Ideas for economical living . User Group
Designs
About This Group:

We are all in a tough time in America so it seems a good idea to share tips, ideas, for economical living, how do we afford new 'stuff' and where can we get good 'used stuff '..be interested in any ideas to cope .what may be a long haul.When the going gets tough the tough get going '

Founded by margypops on October 22, 2009
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Designs

Have you ever had flair enough to be able to sell or invent something economical,( okay Cheap) what about childrens clothes , furniture, if you have an imagination, and can draw a straight line , you know the cribs of today ,the changing tables, chests are very old fashioned looking, boring and yet do you know that they and other furniture can be made out of lighter wood, you could design light good looking kids furniture , or any other furniture for a very reasonable cost, so you work out the designs for today , you need to prove them with correct dimensions, then you sell the designs online ...One sheet of Plywood ,will make a table , 2 chairs , and yes a computer table . One sheet..the buyers do the owrk you sell the designs and the know how .they go out they buy the wood ,all designed and you tell them how to cut , fix up, paint ....voila Economical ,Cool, furniture for today ....
58 Comments
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483733_tn?1326802046
My husband designs and builds furniture out of reclaimed wood.  There were old fence boards in the barn of the farm we used to have.  He planed them and they ended up being oak.  He looked at pictures of Craftsman furniture and made coffee tables        and researched different styles of Oriental furniture and then built side tables with saddle tops  and brass hardware for our Asian inspired bedroom. He also built desks out of old wooden doors we picked up at the Habitat for Humanity store.  

I do some stained glass work but would really like to learn how to do woodworking and build some things myself.
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535822_tn?1389452880
Wow isnt your DH  clever , I will let you know exactly how mine  has designed this stuff he does it as a hobby ,he actually is a shipwright and has a boat business, but just loves working with wood ..the idea came to him and the thing that makes it exciting is anyone can do it, so students , young folks who cannot spend the earth on furniture, all mostly in the Stickley kind of design,my idea I have a couple of pieces and I love the simple straight lines. If you are like me I have lived with it, I am the one that forms the business but he is the one who does the work....All folks that cant afford to buy expensive  furniture can make it, one piece of Ply can build you a computer table for about$ 58..00 plus th cost of painting it , the designs include all instructions so anyone can do it ..I guess you need a drill and a router . some tools...... but I never knew a man without a few tools on his person ...Lol
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535822_tn?1389452880
Hey Trudie if I can do it you can do it ,once the ply is cut its a doddle ....
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675347_tn?1365464245
I found little planks about 2" wide, all greyed up with weather, just dumped at the edge of a field. I brought them home, scrubbed them, then built a whole new kitchen sink-unit front out of them. When laquered they looked deep golden and lovely.To do that with wood bought would have cost a lot of money.
I even built a bridge, last Spring, with planks that had been dumped. (Cost: nothing except for a pound or two of nails.)
There is quite a bit of wood just thrown away at builder's yards, and other places. If I can fetch anything like that home for free, I do.
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535822_tn?1389452880
Hey its fun aswell that way isnt it, you built a bridge hey thats terrific , we made a huge rock garden this year but nothing like a bridge .....Its great to think that something useless like the planks can be made into something,.I think women are as good as men at carpentry if we have the tools and some know how ....
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675347_tn?1365464245
Oh it's only a LITTLE bridge, about 15ft long. It goes across the tiny stream behind my house to the back field. It's not a work of art, it's really simple, but strong. But it helps me and doggy get straight out to the field to do her "business" in the mornings when I'm barely awake!
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535822_tn?1389452880
15 ft bridge built by you , a little bridge ...whats this ..its a terrific bridge built by a stowic ,strong, English woman ,who wants a work of art ....I am pulling your leg ...
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334400_tn?1276897913
Where have all of you been ??????? This is my kinda people. Recycle and reuse.

I have always said, "Why pay someone to do something for you when you can do it yourself??"

I like all of your ideas. That rustic look!! Oh! Nice,.... but rustic, that is exactly what I like.
I always have these ideas like taking an old door and making it a table with glass over it.

Oh TrudieC, I bet your place is just georgeous! You hold on to that man, he is a good one!  LOLOL
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675347_tn?1365464245
Oh margy....! Flattery will get you everywhere! LOL!
Yes I am indeed one tough Englishwoman. I would have given those Roman ***wipe invaders a run for their money! I'd have built bridges where the sun doesn't shine!
Romans! Who needs central heating that bad when there's good old Celtic woodburner stoves?
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535822_tn?1389452880
Ha Ha Ha ... Yes I know I brought that stowic'ness' with me here and am fighting for the American way of life each day it seems ....Those wood burner stoves are great ...Some areas have restrictions now due to the 'supposed Global warming .....
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675347_tn?1365464245
In England we have what are called "skips" where general bits and pieces of builders' rejects, off-cuts, and rubbish are stored outdoors before being taken away. There are always good things to be found on skips.
The trick is.....recently due to silly "Health-and Safety" rules, you're not supposed to scavenge on skips anymore (just in case you hurt yourself, and sue so-and-so) But I do. Sometimes if you ask the builder or house where the skip is first, they will let you take a look, and scavenge things. It's amazing what you can find.
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535822_tn?1389452880
If I remember England has a lot of rules and regulations, my daughter in Cambridge says that there is a weighing device on her trash cans to make sure she hasnt got too heavy trash in it, curtesy of big Government she says Brown will be out in May ..
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675347_tn?1365464245
Yeah ha ha! He's so boring. And most of the so called 'rules and regulations' are only there to make you realize you're really starring in a comedy movie with Woody Allen. (They aren't serious....WHAT? Course not. Rules like the ones we have nowadays cannot be taken seriously!)
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535822_tn?1389452880
I know this has wondered offt he subject but do you think he will get in again or will it be a Conservative Victory ?
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675347_tn?1365464245
Not that I'm one of the most political people.....but yes the Conservatives stand a good chance I think. Labour have been in since 1997 or something...(?) think so. People always want the "greener grass" over the other side.
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535822_tn?1389452880
had to get this one back up one of my favorites ...and it ends with the Conservative victory , not that the Brits seem happy with the latest Twit ...
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681148_tn?1285160820
I've been making my own string grocery bags.  It's not quite taking old wood no one wants to turn it into something practical, but it's still in the spirit of things.  I do have a yarn stash of the kind of yarn perfect for this.  All I needed was a basic crochet pattern for the purpose and I was off and running.

I have started on making stuff out of what has been called plarn.  This is not my made up word.  It is someone else's made up word that has been used extensively on the internet.  I work on the project a while, then I have to put it away for a while, since the stuff is kind of hard to crochet in comparison to the yarns we typically buy.  But, this is a green way of reusing all those plastic shopping bags that I still get too many of because cashiers are too fast for me and have stuff bagged for me before I get a chance to tell them I have my own bags.  This really is the usual way I get the bags.  I do my best to leave those things behind at the stores they originated from, but there are times when I still end up with those bags.  Sure, I can drop off clean and gently used in the recycle bin, but I want to at least finish the one project I started.  I plan on taking my time about it, just the same, since I do try to leave those plastic bags behind at the stores they originate from.

Anyone who crochets and wants to know how to make plarn:  There are simple instructions online when you do a search.  I can tell you this much, though:  Use at least four plys of this stuff if you make a more useful sturdier bag of some sort, because the stuff otherwise stretches more than you will like.  It's a good idea for getting free crocheting material that is good for the environment, though.
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535822_tn?1389452880
I love this idea not certain if I have the patience my mom did a lot of it and also knitting, Plarning...sounds good ..to plarn or not to plarn that is the question...I like that word.I always recycle but  I haven't got round to not using plastic bags yet ,my stores still use it .well trader Joe's have always packed in paper .
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681148_tn?1285160820
True, but you still recycle them.  Certainly still good.  Yes, Trader Joe's has always used paper.  I did learn my lesson to take my reusable bags there anyway, though, because paper disintegrates on rainy days on the bus.  Uh...yeah...you get the picture.  Still, if you can sew a straight seam on a sewing machine, you can make your own reusable bags with other materials, if you have a machine.  I've seen many simple designs for sewn bags online.  I'm sure these simpler designs could be whipped up much more quickly than my crocheting a bag.  If I had a sewing machine, I could also at least repair some of the store bought recycled bags a little more easily.  Some can't be repaired because of where the damage is, but you get the idea.  So, in the end, I think making my own will still be better, because the bags will still last longer.
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535822_tn?1389452880
After Osama Bin Laden was killed a guy made a fortune by selling t'shirts online with that on that Osama was dead ..Designer jeans are in vogue not just the ripped ones , but ones with unusual designs on them ...Do you think that crocheted bags/purses/scarf's  would take off I think they would for someone who had the patience ..you could make a bit of lolly online ..
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681148_tn?1285160820
I'm not that fast.  There are people who do sell online through a service called Etsy.  I only heard of it through someone else.  I'm not fast enough, and I think I would have Carpal Tunnel if I tried to go faster than what I'm capable of.  Or, something else with the wrist that is in a different location.  I notice this a bit if I try to do too much.  One lady makes some pretty awesome designs and whatnot even with plarn.  I'm not sure how she crochets so fast, though.  I would end up not being able to crochet at all anymore if I did that.
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