Friday, 14 December 2012

Festive Table Bundles

Hi everybody! Salt here :)

For anyone that knows me, and I'm assuming most of you readers do, you'll know how much I love Christmas!
Yes, Christmas is the reason I live off of Bulgar (more like 'Vulgar') wheat and carrot sticks throughout January, and yes, Christmas is the reason that I continually whinge about how many days it is until payday.
But how can you not love the decorations, the excitement, the presents, the carols...the list could go on.

I have a fair amount of spare time on my hands at the moment, and so this Christmas, I've done a lot of crafting. There will be posts on all of this to follow, but some involve presents - so they'll have to wait until after the big day.

One thing I can post now though, are these table decorations....

Simple to make, and you can make them as budget or elaborate as you like!
I think the grand total for the ones I made came to about £7, and I made ten of not too bad really.

What you'll need is:
- Material (I bought pillowcases from Asda. They were £1.96 so easily the cheapest way to buy lots of material.
- Candy Canes and other sweets
- Gift Labels
- Ribbon (preferably with some wire trimming to help it keep its shape)
- Cardboard (I used an old pizza box)

First, I arranged the sweets into little individual piles (and ate all the spares...)

Then, I cut the material into a big square, and cut little cardboard circles to pop in the bottom to make the stable.
I stuck the cardboard to the middle of the material and piled all the sweets inside.

Finally, you pull all the corners up to the center and tie the ribbon around once to secure it in place. The slide on the gift label with the message and name, and pop the candy cane in place. Tie the ribbon once more to secure it all, and voila....
 (Yes, that is a letter from Professor Green you can see in the background...)

Simple to make, but I think they're really quite cute!
I like to think these are quite festive because of the red and white material and the candy canes.

But they could be used for any occasion, just alter the material and contents!

As always, let us know your thoughts, or if you've made anything similar!

Rumour has it there might be a cheeky joint post coming up, so keep your eyes peeled!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Eco Calendar

Alright kids? Satch here. As I’ve been unemployed since leaving Uni and won’t start my new job until next week, I shall be making A LOT of my Christmas presents this year. I thought I’d share with you a good Christmas present idea on a super tight budget, using stuff you already have at home, that I actually gave to my boyfriend for his birthday…in October…but it works well for Christmas. Bear with.

A few months ago, my boyfriend announced he didn’t want birthday cards this year. I was overwhelmed with emotion – no birthday cards? No anticipation as you open the card to see if there’s money inside? No mementos of your day to scrapbook? No fun card design you can cut out and save for a later crafty recycling occasion?! Admittedly, Cobb doesn’t do any of these things, but his main reasons for his insane choice were (annoyingly) more logical. According to Cobb:

1)       They don’t really mean anything – anyone can wander into Clintons, buy something with a standard joke on the front and sign it: ‘From Random Person’.
2)       Thus, you keep them for a few days and then just chuck them. (Well, I don’t but I hear regular people do).
3)       Therefore, it’s a waste of money.
4)       And also, bad for the environment.

He went on to say it would be different if someone made him a card, and used only things they had already so it was giving the materials a new lease of life (I’ll admit he didn’t say it in quite such a douchey way). So I decided to make him one. However, as you can see from the title of this blog, the idea may have evolved somewhat into something un-card like but, what can I say? I get carried away. 

So I set myself the challenge of using only paper I had already (and preferably not printer paper because that’s a) lame and b) not using up old stuff, and just making my parents buy more all the sooner. I came up with this little poem for the card, but as I had to make part of Cobb’s present (it’s his fault for having a birthday when I’m unemployed!) I realised I could put it in a calendar and do one line a page (I later realised there were 16 lines and only, ahem, 12 months in a year so had to double up a bit…). I wanted each page to look different, but all go together tonally and look kind of cool and eco and stuff seeing as Cobb is into that. I gathered up brown paper bags, newspapers, used envelopes and old brown card and paper that I already had in my craft box (always save for a rainy day!) and scoured Facebook for photo memories that would go with the poem.

The plan was this: 1) Cut and arrange the paper into A4 2) Print the photos, calendar and poem lines directly onto the paper 3) Hole punch and whack some string through (I found some old picture cord from somewhere) 4) Bob’s your uncle!

However, it did not go to plan! As you can see, the front cover material (thin brown cardboard) and my printer got on like a house on fire. Unfortunately, I learned the hard way that tissue paper and printers are like my internal system and dairy – they don’t get on. What’s worse is that having unjammed my printer from the brown paper bag it had ensnared, I couldn’t cancel the print job in time and ended up with a 12 page calendar on printer paper, and 12 separate pages of recycled materials (well, 11 after the printer was done with the paper bag) that were going to go to waste (which, as you are well aware, was the opposite of my intention). 

I did the best with what I had – I wrote or traced the months onto the recycled pages (you’ll notice which ones I did free-hand – they’re the crap ones), cut and stuck the rest on, and either saved what was left for another time, or put it in the recycling (so I still get green points!)

This deconstructed envelope is my favourite, even if it has my Mum's address on it!

And voila! You could do all sorts of variations. You could use wrapping paper to make it more colourful, or in-jokes instead of lines of a poem (which, in retrospect, would have been less cringey) or pictures and quotes from their favourite films. Either way, one excellent, personal, home-made gift without spending a single penny. Result! 

Satch & Salt

Well, hello there! It turns out you have stumbled upon THE GREATEST BLOG ON EARTH! Congratulations!

So about us…Satch (who also goes by Satchell, Satchbags, Satchface (you get the gist), and very occaisionally, Moyra) and Salt (Aka Salter, Ginge and, thanks to a wonderful ex, Pumba…) have a long and glorious history together of love, friendship, a brief period of hate (in fairness, we were in middle school), and Satch taking the piss of Salt.

Here’s the earliest photo we could find, from Satch's 15th birthday – looking good, no?







Both of us have also been known to blog every now and then, and so as Salt sadly lives in Cardiff these days and Satch sadly, well, doesn’t, we decided to join forces to create what was previously referred to as THE GREATEST BLOG ON EARTH! How could it not be the greatest with two such forces combining?!

Here you’ll find the entire world’s (ok, our – we’ll try and be a little more humble from now on…) best ideas for making life a little bit more lovely on a budget. Whether it’s crafts and cake you’re after, or a cheeky bit of beauty blogging (apparently Salt is addicted to it!) you’ll find it here! We’ll even be working our way through our bestie bucket list (which we shall post for you shortly) and any suggestions are welcome (although often ignored.)

 Here’s our most recent picture – well, the hair got better but we developed a taste for wine!









Sometimes we might get a few friends to pitch in and contribute, or we might find we’re just too awesome and don’t want to share the glory. Either way, prepare to be amazed, dazzled and astounded! (Or maybe we set the bar a bit high…)