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Christmas Home Tour

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Welcome to our home!

Christmas 2017 Entry The Prudent Homemaker

In the urns by the front door, I added some free Christmas tree trimmings and free pinecones. Many places that sell Christmas trees will give free Christmas tree trimmings if you ask.

I hung some wreaths I bought several years ago.

This year, I added the two lanterns by the door. The black one I bought used for $5 earlier this year (it turned out to have a broken hinge, but it still works fine). The red lantern has faux candles inside that don't light up and a crack in the bottom; my mom found it for free at someone's trash last year after Christmas and picked it up for me.

 

Christmas Entry Table and Living Room The Prudent Homemaker

We were gifted this poinsettia a couple of nights ago by some friends who came caroling at our door. I took out the roses and basil from this arrangement (which were done) and put the poinsettia in the middle instead with the dusty miller from our garden and the free Christmas tree trimmings.

Christmas Entry Table and Mirror The Prudent Homemaker

The wreath was a $2 garage sale find in October. I used a ribbon that used to be the drawstring to a pair of flannel pajama pants. The pajamas wore out years ago but I kept the ribbon. The urn was an $8 garage sale find in October.

Christmas 2017 Piano The Prudent Homemaker

 I bought our Nativity set 16 years ago with my husband at Walmart for our second Christmas together.

I hung the star music garland that I made for another Christmas. I used a vintage fur collar from my grandmother on the bust, and I added pinecones to the urns.

The Christmas book is one from which my daughters are currently playing. We sing Christmas carols every night as a family starting the first of December, and sometimes one of my daughters will play for us when we sing. I have been enjoying hearing them practice their Christmas music all month.

Christmas 2017 Living Room The Prudent Homemaker

A woman who works with my husband gifted him the beautiful live wreath that is hanging in the large window. I have two small wreaths in the end windows,  but I wanted another in the middle window. One day I hope to purchase a large faux wreath for this space.

Our tree is a beautiful faux one that we bought 11 years ago from Lowe's. It was the display model and they couldn't find the box. They charged us only $80! (This style of tree retails for $300 to $400).  We have it in a tree stand that is bolted to a little table (the table was free and my husband cut the legs down to make it a bit shorter). Having the tree on the table gives the illusion of a taller tree, and it keeps our toddler from reaching too much of the tree. He can reach the bottom two branches, so we don't have any ornaments on those branches this year. We have eight children, so this arrangement has worked well for us for years to keep the tree and ornaments save from toddlers.

The ribbon and ornaments on the tree are ones we have had for many years.

I made the tree skirt this year from some drop cloth that I had on hand. 

Christmas Gifts Under the Tree The Prudent Homemaker

 I have been wanting reusable boxes for years. I had a few velvet covered ones that were gifted to us years ago. I added the brown ones and the two white and gold ones that are on the table last year (I found them at Target in the gift wrapping section). This year I was very excited to see that Target was offering more reusable boxes in the Christmas section, and they were very similar to the boxes I bought last year. I bought several. I can use these every year for Christmas, as well as for birthdays, without needing to use wrapping paper. Since I hand make gifts and purchase many gifts at garage sales, I don't usually have boxes for my gifts. This will make wrapping so much easier for me every year. 

Christmas Gifts The Prudent Homemaker

I purchased a few spools of ribbon to tie the boxes closed. I also have lots of ribbon that I've saved from gifts we've received in years past that I use to close boxes.

I bought the gold and burgundy faux berries this year from a local Facebook garage sale page for $3 for 12 of them.

I bought some large and regular sized jingle bells this year as well to add to the top of the boxes. They still don't disguise the sound of Legos in the boxes, but they are a fun addition that I can reuse every year.

Christmas 2017 Table Runner 2 The Prudent Homemaker

The small wreaths I have in the windows at the end of the room are faux ones I bought for $2.99 each (on sale at Michael's) several years ago.

The pinecones were gathered from the side of the road.

The faux greens on the table are ones I bought years ago. This is my first year using them on the table; I usually place them on the piano.

The lanterns are ones I bought early in our marriage. The candles I've had for years, as I like the look of them during the day, but we don't use them at night.

The silver-plated bowls and urns are ones I've picked up for $5 and under each at garage sales over the last couple of years.

Christmas 2017 Table Runner The Prudent Homemakerjpg

 I purchased the clementines on sale for $1 a pound, which is a good price here.

Christmas 2017 Table Runner 3 The Prudent Homemakerjpg

The Meyer lemons are from my garden. The beautiful silver reindeer were a surprise gift from a reader who inherited them and didn't have a place for them. She didn't know it, but I had been looking at faux mercury glass deer very similar to these last Christmas. I was so excited to find these in a box from her as they are even better than what I had looked at!

I hope you have a wonderful holiday.

 

Merry Christmas!

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Lemons on the Christmas Table The Prudent Homemaker

I put up a few more decorations that I already had.

The frost that was predicted earlier this month never came, but a frost was again forecast for this week. There were still some green tomatoes in the garden, so we brought them in. We also enjoyed eating garden tomatoes that we had picked green earlier in the month that had ripened.

We harvested lemons from the garden.

Eiffel Tower Pencil Pag The Prudent Homemaker

 I sewed and made gifts for the children using items I had on hand, including another pencil bag.

I made several batches of caramel sauce using ingredients I had on hand. We enjoyed it on brownies and cookies. I used some to fill Christmas candy.

I made candy for everyone's stockings.

I sorted through the garage sale Legos I bought in October (two purchases; one was $0.50 and one was $20). I thought they would all fit in the girls' stockings once I divided them. Then I thought they would all fit in small boxes as there were more than I thought. I quickly realized that wasn't going to work, either. I ended up dividing them into 5 boxes for five different gifts, and I realized what a great price I had really gotten when I started seeing how many sets and people were inside (It took me over 2 hours to divide them up). The girls will be delighted! 

A comedian came across the suggested videos on YouTube for me. I had never seen her before. I watched/listened to this video first and then a few more of hers while I worked on Christmas gifts.

My children watched several children's shows on YouTube.

We listened to Christmas music on Pandora.

My husband and I had a date night at home.

 

What did you do to save money this past week?

 

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A Gift a Day 2017: Day 5: Polka Dot Skirt

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Polka Dot Skirt The Prudent Homemaker 

My five-year-old daughter has been wanting a polka dot skirt. She knew I had this fabric, and asked that I make her a skirt from it.

Because she is still small, I just cut one piece of fabric from selvage to selvage. I sewed the side seam together with a French seam.

Polka Dot Elastic Casing The Prudent Homemaker

I ironed 1/4 inch down across the top of the skirt, and then folded it and ironed it again at 1 1/4", to make a casing for the elastic. I sewed this part, leaving a small opening, and then ran the elastic through the casing by attaching a large safety pin to one end and pulling it through.

I hemmed the skirt in the same manner, first folding and ironing under 1/4", and then ironing an additional 2 inches, as I wanted a deep hem.

 

Supplies:

polka dot fabric (I used a little less than 2/3 of a yard)

1-inch wide elastic



Tools:


Sewing Machine

Iron

Sewing pins

Scissors

 

Time:

About an hour



Cost: $4

I purchased this fabric on a Black Friday sale several years ago from Fabric.com.

I purchased the elastic on sale in bulk from Wawak.

Tagged in: A Gift A Day
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Christmas Gifts Under $5

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This post contains affiliate links.

My per person budget for members of my immediate family is usually between $10 to $20 per person, including gifts that go in their stockings. While I make many gifts for pennies, I also purchase items from garage sales, and I look for low-cost items that my family members will love that also fit in my budget.

 Here are some deals that you can give for $5 or less; click on the photos to go to the item:

 

Kitchen tools:

Amazon has a huge selection of unique cookie cutters. Even with shipping on these, they still work out to be under $5 each, with most under $3 (no minimum order required).

    

 

Scarves:

I've bought these for myself and for my daughters. They all come in different colors, too! (Note: a couple of these are now priced just above $5, but some color options are below $5, including shipping).

 

 

Fountain Pens:

There are beautiful inexpensive options: 

 

Read Alouds for Children:

    

 

Art Supplies:

     

 

Baby Gifts:

These are favorites at my house. 

           

 

Having trouble coming up with $5 for a gift this year? Try racking up enough Swagbucks to earn a $5 Amazon gift card. Many of the above items have free shipping with no minimum order, or are still under $5 including shipping.

If you have Amazon Prime, you won't need to pay for shipping an order, plus you'll get 2-day shipping. You can click here to get a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime, which includes free online movies and music along with 2-day shipping.

 

Today only, Amazon is offering $5 off $15 worth of books. Use code BOOKGIFT17. You can read the terms and conditions here.

 

 

Tagged in: Christmas Gifts
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A Gift a Day 2017: Day 4: Button Bobby Pins

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Button Bobby Pins The Prudent Homemaker

I made button bobby pins for my eldest a few years ago, as she puts her hair up every day. Her younger sisters often ask her to style their hair for them (you can see some of the styles she does from her Pinterest board). This year, one of my younger daughters asked for some of her own fancy bobby pins for her own hair for Christmas.

I was gifted a number of vintage buttons over the past year, and several of them were shank buttons, which were perfect to use for these.

 

Supplies:

bobby pins

shank buttons

jewelry wire



Tools:

wire cutters

needle nosed pliers

 

ShankButtons The Prudent Homemaker


Cut a piece of jewelry wire about 3 inches (approximately 7.5 cm) long for each bobby pin.

Wrap the wire through and around the end of the pin, through the shank button, and around the shank of the button several times, using the pliers to pull the wire tight each time.

When you get to the end of the wire, use the pliers to tuck the ends into the holes of the button, so that nothing sharp will stick out.



Time:

It took me 4 minutes per bobby pin (I've gotten a tad bit faster from when I made these three years ago). 

Cost:

$0.02 each.

I used buttons I had been gifted.

If you don't have buttons, you can purchase some on sale from Joann's, Hobby Lobby, etc. I usually buy buttons on sale for 40-50% off.

Black bobby pins can be bought from several different dollar stores.

I purchased the jewelry wire on a 40% off sale at Michael's several years ago. The wire regularly goes on sale, or you can use the coupon that comes in the weekly ad.

You can see the ones I made three years ago in this post.

 

Button Bobby Pins in Gift Box The Prudent Homemaker

Tagged in: A Gift A Day
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Christmas Urn in the White Garden The Prudent Homemaker

I used free tree trimmings and free pinecones to decorate my garden urns for the winter.

Christmas Urn on Entry Table The Prudent Homemaker

I cut Thai basil. dusty miller, and roses from the garden for my entry table. I used free tree trimmings in this arrangement too.

I made mini pavlovas for dessert one night with pomegranate arils and berries I pulled from the freezer.

I picked basil and cut chives from the garden.

I mended a broken drip line in the garden.

We attended a free play of "The Christmas Carol" in which two of my children had roles. You can see a few seconds from the play on my Instagram.

We attended a church Christmas dinner.

We enjoyed watching several Christmas videos on YouTube.

I accepted some hand-me-down clothes for a child, and I was able to give the giver some sweaters that are too large for me (I donated most of my sweaters earlier this year, but had kept a few just in case I didn't find any used sweaters in my new size.)

Two of my daughters had requested charm bracelets for Christmas. I thought I had two charm bracelets in with some of my childhood jewelry (most of which is broken odds and ends). There were two bracelets there, so I wrapped those for my daughters.

I wasn't planning another trip to Target this month, but it became very apparent that my fourth daughter was in need of new socks, having worn all of hers completely through (I'm thrilled they lasted through so many girls!) I went to Target, as it was close (I went in the morning to avoid long lines). I took back the unopened dish soaps I had previously bought and returned them (everyone disliked the fragrance; we'll use the opened soap until it is gone). I noticed that the winter hats were 50% off this week, and when I was there the week before, I had bought myself a hat (not on sale) that was just what I have been looking for for years. When I got up to the register to pay for the socks, I asked if they would give me the sales price on the hat that I had purchased the week before. I had my receipt, since I was returning the soap. They agreed and had me "return" the hat (which I was wearing), and repurchase it at half off. I was able to use the money saved on my hat towards the purchase of the socks.

 

What did you do to save money last week?

 

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