Monday, November 22, 2010

Allowance and Banks

A few years ago hubby and I were sitting around discussing our kids and how we wanted to teach them about the value of money. We completely agree with the idea of a reasonable allowance to teach them some basic money skills. As the kids get older they tend to ask more and more for "things". I can not count on both hands how many times I have been asked to purchase something with which my answer has been "No, I don't have any money", with a response from Aiden "Well, use your debit card!". This is NOT how I want my kids to think about spending and the use of money. I only wish my debit card was that magic!

A while ago I saw this bank that I just thought was PERFECT for teaching them some very basic money skills. It had 3 sections, one for saving, one spending, and one giving. I was excited! I just knew this would be a great idea for our little beginners! Well, when we decided to start I ran off to this particular store to purchase one of those banks, and came back empty handed. They did in fact still carry it, but being the frugal mommy I am, could not in my right mind imagine paying the $20.00 they were selling it for! Especially since the little stickers were barely hanging on by a thread. I could make something with the supplies I had on hand and it be MUCH cuter! At this point, just imagine the eye rolling from hubby that ensued! I was on a mission!

The first thing I needed was a template. You would think a simple house template would be easy to find with an Internet search, well not as easy as I thought, so I came up with one of my own. I had big ambitions at first of this cute little chimney on top of each house, but I quickly decided these houses did not need a chimney. You can add that if you wish =) I printed this at 120% on my printer so that it just fit on an 8.5x11 sheet of paper.

Cut out your template and then cut each individual piece onto a sheet of chipboard.

Enlist a little help from your children at this point. Mine are always eager to get a little messy with mommy! I use Aleene's Tacky Glue on EVERYTHING! The kids went hard to work dabbing a little glue (or a lot in their case) onto each chipboard shape. Just an FYI that it took me a long time to figure out- I used to purchase this glue at my local scrapbook store, or box chain like HL or Michaels until I found the giant bottle at Walmart for less than half the price! I will never buy it anywhere else again.
Please don't judge the messy house in the background!

Place each chipboard piece down on the BACK of your favorite piece of scrapbook paper. If your paper has a design you want to face in a certain direction, now is the time to check your positioning!

Using your scissors, cut each piece out. I don't worry too much about perfection at this point. Sandpaper does wonders for rough edges and gives it a little character!

I do, however, like to ink the edges of most everything. I think it gives it a finished look that makes the piece pop. I prefer the tiny Cat's Eye ink pads, they are inexpensive and can be purchased in many colors.

Now, I don't have any pictures of the next step, but I think it is pretty self explanatory. On one of your ROOF pieces, cut a rectangle with your exacto knife large enough to "deposit" and remove your money. I started to try to rig up some type of removable bottom, but figured since this was going to be handled by my children, it needed to have as few removable pieces as necessary.

Use your Aleene's glue on each edge of the chipboard and press them together. You only have to hold it for a couple minutes before the glue dries enough for you to move on to the next piece.

Decorate it with any embellishments or stickers you have on hand, and here you go!

Aren't those tiny clothes pins the most darling thing you've ever seen? I LOVE them!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Painting and Glazing Furniture

If you have never visited the blog All Things Thrifty, you need to! The have the most amazing ideas for home accesories and decor. One of the things Brooke "specializes" in is revamping old furniture. After spending more time than I should have drooling over the projects she has completed, I decided to take a stab at it myself. I have to say, becuase this was my first time, I did learn a few things along the way. While I am happy with the finished project, I will still do some of the things I did differently the next time. Yes-I did say next time, I know my hubby is just cringing when I say that!

We have had this entertainment center since we got married and moved into our first home. The previous owners did not need it and left in in the house when we bought it. It is a great entertainment center, but since I am in the mood to just totally redo the decor in my home, it was my first victim! It helped to convince hubby to let me try something completely new becuase he *thinks* he is going to be getting a new tv soon and we will be getting rid of this all together then anyway.

So, here she is. I did forget to take the picture before we took off all of the doors. Please ignore the mess!

I followed the directions from All Things Thrifty and primed it with Kiltz spay primer. Lesson #1: Purchase way more primer then you think you need! I originally bought 2 cans, and then mid project rushed back to Walmart and bought 3 more!

Then I sprayed on the paint I purchased. It was a slate grey color that I thought would go well with our living room decor. Lesson #2: You definatly need more paint then you think! I used 6 cans.

After the paint dryed is where things got sticky. Even though I read and reread the directions to glaze, it just didnt turn out like I expected. I am wondering now if I either 1 was not doing it correctly or 2 it just wasnt the right type of furniture for what I was trying to do. But, overall the mocha glaze did give it some brown undertones and really gave it some character.

Her eis the finished project. I really dont think this picture is good-it doesnt really do it justice at all. And, I wish I would have thought to take it BEFORE hubby put the tv back in . I'm not really sure what that brown stripe at the top inside is. When I saw this picture I immediatly ran in the living room to make sure I didnt miss an entire piece at the top, but I didnt. WEIRD!

Here is the before and after: