Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Buy once - Use twice

A long time ago in a land far far away, I lived in Michigan. My husband and I were hosting Thanksgiving for my family and his and I needed to get things ready to go. When I lived closer to my family, I would have just gone over to my mother's house and raided the closets and cupbards for the linens and dishes that I needed for Thanksgiving. Since I now lived about 80 miles away, it wasn't quite as easy to do. So I put on my creativity hat and thought about it.

What I needed most were tablecloths for the two large antique tables that I would be using. I was going to push them together to make one long dining table, so I needed something that would be consistant for the long expanse. I was also on a budget.

What I came up with was felt. Red felt and a little bit of cream felt. I bought several yards of it for about $3 a yard as I recall, and I also purchased a pair of pinking shears. The shears cost more than all of the fabric! ...but only by a little. I put the felt on the table, weighted it down so it wouldn't move and I cut the felt with the pinking shears around the tables. It was exactly the shape of each table. I used the red on the table tops and the cream was being used as hotpads on the tables, maybe even a table runner type of idea. I can't quite remember at the moment. I think I may have even cut out leaf shapes and put peoples names on it.
The tableclothes were a hit, to say the least and the dinner was fabulous as well. A few days later as I was finally getting the tables moved back to their original locations I realized that most of the felt was in great shape. Only a couple of spills of food in a few spots. I now had all of this felt and it was a shame to throw it away, which was my original intention.

I got out a dinner plate and a lunch plate - traced around them and used those two sizes as templates. I grabbed those mighty expensive pinking shears and started cutting out circles. Large ones and small ones out of the felt that was left, after I cut out all of the "spoiled" felt.

I made plate protectors for all of my heavy bowls that I stack together. I used some of them for my plates and platters that don't get used too often, but are stacked on top of one another for long periods of time. I still had lots of felt left over, so I made stacks of 20 - 10 small and 10 large for several family members for Christmas.

I used up every cent of the $25 I spent on the felt and the shears. It was truly one of my better ideas.

I have posted this for Make Do Mondays - hosted by Ann Kroeker. She asks us what we have done to make do with what we have, or how we wear it out or decide NOT to buy something because we really don't need it. This is a new blog carnival so be sure and go over and take a peek.

I thought this would be a perfect Works for me Wednesday post. Childrens birthdays, Easter dinner, St. Patrick's Day are all times when you might want to prepare a family meal and a nice felt tablecloth might just be the ticket for an inexpensive cover. Please go see more tips at WeAreThatFamily, the new host for WFMW.

...and this certainly turned out to be even more thrifty than I had originally intended! So it qualifies for Leigh's Thrifty Thursday at Tales from Bloggeritaville.

I will link to those posts as the days arrive.

Thanks so much for stopping by!


Anonymous said...

Genius points!

Double-duty on that felt--plate protectors? Wow, that was pure inspiration and I'm actually sitting her jealous of someone's clever make-do creativity.

Kidding. Well, kind of. I'm impressed, that's what it is.


I love the photos.

Sometimes I forget visual aids.

Thanks for participating in Make-Do Mondays!

Leigh of Tales from Bloggeritaville said...

Ahhhaaa haa...You read my mind., before I even got the end of your post...thinking...this would be great for thrify Thursday! You are on the ball girl. You "killed many birds" with that stone.

Great job!

Anonymous said...

and two new carnivals I didn't know about! thanks!

~*Michelle*~ said...

great stuff!

Thanks for popping by my world today.....I also have a small but growing Thursday carnival.

Three Things this Thursday where you can post three random things,......helpful tips, prayers, photo bragging sessions....whatever you want. I also do a "LOST" recap (TV Show) as well.

Talk soon~

Kirstin said...

Hi! Thanks for stopping by today. Have a great week.

LunaMoonbeam said...

Good heavens, you're brilliant!! I have about a yard and a half of red felt, and about two yards of hot pink. Maybe there are some dish protectors in my future. :-)

Anonymous said...

Great idea! After noticing in catalogs how expensive the "plate protectors" (aka FELT pcs.) were, I too did the same thing and made my own last year. It certainly makes packing up the holiday ware much easier each year.
Thanks for visiting my WFMW post. If you try it, I hope it works for you too. :)

Brenda said...

Neat double duty idea!

Anonymous said...

hi kristin! thanks for the info about my link =) Yeah, I would have waited longer for the stuff from Vista Print, but DH wanted them sooner for the Baby's birthday. Anyway. Great tip!

I've been looking for other blog carnivals to join. I'm glad you left a link =)

Leigh of Tales from Bloggeritaville said...

Thanks again, Kristin, you clever chic! (wink) Glad you came out to play!

j said...

Very cool ideas and good use of what you had.

Keetha Broyles said...

Very creative idea about the plate protectors. I've never had any of those, but now that you mention it - - - what a great idea!!! I HATE how they "clink" together without them.

Also, the pattern on that white platter is wonderful!!!

Anonymous said...

The felt as bowl/plate protectors is an awesome idea! I often stick papertowels between mine, but it looks messy. Plus the felt would protect them so much better. Thanks for the tip! ♥

Anonymous said...

What a fab idea.Aren't women wonderful?When in a pinch,we cab do it!Just get out of our way.ha/You did it.You took care of 3memes/...Ann

Heidi Renée said...

Thanks for your comment! It's so nice to connect with other Michiganders. And the felt protectors are such a great idea--those will last you forever.

Sharinskishe said...

So smart!

I will have to try this myself. Thanks for sharing your creativity!


A happy heart at home said...

Thank you for your sweet comment on my Works for Me post. Your ideas for using the felt were great! I use paper plates to protect between heavy plates, but using the felt like you do would be better because the felt is thicker. Super idea!


A happy heart at home said...

P.S. Thanks for the idea of printing out my list so I could use it another time! I hadn't thought of doing that.


jb said...

I am one of the grateful recipients of the felt plate protectors, and they have protected my wedding china for years! Every time I take out my "good china", I think of you and am grateful that my china is ready to go and not scratched.
My daughter Lily, always enjoys "felting" the plates before we return them to storage!
I never knew the whole history, but now I do!
Thanks Kirby, for everything you do!