ThriftyFun Crafts - August 23, 2006.

Volume 1, Number 9, August 23, 2006


More tips, projects and requests this week. If you have a craft to share with ThriftyFun community, be sure to submit at the link below.


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Beautiful PVC Pipe Napkin Rings


  • 1 Length of 3/4 inch PVC pipe
  • 1 or 2 bags of flattened marbles colors of your choice
  • 1 tube of silicone caulk (outdoor kind)
  • One hack saw or fine blade on your circular saw


Cut PVC pipe into how ever many napkin rings you want, they need to be cut about 1 inch wide. Glue flattened marbles to PVC. With all of the beautiful colors they have now days you can make these for any holiday or occasion, for a more rustic look you can use polished stones.

By Debra in Colorado

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Back to School Organizer Made from Towels

Back to school and lots to do! Keep your mornings more organized and less hectic by laying out clothing and accessories the night before. A handly wall organizer is ideal. I make them out of hand and bath towels and there are several pockets to place everything. It is handy for placing socks, jewelry, undies, combs, brushes, etc for the next day.

These work well not only for the kids, but for Mom and Dad, too!

School Organizer Made from Towels

By Cheryl from Peebles, OH

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Kid's Craft - Flower Paper Weights


  • 1 two liter bottle for each child cut in half.
  • 1 or more boxes of Plaster of Paris
  • Craft paints in all colors
  • Paint brushes, smocks and old shower curtains to cover work area.


Pour mixed plaster of paris into bottom of two liter bottle making sure that your have a level surface. Let the plaster dry. Peel off 2 liter bottle bottom and paint. Makes a nice gift for Mom or Teacher.

By Debra in Colorado

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Juice Pouch Lunch Bag
By Stella Rivet

This lunch bag is easy to make and durable. It makes great use of Kool-Jammer or Capri Sun pouches.


  • 14 Capri Sun or Kool-aid Jammer juice pouches
  • X-acto knife
  • Sticky End Velcro
  • Sewing machine and thread
  • Scissors


After the juice has been drank use an x-acto knife to slit the bottom of the juice pouch.

Clean the inside of each pouch with hot soapy water and let dry.

Juice Pouch Lunch Bag - Sewing the SidesThe Front and Back:

Take four juice pouches and sew them together 2 by 2.

Do the same with four more juice pouches, having two sets of four. These are the front and back of the bag.

The Sides:

Sew two juice pouches together, one above the other, two tall one wide.

Do the same to two more juice pouches, have two sets of two. These are the sides of the bag

The Bottom:

For the bottom of the bag you will need to determine how long it will need to be by taking two juice pouches and laying them next to shorter side of the set of four juice pouches. Instead of having one juice pouch full size and having a small part of another showing for the bottom I layed them on top of each other and sewed down the middle of them both to make it the appropriate length. Then I cut off the extra bit, leaving approximately and 1/2", then sewed that end down flat.

Putting It All Together:

The next step is to sew the bottom to one of the sets of four.

Once you have done that sew the other set of four to the other side.

Juice Pouch Lunch Bag - Sewing the Sides

Next sew one of the sets of two to the bottom, then the other.

Now sew all the ends together, the front to the sides and the back to the sides.

Juice Pouch Lunch Bag - Sewing the SidesJuice Pouch Lunch Bag - Sewing the Sides

Juice Pouch Lunch Bag - Completed Bag


Add a piece of velcro to the top inside of the bag.

Fold over the top of the bag approximately an inch and a half, then place another piece of velcro under the fold.

Juice Pouch Lunch Bag - Adding the Velcro

Now your luch bag is complete, everyone will be impressed by your creative recycling

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Recycling Beaded Car Seats

When you are out and about going to garage sales and thrift stores keep your eyes open for those beaded car seats. They are a great resource for beads. Cut them apart and use the beads to make garlands for a country christmas tree, a handle to a pocket book, a counting game for kids or just let the kids have them to make things with. They make great feet for decorated cans or feet for Barbie Furniture. Have fun and when your done you can always donate the rest to your local preschool or day school.

By Debra in Colorado

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Frugal Canvases For Painting

Thrift Stores and Homemade

One option is to buy old paintings from the goodwill stores and repaint them with Gesso to get a white finish. Then you can paint anything you like on them. Also, you can mount your own canvasses by stapling them to the frame (you'll have to have a heavy-duty staple gun). Just start in the center of one side, staple the canvass there and then stretch it slightly and staple the other side (this must be done on the back of the frame). Do the sides, the ends, and then expand out from the center and continue to stretch the fabric.

The frames are most easily made using a table saw or a radial arm saw, but can be made with a simple mitre box and saw. I've even made them with my old Black and Decker circular saw, but it's hard to get your angles just right with that. Then glue the frame (yellow wood glue) and nail the pieces together with small finishing nails.

By Alph

The Dollar Store

I buy mine at a near by dollar store you can get 3 small ones $1 or one big one for $1.

By Kristi

Masonite, Thin Wood, Cookie Sheets and Old Saws

I also paint over old works and if you're working in acrylics (or latex, since I use a lot of 'oops' mis-tinted house paints in my own work) regular old primer works just fine. Moving away from canvas is always fun, Keith Haring made paintings on masonite (and every available surface) almost a cliche, but it's the only decent use I can think of for all that old 70's faux-wood panelling, and it's a rare week that you can't ground-score some of that. Actually, any thin board can be used, a surprising number of older paintings are done on boards, not canvasses. Luan plywood, any hardwood lumber (I'm not a fan of pine), old cookie sheets (spray with auto primer to get a good working surface, and clear-coat afterwards. Heck, there's a fair market for landscapes painted on old hand-saws in my area, at least the tourists seem to like them!

By chinacat

My Canvas Ideas

  • 70s Prints: I look for those 70s mod art prints and buy them at yard sales, especially the ones that were done on box canvases.

  • Doors: Hollow core doors without a knob hole in it are great after a bit of gesso!

  • Old Lithographs: I'm also thinking of using old lithographs that are already in their frames (the ones you find in hotels and motels)!

  • Masonite: My mother always painted on masonite, you can buy a 4x8 sheet at your local lumber company and have it cut to general picture sizes.

  • Cardboard: I also love smooth cardboard with a layer of Gesso.

  • Brown Paper: Brown paper also could work if you paint the front and back with Gesso (it kills the acid).

Keep painting please this world can always use another artist! :)

By Paisley Punk

Matte Board

Framing shops will often give away or charge a small fee (like $5) for a BOX of matte board pieces that you can easily paint on.

By Paisley Punk

Old Windows and Canvas

I've heard from a friend of mine that she makes her own canvases with old windows (without the glass) and stretches the canvas across them and staples them. Many people sell old windows at garage sales in the summer so you can pick a few up cheap.

By Anna

Duck Cloth

One of my customers at the fabric store would purchase and use Duck Cloth for his canvas. He said it was so much more affordable.

By Jessica


I read on another post that in a 6th grade art class a woman was told to bring in an old sheet and they made frames out of wood and then nailed or stapled the fabric to the frame, and that made a cheap canvas to paint on. I don't know how good this would work but it is certainly cheap, you can make many canvases with one sheet, and you can get sheets easily at thrift stores and yard sales. Good luck!

By Alicia

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Storing and Sorting Beads in Cupcake Tins

When you are at your next garage sale or when you are planning your own, look and see what shape your cupcake tins are in. If you decide you want to get rid of them, think again, these make great storage for beads and a great place to sort those beads that come in an assorted package. Spray paint them bright colors and you will always know where your beads are.

By Debra in Colorado

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Reusing Ice Cream Containers

For bag handles, I cut out handles out of ice cream lids, then I wind ribbon, fabric strip, or even string around handles for a individual look. A lot cheaper than buying new. I also make windchimes out of plastic lids. I draw around cookie cutters, add fishing line and a stick to hang from with small bells at the bottom ends.

By Glenda from Queensland, Australia

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Knitting Needle Organizer

Take an empty Pringles can and cover it with pretty paper, fabric or paint. In the plastic lid cut small X's to insert your knitting needles. This will keep them all in one place and fits nicely on a table.

By Debra in Colorado

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Securing Patterns Without Pins

Forget the pins! Instead, secure the "dress" (sewing) pattern to the top of the fabric by weighing it down with butter knives (Mom's favorite) or paperback books (mine). It's faster, and easy to "smooth out".

By Vonda

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New Requests

Changing the Color of a Leather Purse

I would like to change the color of a leather purse. What should I use, would shoe polish work? I would hate to ruin the purse.

kddid from Springfield, MO

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Homemade Mattress Ideas

I'm looking for inexpensive ideas on creating a mattress to sleep on. I can't believe there is so much labor and materials in a good mattress that they have to charge the ridiculous prices I see in stores nowadays.

Chuck from Pleasanton, CA

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Marble Pocket Stone Craft

I want to make a flat marble pocket stone that comes with a poem. EXAMPLE: It was a light blue flat marble with a smiley face drawn on it and the poem mentioned when you feel blue rub this stone.

DeeBee from NY

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Uses for Plastic Pour Spouts From Laundry Detergent Bottles

Has anyone come up with uses for the large pour spouts inside plastic jugs of laundry detergent? I discovered they are easily removed with a thumb and that two jugs of "empty" detergent jugs release a whole single load-size of left-over liquid laundry soap when the drip spout is removed. I also began to save them and search for uses for the thick spouts. Temporary wheels come to mind, but for what? Anything else? They're a creative design by the manufacture so I hope we can recycle them some way other than with the jugs.

Lynda from Richardson, TX

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Cleaning Satin

My friend is having her vows renewed after 25 years. When she was engaged, she bought some yards of satin to make her gown. She and her husband eloped without having the gown made. She wants to have it made for the renewal. The satin has yellowed a bit (which is fine with her), but there are marks along the creases from being stored folded. We can't cut the pattern around them. Any suggestions without ruining the fabric?

Thank you,
Lee from Canada

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Knifty Knitter Instructions

Does any one know how to basically use the knifty knitter?

Liz from Sumas, WA

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Tying a Scarf Into a Purse

I am looking for the directions to tying a scarf into a purse. I saw this on Martha Stewart's show, but cannot find them on her website. If anyone can tell me where to find them please let me know.

Julie from Naples, FL

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Woven Candy Wrapper Purses

Have you seen those cute purses made from woven candy bar and potato chip wrappers? I can't find instructions. They look like the old gum wrapper chains, only larger.

Sherry from Upstate, NY

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Contacting Fiskars

How can I contact the manufacturer of Fiskars border punches? I have a broken one.

Cindy from FL

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Other Uses for a Spice Rack

I have a spice rack that I don't use. can someone please give me an idea as to what i can use the wooden cabinet for? I also still have all the spice bottles. any ideas on what I could use the cabinet for? It has 2 drawers on the bottom and three tiers of shelves.

Thank you,
Sherry from Dixie, West Virginia

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Making Soap Without Lye

I have been having a hard time finding a recipe for soap without lye, is it possible? f you have a recipe for soap without lye it would be MUCH appreciated!

Thank you!

Jenna from Spring, Texas

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Decorating an Antique Rocking Horse

I bought an antique rocking horse, and would like ideas of how to decorate it for my grandson. It is dark wood.

Tombets91 from Sanford, FL

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Homemade Glue Dots

I once heard there was a way to make your own glue dots; does anyone know how?

Cheryl from Tomahawk, WI

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Time Capsule of Family Memories
By Rachel Webb

Time capsules are a fun way to celebrate the New Year or can be made inexpensively anytime of the year as a fun way to preserve your family memories!

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August 23, 2006
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