Sunday, February 5, 2012

Flower Pom-Poms

My sister-in-law and I have been discussing baby shower/bridal shower/decorating stuff the past few days.  I have like 5 weddings this year, and everyone she knows is popping out a baby it seems!  (Grace--I'm thinking cute wedding decor on the cheap here!)  Paper lanterns are cute, but a little pricey.  A 3-pack can be bought for about $5 at Hobby Lobby, but we were having some issues finding some cheaper alternatives for the pom-poms.

This tutorial by Martha Stewart is exactly what I did as a kid to make some flowers.  However, at 20 sheets of paper per flower, that's around $2.50 each flower.  And I even checked at my local dollar store--they were more expensive on tissue paper.  I'd like to make more of a statement than my budget would allow (i.e. there's no way I'm going to spend more than $10 on little paper flowers--especially not for just 4 of them).  Hannah suggested coffee filters (which would also be a bit more resilient than tissue paper--my childhood poms got a little beat up pretty quickly), so a little research got me a few hits.  For any of my pom-poms, tons of gluesticks and tedious individual gluing of petals onto some ball was NOT my idea of a good alternative.  Too much time for sure.   Here's what I found.

1. Peony Pom-Pom Flowers with coffee filters.

This one comes with a complete instruction set on how to dye the filters--not individually hand paint them (i.e. time consuming!) like some other tutorials. If you combine that with a clothes dryer drying technique from one of the other pins, you could do this pretty quickly.

Six coffee filters/flower plus some masking tape and drinking straws per flower--I went to the dollar tree, $1 for 160 filters, 180 straws for $1, and green florist tape for $ (90 yards).  I had thought of using food dye instead of paint.  I think I have some of this lying around.

The math...  $0.04/flower in filters + $0.01/flower (not even) in straws + $0.05/flower in tape (probably being generous) = $0.10/flower.  WAY better than the $2.50/flower of tissue paper!

2. Coffee Filter Garland.

This lady did 10 filters/pom-pom and strung them up as a garland.  Looks SUPER easy!  She gives the dryer method for crinkling the pom-poms--again easy and FAST.  You could use the dyeing method from #1 above to color them, then just staple, staple, string!   EVEN cheaper--maybe $0.50/pom-pom, even if you take into consideration having to buy some kind of awesome string--though I'm sure anything would work.  Think small gauge rope from Lowe's or Home Depot.

The math... $0.07/flower in filters + whatever your string cost you = again, around $0.10/flower.

3. Coffee Filter Flowers

This one sorta combined a few things.  However, I think the dyeing method from #1, plus the drying method from #2, plus the assembly on this one would definitely work--and you'd probably have less time-intensive construction as compared to the masking tape from the Peonies  (#1 above), since you're just using like embroidery thread to put them all together.  She also used the LARGE filters--the ones that you use for the commercial coffee makers.  Still, if you use the regular ones, you'll just get smaller poms--and let's say you use 30 of the regular filter as opposed to her 40...

The math.. $0.21/flower in filters + whatever you embroidery floss stuff cost = I'm sure < $0.50/flower.

I actually just bough 320 filters, some green florist tape, straws, and have staples, string, and floss around the house. I'll let you know how they turn out!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Post #300: Introducing--Miss Molly

Whew!  Apparently, Molly gets to be a momentous post--#300!  I didn't realize that I'd posted that much!  Sheesh!  Poor thing, though, she does need a special post.  In the midst of all this flurry of new house, lots of trips, holidays, and baby on the way, I realized that I forgot Molly in blog-land!

Here she is!

We got her (after much pleading on my part) when Dan's family came to visit last summer--but now he's best buds with Molly.  And I have to work to get a little attention!

 Joey had her on the leash and ready to go home in no time!  She was the only dog in the pound that actually got the whole concept of "fetch."  And the only one that understood the fine balance between wanting to be around you without trampling you, and not being too aloof.
 Molly and her "Auntie" Hannah.
 New little family.
Waiting to go outside--even on the first day.  I'll have to put some updated pics of her up. She was 20 lbs when we got her--up to a whopping 46 lbs today!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Nursery--on the cheap! (con't)

In my previous post, I said I'd post what everything cost.  I did a lot of shopping around and also bought in non-babyland things.  Not only am I not a major fan of all the cutesy baby decor stuff, they just don't stay that age long enough--then you have a resin based lamp of a Disney Princess that you can't make coordinate with anything when they decide they don't want anything pink or purple ever, ever again!

Also, I did a lot of "shopping" around our house.  Surprisingly, Dan and I have accumulated a TON of stuff--including furniture.  How we ever put it all in a one-bedroom apartment, then downsized to a single room for 9 months is beyond me!  We now have a 4-bedroom house, plus garage and I have a whole room upstairs full of STUFF!  Anyway, I moved a bunch of the furniture around, mixed up the rest of the house (which always feels fresh), and went shopping in my bins of decorating nick-knacks upstairs.

Here's the break down....

Crib and Accoutrements -- $137 + whatever I decide on fabric
**Crib (from my parents) -- free
**Crib parts (i.e. bolts and flat iron for the mattress hanger) -- $15
** Crib Mattress (Burlington Coat factory, with %15 off coupon) -- $80
**New bite guards for crib (Easily removable and dishwasher safe--score!) -- $15
** Crib Paint (left-over white trim paint) -- $10
**Crib sheets (on-sale, new)  $5/each
**Bumpers (Waverly brand, from the Thrift store) -- $2
**Since I spent all of $17 on my crib bedding and average stuff is easily $150, I think I can easily make a crib skirt, changing table skirt, a few fresh pillow covers (tons of random old pillows lying around!) and baby quilt for under $100--and actually have something I like.  Waiting on this until after we find out if it's a boy or girl.

Furniture (Crib already mentioned) -- $214
** Rocker (from family) -- free
** Rocker cushions (bought new, a bit of a splurge, but I wanted them to last) -- $80
** Night-stand (from family) -- free
** Changing table  -- $5 for the bit of paint we used plus new casters
** Dresser -- free
** Floor shelf (Family heirloom) -- free
** Floor shelf cubes (from Burlington Coat Factory) $9/2-pack x 3 packs = $27
**Closet organizing (left from our previous homeowners) -- free
** Wall shelves (left from our previous homeowners) -- $2 for a bit of paint used on it.
** Rug (From Tuesday Morning) -- $100

Accessories -- $151
** Wall Paint (colors yet to be decided) --  $35
**Paper lanterns (From Hobby Lobby) -- $5
** Chalkboard canvas (canvas from Hobby Lobby, I made the paint myself from a $0.50 mis-tint at Lowe's)  -- $20
** Lamp shade (clearance at Lowe's) -- $5
** Lamp base (on sale at Target, plus a harp) -- $25
** Picture frames (either gifts, left in the house, or found on clearance at Wal-mart) $5
** Curtains (sheers on clearance at target--two for the lighted wall, four for the window--I wanted it full!) -- $42
** White Christmas lights (Hobby Lobby) -- $7
** Doo-dads (from around the house, mirrors, black tote, pillow forms, etc) -- free
** Wooden giraffes (Thrift store/found in my aunt's) -- $7

GRAND TOTAL  -- $502 (plus my fabric allowance)

Granted, the final cost sounds like a ton, but when you consider that a baby bedding set is usually around $200, and a glider is $300, and a crib is $400, and the matching changing table and dresser will set you back another $600 for the pair, my grand total isn't so shabby (we're up to $1,500, if you weren't counting).  Especially, when you take into consideration you'll still probably end up getting all the other little things (shelves, rug, curtain, lamps, etc) like I did, it's REALLY not looking so bad.  Oh, and did I mention, that baby furniture set you just spent a cool grand on--it's not even real wood....

Drum roll please....

So the nurses at work have only been BUGGING me to find out what the baby is for weeks.  I get to work at 6a.m. this morning and they were practically begging to bust out our ultrasound machine.  A 15 minute phone call of pleading and bargaining with Dan later (he was pro being patient for the real ultrasound--and he must REALLY not like doing drywall mud), he was there and the two of us and 5 of my ER nurses were piled in a room trying to see the "money shot" on our fuzzy, ghetto screen.  I finally took over, and managed to FINALLY get a shot--it's weird being upside down and backwards when you're ultrasounding yourself!  Little bugger was jumping all over in there just as I would almost slide into view, but once we got our shot, it was undeniable.

IT'S A BOY!!!!

From our quick look, baby seems to be growing fine.  Good 4-chambers to the heart, in the 140s, gastric bubble, I think I saw a bladder bubble, (good for GI/GU health), normal shaped head and femur length in the quick peruse.  After we found out boy vs. girl, interest quickly fades, lol.  I didn't take all the measurements, but things looked good!  (btw, 17weeks 1 day)