Favorite money-saving mends

When it comes to repairing things around the home, I think sometimes we shy away from trying because we either don’t have the time or we don’t have the expertise to tackle the job. Or, frankly, we’d love a good excuse to buy a shiny, new replacement.

But I’ve found that one of the key elements to truly “living rich on less” is caring for the stuff we have and also deciding to fix or recreate something rather than making the easy – yet expensive – choice to replace it.

Today I thought I’d share with you a few of my favorite money-saving mends I’ve done over the past few years. These fixes were easy, cheap and have stood the test of time.

1. $10 couch makeover

Old-couch

2. Quick Crock Pot fix

Fixed-crock-pot

3. Yard sale wicker chair fix

Wicker-chair-refinished

4. Dumpster-rescued chair redo

13ModernMastersagedmetalchair

5. Closet castaway turned fresh fashion piece

DIY-infinity-scarf

What stuff around your home have you chosen to fix or give new life to rather than buying new?

No-sew DIY infinity scarf in 10 minutes

Like many of you out there, it seems that when the chilly weather shows up, so does my obsession with infinity scarves.

Now, I’ve already got a closet full of regular scarves collected over the years. But since they are not infinity scarves, they haven’t seen a lot of wear recently.

Fortunately, I’ve discovered a ridiculously easy way to convert a regular scarf to an infinity scarf, so I thought I’d share that thrifty hack with you today.

1. Pick out a regular scarf you want to convert.

Transforming-regular-scarves-to-infinity-scarves

I chose these four. The one on the left and the one on the right required special treatment, which I’ll share toward the end of the post.

2. Grab some iron-on hem tape and turn on the iron to the hottest setting safe for your fabric.

DIY-infinity-scarf-hemming-tape

3. Line up the two short ends of the scarf, with the ugly side/inside of the scarf and seams facing out.

4. Cut a piece of hem tape and sandwich it between the ends at the top.

Lining-up-hemming-tape

5. Line up the ends again and iron the layers together.

Ironing-tape

6. Turn the scarf right-side out and check to make sure the hem tape worked. Done!

Finished-DIY-infinity-scarf-hem

I used this same no-sew method for the purple scarf.

DIY-infinity-scarf-purple

The black and white scarf had fringe on the ends, so the first thing I did was trim that off with pinking shears.

Pinking-shears

This scarf is so thin I was worried the hem tape would bleed through, so instead I sewed a quick seam connecting the two ends. Again, I made sure the ugly side of the scarf was facing out when I did this.

Hemming-raw-edgeI simply used a straight stitch to sew the ends together. Yes, I realize I’m using brown thread (I was out of black). I’ll show you a trick for converting colored thread to black in a moment. 😉

I probably should have used a zigzag stitch for this seam. But I seem to always create a balled-up, tangled mess of thread when I set my sewing machine to the zigzag stitch. If anyone has any tips for how to avoid that insanity, I’m all ears.

Here’s the black scarf done and turned right-side out:

Finished-hem-on-black-scarf

I sewed together the striped scarf as well because I figured the hem tape may not hold together fabric that thick.

After I finished sewing the seams, I colored in the brown thread with a permanent black marker. Voila! Black thread. 😉

Making-thread-black-with-Sharpie

Here are my four “new” DIY infinity scarves:

DIY-infinity-scarf

I estimate that I spent about 40 minutes total making all four of these scarves.

Would you ever try converting your regular scarves to infinity scarves?

Money-saving mend: How to fix a broken Crock-Pot

For quite a while, my slow cooker was broken. I mean, the Crock-Pot itself worked just fine. But the lid was broken, making it tricky to get to the food when the pot was hot.

Crock-pot-broken-knob

After the umpteenth time I burned my hands trying to get the lid off, I finally decided it was time to buy a new slow cooker. But my thrifty brain protested … “It’s just the lid that is broken. Isn’t there a way you can repair it?”

Then I remembered my mom and dad’s Crock-Pot had the same issue a few years back. My dad DIYed a fix for it. So I copied his method.

First, we used a set of grips and a socket wrench to get the hardware removed from the lid. This was the hardest part of the whole project.

Removing-old-knob-from-crock-pot

After that, things got really easy. I simply replaced the broken hardware with an old cabinet knob I had left over from the kitchen updates. (I recommend using a drop of super glue or threadlocker adhesive in the knob hole to ensure it stays put. It’s important not to over-tighten the screw or the glass lid may break.)

Fixing-crockpot-new-knob

That’s it! My Crock-Pot is now as good as new (almost).

Fixed-crock-pot

It took a total of about 20 minutes to figure out how to fix a broken Crock-Pot and complete the repair. My pot holds seven quarts, so I saved myself at least $50 in replacement costs. Score!