Goodwill Valentine's Challenge

 Pinterest

Christmas is in our rearview window and our homes are looking a little dark and empty with all of the decorations put away. I love to get the Valentine’s Day decorations out immediately to help the house look less empty. Bonus, there a few Christmas items that I can leave out that work for Valentine's Day too! I don’t have too many decorations for Valentine's day, and I don’t have a lot of cash to spend, so I headed to my local Goodwill and looked around and bought a few things to see what I could come up with! I looked up a few ideas on Pinterest to have some kind of a plan but knew I needed to keep an open mind to what would be available. I also didn’t want to spend too much, so I tried to keep it under $20.

Walking around I saw a few everyday things that could easily be used as a Valentine decoration.  I found a red suede belt, then when you turned it over, it looked like the laces were hearts!  I found a bag that had fun heart-shaped hardware that would be fun to use in some way.

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I went to the frame department knowing that those would be inexpensive and painting them would be fast and easy and make a big difference. When looking for something to paint, make sure the finish is something that will accept paint. If it’s shiny or polished, the paint might scratch right off. I found quite a few frames I liked but narrowed them down to two. 

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I looked around some more and found a roll of glittery red ribbon (perfect for Valentine’s Day) some gold hoop earrings that had individual beads on them, some pencil pockets that were made out of gold glittery vinyl (and they were on clearance) and a hard backed copy of Twilight! I was hoping to be able to use book pages for something and thought this innocent romance novel would be perfect!

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I left Goodwill with 7 items total and spent $19.66!

Now to go home and figure out what to do! I really didn’t have a plan, but I wanted to use everything I bought and didn’t really want to have to purchase anything else. I did use some items I already had on hand, including multiple types of glue (glue stick, Elmers and my hot glue gun) some card stock and paint.

I started by painting the frames, I knew that my mind would wander and be creative while I was painting.  When you paint frames like this, I like to do light layers of paint and add a few layers, this allows the paint to stick better. My plan was to paint both frames and glitter one of the frames. I picked a red and aqua color because I love those colors together. When I started painting the red one, I realized that paint was a high glass and it looked great, so I decided not to glitter the frame, but a glittered frame is an easy project that gives a ton of impact!

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Once the smaller frame was painted aqua, I decided to start with that one first. I wanted a simple heart in it. I cut a piece of card stock to fit the 4x6 frame and glued a page from the book to it. I decided to create multiple layers for the heart, knowing I wanted the top layer to be red. I cut a large heart out of the card stock and painted that the same color as the frame. Then cut a heart out of the book that was a little smaller, then one out of the gold vinyl slightly smaller and lastly a smaller red card stock heart. I did all this by hand and was wishing I had a cricket at this point! I also cut a piece of the ribbon and put that down the back. Once I had that all together, I put it aside to figure out what to do with the red frame.

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I originally wanted to do a trio of hearts and use the frame horizontally.  That would have been beautiful, but because I put a heart in the other frame I wanted to do something different. Sometimes in projects, simple is the best way to go. I remembered an idea I had seen during Christmas to display cards and thought that might be a great idea for this! I used the back of the picture that came with the pink frame, it was heavy cardboard. I started the same and glued some of the book pages for the background. I then cut squares out of the book pages, 4” by 3 and 5/8”, the exact width of the frame. I glued the edges of the squares together to make a loop and glued each one in the frame. It made it very 3D and gave little areas to stick in a little valentine or cut out! My husband printed out a few Valentine Theme clip art things for me, and this little frame was done!

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I looked at both of them together and loved how they looked.  If I left them like this, they would have been adorable, but I had one item left that I hadn’t used, the hoop earrings! So what could I do with them!  I took them apart and had just enough to make the small heart in the aqua frame!  I am so pleased with how they turned out.  I had very little waste and still have some of the gold vinyl left and the red ribbon to use another time!  Don’t be afraid to try new things!

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Some quick tips

  1. Try to have a plan but be open to change.  I was hoping to find some buttons or jewelry. I did find the hoops but was hoping for a long necklace to take apart or a shirt with a lot of buttons.  There were purses and bags with some great fabric and hardware, they were just more money than I budgeted for this project.
  2. Don’t be afraid to change your idea if it isn’t working
  3. Use what you have, almost everyone has some glue, paint, construction paper, stamps, ribbon, and other odds and ends around the house. It's always a good idea to pick these types of items up when you see them at Goodwill.
  4. Have fun with it!

 

ABOUT THE BLOGGER:
Shendra De Oliveira is busy wife and mom of two young boys. She is the owner of Trendy Shendy’s, an embroidery and applique business, and is a creator of ChristmasGals.com, and Christmas craft and decorating blog. With a background in fashion and interior design, Shendra applies her creativity to DIY crafts and projects for the home and the holidays.

 

Goodwill Date Night Challenge

Trying to make Valentine’s Day special can be an overwhelming task. This year we’re proposing you make it fun. Here are a couple ideas that can help make this Valentine’s Day more exciting, Goodwill style!

Classy Date Night

You and your partner can make this Valentine’s more exciting by challenging each other to find a date night outfit for yourself at Goodwill for an agreed upon price. Split up and shop the store for clothes, shoes and accessories. Make it more fun and interesting by setting a time limit for your shopping trip. See what you can put together in under 30 minutes! Once your outfit is complete, you’re ready to go out for dinner. You won’t feel bad splurging on dessert because you saved so much on your ensemble.

 Classy

Take a cue from Oh So Lovely blog, check out how their outfits came together.

 

Make it a Group Activity

For this date night, you’ll need to gather your closest friends. Confirm that everyone is available for dinner at a specified date, time and place. Then tell them the date will consist of a shopping trip to Goodwill! Similar to the above challenge, each person has a $10 spending limit but this time you’re shopping for your significant other. Be sure to have fun with it, like the group in the photo below. Once everyone has their outfits, they’ll meet at the selected restaurant fully decked out in their Goodwill finds. This date night with all your besties is sure to be one of the most memorable date nights ever!

 Group Activity

Read the full Blog post from Living in Yellow about this Group Goodwill Date Night.

 

Scavenger Hunt Date Night

This is a great option to spice up the average date night.  Before stepping into the store decide the rules, time limit, and prize for the winner. Will the person with the most items checked in a specified time limit win or the first person to find all the items on the list? The prize could range from loser buys dinner, winner picks the movie, or whatever works for you both. 

Set the rules! Do you and your partner not want to run into each other while completing your scavenger hunt? If so, pick opposite sides of the store to start. Maybe it’s okay to bump into each other with just a little bit of boosting about your finds! Give bonus points for finds you want to purchase, add those items to your cart and require photographic evidence for anything else checked off the list. (We know how hard the Goodwill team works keep the store clean.) Have fun and happy Goodwill hunting!

 Goodwill Scavenger Hunt

Download the list and send to your partner.

We hope these date night ideas give you some inspiration for this Valentine’s Day. Let us know if you try any of these by tagging us of Facebook and Instagram @goodwillgoodskills.

10 Things You Should Finally Declutter and Donate This Year

I’m kicking off the new decade by finally facing those areas in the house that I tend to neglect all year long. Keep reading for 10 big and little areas I’ll be downsizing and donating to Goodwill of Greater Cleveland East Central Ohio this month:  

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1. Coat Closet

I’ve neglected this area for too long and it quickly went from an everyday coat closet to long-term coat storage. It felt incredibly productive to get a head start on downsizing and donating our coats before spring so they can have a second life this winter!

2. Board Game Stash 

Have board games you haven’t played in a while? Time to tackle that collection. I got rid of broken games and donated the gently used and newer games to Goodwill. Donation tip: secure game pieces in small bags and don’t worry if you can’t find the instruction manual, most manuals can be located online with a simple google search. 

3. Halloween Costumes

I’m all about recycling and reusing Halloween costumes as long as possible but it can easily become an area that gets neglected for too long. I dusted off the old box of costumes and donated the ones our family has outgrown. Goodwill is an incredible resource for Halloween costumes, and your costume may be the exact thing someone is looking for this fall! 

4. Linen Closet

If your linen closet is starting to look like an aisle at a bedding and bath store (like mine), it might be time to downsize. Goodwill accepts most gently used blankets and sheets. Bag those items up and start the year off with a freshly organized space. 

5. Dishes & Mug Cabinet

I definitely like to keep enough dishes and mugs on hand for guests, but this is another area around the house that quickly gets cluttered- especially since I have the tendency to collect quirky mugs.  The beginning of the year is a great time to donate gently used dishware and mugs that haven’t been used in the last year and pass those mugs on to another quirky shopper! 

6. Suitcases, Duffle & Diaper Bags

If your family has accumulated suitcases and diaper bags like ours has, it might be time to free up some of that precious storage space!  We finally got rid of broken bags, kept a couple for travel and everyday use, and donated our new or gently used ones to Goodwill. 

7. Vases

Anyone else feel like they blinked and all of a sudden have a cabinet full of vases? I have no idea why I’ve held on to so many vases for so long. It’s nice to have a few on hand (they also make great hostess gifts) but I couldn’t believe how much precious storage space I was able to clear up in our dining room cabinets by donating an entire box of vases to Goodwill. 

8. Loungewear

This is definitely one of the most neglected areas in my house. We easily accumulate several sets over the year, especially around the holidays as gifts. I try to tackle this drawer every three months or so and donate the unworn or like new ones to Goodwill. 

9. Bulky appliances

2020 is going to be the year I finally take inventory of multiple or unused cooking appliances in our kitchen like panini makers, griddles, waffle makers, and slow cookers and donate the ones we rarely use anymore to make space for the ones we actually need! 

10. Costume Jewelry

I love a good statement necklace, but let’s face it, between gifts, holidays and those “add $5 necklace to cart so I can get free shipping” moments, inexpensive costume jewelry piles up quickly. I finally tackled the huge pile and realized I tend to wear only a handful of everyday, go-to accessories and a couple of special event pieces. The rest will now be enjoyed by a Goodwill shopper! 

Dina

Dina Younis a thrift blogger and host of the thrift podcast, Allow Us to Rethriftroduece Ourselves. You can follow her blog at dinasdays.com or on Instagram at @dinasdays

7 Ways to Reuse Plastic Bags

The recent ban on plastic bags in the Cleveland area has been a big move toward a greener city. We at Goodwill applaud those efforts!

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At Cleveland area Goodwill stores, no plastic bags are used during a purchase. Instead, customers have the option of purchasing, at cost, a paper bag, purchasing a Goodwill reusable tote or using a bag from our bag share program.

What is a bag share program? Each Cleveland area Goodwill store is equipped with a bag share bin. These white bins can be found near the entrance of each store and offer customers a chance to either donate bags for others to use, or a chance for customers to use a bag free of charge.

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Only two weeks into this bag share program and our bag share bins are overflowing….mostly with single-use plastic bags which have been leftover since the new legislation. Thanks for your donation!

This made us think, what other uses are there for plastic bags besides shopping at your favorite thrift store (hint, hint, nudge, urge)? Here are a few of our favorite ideas!

1. Clean up after Fido!

If you have a four-legged friend then you most likely have messes that your dog may leave on walks or in your yard, or a cat that leaves presents in the litterbox. Plastic bags are an easy cleanup method. Use plastic bags to pick up any messes in the yard, or plastic bags to line the litter pan. And, if you have extra bags to spare, leave a stack of plastic bags at your local dog park for others to use.

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2. Line it!

We all have smaller wastebaskets at our home. And, we all have found that those smaller wastebaskets can get dirty very quickly. You may empty the trash out of the bin, but you oftentimes find a mess left behind. Save yourself the wastebasket clean up and line with plastic bags.

3. Car clean up.

Receipts, notes, wrappers, food crumbs. Ugh. It's enough to make your car feel like a mobile trash can. Use a small plastic bag hung over the headrest to serve as a trash collector for your vehicle.

4. Boot liners.

This may be an old-school idea, but nothing will keep your socks drier than using a plastic bag as a boot liner this winter. Trouble getting your boots on and off? Again, the plastic bag is a way for your foot to slip in and out of the boots easily.

5. Travel buddy.

Plastic bags serve a great use when you travel. Wrap items that could leak in a plastic bag before packing into your luggage. And, use plastic bags to store your shoes in. The plastic will keep any dirt or grime off the rest of your clothes in the suitcase.

6. Protect your breakables.

Shipping anything fragile? Maybe still packing away your Christmas ornaments? Plastic bags are a great packing material to keep your breakable items safe.

7. Upcycle into jewelry.

Okay, okay. Our ideas so far haven’t been groundbreaking. But, this might be the most creative idea yet! You can turn your plastic bags into jewelry! Follow these step by step instructions on how to make plastic bag flower earring!  

 

5 Reasons to Get Thrifty in 2020

Consumers are becoming more aware of how they are spending their money. With our current environmental climate, they are even more conscious of this. The new wave of “thrifting” is taking over, and it is no longer just for the budget-conscious shopper. All of these factors considered, what actually are the benefits of thrifting and donating your used items?

1.Thrifting reduces your carbon footprint. 

Think about everything that goes into one garment. From growing the plant that the fibers come from, all the way to the fuel it takes to get it to stores. Every step along the way is a resource being used. Shopping at Goodwill reduces the waste of resources and eliminates how many are being used to get your product home. Think of it as recycling for your clothing!

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2. Fast fashion is bad for the environment and everyone involved. 

So we talked carbon footprint, but what about the steps in between? The dyes used to color clothing take a lot of water, and then get washed out and contaminate the waterways during the process. Not only that, but fumes from factories are released into the air, hurting the environment and affecting air quality. Factories are to blame not only for pollution but also for the sweatshops that are housed inside of them. Bangladesh is home to a large number of sweatshops for common brands such as Gap, H&M, and Zara. In many of these sweatshops, workers earn around US$32 a month, working over 12 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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3. Reduced Water Usage

Over 20 billion gallons of water are used annually in the textile industry from growing cotton and other sources of natural fibers to dyeing fabric. By shopping at Goodwill, you are doing your part to lower water usage. 

 Happy Earth Day

4. Support local causes instead. 

Goodwill’s mission is to create employment opportunities and job training in the community. By donating and shopping at Goodwill, you are helping Goodwill raise money to fund job and life skills training to people with barriers to employment. When you round up, that money goes to supporting this mission. Consider rounding up next time you are in the stores to help others in the area!

5. Find great brands at a fraction of the price.

Shopping at Goodwill is more like a treasure hunt. You genuinely never know what you’re going to get. The thrill of the hunt is exciting, and it is so easy to walk out with more than you intended. It’s also not uncommon to find name brands on the racks!

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By donating to Goodwill, you are making sure your clothing does not end up in a landfill, you are supporting good causes in your own community, and you are giving others the opportunity to not purchase fast fashion. After putting in perspective just how bad buying only new is for the environment, take a look at your closet to see what you don’t need anymore and start fresh in 2020!

5 Reasons You Can't Let Go and What To Do About It

The new year represents a fresh start and for many people, that means getting organized and getting rid of unwanted stuff. However, trying to declutter your home can be tough for a multitude of reasons. Today we’re going to cover the top five reasons it can be difficult to declutter and what you can do to help let it go.

via GIPHY

1. Your stuff has sentimental value.

There are many reasons an item can have sentimental value. A mug purchased from your favorite vacation spot, a high school sports t-shirt, a piece of grandmother’s jewelry, or a teddy bear won on a first date night with your significant other. Regardless of the reason, attaching sentimental value to an item can make it hard to part with.

If this is the case, ask yourself if you didn’t have the item would you still remember the event or the person that gave it to you. If you can easily answer yes, then it’s okay to donate that item. Give someone else an opportunity to love it as much as you once did.

If you’re worried you might not remember the event as much, snap a photo of the item and write down a few memories alongside the photo. That way it’s not taking up space in your home and you’ll have a place to keep memories in a keepsake album.

 Coffee Maker

2. You might need that item again in the future.

This excuse is common, especially when merging two households together. All of a sudden, you have two toasters and two coffee makers. We create excuses to keep these extra items just in case something happens to the first one. Let’s be honest though, the second coffee maker is just collecting dust in a cabinet that could serve a better purpose. There’s a difference between needing something and possibly needing something.

To help, ask yourself when the last time you used that item. If it’s been a year or longer, it’s time to let it go. Donating it gives the item a new life and helps promote a reduce, reuse, recycle mentality. 

What happens if you do need that item again in the future? Ask a friend or family member if they have an extra (you were just holding on to two, maybe they are too) or repurchase it. Maybe there’s a new model out with more features or to keep expenses down, visit your local Goodwill.

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3. You feel guilty because the item was a gift from a loved one.

Guilt can play a huge role in our struggle to declutter our homes. It can be difficult to separate the love for the person and their gift.

Remember, the intention of the gift giver was to provide a token of affection not to burden you with items you don’t want or need. If it will just take up space and collect dust, it’s okay to return it, re-gift it, or donate it to someone who will really appreciate the item.

 Knitting

4. Your hopes are dreams are attached to these items.

You've been telling yourself that you're going to learn how to knit for the past 2 years. You have all the supplies, just not the time. Maybe you’re keeping those art supplies or calligraphy set and not putting them to use. You still have that pair of jeans from years ago that you would wear, if you lost those extra pounds. That stack of cooking magazines in case you try that dish someday.

Letting go of these items might feel like letting go of your dreams. Be honest with yourself, if you can’t make guitar lessons a priority maybe it’s time to donate that guitar to a future rock star! Letting go of these items will help create possibilities and habits that better suit your lifestyle.

 

5. You feel guilty because you spent a lot of money on that item.

Have you ever forgot to return an item and it was too late to get your money back? Or an item that was passed on to you that you assume was very expensive. The guilt can add up when you believe there’s a significant amount of money spent on it.

Instead, ask yourself if the value of the item is worth more than what it will mean to free yourself and your space of that item.

Donation Boxes

Hopefully these tips will help you let go and free up space in your life. Help your items spark joy in the lives of others taking your gently used items to your local Goodwill.

5 Steps to a Goodwill Holiday Card Display

Pinterest

It’s the holiday season and with that comes lots of greeting cards from friends and family.  As they started coming in this year, I realized I needed a new way to display them instead of adding them to my already busy refrigerator.

Supplies:

  • 3-4 varying size picture frames
  • Glue
  • Spray paint
  • String or ribbon
  • close pins
  • Command Strips

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Step 1:

Visit your local Goodwill and find a set of 3-4 frames ranging from small to large.
I used 4 frames to create my Christmas tree with the smallest acting as a tree stump. I utilized the color of the week to save money for this project. Yellow tags were 50% off, making my total $10 and I rounded up for Goodwill Mission.

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Step 2:

Remove the glass and/or pictures from frames. I used Gorilla Glue to glue the wood frames together but you can use whichever glue you prefer. Clamp frames together and let set the recommended amount of time.

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Step 3:

Now that your frames are securely glued together, spray paint your frames your desired color. My kitchen is mostly blue and white, so I thought a white tree would look best. You can be as creative as you want with this step. Maybe you want to paint it red or multicolored to match the multicolor lights on your tree. You could also go traditional with a hunter green for the tree and brown for the tree stump. 

Note: If you use multiple colors you would want to spray paint the frames first then glue them together.

Step 4:

Once your paint has dried, add a string that you can pin holiday cards to. I chose to attach my string in a zig-zag pattern to add some interest and mimic the ribbon on a Christmas tree. I already had this string on hand and thought it would pair well with my white tree. Again, feel free to be as creative as you would like on this step or keep it simple.

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Step 5:

Use your Command Strips to hang your picture frame Christmas tree and clothespins to attach your holiday cards. Voila! You now have a festive way to showcase all your holiday cards. 

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DIY Christmas Wreath

Hello everybody! It’s that time of year again when family is all together, children are giddy with excitement for Christmas morning, and your wallet is eternally empty. According to study, the average American usually spends upwards of 600$ every year on not only gifts but also decorations for the house. Well, I’m here with the help of Goodwill to save you those extra dollars without sacrificing the holiday spirit of your home!

Turning sweaters into wreaths has become a new obsession for me. They are cheap, unique, and easy to make for literally any holiday. The main part of this tutorial is how to cut and wrap your wreath, because once you have the base of your wreath made, your imagination can run wild with how you want to decorate it. I used items that I had around my house and you can do the same!

Cw1

Main supplies needed:

1)      Sweater in a color you want for the wreath

2)      Straw wreath (mine is a 16in from Michaels)

3)      Fabric scissors

4)      Glue gun with LOTS of sticks

Decorating Supplies I used:

1)      Goodwill festive table cloth I have used for other projects

2)      Dollar Tree Christmas flowers

3)      Ribbon (not shown)

In total this project cost me under 10$ - The biggest expense being the wreath which was about 6$ of the budget. The sweater only cost me a buck because I went on a Sunday and searched the rack for the colored tag of the day. One thing to look for when you are choosing a sweater is to make sure it isn’t a cropped style sweater and that the knitting isn’t extremely loose. You need enough material to cover an entire wreath, so the larger the sweater, the better.

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Step 1:

The first thing you are going to want to do is deconstruct your sweater. Cut up the side seems, remove the sleeves, and cut across the shoulder seems. This will make working with the sweater so much easier and also make your cuts a lot more even. If you have a sweater that is similar in size to the one I used, you can set aside the sleeves, I had just enough material that I did not need to use them.

PRO TIP: If you can avoid cutting your sweater on carpet, please do. I still have red fluffy pieces all over the floor of my craft room.

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Step 2:

Next, cut your sweater into 2-3 inch strips. This is NOT an exact science, you don’t need a ruler, just your eyeball estimation. You want to cut the sweater length wise and not across the knits.  Some pieces will be longer than others, and that is completely fine. At this time, cut off any of the rough looking hems or tags.

Step 3:

Go ahead now and grab your wreath. It is more than likely covered in plastic wrap, and I actually keep it that way. Call me crazy but I feel like it minimizes those straw pieces from poking out and making a mess. What I do though to help with the integrity of the wreath is just tear a couple holes in the back of the plastic that I’ll use throughout the project to glue the sweater strips to. That way I am not only gluing to the plastic wrap but also to the wreath itself.

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Before we move onto step 4, I want to make a few key points to help with the gluing portion of this project. There is a designated back side to the project. All gluing will be done on one side. Also, please note the RIGHT and WRONG side of the fabric strips. Be sure to stay consistent with which side you are using, because even though they look similar, the stitching is different. If you make a mistake on one of the strips, it isn’t a lost cause, but I do try and be consistent.

Step 4:

Starting with one of the holes you ripped into the plastic on the BACK of the wreath, squeeze a generous amount of glue onto the wreath with your glue gun and stick your first fabric strip to it.

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Step 5:

Wrap your fabric strip snuggly around your wreath form, making sure to end the wrap in the BACK. Add another generous portion of glue and stick it into place.

Step 6:

Glue the next piece of fabric where the other ended and repeat steps 4 and 5 until you have made it all the way around your wreath form.

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Here is what the finished product should look like on the front and the back. I always go around and clean up any of those pesky hot glue gun spider webs that seem to be everywhere when you do a project like this.

Now it is time to decorate!! I’m going to show you what I did, but like I said in the beginning, you can let your creative side shine and do whatever you please. Just to give you a little inspiration, here’s a few ideas:

- Wrap your wreath with beads

- Get a battery powered string of Christmas lights

- Create felt flowers and glue them around your project.

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To make this project as user friendly as possible, I decided not to use my sewing machine to make this bow, but if you have one, go ahead and bust that baby out because I find that to be a lot easier than the ‘no-sew’ way.

Step 1:

Use a piece of computer paper or construction paper as a pattern and cut your fabric into a 8.5” by 11” rectangle.

Step 2:

I HATE raw edges, so to get rid of them, use fabric glue or your hot glue gun to fold in the edges to the wrong side of your fabric.

Step 3:

Fold the fabric ‘hamburger style’ so that the wrong side of the fabric is together, then glue down all 3 sides. You should now have a rectangle of fabric.

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Step 4:

Cut a piece of ribbon about an inch and a half long and set it aside

Step 5:

Accordion fold your rectangle so that it takes on the shape of a bow

Step 6:

Wrap your ribbon around the center of the bow to hold the accordion fold in place and glue to the designated back side of the bow, cutting off any excess ribbon.

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Step 7:

The tails to this bow were an afterthought and are completely optional. I just thought it added a little extra flair to the bow and since the table cloth I used had a cute ruffle bottom, it was easy to do. I simply cut two pieces of fabric in a triangle shape, using the existing hems to my advantage.

Step 8:

Fold the triangle cuts into a cone shape and glue the seam closed. Then glue them to the back of your bow.

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Step 9:

Take your Christmas flowers and pop them off of the stems. This is the reason dollar store flowers work the best, because they require 0 effort to remove. Many of the more expensive flowers from Michaels or Jo-Ann’s require wire snippers and do not glue to projects well.

Step 10:

Arrange your bow and flowers in any position your like and glue them into place!

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The last step of course is to enjoy your brand new wreath!

Thrifted Holiday Decor

Here’s a little secret about thrift shopping at Goodwill that many people don’t realize….the stores have a HUGE inventory of Christmas trees, wreaths, linens and décor.

Seasonal items are oftentimes items that people choose to donate, especially when families are looking to downsize their homes. As a result, there is a great variety and volume of Christmas items to find at each and every Goodwill store.

Thrift shopping for holiday décor is easy and inexpensive. Here are a few go-to Goodwill items and ideas this Christmas season:

BULBS, BULBS, BULBS

Christmas bulbs are readily available in the Christmas section of most Goodwill stores. Why buy new? Instead, you can purchase two or three times MORE bulbs at Goodwill than a new goods store. Bulbs have endless uses for decorating and crafts at the holidays.

Fill any glass container with your Goodwill finds. Follow a consistent color scheme or mix and match bulbs.

 Bulb Vase
Credit: Amanda Jane Brown

Tie bulbs together to make a dramatic garland or table runner.

 Garland Table Runner
Credit: Livingly

Or, if you are feeling crafty, break out the glue gun and begin on a bulb wreath for your front door or wall décor this Christmas.

 Bulb Wreath
Credit: Amy's Balancing Act 

ARTIFICIAL TREES

Maybe you are on the hunt for a new artificial tree, or maybe you are considering putting up more than just one tree this year. The price of new artificial trees is a little overwhelming with prices ranging from $200-$2,000.

Goodwill has a large selection of new and donated artificial Christmas trees. Goodwill prices are typically 50-90% less than traditional retailers. During a recent visit to the Jackson Township Goodwill store in Canton, we spotted several 9’ trees, more than ten 7.5’ trees, most of which were still in their box, brand new, along with oodles of small decorative trees.

Still not convinced? Here are two of the Christmas trees I have purchased from Goodwill.

 White Tree

The white tree was a brand new 7.5’ pre-lit tree for only $20. And, the 8’ unlit pencil tree was a great quality donated item, just perfect for an open corner in our kitchen and only $30.  

 Green Pencil Tree

 

HOLIDAY BOOK BASKET

Baskets and books are items that can be found in great supply at Goodwill stores, especially around the holidays. Pick out a festive bin or basket that you could display at the holidays, then stop by the book aisle to find children’s Christmas books. This will quickly become a favorite tradition for kids or grandkids.

 Book Basket

 

DIY WALL ART

Make your own wall art this holiday with three easy steps. Find inexpensive frames at Goodwill that you can spray paint with festive colors. Then find free printable Christmas art online to print and insert in those upcycled frames. For less than $5, you can create a gallery wall.

 Free Printable Christmas 1
Credit: Kaleidoscope Living

Free Printable Christmas 2

 Credit: The Navage Patch

 

UPCYCLE SWEATERS

For a more advanced crafter, we have moved beyond the traditional Christmas department at Goodwill and discovered new ways to use clothing as part of our décor. Scour the aisles of the sweater department during your next Goodwill shopping trip. Find a cozy sweater and cut out a shape of a Christmas stocking. Sew along the edges, leaving the top open for Santa to fill with goodies.

 Sweater Stocking 
Credit: Imperfect Homemaking

4 Go-To Tips for Shopping the Goodwill Racks

1. Make a mood board or inspiration board reflecting your style.

The colors and aesthetic you choose will help narrow your search.

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2. If you’re not having much luck in your department, search in the others!

Smaller sizes can fit in larger boy’s clothes, or for over-sized clothing hunt in the men’s

section. For something satiny or drapier, check out the pjs for satin/silk tops, slips, etc.

3. Don’t be afraid of customizing if you can’t find just the right thing!

Being short, I cut my jeans or crop oversized shirts to keep from looking too big.

4. Search for pieces that you can wear multiple ways!

Flannels are a perfect example of this! You can make so many different outfits from just

one shirt. (And you can combine two tips and search in the men’s for some cozy

oversized flannels)

 

Here are some of the pieces I picked up using these tips!

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I grabbed this charcoal turtleneck and tan jacket from the Route 62 Goodwill in Canton and threw on a pair of jeans to go with it! It’s super cozy and definitely fits the aesthetic I set up in my mood board! This is the best part about making a board for inspiration- you know exactly what colors and prints to go for. This is especially helpful if you are limited on time but still want to squeeze in a thrifting trip!

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This outfit is the perfect fall color scheme and it’s even more perfect because it’s all thrifted! I picked up this speckled sweater from the Goodwill in Jackson and paired it with a quirky rust-colored corduroy pant. I like these pieces together so much, it might even be my Thanksgiving outfit!

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This last outfit is drawn from my last tip of shopping in other departments. I got this flannel from the men’s section at the West Tuscarawas Goodwill. It’s super easy to style and make oversized clothes work, especially in the colder weather. I paired it with a plain white tee and a black denim jacket. My pleather leggings are from the Jackson Goodwill, and they add a fun little edge to the outfit! 

Shopping the racks of Goodwill can be intimidating, but if you go in with a game plan it is easier to focus on what you actually want in your wardrobe! It’s definitely not necessary to use all of these tips, but they’re great to keep in mind next time you’re in a bind. It’s crazy how much time you can save when you’re not wandering aimlessly (though that’s fun, too!) Holidays are a crazy shopping time and just time in general for everyone, so minimize the time shopping! Who knows, you may even find some gifts when you pop in!