DIYShopping, Style and Beauty

DIY Diva: Tis’ the Season to be Crafty!

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Who knew spuds had so many uses?

Who knew spuds had so many uses?

Heyo broke-asses, I’m back!

Sorry to have been away, it’s just been a couple of weeks of mad-crazy work over here in my corner of the world…  didn’t mean to leave you hangin’ without your weekly cheap crafting fix.

Tis’ the season for consumerism — I happen to agree with our fearless leader, Mr. Editor-in-Cheap’s post about International Buy Nothing Day.  The consumer glut is truly ruining our world.

As much as I believe that in my crusty, sarcastic, jaded heart – there remains a small corner of said heart that is decorated in sunshine, unicorns and rainbows that still believes in Santa, still thinks world peace is achievable by buying the world a Coke and still loveloveloveLOVES presents/cards and other holiday hoopla.

Yeah, I’m a sap.

So how does one reconcile this love of Santa, presents and cheesy 70s television commercials with broke-ass anti-consumerism anarchy?

Uh, you don’t… But, you CAN be less of a consumer whore by going DIY for the holidays and doing as much of your holiday festive-merry-making shit by making stuff by hand.

This month I’m going to be focusing on crafts that are hella cheap and will delight those you choose to spread the giving spirit to…

Today?  Potato print holiday cards. Sending a holiday card is a really nice way to let someone know you’re thinking of them without spending a lot of money. I recommend sending a holiday postcard – as postage for postcards is a lot cheaper than sending a card in an envelope. Also it allows you to reach out and touch more people in your address book… And, let’s face it: everyone loves getting snail mail that isn’t bill related.  Especially around the holidays.

You can make really awesome looking hand printed postcards using the old arts n’ crafts throwback potato printing technique on some nice card stock.  The awesome thing about this is that you can make your designs as intricate or simple as you desire.  Plus, you can try layering designs and colors over each other to make really nice looking hand printed postcards that will be sure to be saved by the people you send them to…

Cheap and crafty holiday card stamping...

Cheap and crafty holiday card stamping...

What you need:
-One ream of Xerox ivory #110 cardstock (aprox. cost $15.00)
-One large potato (aprox. cost $.35)
-A pencil
-A paring knife
-A paper plate or shallow dish (one per color)
Craft paint (aprox. cost $2.00/bottle)
-A nice pen or marker
-Scissors
-A book of postcard stamps (aprox. cost $5.60/20 stamps)

Cost per 100 = $.24/card

How to:
-To make 20 postcards you’ll need five sheets of cardstock.
-Fold each sheet of cardstock into fourths making a sharp crease.
-Unfold and cut the postcards apart on the crease lines using the scissors.
-Cut your potato into halves or thirds (depending on how many designs you want to make).
-Use the pencil to draw your design onto the white of the potato, pressing hard to indent the design.
-Use the paring knife to cut around the design and give it more definition.
-Put your craft paint into your shallow dishes and dip the potato stamps into it.
-Use the stamps to create a design… make sure to leave enough room on the postcard to sign your name and write a holiday message.
-Repeat process until you have the desired number of postcards.
-Allow postcards to fully dry.
-Use your nice pen (I like a metallic marker or holiday colored gel pen, myself) to write your holiday message and sign your name.
-On the opposite side of the postcard, use your pen to address the postcard.
-Place postcard postage onto each card.
-Drop off at the post office and wait for exclamations of “ohh, how THOUGHTFUL” from your friends, family and other assorted oddballs you choose to send holiday greetings to.

Happy crafting! Back next week with some cool DIY gift ideas that will cost you under $5 per present…

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Kate Kotler - DIY Diva

Kate Kotler - DIY Diva

Kate Kotler is a freelance writer and professional blogger. IRL she is a very nice person, regardless of what you might have read about her on the innerwebs. Kate lives in Berkeley with her dog, Max. You can follow her on Twitter @adorkablegrrl