Monthly Archives: April 2014

Upcycled Home Decor! (Confessions of a Clutter Bug!) #UsedParty Twitter Party April 23rd at 9pmET

What do you get when you cross a thrift store junkie with a DIY home decor nut? Me! And all of my frugally funtastic friends who also cruise the aisles of Value Village, vintage consignment, and thrift stores in search of new-to-us treasures to repurpose and incorporate into our home decor. We’re out “saling” on weekend mornings and surfing the buy/sell websites into the wee hours of the night poised to pounce when someone posts that exact “thing” that we need to complete a coolio project that we pinned to our DIY ideas boards on Pinterest.

(tip: most people post their online ads late at night so if you want to beat the early bird to the worm, try hanging out with the night owls!)

my DIY hobby has contributed to some serious clutter in our home in the past.

I speak for myself, though, when I say that my DIY hobby has contributed to some serious clutter in our home in the past. Not because of completed projects lining the walls and shelves of our living room, but because of the “ideas waiting to be developed” in the basement, garage, and shed. Before the advent of online buy/sell websites and local freecycle facebook groups, I was notorious for scooping up anything and everything that I thought would be a fun item to upcycle or repurpose. Afterall, the garage sale season is short, and there were fewer second hand stores to choose from which left me with a sense of urgency leading to a “I’ll just tuck this away and find a use for it later” mindset.  It drove my husband nuts!

I’ve purged most of my “undeveloped ideas” over the years by selling my clutter & collections at garage sales, consignment stores, buy/sell websites, freecycle groups, donations, etc., and although I’m still a clutter bug, I only buy items for DIY projects that I’m ready to do immediately!

Except for these.  Majong Upcycle Project by Christa Clips

My 3 or 4ish (?) Majong sets.

I scavenged these from a garbage bin almost 15 years ago (it was dry, and clean, don’t worry!). Some tiles are plastic while others are bamboo and bone? Ivory? I haven’t even taken the time to figure out what I have! When I found these beauts discarded and destined for the dump, I immediately imagined turning them into a tiled coffee table. But, as was the way with so many of my fantastic DIY home decor ideas, I never followed through with the project and they’ve sat in a cardboard box ever since.

I have a bit of a thing for vintage Asian thrift (if that’s a thing?!)

I’ve lugged the (ridiculously heavy) box during 4 house moves and just can’t part them – their DIY potential is limitless!  I think it’s the mass quantity that appeals to me as well as the fact that I lived in Japan for 2 years after University and have a bit of a thing for vintage Asian thrift (if that’s a thing?!).

I’ve envisioned these majong tiles being upcycled into:

majong jewelry

photo minxandmaven on Etsy.com

  • a tiled coffee table or dining room table
  • a bathroom floor
  • a kitchen back splash
  • 100s of necklace pendants or bracelets (they’re way too heavy to use as earrings despite the fun pics on Pinterest!)

But as the years have passed, the project has become increasingly complicated in my mind as I place more and more value on the final project being culturally and linguistically authentic. What do the tiles mean?  Which way should they be oriented? Which pieces belong with which set? Are they too valuable to consider using in a mosaic or drilling holes in them for jewelry? And so they sit, hidden in the basement so that hubs can’t find them. (He doesn’t read my blog either, don’t worry!)

A box with limitless DIY project potential sits in the basement of Christa Clips!

A box with limitless DIY project potential sits in the basement of Christa Clips!

What do you think I should do with my Majong tiles?

In addition to reading your comments below (hint hint!), I’m going to ask a bunch of frugally minded DIY divas at an upcoming Twitter Party!

Christa Clips is a panelist for this month's #UsedParty on Upcycled Home Decor!

Christa Clips is a panelist for this month’s #UsedParty on Upcycled Home Decor!

This month’s #UsedParty on twitter hosted by @UsedEverywhere is all about re-used and re-vamped second hand items that we can turn into DIY home decor! Finding non-retail options for home decor is my idea of eco-friendly and frugal fun and I’m thrilled to be on board as one of the panelists!

Join us for an hour of ideas and inspiration!

All of the questions for the party have been posted to allow folks to snap some photos and prepare some links to share with the other twitter party attendees. It’ll be my turn to ask a question during the 2nd half of the party and I’ll be asking folks about DIY home decor projects that have been too intimidating to start.

You can well imagine what my answer to that question is going to be!  Majong, anyone?!

#CDNmoney Twitter Chat Tuesday April 15, 2014: Embrace The Spring Purge and Sell your Stuff!

#CDNmoney Twitter Chat Embrace the Spring Purge Sell your Stuff by Christa ClipsTime to clean out your closets, drawers, and garage? This week’s #CDNmoney chat will inspire you to Embrace the Spring Purge as we’ll share tips & tricks for how to make some money by selling your stuff!  Join co-hosts Common Cents Mom and Christa Clips with Special Guests Trend Trunk for a lively hour of ideas & inspiration!

Hollie has already tackled one of her closets and shares her strategy in her blog post The Spring Purge: Tips for Closet Cleaning. Christa follows up with a blog post about How to Make Money by Selling your Clothes after you’ve completed the purge! Winning back some space and earning some money along the way = WIN WIN!

To participate in the #CDNmoney chat and to be entered to WIN one of the five prizes we have this week ….

  • follow hosts @commoncentsmom and @christaclips and special guest @TrendTrunk on twitter
  • answer the questions and tweet with the hashtag #CDNmoney during the twitter chat (7-8pmET Tuesday)
  • RSVP by clicking on the Mister Linky link below and enter your @twitterhandle to be entered in the participants’ draw for prizes! (CDN participants only are eligible to win one of the Trend Trunk prizes although our chat is open to everyone!)

TrendTrunk has graciously donated 5 TrendTrunk gift cards to spend on their website! Be sure to RSVP below and answer the twitter chat questions to be eligible to win one of the prizes. If you’ve never joined a twitter chat before, here’s Hollie’s blog post about How to Participate in a Twitter Chat or Twitter Party to help you get started!

RSVP

Hope to see you at #CDNmoney chat!

How To Make Money by Selling Your Clothes!

Christa Clips: Save-at-Home Mom shares her top 5 ways to sell used clothing!

Christa Clips: Save-at-Home Mom shares her top 5 ways to sell used clothing!

Is it time to purge the contents of your closet? Do you think you could actually make some money by selling your clothes? I’ve sold a wack ‘o clothing (especially the kids’ stuff) through garage sales, consignment stores, online groups, and websites over the past few years and am able to offset the cost of updating my own wardrobe and keeping up with our growing children by earning back a bit of the original cost of our clothing. We try to buy “new to us” whenever possible and always appreciate it when others put a bit of effort into prepping their items and posting appealing ads. In this post I’ll share some of the ways I sell our clothes and include some tips & tricks to make sure you’re prepping your items so that people will want to buy your clothes, and they’ll start to keep an eye out for your future ads! Here are 5 ways that I’ve made money by selling our family’s used clothing:

  • Garage Sales. Tip:  hang your clothes with a shower rod and step ladders instead of folding them on a table otherwise you’ll be refolding all morning long! Remember that “garage sailors” are out for a deal. Don’t expect top dollar even for high value items. Need plastic hangers? Ask customer service at a local department or clothing store: they throw out bag fulls every day!
  • Local Facebook Buy & Sell Groups. Tip: buyers are more likely to arrange a meet-up for multiple items so post pictures or collages with many items. Again, folks are looking for bargains on these groups so be reasonable when setting your price otherwise people will ignore all of your future posts.
  • Local Buy & Sell Websites – UsedEverywhere.com, Kijiji.ca, Craig’s List,etc.  Tip: create an e-mail address specifically for online sales so that your personal inbox doesn’t get flooded!  If you’re concerned about privacy & safety at the meet-up, use a fake name and meet at a public location.
  • Trend Trunk – post pictures of your clothes and once an items sells, Trend Trunk sends you a pre-paid postage envelope to mail it to the buyer. You’re paid 80% of the selling price online by Trend Trunk and you can cash out your earnings, shop the site, donate your sales to charity. This site is especially useful if you want to find potential buyers beyond your local neighbourhood and garage sale looky-lous: buyers who will be more willing to pay closer to the resale value of your designer and higher value clothes. Tip: find a consistent backdrop for all of your photos to keep your “closet” looking tidy!
  • Consignment – call ahead to the store to find out what season is being accepted and how many items you’re permitted to bring in each trip. Tip: try to get your seasonal items in at the beginning of each season so that you increase the odds of your items selling at full price before the “end of season sales” hit!  Sell high, buy low!

Nothing says “old and worn” like a …. [read on!]

If you’re going to the trouble to consign your clothing, post an online ad, meet-up with a potential buyer, or ship your used clothing in the mail, it really is worth your time to spend a few extra minutes to make sure your clothing is at it’s best and can therefore fetch a better price.

Tips for selling your clothes:

  1. Cut loose threads and trim frayed edges
  2. Re-sew any loose buttons or embellishments
  3. Clean out all velcro by rubbing two scratchy sides together
  4. Launder and iron if necessary to get rid of all wrinkles, including the tag! Nothing says “old and worn” like a rolled up tag!
  5. Take a clear picture of your clothing either on a hanger or on a headless/faceless model. Despite their appeal as flat surfaces, the floor and bed are the two most unappealing places to stage a photo of clothing that you hope someone else wants to buy from you.

How to Write an Ad when Selling your Clothes! Include the following information when writing an online ad or description of your clothing:

  1. State the item category, gender, size, brand, and materials. Even if the picture speaks for itself, this written description is important to help your ad show up in searches E.g. Red Women’s Cotton T-shirt by Coconut Joe Size 8.  (Anyone else remember Coconut Joe?!)
  2. Be honest if asked if the clothing has been in an environment with smoke and/or pets
  3. Describe the condition of the clothing. E.g. New with Tags, Never Worn, Like New, Excellent Condition, Good Condition, or Well Loved!
  4. Include the price. When in doubt, err on the low end to entice people to check out your other ads for more great deals!

Selling your clothing when you’re finished with it is a great way to recover some of the money you spent in the first place, and help offset the cost of updating your wardrobe each season. Please drop a line in the comments below if you have other favourite ways to sell your used clothing – I love hearing about all of your savvy tips, too!