Cassiefairy – My Thrifty Life

Cassiefairy's thrifty lifestyle blog – Saving money every day with DIY crafts, sewing projets, low-cost recipes & shppping tips


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Map Geek – Make it personal with romantic maps

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll already know what a geek I am when it comes to maps. Old, new and anything inbetween – maps are intriguing, enticing and informative. I’m the kind of person who wanders over to information maps on footpaths or in city centres and looks like a total tourist, but really I’m just interested in the map itself. Why is it here? What’s nearby? Any special information? Someone has taken the time to make that map and put it there, so surely there’s a reason that’s worth investigating. So it probably comes as no surprise that I also love to have maps in my own home too, and that’s where Mapify comes in. Read on to find out more about my Valentine’s map and how you can win your very own personalised map created just for you by Mapify in my giveaway – and there’s THREE prizes to be won!Thankfully, my husband is equally interested in maps, so when there’s an museum exhibit of old relief maps in the Lake District, or an exhibition of Max Gill’s famous street maps at The Lettering Arts Centre we are first in the queue to see it. I guess we’re well suited to each other, eh? So what better gift could I get for my husband this Valentine’s Day than a personalised map? Well, I’m pleased to say that it IS possible to create your own map of any location throughout the whole world, and have a fantastic quality print on your wall in a matter of days. Mapify is the serviceI used to make this special gift, and here’s how I did it.

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Design & print your own DIY cards for Valentine’s Day, birthdays & more

No, it’s not too late to show someone you care about them this Valentine’s Day. You’ve still got time to post a card to that special person, you just need to get hold of a card. No time to run out to the shops? No problem! I’ve come up with a super-simple DIY project to make your own Valentine’s card. No craft skills needed, honest!diy printed personalised valentines birthday card epson printer craft tutorial-8It’s as easy as typing out a message on your computer and hitting print. I used Publisher to create my design, so pretty much everyone will have this programme on their PC. But don’t worry if you haven’t got publisher; Photoshop or even a Word document would work equally well. Just pay attention to the page size, as you’ll want it to be a cute little A6 card (similar to a 6×4 photo size) once it’s printed.diy printed personalised valentines birthday card epson printer craft tutorial-11You can print your design onto A4 card and cut it in half before folding to A6 size, or if you don’t have any card to hard use one piece of thick A4 paper folded in half and glued down to add stability so that your card will at least stand up. got a card-backed document envelope somewhere in the office? This will do too! Even an empty cereal box will be fine to print on, as long as you cover up the Crunchy Nut image on the other side with a layer of paper!diy printed personalised valentines birthday card epson printer craft tutorial-2 diy printed personalised valentines birthday card epson printer craft tutorial-3diy printed personalised valentines birthday card epson printer craft tutorial-6Once you’ve got your paper or card ready, you only need to Continue reading “Design & print your own DIY cards for Valentine’s Day, birthdays & more” »


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Breathtaking Valentine’s Day gifts + save 33% on flowers!

When you’ve not got much time and Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, the quickest and easiest option is to shop for gifts online. But that doesn’t have to mean you’re not putting any thought or effort into choosing a treat for your favourite person. Oh no, there are plenty of simply gorgeous gifts online that you just can’t get anywhere else and I’d love to show you what I mean…rose bouquet flowers gift blossoming gift valentines present-2rose bouquet flowers gift blossoming gift valentines present-5First up, I wanted to show you some of the unique gifts available on Etsy. As each item is hand-crafted or vintage, you can be sure that your other-half won’t have come across the gift before and it will be a true surprise. Okay, sometimes items are handmade to order, which adds a little extra time to the ordering process and it might have to be a Valentine’s Day ‘promise’ rather than something they can unwrap on the day. But who wouldn’t want to be given a note that reads “I’ve bought you a handmade gold pendant”?! I personally love all the textile crafts you can find on Etsy and these are some of my favourite heart-motif goodies.knitted heart scarf

Grey and pink knitted scarf by Grace Cook Knitwear

knit heart gloves etsyHand-spun alpaca wool gloves by Spinning Spider Webb

I love love love Maria Allen jewellery and this is one of her gorgeous Valentine’s Day designs. My bestie gave me an amazing personalised locket from Maria Allen for my birthday a couple of years ago and it’s my most cherished piece of jewellery. I can almost guarantee that this would be a winning gift for Valentine’s Day so feel free to use this blog post to drop a huge hint to your hubby ladies!etsy valentines locket marie allen gold necklaceAnd of course, it wouldn’t be valentine’s day without a beautiful bouquet of roses! Listen up hubby! There’s still plenty of time to order a bouquet online at Blossoming Gifts (where I got these sugar-pink blooms from). Ordering flowers online don’t have to be an expensive venture either; these bouquets are stunning yet not over-priced, starting at just £11.99. You can also find potted roses, lilies and orchids that will live on beyond Valentine’s day, plus many bouquets comes with a free gift, such as a box of chocolates or teddy bear. Plus you can save 33% on selected bouquets by using the discount code “BGIFTS33”, bonus!rose bouquet flowers gift blossoming gift valentines present rose bouquet flowers gift blossoming gift valentines present-4I was very impressed when the bouquet was Continue reading “Breathtaking Valentine’s Day gifts + save 33% on flowers!” »


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How to get 50% off Valentine’s cards with Thortful

If you want to show someone special that you care about them this Valentine’s Day but know that you won’t be able to make it to the shops before the weekend, I’ve got the solution for you. No, it’s not too late to order a personalised Valentine’s card online because I’ve found a great website that will post it to your loved-one first class. If you order before 2pm the card will even be put in the post-box the same day! Plus, I can give you a special discount code to get 50% off straight away! Sounds too good to be true? Would I lie to you fairies? No way! Read on to find out more…valentines day greetings card inspiration thortful-9 valentines day greetings card inspiration thortful-2This super-helpful card company is Thortful, one of the newest and coolest greeting card retailers online. I fell in love with the brand as soon as I logged on to their website. I was actually searching for information on writing greetings and found lots of helpful advice on their blog (more of that later!) when I stumbled onto their website. It’s a really slick, user-friendly site and is packed full of amazing card designs. Of course, the first category I searched for was Valentine’s Day, but there’s also plenty of birthday greetings, thank you cards, celebrations and special occasions. I’d definitely call it a one-stop-shop. valentines day greetings card inspiration thortful valentines day greetings card inspiration thortful-8When I’ve shopped on other card sites in the past, I’ve found it really hard to find what I want. You probably all know that I’m really into puns, so I know what I’m looking for almost before I begin. The trouble is being able to browse through the designs quickly, without a whole load of gumph in the sidebars distracting me from my search. No such problems with this site; it’s really easy to navigate, plus there’s an app you can download to make scrolling through the collection even easier. You can personalise the message within seconds (or have it posted to yourself to hand-write if you prefer) and see a real-time preview of what the card will look like. Enter the recipient’s delivery address and boosh! Your greetings card is on it’s way to your favourite person. Don’t forget to use the discount code to get 50% off – it’s “CassieFairy50”.HeartCardvalentines day greetings card inspiration thortful-5If you’re stuck for ideas of what to write inside your card, the Thortful blog is a great source of inspiration. I’ve read through their helpful posts about phrases and messages to write inside thank you cards, Christmas cards and more, so you’ll be sure to get some inspiration for your own message while checking out these posts. It’s definitely worth checking out the blog anyway to read interviews with card designers and to check out inspiring photography tips.THRTFL-VLNTNS-NICE_V1[10] valentines day greetings card inspiration thortful-7Oh, and you can also Continue reading “How to get 50% off Valentine’s cards with Thortful” »


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DIY Valentine’s gift – A box of memories + polaroid photos

What do you give to your special someone for Valentine’s Day when you’re both trying to save money and clear the clutter? Something very thrifty and useful, that’s what. I know you wouldn’t expect anything less from me so I’m happy to oblige! I’ve upcycled a gift box that I received for Christmas, used a left-over piece of wallpaper and lots of double-sided tape to create a DIY gift for my husband. Read on to find out how I made this quick and simple gift PLUS you can get a discount on printing your own photos at Cheerz.com by using my code CASGRI for £4 off!DIY thrifty valentines make your own memory box gift_-27 DIY thrifty valentines make your own memory box gift_-26I want to show my husband lots of love on Valentine’s Day (and on birthdays, at Christmas and every other day too, for that matter) but that doesn’t always mean buying something new. I think that experiences and the resulting memories are more important than buying something from the shops, so I wanted to reflect back on the things we’ve done together over the past year, and create a box of our shared memories to look back at. Of course, I want to make it a bit special for hubby, so I’m including a handful of retro sweets and some photo-strips from the Valentine’s range at Cheerz (use code CASGRI for £4 off!) that I just got printed up. These special Valentine’s products are available to order until 4th Feb so get started now to make sure you receive your photos before the big day!DIY thrifty valentines make your own memory box gift_-28 DIY thrifty valentines make your own memory box gift_-4 DIY thrifty valentines make your own memory box gift_-5 DIY thrifty valentines make your own memory box gift_-6But I’m not just making this DIY gift as a Valentine’s Day treat – oh no, it’s totally practical too. This box provides much-needed storage space for all our photos, ticket stubs and scrapbook bits ‘n’ pieces that we’ve collected up over the past year. They’ve been sitting in my desk drawer and I’d like that space back now please! Plus I’m always happy to recycle something rather than bin it, so this festive gift box (it had chocolates in, can you tell?) gets a new lease of life as a dedicated storage box now that the contents have been eaten. Let me tell you how I revamped this tired old gift box – and don’t forget to enter my giveaway below..! Continue reading “DIY Valentine’s gift – A box of memories + polaroid photos” »


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Mother’s Day treats & ideas

With only one week until Mother’s Day it’s time to get organising some treats for mum. I’ve been thinking about what to do for mum for about a month now and I can’t wait to take her out for the day (but it would be spoiling the surprise if I told you where we are going!). If you’re visiting your mother next Sunday it would be lovely to turn up with an armful of flowers, gifts and chocolates but even if you live far away from your mum, you can still show her you love her and here’s how:mothers day cards etsyAbsolutely essential is a card to wish her your mum a happy mother’s day. Whether you’re posting a card from miles away or handing it to her over the breakfast table, its the only thing that mums truly hope for on the day. Continue reading “Mother’s Day treats & ideas” »


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A vintage Mother’s Day greeting

Today I am heading over my mum’s house to wish her a very happy Mother’s Day. I’ll be taking round some edible treats and a little gift to thank her for being simply the best!

I also want to wish all the mothers out there a very happy Mother’s Day and especially all the women in my life; my nan, my sister, my sister-in-law, my mother-in-law and my friends – you’re all doing an amazing job!

Here’s a cute little vintage Mother’s Day greetings card from 1958 to send lots of love to you all on your day!

vintage 1950s greetings crd happy mothers day

1950s greetings card via Pinterest


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The happiest Mother’s Day card from Oxfam

Do you want to do something special for your mother this weekend? If you’re fed up with the usual shop displays of mugs, chocolates, picture frames and flowers, maybe you could try something doing different? And best of all, it helps out a charity! So what have I done for my mum this Mother’s Day? I’ve dedicated a square on the world’s biggest Mother’s Day card, thanks to Oxfam.

The card was made up of lots of little squares to be filled with dedications to mums. Once a message was added, the amazing Oxfam artist Lizzie Cullen brought that square to life with beautiful art. Oxfam say “The Happiest Mother’s Day Card was created at a live art event held in London Westfield Shopping Centre, where every time someone celebrated an amazing mum, the painting on our giant card grew and blossomed.”

oxfam mothers day card

Dedicating a square to your mother is free, but its nice to include a small donation to Oxfam’s Mother Appeal, helping improve the lives of mums in some of the world’s poorest communities. Plus every message helps Oxfam get one step closer to breaking the Guinness World Record for the most ever messages in a card! There are already over 4000 messages written on the card so it is certainly heading in the right direction! There are 4 days left of this live event so get your message to your mum onto the website quickly! Here’s the link to the Oxfam card website where you can see the card and read all the dedications, then add your own: http://happiestmothersdaycard.org/

Plus if you’d like to give to Oxfam’s Mother Appeal anyway, you can make a £3 SMS donation by texting MOTHER to 70013. Or if you’d rather, you can donate an amount of your choice via their online donation form.


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What to get for the mother who has everything..!

Well she’s already got me, so what more does she need?? haha! But seriously, it’s Mother’s Day on 30th March and I know you’ll all be wanting to shower the women in your life with treats for doing that most difficult job of all. So what can you make and what would you like to buy for your ‘supermum’? I’ve done a little research to make it even easier for you to spoil your mother at the end of the month and here’s what I’ve come up with:

Make your mother a card with a detachable ‘Super Mum’ badge that she can wear all day long! This tutorial from TrimCraft blog shares DIY instructions and even a printable template for the badge so check it out and give it a go for yourself!

DIY mothers day card and jewellery gift ideas

To make it the most special Mother’s Day yet, visit the Swag website to find a sparkly treat for your mother such as this Pandora bangle from the Mother’s Day collection or Diamonfire’s special cubic zirconia heart locket necklace above.

Or how about taking your mum out for a special treat and spending some quality time together? I found some fantastic experience days gifts from IWOOT.com including a decadent lunch cruise on the Thames for two, which sounds like great fun for both of you! And if your mum truly is a ‘supermum’ rushing from one task to the next, perhaps she’d like the chance to unwind and relax during a spa experience? Again, you can go with your mum and have a good catch up while getting pampered!

                       mothers day experience ideas from iwoot

Another DIY idea is to pick up one of those clear plastic photo frames that you can get from pound stores and customise it to create a special family album of photos and scrapbook pages. There’s a fantastic tutorial on the Crafts Unleashed blog which shows you how to create this freestanding photobook below. It would be a perfect homemade gift for Mother’s Day and will show your mum how much you care with all the time and love you’ve put into creating an album of  special memories. Let me know if you give this a go!

 DIY mothers photo album and magazine gift ideas

Finally, for the mother who has everything – why not give her a subscription to a magazine? It’s one of MY favourite things to receive because it’s the gift that keeps on giving – she’ll love getting the magazine delivered to her all year round and will be reminded of your lovely gift each time. Don’t worry if you have no idea what magazines she already reads – simply hop onto the Unique Magazines website (where I have already subscribed to Ethical Consumer magazine!) and find a publication that she won’t have come across before but that fits in with her interests – does she enjoy cooking, crafting, gardening, fashion, pets? There’s something for every taste so check it out.

Let me know if you try out any of these tutorials for Mother’s Day crafts and which gifts you pick out to treat your mother at the end of March. I always find that time runs away with me in March, so I hope to have time to sort out a lovely treat for my own mother and I’m sure there’ll be baking involved – check out my cupcake recipes to make a yummy batch of mum’s favourite cakes!


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Fabric craft project for Mother’s Day – or any day!

I’ve been working on a little craft project especially for Mother’s Day and here’s my finished item, based on a tutorial that I saw on Pinterest. The original idea came from this image from Pretty Pastels and then I went looking for instructions on making a DIY version – which I found at Well My Stars blog – check out the step-by-step tutorial here.

Pinned Image

I didn’t have any chunky paper maché letters to use in my project, so I decided to make a flat, wall-hanging version of these padded letters using normal cardboard and a few fabric remnants that I had lying around.

Here’s how I did it:

  1. Cut out letters from very thick cardboard – I chose MUM for Mother’s Day, but you could make a name or spell out a word
  2. Use the letter as a template to cut out wadding and fabric a little bigger than the letter on all sides
  3. Put double-sided tape on the front of the letter then stick your wadding to it
  4. Stick more double-sided tape on the back of the letter
  5. Layer your fabric on top of the letter and stretch it round to the back and stick down to the double-sided tape
  6. Glue on a loop of string or wool to the back of the letter to hang it on the wall – done!

Padded letters craft tutorial DIY project for mothers day from Cassiefairy pinterest

I’ve been extra keen to do this project this month – mainly because mum deserves a special treat, but also because I’m taking part in the PinAddicts Challege – a fun challenge that encourages serial-pinner like myself to get on with making the craft projects that they’ve pinned during the previous month! So often I pin something and think I’ll come back to it.. but never quite find the time to get round to it, but the Pinterest Challenge really gave me the ooomph to do it! You can get involved too – make something you’ve seen on Pinterest and link it up below 🙂

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list of other craft projects created for this month’s challenge!

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