Reactions + Gift Ideas we love day fourteen!

Since starting BNN I have been keeping a mental note of the responses we have received when telling  others about our BNN commitments

One of the funniest conversations I had was at work when I was explaining the ins and outs of BNN and the few items I believed were acceptable to buy new (In this case we were focussing on me buying a new mouthguard for hockey after the dog got a hold of the old one)

Of course I can buy the mouthguard… It’s for my own safety! I’d rather buy a new mouthguard than have no teeth‘ I said

The response I received was equally justified:

well if you have that as a rule you may as well buy a Porsche and claim it under safety‘.

That statement has stuck with me for both it’s humour but also to remind me not to overstretch my limits, for instance when we first started BNN I had a slip up when I convinced myself I had to buy a new lipstick and that was ok because I get chapped lips. Truthfully I did not need that lipstick and I have worn it only a hand full of times since. BNN has taught me to simplify things, yes I could buy that lipstick (just like how I could  buy a Porsche)… or I could make do with the jar of paw paw cream in the cupboard. I’m not saying I can’t buy lipstick, BNN is our journey and we will do with it what we want but having the gift of hindsight has taught me that stepping back and taking a more simplistic view of things can often provide a longer lasting satisfaction than cluttering my life with stuff….or lipstick ever will.

That’s just a little snippet I had wanted to share on here for a while 🙂

PS. todays gift idea!

I have decided it is now officially last minute gift time… What about candles??

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Also did you know you can re-use old candle wax to make new candles?!

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Day eleven: gift ideas we love

Give a Young Lady or Gentleman Their Very Own Alphabet 🙂

cover photo - DIY Magnetic Alphabet

Kids need to learn the alphabet at some point in their busy lives, why not make it fun with these cool alphabet magnets!

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This first one is done by Ellen Goldberg from Kiwi Magazine it recycles old bottle caps by turning them upside down and inserting letters. If I was to make them I would stick to plastic caps because the metal ones can be rather sharp… Although depending on your child’s age they might be too small. I was trying to think of something larger that is less likely to be swallowed and I thought maybe collecting the Spring Valley juice lids, they are metal but larger and without the sharp bits that are on most glass bottles. If you did accumulate enough Spring Valley lids to make an alphabet set you would also get the joy of reading all the cool facts under the lid!

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Second we have I am Momma Here Me Roar who has made some really cute magnets using pebbles (again I would watch the size you’re using here) What a cool way of incorporating a bit of nature into  your kitchen. These would be really low cost to make, you would only need the self adhesive magnet strips and a bit of paint + the rocks which would be free. If your a bit of a control freak you might want to use a stencil here 😛

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Anyway those are our two tutorials for the day, if your interested there are also a heap that use scrabble tiles but I left them out because I thought it was too obvious and easy (we like a challenge here @ thriftypop!). Whilst searching for these great tutorials I came across a cool article ‘12 Letters that Didn’t Make the Alphabet’ worth a read if you’ve got some time 🙂

I thought they would make a really cute stocking filler maybe put inside one of these gorgeous recycled plastic bottle apple containers! Cute aren’t they! These could be used as packaging material for so many small gifts you may be giving out this Christmas… why not give them a go?

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Let me know how these go! xxx

Day four: gift ideas we love

Plastic bag up-cycling 

Ok so before I go into this I just want to say this isn’t a tacky, falls apart as soon as it’s opened homemade gift. I have actually made these before and they do turn out really good (so well that for a while last year I became a little obsessed with plastic bag craft).

Online you can find thousands of plastic bag recycling tutorials, but these are three of my favourites which are not overly time consuming or hard to do.

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Yes, even this gorgeous christmas wreath is made out of recycled plastic bags (I made about five of these last year and they are fantastic)

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  • Recycled Plastic bag Totes – How cute are these! to make them all you will need will be scissors, plastic bags (you can finally start getting rid of that huge collection in the cupboard. Yay!), some baking paper, sewing machine, an iron and some felt + double sided tape for the labels on the front. What you will be doing is fusing the plastic bags together which then creates this really durable material so then you can reuse them over and over again whilst minimising your ecological footprint and maximising the space on your now less cluttered plastic bag shelf 🙂

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  • An eco-friendly skipping rope  – great for kids + cheap and easy for you. This looks really cool if you have a mixed collection of bags with different colours. Literally all you have to do to make this is braid the bags together and duct tape the ends to make handles.

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  • Fused plastic bag placemat  – Again this one is done by fusing layered plastic bags together, you can do them as block colours or get a bit creative by weaving or making little cutouts. I’m thinking of making this as a housewarming gift for some friends later on this year

So this is the end of my plastic fantastic post. If you want more ideas as usual have a search on the old internet for some plastic bag inspired crafts. Some people even turn their plastic bags into yarn and then crochet or knit with it (I’m not that talented!), Heres a list of ideas to get you started.

Adventure to the unknown.

Today Little Pops novio drove her down to the Knox Waste Transfer Station (http://www.knoxtransferstation.com.au/recycled_good_shops.php) to see if there was anything interesting there.

I would recommend it to anyone looking for gardening + landscaping supplies or sports equipment.

I’m thinking of going back with big pop in the next few weeks to get some old ladders to build up our veggie patch. I’m thinking something like this:

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I will keep you all updated with or progress

Little Pop xx