Monday, 21 October 2013

Fun and Frugal Fix-Ups.

One of our sons and his family will be spending a number of weekends with us this coming year so we've started getting rooms ready for them. We started with the room set aside for our 1 1/2 year-old granddaughter, mainly because I thought it would be the most fun to do. We set a budget of $100.00, which was quite a bit more than needed as the entire room was completed for less than $40.00.

The first thing we did was wash the entire room, top to bottom, using a mild baking soda solution. Once that was done, we painted all the woodwork - the door, the baseboards and the window and door frames. We next washed the windows inside and out, applied the 'Dora' border all around the room and added the 3-D decals. Finally the floor was washed and waxed and that completed the room, except for the furnishings.

I'm a firm believer that being frugal does not mean buying cheap, but rather buying good quality products for the lowest price, like when they're on sale. There are even times it may mean paying a bit more. I hate painting, so for me paying a little extra for a really good quality paint, and only having to paint once, is very much worth it.

The costs for the room were:
Dora border purchased on sale at Walmart - 2 packs @ $9.00 each - total $18.00.
The decals came from the dollar store and cost $2.00
Paint was purchased from Home Depot for $45.00/gallon, but only a small amount was used for this room, so I estimated maximum cost at $10.00.
Total material cost: $$30.00

Of course the room had to be furnished and for that we mostly used stuff we already had - the toddler bed, along with the bedding, had been purchased 8 years earlier for one of our grandsons. I had picked up the curtains years ago (can't remember how much I paid, probably no more than $1.00) at a Thrift store and those were washed and hemmed to the length I wanted, then tied back with ribbon I found in my sewing box.

The bear was brand new, but cost just fifty cents at the BfM Thrift Store where I also purchased the Dora chair for $2.00.

The Dora rug, originally a child's sleeping bag (free), was covered with a flannel sheet (clearance item $5.00). This was meant for the bed, but it turned out to be much too heavy for that purpose but works beautifully as a soft, washable rug.  

The toy kitchen, complete with dishes, was picked up at a local Thrift store quite a few years ago. I can't remember what I paid for it but I'm sure it wasn't very much, probably around $5.00.

When it comes to frugal decorating, I think it pays to spend the big money on things that are expected to last and find bargains in other areas. I love having the time to check out the Thrift Stores because I've ended up with great buys and some really unique items for very little money.

This is probably not new to anyone but me, but anyway, here goes - I found a way to use paint so there is no waste. I use an old soup ladle to pour paint into a 2 lb. margarine dish or paint tray, depending on whether I use a brush or roller - one ladle full when using a brush and up to five ladles (depending on the size of the job) for the roller, cutting back on the amount as I near job completion. The rim of the paint can now stays clean, making for a better re-seal and all the paint is used, eliminating little bits left over which  are usually discarded.. 
Also, my husband built a wooden tray to fasten to the top of the ladder and to that I screw-nailed a large aluminum roaster from the dollar store in which I set the paint dish/tray and any painting tools. No more accidental messes.

We' re now working on our bedroom and as soon as that is done, we'll tackle our teenage granddaughter's room. She gets to pick out her own wallpaper so that will be interesting - I get to choose the paint since I could see her choosing something like midnight black or fluorescent orange. Our son will do the painting and the granddaughter wants to help with the wallpapering - it probably won't end up perfect, but we will have fun.

We've always enjoyed doing things ourselves but health issues forced us to stop. It took our son's needing a place to stay that motivated us to try again. So far its working fine - not nearly as fast as we used to be and we've had to change the way we do some things, but we are getting things done and, as Martha Stewart says, that's a good thing.

"What you can do is often simply a matter of what you will do." Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth

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I want this blog to be interesting, informative and current. Your comments let me know if I'm on track, so comments are greatly appreciated.
Thanks - Lenie