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Crafts Thrifty-Thursdays

Hand Painted Wooden Spoons

I have been eyeing these 88 cent wooden spoons at Walmart for awhile. Why not decorate these spoons? – That day has finally come! Very few supplies are needed – and as an added bonus – cheap supplies at that!

What you will need:

  • Assorted wooden spoons
  • painters tape/washi tape
  • acrylic paint – any color
  • scissors
  • sponge brush
  • Food-safe clear sealant (I used Bulls Eye Shellac )

If you want to add polka dots to your spoon, you will also need:

  • Paper punch

Directions:

Taping: You will need to make sure you have a piece of tape towards the top of the spoon to use as a guide. I used painters tape, but washi tape works well ( one of my favorite craft items.) These types of tapes are better for this project because it is harder for the paint to seep under the tape.

You will need to figure out the pattern you want to use. I used both stripes and polka dots.

Stripes – cut the widths of the tape to whatever you wish. When placing the tape on the spoon make sure you get it nice and snug just so no paint seeps underneath.

Polka Dots – With your hole punch – cut out holes in the painters tape and place them on the spoon as you wish.

Below are just three examples of what I did. Be creative – have some fun with creating your own design!

Paint: Apply 2 coats if necessary. You will also need to think of somewhere to let the spoons dry without anything touching the wet paint. I had a shutter around and the spoons fit nicely in the slots to make it easy to dry. Took less than 30 min and they were all ready to go.

After dry, pull off the tape. The last step is to apply a food safe shellac. I used Bulls Eye Shellac, but any other food safe sealant would work just fine. I coated each spoon twice, waiting 45 min in between each coat.

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Thrifty-Thursdays

15 Tips – Buying & Selling on Craigslist

cropped-craigslist-logo

If you are looking for an easy and rewarding way to buy & sell items on the internet, there is no better option than craigslist. It is the ultimate online garage sale, in my opinion. I have used craigslist for a couple years now – getting rid of unwanted clutter in my home & snatching up treasures. Through much trial and error, I’ve developed a good keen sense on how to successfully buy and sell through craigslist, and I share some of my insights below.

BUYING

  • Craigslist is best for: I feel like it markets some items very well, and others not so much. Craigslist is great for furniture & technology, but very poor for clothing, household items, and books. eBay or Amazon would be a better fit for searching those items.
  • Use the “show images” button: To prevent searching for hours and hours to find what you are looking for, switching on the “show images” button will give you a thumbnail picture of what the item is without having to click on the link. I know when I buy – I am all about the photo and what it looks like. If I’m interested after that point, I will take a peek at the post.
  • Search often: If you get on craigslist once a month, chances are very slim that you will strike gold. If you search often, your chances of finding something worthwhile will increase greatly.
  • Free Section: This is a grab bag of items that people post on. Some have to do with things that people have set outside their home to pick up and they are announcing that here. But some good deals have come out of this section and if you just so happen to live close to the neighborhood where they are posting from, you might get yourself a good deal!
  • Be sure you see pictures of the item: If you are driving to pick up the item, make sure you have gotten a picture of what the item you are buying looks like. Don’t just take the sellers word that its in “great” condition. Its better to look at a picture rather than drive forever away to realize its not what you expected.
  • Always bring exact change: Cash is the most acceptable way to pay for any item on craigslist. Never expect the seller to have change on them. You can always shoot them a text/email before making the pick-up whether they would have change for you (why its important to get contact information – as stated below)
  • Make sure you get the measurements: If its anything big make sure to have the seller measure the piece and measure your vehicle to make sure it will indeed fit. Driving a long distance to figure out in the end it won’t fit isn’t ideal.
  • Contacting the seller directly: A seller doesn’t have to sell just anyone – they get the choice. They don’t have to give it to the first person that gets a hold of them, they have their options. Contacting them directly and having a good first impression is important. Writing a book to the seller isn’t the way to go (trust me – that was me. When I really wanted something – I would let them know.) You need to be straight to the point. Sellers don’t want to read a book. If so – they might disregard the whole email you have sent. You need to just state your name, tell them your interest in the item, what you will pay for it (if not what they are asking for) and when you can pick up the item.
  • Bargaining: The beauty of craigslist – there is no fixed price on any of the items. But, if you really want the item, I would say stick with the price they have. If it is a common item on the site – I would say “hey will you accept this price” and see what they say. More than not, they will go lower on the price for you.
  • Before picking up the item you have bought: Make sure you have a phone number and contact information of who you will be speaking to when you get there. That way if you get lost or they aren’t there when they say they will be, you have someone you can call and check up on their whereabouts. I always bring my gps and have looked at the general area of where I’m going to before I head out the door.
  • Be aware: Be cautious when going to someone else’s house. Have someone go with you, if that makes you feel better. I have done that multiple times, and I feel 10 times better about it in the end. Always bring a phone as well.

Below are two steals I have got off Craigslist – didn’t look as nice before, but I did some painting and made them into some awesome treasures! Perhaps a tutorial in the near future – stay tuned!

SELLING

  • Photography of what you are trying to sell: Biggest thing I want to stress! The photo you take of the item is the most crucial. If you have more than one angle of the piece, the more likely it is that someone will want to buy it. Showing the flaws is a must as well. It pays to be honest. Staging your items is another big tip. It is more attractive to a buyer to see something that looks well put together in your house.
  • Describing the item: You will want this to be as descriptive as possible. Include your: location, your asking price, dimensions, condition of the item, and when you are available for pickup. Additional information including why you are selling the item and any flaws are highly recommended as well. Craigslist will not only search for a title when someone types in a keyword, but also any keywords in the description. Throwing in as many keywords as you can will definitely help.
  • Time of day to post: I find that weekends are better than weekdays as far as people searching for items on craigslist. I like to post mine in the mid-afternoon to evening. This is typically when people are off work and running around getting errands done for the day. I have the most success at these times
  • Respond as quick as possible to emails: People don’t like to wait to hear back, so responding right away to a buyer will make for the smoothest selling experience. If you have multiple offers tell the lower offers you will only accept asking price. More than likely they will change their minds in a hurry if its something they really want.

Well, there you have it! These are some tips that work for me! I would love to hear any new ideas/thoughts you all have about Craigslist. Happy Thrifty Thursday!

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Crafts Thrifty-Thursdays

Frame it! Old Map Turned Masterpiece

Thrifty Thursday week 2:

Turn this everyday object into a masterpiece for your wall, no matting needed! I have had this map laying around – and folded up (eek!) in the bottom of my craft drawer for awhile now. I thought that with the folds in it, it would never get used.

I came across some cute gold 5×7 frames at the dollar store the other day and thought it would match the look of this map nicely!

I knew that the creases were going to make it a little difficult for me to cut them close enough just so it still looked like one big piece in the end. I knew that I wanted to include certain parts – Dominican Republic & the Caribbean in general, North America, and Europe (we have always wanted to visit). I would suggest picking out the most important parts to you on the map and try and plan out 5×7 pieces that would fit those places in together.

I used the insert that came with the frame to stencil out my 3 map sections. This works perfect, just so you get the sizing just right. I avoided the little creases of the map (seen on the photo above.) Once the stenciling is complete, take scissors and cut out the 3 sections you drew.

Even though I had to skip a little part of that crease, once in the frames – it still looks like they all belong side by side. This craft took me 20 min. max. Quick, easy, and an adorable DIY project!