“CAN” Party Theme

A simple and inexpensive way to decorate for a children’s party or a ladies banquet is recycled cans!  There’s a variety of party games that can be made from cans….an old-fashioned tin can telephone (two cans attached with a string at the bottom), a hanging beanbag toss (featured picture), a pyramid of stacked cans to knock down …

bean bag toss

Brightly painted cans to be bowling pins and knocked down with a tennis ball.


A milk can to toss ping pong balls into…

A blue suitcase

…and a balancing game with soda cans!  (Fill a large bowl with water, place a plastic plate to float in the bowl, then stack at least 5 cans and balance them for 3 seconds!)

stacked coke cans on a table

Gifts (door prizes) can be wrapped in the large #10 cans, too!

A group of items on a shelf

Let’s not forget about table decorations made from painted tin cans. Plus, party favors fit easily in washed & decorated tuna cans.   It’s easy to decorate the cans with paint, lace, etc.   Let your imagination go wild!



Super Cute Halloween Costume

Best Halloween Costume ever—Bag of Jelly Beans. Items required: Super large clear plastic trash bag. Many small balloons in a variety of colors.

Dress person in black pants and a black long-sleeve t-shirt. Cut two holes in the bottom of the bag for legs and corresponding holes on either side near the top of the bag for arms.

Step into the bag, pulling it up to the upper thigh level. Now drop in all of those little balloons you’ve inflated and tied off securely, making sure they are well distributed to look like jelly beans in a bag. Gather the top of the bag and tie it loosely around the neck.


Santa Claus is Coming

Purchase a gift card or two each time you go to the grocery store and save them. At Christmas time (or any gift giving event) you can give the cards or use them to purchase a gift. I like to buy Target or Walmart cards that I can use later for gifts.


Gift Bag Go ‘Round

Use gift bags (of various sizes) instead of wrapping paper for your family’s holiday presents. We save our gifts bags each year and it’s always fun to see who gets a particular bag the next year. We even started a tradition of writing the names in the top corner and each year adding the next name to see how the bags go around. You can start a fun new tradition AND stay more earth-friendly (you can even reuse the tissue paper). Molly


Cheap Reusable Gift Bags

Rather than waste money and natural resources on disposable wrapping paper, cloth gift bags can be made quickly and easily with the most basic sewing skills. I keep my eye out for fabric sales or 40% off coupons from stores like JoAnn.

Step 1

Decide the size you want your bag to be.  I generally keep the shape to a basic rectangle.

Step 2

Make a template from a blank sheet of paper.  Remember, you will be sewing the pieces together, so factor in 1/2″ or so on each edge for the seam allowance.

Step 3

Pin the paper template to your fabric and cut out two identical pieces.

Step 4

With right sides of the fabric together, stitch around three sides of your bag.

Step 5

At the opening of your bag, turn down each side from the top and stitch across.  This will give the top a nice, even edge.

Step 6

Turn the bag right side out and you will see you have something resembling a small pillowcase.  Slide your item inside and tie at the top with a ribbon.  Packs of multi-colored ribbons can be purchased cheaply from craft stores on sale or with a coupon.

These bags were great for Christmas or birthdays when my kids were tiny and got huge boxes with Matchbox car tracks or doll sets in them.  As they grew older and the gifts smaller, I simply cut the bag down and re-stitched where it was cut. I’ve been using the same bags for nearly 20 years.

Good for my wallet and the planet, too.

DIY Easy Christmas Fund

You know how much kids love Christmas! It seems like money set aside for Christmas each year disappears before the sleigh bells ring.

For me, a no-fuss way to save money for the Christmas season is to calculate the annual total of one or two of last year’s monthly bills (e.g., electricity $1800 and phone $800). Then, instead of dividing those annual totals by 12, divide by 10 and pay that amount monthly on those accounts through year ahead (e.g., electricity $180 and phone $80).

By November, you will have enough credit on those accounts to skip a payment and use the funds to enjoy the holiday instead—and maybe even some relief in January!