UA-99606640-1Kids crafts – Welcome to The Frugal Family
    • @EKOearth_ I’ve had such a great time making small but long term changes - it’s been really great x

      Jul 21, 2018

Tag: Kids crafts

T-shirt Re-shirt

Another great recycling project, this time with old but loved t-shirts. Sometimes you just can’t throw them away, and here are some fun ideas of how to give them a second life. This is particularly nice with kids clothes that they have grown out of, or loved items that have been worn until holes appeared…“>T-shirt Re-shirt

Show me your makes!

Fun Bat Project

Whether you ‘do’ Halloween or not, this is a fun project to recycle some good ol’ toilet rolls – as you may have noticed, we keep all of ours to use all year round – we love bats and have a bat box on the house so you don’t have to link it to the end of October if you don’t want to…“>Fun Bat Project

Enjoy! x

Make it!

I’m aware that the exhaustion of parenting has somewhat changed my creative habits, I rarely do creative works for myself nowadays, although I’m often up to my neck in PVA and tissue paper for the kids. I miss the part of me that used to upcycle and recycle more, so I was particularly inspired by this…

This is a brilliant example of reusing and recycling to meet a real need. Jess used some old shoes boxes, cereal packs and the jolly old loo roll tubes to make a truly unique and practical pen holder. Covered in wrapping paper and some stickers it is a bespoke item – costing nothing but saving a fortune. It took me back to my childhood Blue Peter projects, many of which I made and some of which I think are still in my parents loft!

Jess is creative on many more levels, so if you want to pay her a visit and

feel inspired by beautiful things, give her a ‘hello’ from here x

Jess Townley

Quick Tip #5

On a rainy day, if you have an appropriate device get a free app for everyone to enjoy… There are quite a lot available!


Quick Tip #1

Brilliant way to recycle baby food lids, lovely gifts too…

Thanks Baby First TV 🙂

Thursday Thought 16

I’ve just finished making my fifth picnic of half term, running low on some things now so raided the kids treat boxes and found unopened Christmas sweets – perfect for cold, wet, exhausted children (I’m not holding out much hope for the weather today ;)).


Following on from last weeks frugal fun suggestions, here’s what we have actually been up to. I am very aware that we live in the most amazing place, with a whole host of free and cheap events on all the time. These are the things we managed to get to, but there was lots more on offer that we just couldn’t fit in… move here if you have kids!!


  • Superhero activities at Wollaton library – really brilliant (free)
  • Wollaton Hall with huge new adventure playground – there for hours even in the rain (£2 for cup of tea for mummy, it was super cold)
  • Lakeside Arts Centre play ground and galleries (free)
  • Nottingham Contemporary Gallery looked at the current exhibition with kids activity packs and then took part in the half term art project – as wonderful as always (£5 for family tram ticket for the day)
  • Shipley Country Park Pirate Trail – this is where we are going today, we have wellies on! (£2.50 car park, £1 per child over 5)
  • Twycross Zoo – we have membership cards so, although initially a big cost up front, the fourth visit onwards is free. We go once a month, so now completely free and will be all summer when we will probably go once a week as the new play area is very good!. It’s about 35 mins in the car, so not too much petrol cost. (no incidents :))
  • Library – our ‘normal’ library visit to exchange books and play, they also had a colouring in competition so there longer than planned (free)
  • Ilkeston Road Park – running around like headless chickens, took the dog (free)
  • Central Avenue Park – small is beautiful, grabbed a quick hour there while the sun shone randomly one afternoon, took the dog (free)
  • Newstead Abbey – Golden Arrow Trail, as badly organised but somehow wonderful as always (£6 car park, £1 Trail sheet)
  • Cinema Trip planned for Saturday morning, given free vouchers by a friend via their Sun Perks (free)
  • Saturday Afternoon we have Stapleford Farmers Market, the WI Jumble Sale which we are making cakes for in the morning, and may go to the Wheee art installation at the Lakeside Arts Centre (free, free and £4 per person with free play area after…)
  • Sunday we are meeting with friends at Belton House, as National Trust members it will be free for us, and we can also take their kids in for free too.

We are all going back to school and work for a rest!!


Guest Blog – Stripey Squirrel
Guest Blog – Stripey Squirrel

How to give an old t-shirt a new lease of life and send one less thing to landfill!

Have you held on to a beloved old t-shirt that no longer fits but you just can’t bring yourself to chuck it? Its estimated that about 30% of clothing in our wardrobes hasn’t been worn in a year so here’s a straightforward tutorial on how to upcycle one of those old tops into a little pair of simple leggings for that small person in your life! The sheer amount of clothing that ends up in landfill every year in the UK (in the region of about 350,000 tonnes last year!) was enough encouragement for me to start turning my hand to reusing and upcycling fabrics and materials and kitting out my two kids in unique, eco-friendly and fun little outfits!

That then escalated into me making things for my friends and family’s children, followed by the big leap of leaving the office job and starting up from home. I’ve been going about 18 months now and its so satisfying knowing that I am giving lots of pre-loved fabrics a new lease of life whilst at the same time making an impact on the carbon, water and waste footprints of clothing. In this simple to follow tutorial I show you how you can have a go at making an easy little pair of baby or toddler trousers yourself. You’ll save a bit of money, give a tired old top a new lease of life, and it may spur you on to think differently about the disposable nature of clothing and fashion! Check out the link to the tutorial here DIY Tutorial

Feel the Love
Feel the Love

I like Valentines Day. There I said it. It doesn’t have to be a commercial exercise, you don’t have to buy overpriced meals and flowers, but it is a great opportunity to show people that you love them, to ponder on how you demonstrate that today and in the future- to check in with them to make sure they know they are loved.

We don’t spend crazy amounts, here are a few of our favourite ideas:

  • Cut out heart shapes and write on each one something you love
  • We splurged and got balloons one year, it was great as we used them to play lots of games and even toddlers can play balloon games.
  • Take breakfast in bed for everyone, toast is the least messy.
  • Depending on how you think it will go down…either everyone votes for a movie to watch, or everyone can choose one episode of their favourite show. You may be able to find a special film that is love/kindness related – please comment if you do!
  • Everyone wears something red or pink.
  • If we do buy things, they are things that will last many years and get lots of use. We have some cups with hearts on and a toast stamp that comes out on birthdays too.
  • We read a few themed books – some ideas on
  • We do lots of crafts, check out the love bugs we made in a previous post!
  • Finally, we have a treasure hunt around the house, each child has a sheet of photos of the people they love, they have to find the photo and we put a heart shaped sweet next to it. We have such a tiny family that we also use the Sesame Street printables to make sure everyone gets about 10 sweets. If you have visitors you can use the Sesame Street ones for them to find with their name on instead of a photo.
  • We get heart shaped pasta from Lidl for dinner, easy, quick and universally acceptable even in our picky household. For pudding the kids have voted for pancakes…
If you have any ideas for next year do share xx


Starter for ten…

Brilliant fun

The link above takes you to some (mostly free), craft ideas for Valentines. This will certainly be keeping us busy over next weekend, using up things like loo roll tubes is particularly good as they can still be recycled after you have done with them.image

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