Five ways to save with make do and mend
At a time when we all need our cash to go further, what better way to do it than to recycle and reuse?
Make do and Mend may seem old hat, being a term coined in World War II, but since the recent financial troubles, doing it yourself is back in ‘Vogue’. So here are five top tips on how a stitch in time could save you money.
Follow Grandma’s advice
Last August, high-street department store, John Lewis, launched its own Make do and Mend booklet based on the advice that thrifty individuals followed during the 1940s. Packed with practical tips, it was a mid-recession success. The money from sales of the booklet went to the John Lewis charity fund. If you want to find out more, you can take a look at part of it online.
Top Grandma tip: À la Mrs Beeton and my favourites Kim and Aggie. Don’t worry about a window cleaner. Clean them yourself with a solution of white vinegar and water, and newspaper. I’ve tried and tested this and it really does make them sparkle.
Be a recessionista
It wasn’t just big businesses talking about how to make the most of the things we have. Some great fashion blogs began to spring up and the word ‘recessionista’ began to appear around the web.
This included the original Miss Recessionista herself, The Budget Fashionista and Queens of Vintage. As well as being a great resource for fans of vintage fashion, the fantastic Queens of Vintage site has a great section dedicated completely to Make do and Mend projects such as How to revamp an old cardigan.
Top recessionista tip: Don’t chuck out those holey jeans! Turn them into a camera case or a lunch bag instead. Check out Twenty-five things to do with old jeans for tips.
Of course it’s all very well telling you to do this and that, but so many of us now haven’t been taught the basics of how to sew, darn, knit or repair things. It can mean the difference between chucking out that expensive jacket and keeping it. There’s a great modern How-to guide on Instructables.com and advice on darning a sock on howtodothings.com.
Top Sew What? Tip: Once you’ve mastered fixing your own socks, why not try making your own with the videos on the Lion Brand site.
Do it yourself
Back in the 1990s, DIY was all the rage, with programmes such as Changing Rooms encouraging us to fill our homes with MDF and ‘distressed’ furniture. Sadly those days are over, but DIY has certainly made a comeback.
These days it’s quite easy to pick up unwanted furniture in good nick either from Freecycle or student fave Gumtree. For those who aren’t so confident on picking things up from strangers, try rummaging around antique and charity shops.
If your current furniture isn’t in great shape, but your determined to keep it, take a look at Do it yourself which has some great tips for mending and fixing things around the home. Look in the Decorating and painting section for everything from repairs to reupholstering. Considering a brand new suite can cost upwards of £1,000, it’s definitely worth looking into.
Top tip for Doing it Yourself: If you’ve found yourself a bargain second-hand chair take a look at DIY Network to find out how to restore it.
From the heart
The card and gift market is worth millions in the UK alone, although we all know that it’s the thought that counts. Then again, other than your parents, who would appreciate a pasta and glitter picture? Time to step the gifting up a notch!
The craft world took to the recession like needles to thread. There’s plenty of inspiration and how-tos out there when it comes to making gifts for friends and loved ones. Two of my favourite sites are Etsy and Craftzine which are both chocka-block with ideas.
You can also buy brilliant homemade gifts from Etsy and I would highly recommend their daily themed emails. The craft-world is no longer just about fuddy-duddies from the WI crocheting squares and flower arranging, it’s moved on.
Top tip for making something from the heart: For wine lovers, check out the Craftzine guide to making your own bottle sleeve. There are loads of kookie craft ideas out there to have a go at. Don’t settle for something dull!
Don't forget, if you'd like to know of even more ways to boost your income, lovemoney.com can help.