Thrifty Recycled Gift Holder

By ERIN TURNER

Our family is into our 3rd week of our Pantry Challenge and next week’s blog post will recap the entire month and I’ll reveal our savings!  But this week I’m sharing a super cute and thrifty idea which actually was born out of our Pantry Challenge.

When we’re doing our Challenge, it seems we become even more attentive to saving money on things other than just groceries.  Normally, during our month long Pantry Challenge we focus on limiting the money we spend at the grocery store.  Yet what we’ve noticed is this behavior creeps into all aspects of our life.  And that’s always a welcomed behavior because having money left over in all areas of our budget at the end of the month is a SUPER good thing!

We like to give our kids small, little treats for Valentines’ day.  Usually it’s a new t-shirt or something which doesn’t cost more than $5.  We just finished Christmas and then we have a January birthday followed by a February birthday in our household, so lavishing the boys with more gifts for Valentines’ isn’t something we want to do but we like do something special for them.

This year all the boys are working hard on saving money for specific things so I figured a crisp, new $5 bill would be much appreciated and put to good use.  Not wanting to just flip the bills on the table and say, “Happy Valentines’ Day!” I went to the store looking for cards.  Umm, have you shopped for cards lately?  *Cough, Cough*…$8 for a card?  Yeah, I don’t think so!  Being in the midst of our Pantry Challenge, I especially wasn’t going to fork over that kind of money! Now, I know you can find cheaper ones and even get cards at the dollar store but I was so stunned at the $8 price tag I just walked away and went home!

At home, I thought about creative ways to give the boys their money using stuff I had around the house.  Remembering a cute little craft I had seen awhile ago, I salvaged 3 cardboard toilet paper rolls and then rummaged through scrapbook papers, ribbons and any other embellishments I had layingaround.

Before stapling the bottom of the cardboard roll, I wrapped it in scrapbook paper and glued the edges.  I added a gold filigree paper ribbon around the middle and another velvet ribbon around the top.  Once these things were dry, then I stapled the bottom and glued a ribbon across the bottom to hide the staples.

Finishing off these cute little gift holders, I glued on a paper rose and a foam heart with their names.  These literally took me 30 minutes to make and the majority of time was waiting for the glue to dry!  Once they were completed, I rolled up a crisp Abe Lincoln and popped it inside then stuffed the top with a little leftover shredded paper filler.

After making these, I started to think about all the possibilities…wrapping them in birthday-themed gift wrap or filling them with candy.  You can really personalize it anyway you’d like. I thought they would be perfect to hold a gift card but they are slightly too narrow but if you used two rolls you’d be able to expand the size to accommodate a gift card.  Next time one of the boys is invited to a birthday party, I’m going to try this method.

This is a great way to use up small scraps of paper and craft items that otherwise may be thrown out.  Plus, it literally cost me nothing…well, except the $5 bill I put in!  This is a “green” craft, fun to make, super thrifty and unique.

The boys really liked them, although, these particular holders were a little frilly for my boys…I’m sure if I had wrapped them in sports-themed or camouflage paper they would have really LOVED them!  But hey, it was Valentines’ day and it’s good for these boys to have a little frill every now and then.

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Erin’s got tons of tips for saving money, couponing, sticking to a budget, and living sustainably in her blog archive.

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Erin Eisenman-Turner is proud to be a native Missoulian. Along with her husband and three sons, they raise chickens, pigs, rabbits, and vegetables at Turner Family Farms in the Orchard Homes area. When the farm chores are done, the coupons clipped, and the blog written, you can find Erin exploring Montana, collecting antiques, and trying to maintain a well-run, happy, and organized home for her family.

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