Embellishments On A Budget
The prices on some embellishments can be ridiculous! So, if you'd like to give ‘em a try but don't have the money, here are some ideas for you! The bonus with some items is that by making them yourself, you can make designs not even available in store-bought items!
~ You can find many colored yarns with different textures and looks. Wait for a sale or coupon and then split the cost with some friends or have a fiber swap. Each person in the swap buys one skein of yarn to swap with.
~ There are tons of colors of embroidery floss and they are inexpensive (usually 30¢ and under!). If you wait for a sale you can get them really cheap! (I once bought some 6 for $1!)
~ Buy a spool of thin crochet thread in white. Use your scrapbook markers or inkpads to color your thread or use food coloring. The markers or ink are especially good for deep colors.
Ink method: snip a section of thread (however long you like) off the spool. Dip it in water and squeeze the excess water off with your fingers. Color the thread. Dip in water again to help saturate the ink through the thread. Lay on paper to dry (if you lay it on some light cardstock, you can even make some neat paper!)
Food coloring: Use bathroom size Dixie cups half-full of water. Add enough food coloring to get desired shade (this may require some experimenting). Snip off a desired length of thread from the spool and dip!! You can get multi-colored thread by making loops and dipping the thread in part way, then dip a different section into another color. Allow threads to dry! Experiment! It's lots of fun!
Example of colored crochet thread
~ Here's a freebie! Ask your local telephone company if you can have some phone wire. It comes in all kinds of neat colors!!
~ Make your own colored brads! You can get a box of 100 brass fasteners for under $2. There are 2 ways of making colored brads.
1. Use embossing powders. Hold the prongs with a pair of long tweezers or pliers. Heat up the head with a heat tool, dip in powder, then melt with heat tool. Allow to cool.
2. My favorite option: Use acrylic paints! You can get these cheap. They even come in metallics and pearls. And you can buy ‘em in little "paint pot" sets! Dip the brad into the paint, making sure you go up the sides (this works better than a paintbrush). Use a blow dryer to dry the paint enough so that you can set it down to dry. Allow it to dry completely (overnight to be safe!) You can decorate them to look like ladybugs, flowers, and buttons! When your paint is dry, stick the brads in a piece of Styrofoam and spray a light coat of clear acrylic sealer on the brads (for extra protection!) As long as you do not scratch the paint, they will be fine. The paint will not simply rub off from being rubbed against the page protectors.
Example of colored brads