Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Temporary Scarcity--Birthday Gifts on a Very Tight Budget

I picked up this monogrammed photo album at Family Dollar last fall for $3. I had been to a craft night where someone showed me their alphabet scrapbook for a preschooler and decided I wanted to do that when Ali's birthday rolled around.

When my hubby injured his wrist and we immediately began buckling down our spending, I decided I would fill the album with free magazine clippings of various pictures for each letter instead of spending money on photos. I was bummed that I wouldn't be able to use fun photos of Ali herself. However, www.moneysavingmom.com ran a tip a few weeks back about signing up for Kodak and getting 75 free photos! Bingo! I then had more than enough to do 3-4 pictures per letter as well as getting a few extras to send to the grandparents.


I had intended to make Ali a no-sew tutu using instructions here, or video instructions here, which would have cost around $5 but before I bought the materials I found a bag of dress-ups at the thrift store for 50 cents! Yay! They got a thorough washing and Ali could care less if they are new or used. She will have so much fun with them!


Bead socks are so cute, so fun to make, so quick to make, and so cheap! I got this like-new pair of socks at the thrift store for 10 cents and already had a big stash of pony beads on hand (but even if I had bought them they are very cheap). Ali is really into purple right now.
My friend Heather over at www.blessyourfamily.net will soon be featuring a guest post by myself on how to make these bead socks, step by step, so visit her blog if you are interested.


I picked up this plate for $1 at Alco in their dollar section a while back. The moon purse was $1 at Dollar Tree and she adores purses and bags! For a whole year Ali has been dreaming about a princess/castle birthday party and telling everyone, even strangers in the grocery store about it. Every time she sees something she likes in a store she will say she wants me to get it for her birthday. It's an understatement to say she is excited about turning 4 and getting some gifts! But in the last two months she changed her mind on the theme and began talking about a "Moon" birthday as she got really interested in the moon from some books we read. I had to break the news to her that she wasn't having a friend party this year (we're going to do every-other year now since we have 3 kids to celebrate now) but she is still excited to be able to take moon cupcakes to preschool and to have Grammy and Boppa over for dinner and gifts on her day. And even if friends aren't coming over this year, we can still have a moon theme to our day to delight her little heart.

6 comments:

Heather said...

Thank you for the wonderful bead sock tutorial. It is so well-done! I will post it soon!

Kristin said...

I really like the photo alphabet scrapbook idea! But I'm curious, what pictures did you include for the tougher letters? (Q, X, Z)

Momma Bear said...

You do such a good job and creative job at gifts! I just love these and I bet she'll adore them! Good job Momma! You're doing a great job!

Mrs. Jo said...

Kristin,

Q, X, and Z were hard, as well as O. I ended up doing this:
O-a pic of Justus newborn that said, "Oh what a cute baby!"
Q-quilt that great-grandma made her
X-a pic of chocolate all over her face and eXtremely messy on it
Z-a pic of a Zebra just printed off the computer. However, I later realized I could have gotten a pic of her Zebra blanket she sleeps with every night!
Hope that helps!

Mrs. Jo said...

Thanks Momma Bear! You're always so sweet and encouraging!

Abbi said...

Those are some cute gifts! Great job!

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