Thursday, December 5, 2013

12 Days of Responsible Shopping: DI Why not? Edition

 In which I bought like eight holiday gifts for $9.  I did.
how hard can this possibly be?  (photo credit: C)

We heard somewhere that MilSpouses tend to have tight budgets for holiday shopping, and for many of you badasses out there, where those dollars go is just as important as how many of them are spent.  If only there were a way to spend v small amounts of dollars on boatloads of swag while supporting dope causes.  Enter, the thrift shop.  Wait, Echo, I can't just give someone a used sweater as a present.  They would hit me.  In the face.  Relax.  I'm not saying give used.  (not in this post, anyway) I'm saying give handmade.  You've heard of buying stuff at thrift shops to make over and either use in your own home or re-sell it on Etsy for a profit, right?  People do it all the time.  See?

But what about those of us who are more paint-by-number than, um, talented artists?  Do thrift stores have jack shit to offer us?  Enter the craft kit.  It's the needle-and-thread equivalent of cake mix, and it totally still counts as DIY.  Ask Kilo.

Well, today we got all old school at Chez Badass and stocked up on some rockin' packaged projects.  YMMV, but in my case, the craft bin at the thrift store had like a dozen cross stitch packets from the Ford administration.  Seriously, did you know about this?  Look!

 If you can sew on a button and follow a pattern, you too can totally make bitchin' tiny ornaments, wall hangings, throw pillows, whatever and delight your entire family for a few bucks (and a whole rack of hours but what else are you doing?).

Here's a few tips to get you started:

  • Don't ball up your thread like I did.  It doesn't help.  You might think that sorting out the threads is for tossers with nothing better to do, but first of all, you're the one who bought a cross stitch kit, and second of all, it will ultimately save you time.  Untangling gnarly knots that your ADHD ass did not anticipate is time consuming, and you'll feel like a tosser.  Trust me.
  • Go ahead and buy like fifty cross stitch kits, or however many they have, because chances are, you'll be able to con your sister (or brother or neighbor or a stranger from OkCupid, whatever) into sewing with you because this shit is fun.  Yes, it is.  If you have like fifty (or even two), you can share.  This project will be some no-joke time consumption and you are prob expected to socialize this time of year.  Don't be selfish.  Tis not the season for hermiting with your craft projects.
  • Finish your project!  You can do it.  When the fuck-its set in, I borrow a tactic from long-distance running:  shift your focus from the twelve miles that remain to the next step you have to take.  Tell yourself (in a firm but loving tone) that you don't need to do twelve miles, you only need to take one more step.  Repeat.  Rinse, and repeat.  
For more about how to choose, start, and finish your (holiday) DIY projects, visit our friends:

And, finally, we'd like to recommend checking out your local AmVets NSF thrift store for both donating and shopping.  We are very happy with the chapters in our areas, and hope that you find as much awesome swag as we did.  Here is a link to find the AmVets chapter closest to you!  

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