Preparing for Holiday Crafting

preparingforholidaycraftingAs money is a bit tight this year, I will have to make all of our holiday gifts for family and friends. Although purchasing a lot of crafting materials is tempting, I just can’t do it at this time. To make the crafts truly frugal, we’ll have to make do with what we have on hand. And doing that often requires a bit of patience as well as preparation. Today I’ve begun preparing the materials for two holiday crafts.

dryinglavenderleavesThis past spring we purchased a lavender plant. It has grown to be quite healthy and big, but there were not enough blossoms to harvest for any project. I therefore did a bit of looking around on the internet, and I discovered that I could also use the leaves from the plant. I picked the leaves from throughout the plant, providing me with a modest amount for drying. These I scattered over a piece of newspaper placed in an old pie tin; that was also covered with another piece of newspaper. I am hoping that this configuration will allow the leaves to dry properly as long as the tin is shaken each day so that the leaves dry completely.

makingplasticyarnAdditionally, I also began creating some plastic “yarn” from bags that we had lying around the kitchen. I have been crocheting with plastic bags since 2005 and have used several different methods for creating yarn. I have found the method below to be the easiest, and it also results in the strongest yarn possible.

First, simply lay the bag flat on the ground and cut off the top and bottom of the bag. Next, cut the remaining bag into loops, giving you several loops from one bag. These loops will be connected by threading them together. After you have connected the loops, you can wind the “yarn” into a ball, just like regular yarn. This method should give you a double-strong yarn that will withstand some tugging when you crochet. Just continue adding loops on to the free end to make the “yarn” longer or add new colors.

Finally, one caveat if you have cats. They love to “help,” especially with the yarn. My little helper particularly enjoyed stealing the ball of plastic yarn and running away with it. As these crafts aren’t compatible with kitty kittieslovetohelpassistance, then I would highly recommend doing them when they are sleeping or otherwise occupied. Also, be sure and store them somewhere the cats will not be able to access.

Although these tasks may not produce very flashy results as of yet, they will pay off in the long run. Making use of what’s available is certainly a frugal way to create crafts for holiday giving. Being creative and resourceful allows us to participate in gift exchanges, even on a small budget. Too, these crafts are environmentally friendly as they utilize materials in a new way.

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