thrifty Christmas


A Home Made Christmas 13

Pennies have been tight this year at TheMadHouse, so we have put our heads together and made as much as we can. Rice and Lavender hot pad with removable cover   Felt pocket tissue cover   Home made tea cup candles   Basic wrapping with brown paper, wool, string and ribbon  – I am of the opinion that good packaging detracts from the homemade feel   I tied home made gingham and mother of pearl hearts to the wrapping. We  had printed postcards of some photo’s we had taken over the year at Moo. I made pouches to hold them The minimads decorated 90p shoppings bags from Hobbycraft   I made more »


Childrens Craft Showcase – Fabric Painting on Bags for Gandmas 8

We have been busy cooking, baking, crafting, drawing, painting and generally having fun. over the last few days.   One of the tasks this week for the mini mads was to make a Christmas present for Nana and Grandma Materials Stamps (poundland have some in) Fabric paint (I got mine when MaxiMad was born over 4 years ago from Baker Ross) Masking tap Plain shopping bags (99p from Hobbycraft) Card We were lucky enough to receive some wonderful Christmas foam stamps from a friend and they are great and that was how this came to mind. Mask off a square on each side and put the card inside to stop the more »


Kirtie’s HandMade Christmas – Rant Alert 18

Now I love Kirstie with the rest of the country, but I feel a little reality check is required here. I was really looking forward to this and have waited until viewing all three episodes before letting rip.  I was hopiong to be able to watch it and get useful, practical, inexpensive, handmade ideas for Chritmas and maybe that was were I was going wrong. Yes it was beautiful, the artisans were increadably talented, but cheap it wasn’t!!  Gold leafing a pear, what a precious waste of good fruit, in addition to a frivolous, not make that mad way to spend £38 on a book of 24 carrot gold.  Dear lord more »


Crafting with Children – Make your own wrapping paper 3

This is another really simple, but fun childrens craft, which will save you some pennies over the Christmas period and also over the year to come. Materials Paper – we have a roll of white paper from Ikea £2.99 Washable paints Paper plates Washing up bowl filled with soapy water Towel Now I am not going to pretend this is a clean craft, no sir, it is a messey, fun and wonderful craft and if you are feeling up to it then why not join in too.  If you have a fine day then you can always go outside for this one. Now I do not have images of this work more »


Handpainted Mugs and other porcelain. 6

Another Thrifty Christmas Post inspired by Violet posy and by the Cowgirl in Wellies. We made these for MaxiMads teachers in July to say thank you for looking after him at Preschool. They were really simple to make, I purchased some porcelain paint from Baker Ross ages ago and it last and lasts.  we did designs based on finger prints as it is much easier for children to do them. You paint the mug or what ever you want, we used egg cups, bread trays and cups, but also plan to do plates with hand-prints on for the grandparents and godparents. White crockery can bee picked up very inexpensively from all more »


Tea Cup Candles 28

Well I have been busy preparing for Christmas, we like to give homemade and  handcrafted presents and this year at TheMadHouse we are a little strapped for cash due to illness and other issues, so I am trying to make it a Thrifty Christmas. I have been collecting pretty tea cups, saucers and tea plates from charity shops since the summer to turn them into tea cup candles for Mini and Maxi Mads teachers, teaching assistants and also the lovely ladies that run the toddler group we attend. So  I thought I would do a quick tutorial and let you know just how easy and child friendly this is to do more »


Christmas Cake and Christmas Puddings 6

I always start soaking the fruit for Christmas cakes and Christmas puddings at Half Term, so I have weighted, measured, chopped, washed, dried and then covered in alcohol all the fruit this morning with the minimads.  We tend to use what we have or rather what alcohol my mum has open (so it was a mixture of sherry, brandy and rum this year). Last year we gave out mini Christmas cakes as part of our presents and they went down really well and were very easy to make and simply iced (well you cant really do ornate with a three  and two year old helping and as you know its all more »


Picture Perfect Meme 7

Linda at ‘You’ve got your hands full’ tagged me with the Picture Perfect Meme, which Tara at Sticky Fingers started. You have to show a picture that your children have drawn about you. You may remember that a little while ago MaxiMad made a trip to the local sorting office where he saw the life cycle of a postcard he had previously posted.  Well on that postcard was a picture of his family. A while back MadDad ordered me the the wonderful Handmade home by Amanda Blake Soule, who is Soulemamma.  In it she makes Portrait Bookmarks (she has a free PDF with the instructions on here).  I thought these were a more »


Making a start on the Christmas Presents 4

Look, my new to me sewing machine and my first project on it.  A new swimming bag for MaxiMad.  He picked out the fabric when we were in York a few weeks back from the Cath Kidston store (he has taste that young man)! Thing is once I had done one and mini mad saw it, I had to make another one this afternoon.  I also made these key rings as Christmas Presents and one for myself, as I always end up popping my car keys in my mouth to hold it I dont have any pockets on (so I can strap the children in their car seats). Do you like more »


Pear Butter 6

We were given a bag full of pears from my wonderful sister in law, off the tree in their garden at the social club.  Now the mini’s love pears and ate lots, but I wanted to do something with the rest of them to remind us of Autumn all through the dark and cold winter and also to give as gifts for our Thrifty Christmas. So we decided to make a pear butter/jam thing.  MadDad set too pealing all the pears, whilst I cored them and he then chopped them.  We put the in the slow cooker with a little water and left them to cook over night on low. I more »


Thrifty Christmas over at Violet Posie 3

I don’t know about you, but we are pretty strapped for cash at the moment and with Christmas on its way, I am looking at ways of making it less expensive and more thoughtful, less consumer driven and more cared for and considered. So when I saw that Violet Posie was hosting a Thrifty Christmas’ Carnival from the 9-12th November, I though yep that is for me. I have a few ideas up my sleeve for things that I will be making for all this Christmas, so will be participating, but I am also keen for some more ideas and can not wait for my imagination to be peaked. We actually more »