Category Archives: Christmas Versus Recession Ideas

How To Make Home-Made Sock Monkeys!!

Standard

Yo, Ho, Ho, All!

Wonderful to see you all again and I have still be reading everyone else’s blogs and enjoying the Christmas vibes and the masses of good ideas floating around at the moment. Today I thought I would take some time out to show you all how to make an easy cuddly toy which costs very little, is wonderfully qwerky and can be done in an evening!

That’s right, you’ve guessed it, we’re making SOCK MONKEYS!!!

So, here are the ingredients (haha, that sounds funny, I should probably say making thingymabobs…):

  1. A pair of socks in a nice colour (size is your preference) with contrasting toe, heel and top – Tescos do men’s socks as cheap as 5 pairs for £6 – example to the right:
  2. Sock Monkey SocksStuffing, I personally used an old cushion which I was going to throw out which is FREE! Alternatively you can buy toy stuffing from C&H for £2.99
  3. Thread – £1.99
  4. Needle – Hopefully you already have one at home!!
  5. Buttons – Whatever colour you like, I prefer black buttons for eyes with white thread to sow 🙂
  6. A sowing machine will come in handy but if you don’t have one don’t worry, it’ll just take a little longer.

Sock Monkey Making Stages:

Stage 1 

One sock is the head, body, and legs of the monkey. The other sock will be the arms, tail, mouth and ears. Lay one sock inside out and with the heel flat facing down. Mark the center line of the foot from the toe to approximately one inch from the colored heel. Sew up one side of your marked line and back down the other side, leaving approximately a quarter inch space between the line and your seam. (The width of my sewing machine foot worked brilliantly for me):

Making A Sock Monkey

How To Make A Sock Monkey

Cut the legs up the middle, between your two seams. Turn and stuff the entire sock. Decide where the “neck” will be and stitch around the neck with quarter inch stitches. Pull the stitches snugly until you get the size neck you want and knot the ends.

Making A Sock Monkey

Round the head area with stuffing as desired. Fold the raw edges to the centre and tuck inside. Stitch the opening closed.

How To Make A Sock Monkey

Stage 2

Fold the second sock inside out and cut like this:

Making A Sock Monkey

The left two strips are the arms, the heel is the mouth, the two top semi-circles are ears and the right strip is the tail. Cut them out, sew them, turn them the right way out and stuff them – Whether you want to stuff the tail is up to you, I thought it looked best unstuffed.

Attach the tail to the bottom wherever it looks best, attach the arms either side of the body (obviously – I hope you’re cottoning on now…haha get it?)

How To Make A Sock Monkey

Now  sew the heel onto the “face” for the nose/mouth. Sew the bottom edge to the monkey’s chin carefully folding under the raw edges so they won’t be seen when it’s finished. Once you have sewn the bottom half on add stuffing to make the nose/mouth puff out. Fold the raw edge under and stitch the top edge to the face.

How to Make A Sock Monkey

Stitch the completed ears to each side of the head.

How To Make A Sock Monkey

Finally, add button eyes and there’s your monkey!

Now I’m going to be honest, I have used the wikihow website to help me out with the photos and instructions but I have now made seven sock monkeys for Christmas and they are genuinely easy and so lovely to make and look at afterwards!

Love Lizzy x

p.s. Please choose a nicer colour than the grey socks in the demo pictures!!

p.p.s. How your sock monkeys may turn out:

Sock Monkey

Sock Monkeys

Pomander Oranges

Standard

Hi there everyone!

So, as you can see I’ve added a video onto this blog to explain how to make Pomander oranges. I had to face the fact that I wouldn’t be able to explain with words how to make pomander oranges sufficiently enough! This is why I have enlisted the help of this American housewife called Betty!

You will need:

  • A large orange (or several if you want to do a few Pomander Oranges) – Approx £2.00 (For a bag)
  • A reel of ribbon (Colour and texture of your choice) – Approx £2.00 (1 reel)
  • 4 Pins (More if your doing more than one orange) – Approx £2.00
  • Cloves – Approx £3.00

Total – Approx £9.00

And it will be worth it if you end up with Christmas decorations looking like these:

Home Made Pomander Oranges

Home Made Pomander Oranges

Home Made Pomander Oranges

Home Made Pomander Oranges

Home-Made Bath Salts for Inexpensive Christmas Presents:

Standard

And we’re back for the second instalment of Recession Versus Christmas and I am most determined for Christmas to win! (I really shouldn’t have started that first sentence with ‘and’, my writing really is going downhill!)

As you can see from the title we are going to explore making home-made Christmas presents this week and this one’s for the girls. Soaps, moisturisers, scrubs, bath bubbles and all manner of toiletries which are used to relax and pamper can be ideal gifts at Christmas time. The only problem is, is that it can cost a fortune for a nice set of toiletries so in this blog I am going to explore the making of home-made bath salts (I will be covering bath bombs in a later blog but keep your eye on this recipe for that). How thrilling!

Home-made Bath Salts

These can be great gifts for the females in your family or friendship group and this is a fairly low-cost way of giving something to them which will not only be used but will also be that much better because you made it yourself!

Ingredients and costs:

  1. Essential Oils – £1.50
  2. Sea Salt – Approx £2.00
  3. Epsom Salt – Approx £2.00
  4. Baking soda (Acts as a skin softener and water conditioner – Who knew that!) – Approx £1.00
  5. Liquid Soap Colours – £2.50
  6. Glass Bottle – £2.00

Total – £11    –   This may seem like a large total but you can stretch bath salts and if you find cheaper containers you will find yourself with many presents at little cost with much more personal value! You can also consider just using Epsom salt instead of adding sea salt which will minimise your costs.

Home-made Bath Salts

Step 1 – Epsom and Sea salts should be mixed at a 3:2 ratio. Usually 3 cups of Epsom Salt to 2 cups of Sea Salt. Add ½ ounce of essential oil to complete the basic mixture. (Between 1-2% essential oils are in bath salts which works out a ratio of 3:2:1 altogether).

Mix all these ingredients together in a metal bowl with a whisk and rubber gloves to prevent your hands smelling strongly of the essential oils!

Step 2 – You can either leave the colour as white and pop them straight into your airtight bottle or other container.

OR

You can add a few drops of liquid soap-safe colorant to the salt and stir in to add a splash of colour to your bath and salts.

Home-made Bath Salts

Home-made Bath Salts

Step 3 – Make sure all the lumps have been worked out of the salt and try and package it fairly quickly after making it to ensure the scent is kept. Pop it into the bottle and your done!

How easy is that?!

Hope you enjoyed and feedback on these ideas or questions will be appreciated!

Lizzy x

Recession Versus Christmas = Who will win?

Standard

Okay, so that is quite a depressing title but please do bear with me! As we draw near to the season of warm wood fires, spiced mulled wine and rich milky chocolates it can be so easy to think only about money and how difficult or tight it will be this year. For most people the recession has finally started having an impact and for some it has hit hard. At this time of year it can be so easy to be upset and worried about not being able to afford to decorate the house or buy presents. This is something I have been thinking about a lot as me and my husband have been finding it difficult with money but….I have a plan.

Christmas Versus The Recession

Christmas Versus The Recession

Allbeit it’s a rather sketched out plan at the moment without bold lines or splashes of colour….yet.

So, I thought I would share my plan with you – I’m going to start a blogging series on ways to home-make Christmas decorations and presents at small financial costs! Oh, it’s exciting and that last sentence made it sound like it was boring. I have recently been battling a cold and last Christmas I became really quite ill so I have been resting from blogging as last Christmas I didn’t rest and just got worse and worse! But now I am back — I am a woman with a mission!

Christmas Versus The Recession

Christmas Versus The Recession

First things first — A cheap and easy way to make a traditional Christmas decoration.

Want to spice up your swag? Or your Christmas tree? Or your kitchen dresser? Want a new set of decorations but don’t have hundreds to spend?

Dried Orange Slice Decorations

Dried Orange Slice Decorations

Well how about dried orange slices? These make  a pretty, traditional and fragrant decoration which can be nestled in a green swag, the bows of your Christmas tree or strung along on a piece of rustic string to hang about your chest of draws, kitchen dresser or side table.

How To Make Dried Orange Slices:

1. Go and buy a bag of unripe oranges (Not satsumas or anything smaller because the slices will shrink slightly and you want them large enough to see!) – They should be about £1.90 for 5-ish.

2. Buy a ball of rustic string which should be about £1.99

3. Cut the Oranges into between 10-12 fairly thin slices.

4. Lay them on a baking tray on top of grease proof paper sprayed with cooking oil.

5. Blot them with paper towels to dry them out as much as possible before baking.

Dried Orange Slices - Christmas V Recession

Dried Orange Slices - Christmas V Recession

6. Put the oven onto 150’c and bake for 6 hours turning once half way through.

7. If the slices start turning brown or curling at the edges shut the oven off as it’s too hot and start up again at lower heat after 20 minutes.

8. Remove the tray and allow the slices to cool.

Dried Orange Slices - Christmas V Recession

Dried Orange Slices - Christmas V Recession

9. They should be pliable still and now punch a hole with a metal skewer through the top of the slices near the rind

10. Cut the string into lengths between 6-10 inches depending on need and thread through orange slices.

Dried Orange Slices - Rustic String

Dried Orange Slices - Rustic String

11. Arrange as you like around your home – Enjoy the Christmassy fragrance and Traditional Decorations for approx £4.00!

Dried Orange Slices - Christmas Decorations

Dried Orange Slices - Christmas Decorations

Dried Orange Slices - Christmas Decorations

Dried Orange Slices - Christmas Decorations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alternatively if you wish to make whole dried oranges instead of cutting them into slices keep watching the series and how to make Pomander Oranges will come up later….!

Hope you all enjoyed!

Lizzy x