick up doggie "mines" when walking in the neighborhood), use them to decorate for Halloween!!

Grocery Bag Ghosts
You can really use any bag, but your children will probably stress to use white ones. They are ghosts, you know!! The bags in my area that are white are Target, Kmart, CVS and Walmart.
1. Take one of the bags and lay it flat. Cut off the handles at the edge of the opening on the bag.
Save one of the to tie around the neck. The other will be part of the stuffing.

2. Cut the bag along the seams to make 2 pieces. (I didn't cut my handles off on this one, but do it as mentioned in step 1).

3. Wad the piece with the print up into a ball, trying to hide the print "inside" the wad. You will be able to see some of it, but not much. Put this in the middle of the other bag. Lay the bag over the ball, cinch at he bottom of the ball and tie one of the handles around it to hold in place.

4. With a permanent marker, draw on eyes and a mouth if you want one! Then, using fishing line or even dental floss (that you got FREE from CVS, lol), tie it to a tree limb or hang from your house. It won't take much string, only about 12".

Waterproof AND you could save them for next year!! They look great when you have several im a tree. Best thing is, you could make DOZENS of them, and it hasn't cost you anything!! BOO!

Stay tuned for the next thrifty tip on Saturday!

So You Want to Shop CVS?

I stumbled across CVS after becoming a frugal shopper. I learned all I know now after watching other mamas save and get things FREE at CVS! What is a CVS? What makes it such a GREAT place to shop??? Why would you drive to another state just to shop there?? (It's really only 10 minutes away, but SO worth it!)

You can get all these answers and more by clicking on the box below. The Thrifty Mama is the queen at shopping at CVS; I bow before her, lol. When I get ready to take a trip there, I always check her site first!

Thanks to my frugal shopping, I haven't bought diapers in a long time! I know I say that a lot, but for you mamas that buy them, you know what a money saver that is!

So a take a look there, learn about: how to get things free when they have a BOGO sale and you have a BOGO coupon, getting a free $30 GC, the cool thing about ECBs, oh, and what all those abbreviations are for!!!

I blew all my ECBs last week, but on things I needed, so I'm basically starting over. I'll be following along with her, too!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

$avings Makes Cents is Giving Away a Carpet Flick!

Jump over to $avings Makes Cents, and register to win a Swiffer Carpet Flick! It's too bad I don't have carpet because I would love to win this. Of course, I haven't been throwing any wild parties lately, so I don't have a lot of confetti lying around the house. I am going out of town this weekend... no wild parties at my house unless I win this thing!!

And don't forget about the Glad for Glade contest HERE. You can also find it in my "Floorplans" section. Have fun and get FREE stuff! Gotta love that!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Recycling and Repurposing

The best way to be thrifty and contribute to preserving our Earth is to reuse items. My sister bought this cute sign for us when she found out I was pregnant. She knew my husband would love it because it is made from reclaimed wood from a pier; he longs to be on the seas one day, sailing across the ocean. He's trying to convince me to go with him... lol (small fear of water is the only thing that would keep me away). I love it because it is giving an item new life, and keeping it from finding a home in a landfill. I tease her it's the reason we had twin boys; otherwise the sign wouldn't have been as appropriate! I only knew I was pregnant at the time, not carrying two!!

This would be easy to make. Find a piece of scrap wood, it's better if it has been sitting around a while because that adds to the character of it! Drill 2 small holes in the top (one on the left, one on the right) to thread a piece of wire or string through it. This will allow it to be hung anywhere!Do a wash over it with any color paint you choose. To create a wash, you can add a glaze to the paint, but water would work just as well, and it's free! Let it dry... then paint your phrase and littles pictures on it. No need to be an artist, the simplicity adds a childlike effect to it. After the paint is dry, thread the wire or thread into the holes, and pick the perfect spot to hang it. Your little one could help you with that, too!
Have a good phrase to use? Leave a comment to help some other moms out!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Find the Glad in Glade

Get it?? Glade...

I was putting away my Glade oil warmers (again), and it got me to thinking- what is everyone else doing with theirs? I have mine stacked, stored, even hanging from the ceiling in my basement! Then another thought came to mind- I should have a catchy little contest to see who has the best Glade stockpile or who can come up with the best idea to "use" these. Hence, the name! You'll be glad you bought all those Glades (or that I did)!!

To get things started, here are pics of my crazy stash. I have 36 gel warmers, 36 oil warmers, 12 Wisps, 8 oil candles, 8 oil candle refills, 4 of the 4 oz candles and 12 Fabric refreshers. Take a look!

So, take a count, better yet, some pictures and enter my contest! Subscribe to or follow my blog and leave a comment.

And what's the prize you ask?? Well, since I am trying to be thrifty and helps others at it too, how about a great start or addition to your coupon collection? Your prize pack will include 50 coupons and 2 Glade gel warmers and 2 oil warmers (your choice of fragrance from what I have). Also included will be a couple of those BOGO Glade Oil warmers everyone is crazy over right now. Why do you ask?? Because it's free money!! If you don't know what I'm taking about, take a look HERE at The Thrifty Mama.

I'll be drawing a winner this Friday, and sending your prize to you on Monday!

Good Luck, and I hope you have a great time participating!

Snuck in last minute Saturday Shopping

I'll admit it; I may have a coupon addiction. But is it that bad if I'm saving money?? I haven't bought diapers since July, and I am shopping for twins!! So if this is an addiction, I think it's one of those healthy kinds!!
Another Wags Run
24 SoBe Waters
3 Crest
2 Scrubbing Bubbles
2 Windex Wipes
4 Oral B Toothbrushes
Spent $0 OOP (paid balance on GC)
I will get rebates for the Windex and Scrubbing Bubbles ($4)
I got lucky with the SoBe. Wags had tearpads a couple of weeks ago for .4o/1, and I only took 8 coupons. I didn't want to get greedy! When I went last night to get the SoBe with the 8 coupons I had, they had just put out more! SO I got 16 more coupons, still leaving the rest of the Qs (there were 2 tearpads). When I went to check out, the cashier said I couldn't use one of those with the Easy Saver coupon. TRUST ME, I can!! So she tried it, and of course it worked!!
If you can't wrap your head around all this coupon business, just keep trying. You WILL get it, and when you do, the rewards are awesome!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Lunch Break Bargains! More Saturday Savings...

So I decided to run across the street to Wags on my lunch break. Here's what I got for NOTHING out-of-pocket!! I'll try to post a pic later, since a lot of us love seeing the haul!! They always say a picture is worth a thousand words!!!

1st Transaction:

5 Softsoap @ $4.49 ea

4 Crest Toothpaste $1.99 ea

-4 x $1/1 Softsoap (manufacturer Q)

-5 x $1/1 Softsoap ES Q

-4 x $1/1 Crest (manufacturer Q)
-4 x $1/1 Crest ES Q

-$3 RR

Total $13.22, used GC, nothing OOP!

Earned $10 RR for Softsoap

2nd Transaction:

5 Walgreens Dipes Mega Packs $5.49 (clearanced)

Less $10 RR, $3 RR, $3 RR and $3 RR

Total $4.99 on GC, nothing OOP!

I used all my Register Rewards, but I got diapers for FREE. Comes in handy when you are going through them twice as fast!!

Frugal Friday turns into Saturday of Savings

This is my first post of one of my late night shopping runs. I go once the boys are in bed so I can go alone, without distractions and it gives me some "me" time. I know a lot of you understand that even grocery shopping is a break we look forward to!

The reason my Frugal Friday turned into a Saturday of Savings is because I started late Friday night and didn't finish until 1 a.m.!! My husband woke up enough to help me carry in my haul, I know, that was so sweet of him!! He didn't get the full impact of it all until I told him this morning how much I spent. "WHAT??!! That's great!" So, how much was all of this?? Only $16.38. Just check out the details below...

4 Gold Bond Powder, travel size .97 each
Parent's Choice Puffs $1.59
3 Gillette Shampoo + Body Wash $2 each
Well Patch Single .97 (should have saved the Q for CVS!!)
Coke (not pictured because I was thirsty)
Annie's fresh Baked giant Pretzel FREE because they were about to close and the girl just gave it to me. (Not pictured because I got hungry, was the reason I got thristy)
Total after coupons: $3.43
I will never go to Kroger for a large shopping run after 10 p.m. anymore.
Only the Uscan is open!! I also have misplaced my reciept, so this is from memory. No individual prices, just my total OOP at the end.
1st Transaction:
8 Glade Oil Warmers $4.49 ea, BOGO Qs, used $4 cats so nothing OOP
2nd Transaction:
Eggland's Best Eggs
6 Betty Crocker Potatoes
Huggies Dipes
Pampers Wipes
2 Dole Salad
3 Bolthouse farms Juice LARGE ($1.99 ea)
3 Pure Naked Juice, single serving (.99 ea)
Fresh Mushrooms
2 Success Boil in Bag Brown Rice
Immune Boost by Emergen-C (on clearance)
Land-o-lakes Spreadable butter
Kroger Butter
2 Shredded Cheese
Cream Cheese
2 Buddie Bras
J & J Baby Oil
24 Jars Beechnut Babyfood (not pictured, ran out of room)
Total after coupons: $16.xx (where's my receipt??)
I actually drive to another state to shop CVS! It's only 10 minutes away, and it is so worth it for the Extra Bucks and cheaper tax rate!!!
1st Transaction:
Benefiber 32 servings
Benefiber 48 servings
$0 OOP after ECBs & Gifcard
Earned 10 ECBs
2nd Transaction:
Well Patch $5.99
Lady Speedstick $1.99
Listerine (clearanced .50 ea)
CVS Papertowels $1.99
I received $1 off the deo, papertowels and Listerine from the coupon scanner so both were free after coupon and ECBs. I'll be taking the Well Patch back because it was the wrong one for ECBs. Also, the $1 Q for the papertowels actually took off $2!!
$0 OOP after ECBs and Giftcard
3rd Tranaction:
2 Playskool Diapers
I received $4/$20 Playskool purchase from the coupon scanner. I also had $2 off playskool Dipes. i don't think I was supposed to use them together because the cupon beeped when she scanned them, but she entered them manually. Yay!
$0 OOP after coupons, ECBs and giftcard
Glade Flameless Candle $5.99
2 SoBe Life Water
4 Glade Candle Oil refill
$0 OOP after coupons and Giftcard
AND I have $1 ECB for CVS, since I messed up the Well Patch (I'll get $5.99 for it when I return them), $12 Register Rewards for Walgreens and $4 in rebates coming for this month!!!
I am thrilled. So how on earth did I do all of this?? Well, I'll tell you that next week. I'll give you the scoop on my favorite sites to follow for big savings.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Let's Get "Star"ted

Sorry about the pun, but I couldn't help myself! Bear with me today, I've been having issues with my keybaord AND camera. But I am ready to jump in, are you?

  • Here's the materials list:
    1 Wooden Disc (for the body). This can be aby size, just make sure you find a mirror to fit in the center! My disc is 6" in diameter

  • Wooden Craft Circles in various sizes. These come mixed in a bag, and I only needed one bag.

  • Assortment of round mirrors. Each bag is size specific. I used 14 small, 27 medium and 14 large.

  • 1 Large Mirror for the body. Mine is 5' in diameter

  • Wooden dowels, 1/8". The number you need will depend on the number of rays you will have. I have 16 long rays and 16 short rays. The long rays are 10" long, the short are 5" long. Multiply the length times the number of each size arms, and that will give you the over all length needed, hence the number of dowels to get. If you're a math person, you'll have no trouble figuring this out. Or just buy some dowels, they were only 9 cents, use what you need, and take the rest back!

  • Wood Stain, any color. I got lucky and found this nice dark brown in the "oops" section for only $1

  • Glue Gun

  • Wood Glue
  • Picture Claw to hang your finished piece of art
Okay! Time for preparation and assembly.

1. Cut the dowels iinto the desired lengths. Then stain ALL the wooden pieces: wooden disc for the body, the wooden circles and the dowels. Leave to dry.

2. Draw a "grid" on the back of the body to mark the position of the rays. To get placement, meaure the length around the disc, and divide it by the number of arms. Then make little marks on the back around the circle. Draw lines from one mark to it's coordinating mark on the other side (passing through the center). This will tell you where to drill the holes for the rays. Just to be sure you've done it right, arrange the precut dowels around the body, alternating between long and short. If you have 2 long or short next to each other once you're done, OOPS! There's an error somewhere. Re-do the grid in another color if needed. Make sure this is right before moving onto the next step.

3. Attach the picture claw onto the back of the body. Most of these are tacked into the back. If you don't do it now, you may ruin the piece if you have to do it once it is finished.

4. Using a drill bit, drill holes the size of the dowels around the rim of the body. Don't forget that the placement of the dowels was determined in step 2! Drill the holes in the center of the edge (if your disc is 1/2" deep, then your hole will be 1/4" from the top and bottom of the disc). Wrap a piece of masking tape around the drill bit, 1/4" from the end of the bit. Once you've drilled into the edge until the tape touches the disc's body, you know you've gone the same depth all the way around! This will keep your arms the same length!!

5. Arrange a pattern that you like along the dowels. Start with the larger size on one end, and then use the medium then the small as you get towards the other end. Once you get them arranged, hot glue the wooden discs and mirrors on the dowels. Alternate mirrors and dowels for a unique touch. Get all your dowels done, then go to the next step.

6. Put some wood glue on a paper plate or in a small holder. It won't take much!! Dip the end of the dowel into the wood glue and then slide into one of the holes you drilled into the body. It doesn't matter where you sart, but then alternate between long and short arms.

7. Lay the piece down and allow the glue to set.

8. Pick a perfect spot in your home and hang! Great job!!

Have questions?? Feel free to ask. This is my first DIY post, so I need to know if I am explaining it well. I'm happy to help!

Edit: It would have been helpful if I had included my cost on this. After all, it IS about saving! I bought all craft items from Hobby Lobby. The wooden craft circles, dowels, disc and mirrors were 50% off, due to a sale they were running. I didn't need it, but they often have a printable coupon for 40% off any regularly priced item on their website. The picture claw was something I already had, but you can get them at any hardward store. As mentioned earlier, the stain was only $1. So after supplies, I spent about $10. What a bargain! Of course, that doesn't include my time invested, and as we all moms know, that's priceless!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

A New "Star" for Your Home

So you've seen them everywhere in different sizes, finishes and designs. The starburst has become an icon in design again. Very popular in retro atmospheres, it has been altered many times to create a softer, more formal appearance. The only problem is the price has been altered, too! I've seen some of these as high as $1399.00! Yes, that's one thousand three hundred ninety-nine dollars, not a misplaced decimal point. After drooling over these for some time, I thought I had settled on a great alternative, the one from West Elm. Attractively priced at $39, this was a steal! But the more I looked at it, the more I felt something was missing. Yes, even on my minimal mindset. So after taking another look, I decided to create my own! Unfortunately, I don't have a picture timeline, but I'll give you step by step instructions and a picture of the final product.

But first, some inspiration photos...

Pictured above (from left to right) are the Sunburst wall art from West Elm, the Raindrops mirror from Uttermost and the Raindrops mirror from Potterybarn. These are just a sample of the some of the different styles available!

After about a week of collecting supplies for mine and only a day of assembly, this is the finished product...

I used a combination of wooden craft circles and round mirrors of various sizes to create a unique piece. I stained the wood a dark brown, and it really warms the overall look. I could have used the mirrors only, but not only would it have gotten pricey, but the wood helps it blend with the other would tones in the room. The sculpture compliments my decor instead of dominating it.
So how did I do this? Check back tomorrow, and I'll tell you how!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Welcome to Dimely Design. The "design" portion of this blog is to serve two purposes: help others with design solutions and encourage myself, and other dormant artists, to continue to be creative. The "dimely" portion is to create timeless, or timely!, accents for your home on a budget. Every week, I'll feature a design solution, piece of art or frugal find. After all, you don't have to empty your wallet in order to fill your house!

To get started, I'll tell you a little about myself and why this blog has come into creation. I graduated with a design degree and have been a buyer for a modern furniture store for almost eight years. I am a painter in my almost non-existent free time. I really enjoy thinking out of the box to decorate my house while illustrating my style, values and uniqueness throughout my home.

So why do I say "my almost non-existent free time??" Well, I am a new mother of two very adorable, no really, they are VERY adorable, identical twin boys. They were my birthday present for the year 2007, and the best present I have ever received! Motherhood has changed my life, and of course the way I decorate!

I would like to thank my husband for always encouraging me to paint, even if it is to the point of annoyance, although I'm not annoyed, actually flattered he believes in me so much. Without that, I may have put my paintbrush down a long time ago. He is always there, ready to lock me in my studio, so that my creativity never hibernates again. Thank you, love of my life.

And another thanks to the mamas that have shown me the way to being thrifty. I've developed a new creative addiction: coupon clipping. How is that creative? Well, stick around, and you'll find out.