Thursday, January 15, 2009

Making do: save money with less effort

Sometimes being lazy can even save you money.

Take this hand-me-down hair bow: limp, twisted, & one step from the trash.

But Elise needs a flower girl bow in just a few weeks! Should I:

(a.) Spend 1/2 hour searching Ebay for just the right bow.
(b.) Settle for the $8 small bow I saw at Strasburg.
(c.) Visit Michael's and buy supplies to make my own.

Or (d.) Make do, because I don't have time or energy for the above!

I walked 5 steps to my kitchen, where I wet the bow and sprayed it with starch. After stuffing tissue in each loop, I let it dry overnight.

Who knew a quickie solution could be so satisfying?

Next week, stop by Ann Kroeker's to share your own Make-Do-Monday stories!


Anne Marie@Married to the Empire said...

I'd hardly call wetting, starching, and reshaping a hairbow lazy! What a clever idea! I wouldn't have thought of starch as a solution for that.

Meredith said...

Well, it only took less than 5 minutes, tops.

Compared to the other options that seems downright lazy to me!

Anonymous said...

Genius! And though we don't wrap fancy packages or do up our girls' hair, someone gave me a gift with that exact ribbon around it--and I kept it.

Now I'm glad I did. Hmm....what needs a pretty bow around here?

As usual, you're my inspiration when it comes to homemaking and frugality.

Thanks for the linky-love. I'll have Make-Do Mondays up on, well, Monday and will grab this post then.

Get some sleep and get rejuvenated, friend!

Meredith said...

I'm up with Mr. Fussy tonight.

Unknown said...

Neat! I would never have thought to do that.

I usually just toss wrinkled ond bows...or I did until my nine year poo-poo them for more sporty accessories. Sniffle.

They grow up so fast. Enjoy those bows while you can.

Anonymous said...

YOU GO GIRL! You know how to work IT - (Magic - every time girlfriend!)

That's a $16 bow - Dillard's is written alllll over that pretty bridal shop duplicate of a bow!

So, I'm high-fivin' you right now!

you always leave me speechless - I heard a pin drop this time!

Christian - Modobject@Home said...

Make do! Yes, indeed. I do this kind of stuff all the time.

Anonymous said...

How about the flower girl dress? Did you purchase it at Strasburg's? I was in the one in my area yesterday and they do have to-die-for dresses and they have a sale now. Congrats on the recycled bow!

Heather Anne said...

Great job Meredith! Ribbon is easy to revive - and now you know! I use steam from the tea kettle to fluff crushed bows - a trick I learned working at a florist's shop. Most woven ribbon washes well in cool water, and if the ends get raggy and need to be re-cut there is this amazing product on the notions wall called 'fray check' and is has 100 uses including rescuing ribbon ends that would otherwise fray - failing that, clear nail polish works to tidy up ends of ribbon too!

Anonymous said...

well, i was going to suggest untying the bow, steampressing and spray starching, then re-tie (which I do with package ribbons) but your solution was way quicker and just as pretty!

deb m

NorahS said...

Another great solution! I miss those hair bow days!

Meredith said...

The flower girl dress is especially pretty--and at an especially good price! I will share the photos and the story after the wedding.

It is hard to find a white dress in winter, unless you go with a super-puffy flower girl dress from the bridal shop. Those are too big in scale for Elise.

She's only 50% likely to make it down the aisle, so I was reluctant to buy one from Strasburg. It does have better quality than the bridal shops on white dresses--and during sales, at competitive prices.

Can't wait to show you how pretty she looks!

Michelle Smiles said...

laziness is often at the root of my frugal choices LOL

Unknown said...

What a wonderful idea! Sometimes the simpliest idea is the best of them all!

Amy said...

I did the bow thing a lot for awhile and agree starch and tissue paper is such a great way to revive them. Also if you have fraying on the edges, going back and forth with a butane lighter will help reseal them and make them look like new again.

Great job!!

Kim said...

Well, there ya go! You are always an inspiration, my dear!

Jenny's Vegcafe said...

Ah, Hairbows. I love little girls hair bows. I've never tried starching them before. That's a good idea. When mine get dirty I just use baby shampoo on them and clip them to a hand towel to dry.
I found grab bags full of Scuncie hair bows and bands at Walgreens and some had the cutest hair bows. I forced myself to walk away though. If you keep your stuff nice then there's no need to replenish or replace.

Hyperactive Lu said...

What a fantastic idea! I have loved reading your blog posts about veggies/fruits/etc to have on hand. That sure does cut down on the "i-wantsy" in the produce department. I love reading your blog! Such great ideas!

Jen said...

Great idea and great blog!

Anonymous said...

Great job on the "recycling", Meredith!

And thanks so much for recently visiting my blog and commenting. I really appreciate your encouraging words :)

Hope you get some sleep tonight!

Shannon said...

I can't wait to see the dress. Elsie looks like such an angel anyway - I'm sure she'll be gorgeous all dolled up in white.

Nessa said...

You are so clever! I'm not sure I would've thought to do that!

Anonymous said...

Great idea on th bow! I used to use tricks like that all the time when my daughter was little. I love bows, but I love to just tie a ribbon in their hair, too.

Poor little guy is still not sleeping well? He must be so miserable. I always thought that I may be losing sleep, but my little ones are losing sleep AND hurting! That is a rough combo. At least I wasn't suffering, and they can't even tell you! I always felt so helpless!

I look forward to pics of the wedding.

Anonymous said...

Using old fashion domestic skills rock. Way to help bring it back.

Anonymous said...

I love the bow! Can't wait to see it in person:)


It's a Mom Thing said...

It looks fantastic. And I'm all about the lazy way out! :)

I make most of T$'s's a frugal way to keep the ends from fraying. Instead of buying FrayCheck, I just use a lighter to singe the edge of the ribbon.

Anonymous said...

It is SO satisfying when you give something a whole new life. It was those little things that I remember from when my children were young.
Once when I was so broke I got out all their tube socks and repaired them a la Tightwads Gazette.
Domestic Bliss !!

More than Survival said...

I LOVE to hear things like this!!!! It shows REAL conservation, ingenuity, and creativity!! Our Great Grandmothers would be pleased!!!

tgillock said...

When my oldest daughter was a baby I got her 1st boutique bow for 14 dollars, hahahahahaha! What's the 1st thing she does? Take it out and gone forever at the zoo. That was the day I said NO more! I got all the supplies, read up on how to make them, get ribbon on sale when I buy and have been making them ever since. Now I have 3 daughters and have not bought a bow in 8 years and would say I have over 100 of them now and make them for friends and family.