Penny Pinching Peach


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Upcycled Trellises for Gardening

Stroller Trellis
Stroller Trellis

Being a penny pincher who was raised homesteading and upcycling before it was the “in” thing to do, recycling unused items for my garden is like breathing.

*May contain affiliate links,  which help my little family without costing yours any extra money. *

Broken Stroller Trellis

Broken Stroller Trellis

When my cucumbers started getting out of control, it never occurred to me to go buy something to use as trellises. My first instinct was to scour our property for things to be used. I have used pieces of leftover fencing, unused animal cages, tree limbs rigged up and many other myriad random objects to trellis or stake plants with. This year my objects were a wee bit on the creative side.

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Have you ever used a baby stroller as a plant trellis?

 

It works great! We had this ancient stroller left outside on our property by a former resident and beyond safe use for it’s original purpose. We’d never bothered to haul it off, so I rolled it’s wobbling wheels on over to the end of my garden and started encouraging my cucumbers to climb. The photos illustrate the interesting results. My daughter loves it. She says our cucumbers are babies with their own baby carriage, and is eager to show off her baby cucumbers to anyone who may happen to be around. 🙂

Trellis From Yard Objects

Trellis From Yard Objects

You thought I was finished? I wasn’t done upcycling yet!

I needed more than what the rickety stroller could handle on it’s own, so I went a-searching again. I came up with a couple of leftover pieces of plastic yard edging, barely visible in the picture, and a black metal decorative tower thingamajigger. They both work well for the purpose, as you can see from their barely visible appearance in the featured snapshots.

“Penny Pinching Peach is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com”

What items have you upcycled, recycled or reused to trellis your trailing plants in the garden?

In the spirit of sharing, this Kindle book The Upcycled Garden shares over 50 ways to use “discarded” items in new ways for your garden. Check it out!

For one of my favorite gardening tips, please read about my topsy turvy planters I made with my husband.

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Thanksgiving Turkey Craft

 

Upcycled Thanksgiving Turkey

Upcycled Thanksgiving Turkey

For our preschool the other day I decided to make it all about Thanksgiving.

First, I told my daughter the 4 year old comprehensible version of the first Thanksgiving and we had a discussion about the things we are thankful for.

She was especially thankful for her mommy, daddy, baby brudder, all her animals and food. 🙂

Next, I sent her into the yard to gather leaves while I got together craft supplies for her project of the day!

I like re-using random items in our crafts, so I grabbed part of a thing cardboard insert I’d been saving from a box of drinks  (an old cereal box would work) and cut pieces to make a turkey body and head, cut a slit in the neck and chest to be able to stick them together, trimmed an old Reeses’ candy eggs box, then laid them out with her crayons and markers so that she could decorate her turkey however she wanted, and got some googly eyes to glue on when she was finished decorating. She had a blast! When she was through, I couldn’t find any clear tape, so I just used masking tape to tape the cardboard pieces around the box “stand”, put the head on and helped her tape the leaf tail on the backside. It would’ve been prettier with clear, obviously, but Princess Peach is pleased as punch, and that’s what counts. 🙂

Thanks for Turkey?

Thanks for Turkey?

Once the turkey was proudly perched on our windowsill, I wrote out THANKS and TURKEY on two pages, had her point out all of the letters and we talked about the words. Then she did her best to copy the words out. She also made a picture with her two hands traced and the word THANKS at the top later that day, because she enjoyed her Thanksgiving theme so much and didn’t want to be finished with it. 🙂

What kind of fun Thanksgiving themed things do you do with your little ones? Try my Free Printable Thanksgiving Turkey Craft!



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Egg Carton Flowers

Egg carton flowers

Egg carton flowers


I had a stack of egg cartons piling up, waiting on some inspiration, and my daughter brought them to me wanting to do a project. I came up with egg carton flowers. She was thrilled! Since my little princess enjoyed her new project, I thought I’d share it with other folks who might want something new to do to keep their munchkins happy. 🙂

We gathered together our supplies: An egg carton (of course! 🙂 ), then some scissors, markers, marker stampers and some stickers that aren’t pictured below.

Egg carton flower supplies

Egg carton flower supplies

First, I cut the top off of the egg carton, then cut between the cups. Next, I cut the cups into a smoother rounded shape around the top. Last, I went snippety snip around the cup to make the petals. The different stages of development in the picture should help fill in any confuzzlement left by my description. 🙂

From there, it was up to Princess Peachy to finish up. She smashed the petals flat with her little hand, then got to work decorating. She had a good ol’ time being creative with decorating them all sorts of different ways with the supplies we had on hand. When she was finished, we arranged them in a flower shape on a green piece of construction paper. You could glue them on, if you want, but my little one enjoyed rearranging them too much to let me glue them on.

What household item do you have overflowing, but don’t want to throw out because you think you can find some nifty way to upcycle it? Maybe I can come up with something. 🙂


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Cupcake Wrapper Flowers

Cupcake Wrapper Flowers

Cupcake Wrapper Flowers


Want a busy time activity for little ones? How about making cupcake wrapper flowers? I originally saw the idea on another blog somewhere, but adapted it to the materials we had on hand at our house and the way my daughter wanted to do it.

We used:

Cupcake wrappers
Twigs
Twisty ties (like come on loaf bread)
Buttons
Sweet smelling body spray

Feel free to make substitutions on any materials. Remember, we just used whatever we had on hand.

Stringing buttons

Stringing buttons

Stack the buttons in whatever pattern you want or even just use one button, stringing them on the twisty tie. Poke holes in the cupcake wrapper (I used an ink pen with a button as a template). String the twisty ties through the holes, attach the twig to the back and twist the ends around it firmly.

Smells yummy!

Smells yummy!

My daughter loved the next part. I let her pick out a sweet smelling body spray, and spritz all of her new pretty flowers. She loved smelling them, and had me reapply it every week or so to keep them smelling like delicious.

Tada!!

Tada!!

My daughter was so proud of her handiwork. She’d had so much fun gathering up twigs that were just the right size, selecting the perfect buttons, and helping me put it all together, she could hardly wait to show them off.

Baby food jar vase

Baby food jar vase

Of course, with such gorgeous blooms to display, I had to come up with a vase to showcase them in. What else would I use in a house with little ones other than an empty baby food jar? I let my daughter decorate the jar with sparkly jeweled sticker things, which she thought was just the right touch. She set her beautiful bouquet proudly on the shelf at the head of her bed, ready for sniffing and seeing at any time. 🙂

This is such a simple, sweet craft with materials most of us have around the house. It definitely works for both my penny pinching side and my creative side. What are some things you have lying around your house that you’d love to find a creative use for?


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Egg Carton Caterpillars

Egg Carton Caterpillars

Egg Carton Caterpillars

My 3 1/2 year old, Princess Peach, loves to do anything cute, creative and crafty. I love anything that will keep her content, busy and not destroying anything for an entire hour at a time. I went on a quick internet browse for some things to fit the bill the other day when I felt a migraine coming on and needed her quietly occupied. I saw something kinda similar to this, and did my own thing from there with the materials I had on hand and the age of my munchkin. This little egg carton upcycled caterpillar project made us both happy! 🙂

First, I took an egg carton and cut the bottom off of it, then cut the two egg holder rows apart.

Curliques

Curliques

Next, I poked a hole in each side of the end I designated the head of each caterpillar. I had a green pipe cleaner that I cut in half, threaded one half through the head of each little critter’s head and twirled the ends into cutsie curliques.

At this point, I would’ve put some googly eyes on the caterpillars for best results, but I didn’t have any. I thought about gluing small black buttons on for the eyes, but did I mention I started this whole project ’cause I had a migraine coming on? Yeah. So, I wound up just doodling eyes and a little cartoon mouth on each with markers and calling it good.

Princess Peach's Project

Princess Peach’s Project

From here, Princess Peach took the reins. I laid out her markers and a few different types of stickers for her to choose from to decorate and left her at the kitchen table while I laid on the living room couch trying to keep the migraine from coming on while being able to keep an eye on her and my little Bam-Bam baby boy. (Didn’t work, by the way. Worst migraine in forever!) For older kiddos or when you’re in a more hands-on mood, you could definitely add some glitter glue, buttons to be glued on as spots, macaroni art designs or anything else your little hearts desire.

My little artist had a great time creating her little critters, and when she was done she had just as much fun playing with them. She dubbed them brother and sister, and had them going on adventures together all over the house. It was pretty stinkin’ cute, even though part of her adventures took place making them fly around the bathroom telling me to feel better while I was throwing up from the migraine pain & pressure.

Want a rating on a scale of “zero” to “you’ve gotta do this”? Honey, if you’ve got preschoolers who need a rainy day or busy time activity that costs you nothing you don’t already have on hand and could even be considered “green”, I’d call egg carton caterpillars a “gotta do this” kinda activity. 😉

Playing with her caterpillars

Playing with her caterpillars