Thursday, December 02, 2010

Creating a Stash!

When I posted about my Cozy Christmas Kit - several of you wondered how you go about having these things on hand and creating a crafty stash of things that could easily be pulled together for something like this without having to go and buy anything.

Confession: I used to look at magazines and think, "Uh, who has that kind of thing on hand? Seriously! How unrealistic."

Second confession: Now, I do have those kinds of things on hand. And, I imagine that others say the above about me.

Ok, now that I have that out of the way - whew! Here are a few thoughts about creating a fun stash of your own without spending a lot!

* One decision at a time, only collect, add or keep things you like!

I honestly think this is one of the main reasons that I can pull something like this off. I've pared down things to where I pretty much only have things I'm going to use or enjoy.
If it isn't my taste - I don't buy it or if it is handed to me to look through -
I'll only keep what I know I like and will use!

This helps me to have room to keep crafty supplies like this -
I would never have room to keep everything.

Practically, here is what this looks like: let's say you are at a thrift store
and see a big ziploc bag of ribbon for $1. I see these all the time and they can be a great source of inexpensive trimmings.

However, chances are you're not going to like all of it.
Do you like enough of it to make it worth the $1 investment?
If so - then go ahead and keep what you like and pass on the rest or re-donate it back to the thrift store. When you consider that sometimes it can be hard to find a spool of ribbon for $1 - you will likely come out very well on this even if you like only two or three of the things in the bag.

See that red beaded garland on a spool? Thrift store!

Sometimes I'm given others cast off craft supplies because they know I like that kind of thing and I love to go through and pick out the things I know I will enjoy!

Give yourself permission right now to get rid of the little bits and pieces you know you'll never use and don't like! Has something already come to your mind that fits this category - go take care of it now, I'll wait!

* Gather one thing here and one thing there.

I rarely find a large amount of things that are my taste, style, useful to me and a good price all in one outing. Be willing to build and gather slowly.

Check after-holiday sales throughout the year, clearance racks, thrift stores and discount stores. You may find one spool of ribbon or one little vintage jello mold. But, it will eventually build into a stash you love just by adding one thing here and there. Plus, it will keep your cost down!

Examples: Christmas ribbon shown above (bottom left) was found at Big Lots on an after-Christmas sale, plaid thermos was thrifted as were vintage jello molds, etc...

Now, here's another radical thought - I gather little trimmings like these even with no idea of what I'll use them for. That is part of the fun of it - having the things on hand when inspiration strikes!

* Leftover trimmings are your friends!

When you work on a craft project and have leftover things, you never know when they'll be useful to you in the future!

These little cinnamon ornaments were left from these.
Votive candles were left from this event.
Braided fabric was left from this.
Sheer ivory ribbon was left from garlands.

This can also fall under looking for what you already have - but I'm always reminded at how these little leftovers are so fun to use for future projects!

* Basics pull together in lots of simple ways very quickly!

We use the concept of basic staples every day in our kitchen. Basic pantry staples often include flour, sugar, chocolate chips and other baking supplies.

Think of your craft supplies in the same way.

Ribbon, paper, stamps, etc... are great basics that can create many different projects depending on what your need is or how you're feeling inspired. Something really specific may not be used because you either don't want to use it up or it doesn't exactly fit your situation. When you have basics, you can create them to fit your project!

Examples seen in the above photo: stamps, tissue paper, mini clothespins, little glassine bags and wide jute trim can be used in countless ways. I'm thinking that jute will make a great hanger for an impromptu wreath at our Christmas house!

* Add these things to your wish list.

Is there someone who consistently likes to know what you'd like for a birthday or Christmas gift? Why not suggest trimmings and fun little goodies like this for a gift idea?
This kind of gift is really fun to put together and it is so fun to use little things like that to create when they did not cost you anything!

A set of fun Christmas tags from my Mom are tucked in here, a cute enamelware pitcher from a sweet friend tucked in there, cute Christmas scissors, etc...

* Look around your house for things you already have!

I suspect that one of the reasons we like these pictures is because of the impact of seeing it all in one place, the fact that everything is color coordinated, etc...

For example, when I want to decorate for Spring, I walk around and look for things that are light blue that I already have. I might find a book covered in light blue colors or light blue canning jars, a piece of ribbon or paper that would accent another item or a light colored candle that would add to it. When we group these things together, it looks like we purchased everything at the same time - but we really just tricked the system to look like that!

I had this little suitcase sitting with some books on it in my living room and it really makes the stash look so much cuter!

Wax paper is a favorite supply of mine too! And, I don't keep the jello molds or cute enamelware creamer in my craft things. I use those for other things frequently! But, they can really add value here as well!

Be willing to look outside the box - not just using something it was intended to be used for!

Never underestimate shopping around your own house!!!!!

* Get creative with basic supplies that are readily available.

I have another suspicion - these photos show that I added a few little details to basic supplies. We like details, and it really does add to the visual appeal here.

For example: I rolled the paper to help it fit - but then added a cute bow which adds to the visual appeal as well as helping it travel better. Braided fabric from the leftover bin is inside an old canning jar - stores nicely, helps in transport and gives me two things to work with when we get there.

Look at an office supply store and you'll see several really cute kinds of tags - if you like them really white - just use as is! One box of tags has lasted me a really long time by just using one here and one there.

I didn't really like the super white tags and saw an idea on a blog about staining your tags in coffee. A simple way to distress them and do a little craft at the same time! I've really enjoyed these coffee stained tags!

See the red/white bakers twine on a tag? It came that way, but apply that idea to other things. When I wanted to take some jute twine, but didn't have a spool to put it on, I copied this idea and took a large tag and wrapped the twine around it to put in this stash.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Guess what? I am so super excited that the kind folks over at
Garnish agreed to give two $10 gift certificates to you!!

This would be a great way to begin a cute stash of your own as I love all their basic and fun supplies that would make lots of projects pull together simply!

Items in my kit that came from Garnish include:
Berry Boxes
Red/White Bakers String
Glassine Bags
Kraft Paper Labels

Take a peek at their site and you'll find all kinds of things
that would add to a creative and fun stash!
The best part is how reasonable their things are!
You'll be able amazed at how much you can pick out for $10!

To enter this giveaway, hop over to the Garnish web site so we can show them some link love and thanks for hosting this giveaway! Look around and spot a favorite item or idea (look at this dreamy box lunch!) and come back here and leave a comment!

Comments will be accepted until Friday, December 3 at 9pm EST.

Have fun!

Disclosure: When putting this post together, I realized how fun it would be to have a giveaway and Garnish was my first thought. I wrote them and asked if they'd be willing to host this giveaway and they graciously agreed. They did not solicit my opinion and I'm not receiving any kind of product or commission from them. I get the pure joy of being able to pass this on to two of you!!!!


Anonymous said...

Ooohh, I wish I wouldn't have seen that website! Those are some great craft basic supplies! I would probably choose some twine, cellophane bags, etc to give my own little stash a boost. :)

~Flower Petal

leekat6 at verizon dot net

grace said...

I really enjoy your blog and ideas. I read it every morning before the kids get up! I would probably choose the berry baskets and also loved the disposable loaf pans! Thanks so much.

being molded said...

I love the childrens party idea.

Denise said...

Such great stuff to choose from! Thanks for sharing this website with us.

I could use the take-out containers for giving my homemade Christmas goodies away. Decorate them with some twine, a homemade gift tag, and some other little decoration, and I'll be good to go!

Wendi said...

I really like the concept of basic staples in terms of craft supplies. That is a great way to put it!

I didn't have much time to look at the Garnish site, but I will be going back. They have some cute stuff and great ideas. A couple of things that stuck out to me was the twine and the picnic on the go idea. Cute!

chrissy said...

Monica - I'm hosting a cookie exchange in a couple of weeks and one of the kid's activities is going to be to make chocolate dipped marshmallow pops. I could totally use these red striped straws for the sticks:

What a great site! I could probably find a use for many of the things there since I do a lot of baking/hospitality things during the holidays...

Amanda said...

i love the baker's twine!!
amanda m.

Anonymous said...

Cool site! Soup and drinking cups, berry boxes(can use for great hospitality baskets), twine, wooden cutlery OH MY!!!! Thanks for lettin us know about this site, great fun. tammyp

Anonymous said...

Cool site! Soup and drinking cups, berry boxes(can use for great hospitality baskets), twine, wooden cutlery OH MY!!!! Thanks for lettin us know about this site, great fun. tammyp

Michele said...

Thanks for sharing this site....I'd never seen it. I'm sending the link to my daughters. I'd like to stock up on the twine, cello bags, and kraft paper items.

forr2girls said...

Thanks so much for sharing this website with us! I have been looking for a place to buy the bakery twine I see being used everywhere recently and I love the glassine bags too!
I have already added them to my favorites!
Have a blessed day!

Carly said...

Neat site! Love the brown wrapping paper and the twine!

Shannon Miller said...

What a great website! I could spend all day looking around. I especially love the berry baskets.

Peggy said...

I see what I am going to have to ask for Christmas... the paper pans, bakers twine, and cellophane packages for all my baking! And gift certificates...

Thank you so very much for all taking the time to share all your wonderful ideas!

Jessie said...

I love the "Play Dough to go" idea. What a cute party favor for a kid's event!

LynnMarie said...

Great post and a reminder that it takes awile to create a stash. If you want to have a stash, take your time, find what you love, hold on to it, then when the creative bug attacks, you are ready. Love your ideas!

Agnes said...

I did not know the site, they have really a lot of nice things, simple but very nice. I loved to shop there.

Anonymous said...

I have quite a stash but its all over the place! I need to work on getting it more together. Thanks for sharing that sight. I like the glassine bags and also the clear acrylic boxes.

Anonymous said...

Oh, how very fun! Thank you for sharing the site and all of your sweet inspiration! I especially love the twine, and it would be fun to have some glassine & cellophane bags too!

Sweet blessings on your day,

Anonymous said...

I like the play dough to go as I do family child care and this seems like an inexpensive gift I can give to the children. Susan

angie said...

Thank you for this very comprehensive post, combined with a fabulous giveaway. How clever of you! I loved reading about the history of all of the crafting supplies you gathered. I like to know the "story" behind gathered objects.
Garnish is new to me. Maybe I shouldn't have window shopped their site!! But you are right-their prices are reasonable and they market the basic staples of crafting, nesting, serving and gifting. I loved the category "in the nick of twine"! I bookmarked the site, added their blog to my reader, and anticipate doing some more window shopping later tonight.

Amy Sue said...

Wow! I loved all of their great supplies. I really liked the cute straws and Contessa's containers. Thanks for sharing a great site and a fun give away with us.

Kendra Fletcher said...

Oh my goodness, I love their table setting ideas! I bookmarked that page :)

Leah said...

I love the twine and the laof liners are so cool. I have never seen those before, what a great idea!

Nancy said...

I love the baker's twine in all of the colors - especially red and white for Christmas! This is a wonderful post and very inspiring - also, thank you for the link to the site - great items at great prices.

Nancy @ Homemade Blessings

Lady Dorothy said...

Oh, I want some baker's twine and some wooden spoons and some...

Crystal said...

I love the colored twine and the gingerbread house party idea. What a neat site!:)

Pattie - Chicagoland, IL said...

The twine won my heart. Don't quite know why, but I would love to have those in my stash collection.

Trish said...

I love the Ice Cream swap idea. How fun would that be during the dog days of summer!

Nancy at said...

Thank you for introducing me to Garnish. I am following their blog now as it is FULL of sweet ideas. I love their baker's twine as it just adds that little bit of simple sweetness.

Julian said...

i absoulutely love this idea! I like the twine, and the other things. Do you have a box/container for each season?
What a great idea, thanks for sharing!

Elise said... are a girl after my own heart!! I have several thermoses{?} found thrifting. I cannot turn down ribbon/crafting supplies, etc. either!!
I love those striped straws and berry boxes!! They woul be perfect for Violet's first birthday-yes, I am planning that far ahead!! :)

Lisa @ Simply Things Family said...

Red and White or Natural Bakery Twine. Thanks for another great giveaway!

Melissa said...

What a neat website! I love the gingerbread house party ideas. I am planning one next week during my son's birthday party, and I thought it was my own idea, lol! But I did get some good tips ;o)

Jon and Sarah said...

What a neat website! I'd never seen it before. Such neat ideas!

MH in OH said...

Thanks for getting me over to that website - the product I like the most is the clear acetate boxes. All the ideas are inspirational!
orangetriangle2 AT yahoo DOT com

Anna said...

Very cool site! I had never heard of Garnish before. I loved the S'mores kits in the clear acetate boxes. Cute and yummy!

Grace said...

OOooooo I love the white and red combinations and the brown and red. So simple yet so pretty. You would be proud of my wrapping skills for a church Christmas party we are attending tonight. I am quite impressed with myself If I can say that ;)
this is your friend Grace by the way. I saw the other Grace.=)

Mrs. K said...

Love Garnish, can't visit The Nester without eventually veering over to Garnish.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing your ideas. I get so much inspiration from the things you do around your house. I love the berry boxes over at Garnish. So cute and so much potential!

becka said...

I could really get carried away on the Garnish website--lots of neat products to make your head swim with ideas!
Wanted to let you know too that I have the names of Jesus banner that you made hanging in front of our fireplace once again this Christmas.

heicoc said...

Thank you soooo much for sharing your great ideas and this website! I love the gingerbread boxes and the Christmas table settings! How wonderful - I would choose some of the twine and the kraft boxes. I usually do baskets for Christmas and this would be a great resource to make them even more special :)

Merry Christmas Monica!

Anonymous said...

I love the baker's twine and berry boxes.:)


Crystal said...

What great prices. I have never heard of that web site. Twine and berry boxes are just a few things I would start with. I think I could get a lot for $10.00

*carrie* said...

Such fun ideas. I love all the little tags and packaging!

Anonymous said...

Great site! I loved the boxes (especially the windowed gable box) and the red and white twine. Thanks for the opportunity to win and the great post!


Amy said...

I enjoy giving homemade baked goods as gifts and really liked the diposable loaf pans. Thanks for the giveaway- God bless!
brian amy 10 at hotmail dot com

Kelly said...

The God given creativity never stops, does it? I really enjoyed thier ideas creative juices are swirling!

Mrs. Pear said...

I LOVE the if they make it they will eat it idea because my 5 year old will definitely be helping with the Christmas baking, and there are many steps she can just do! So this would rock.

I also loved a lot of their ideas for decorating the table for Christmas!