DIY: Photo Fabric Backdrops


By nature, I’m a “researcher.” I really can’t make any type of purchase without first researching it, especially anything expensive. I typically create a word document and make a table, it has a photo, the price, the URL and I do a little comparison chart.

The comparison sheet above is a little different, to make it look more stylish. Today’s comparison shopping was on fabric for photo backdrops. I started at the natural starting place: Etsy and other “photo prop” stores. Boy am I glad I did my research! WHOA! What a MASSIVE price difference. CRAZYYYY. These “alternative” fabrics are on sale, regularly around $5-$5.50/yd, but even at full price it’s still a WAY better deal. I know this type of thing would only be interesting to someone in photography looking for backdrops, but I just had to share!



Being Creative: Newborn Rhinestone Headbands


For photography, if I don’t make my own props I try and buy locally. But in the case of the “rhinestone headband” (as shown in the newborn photo above) it’s just ridiculously expensive for ONE headband, $25-40+ for a BABY headband? Which caused me to look into the whole market (I’m a DIYer at heart). So I started looking around for this precious item I came to figure out is called “rhinestone trim.” Turns out I can make 3-4 headbands out of 1 yard of this trim for the cost of one headband from some of these retailers. I understand that making this style of headband isn’t cheap by any means, but that’s quite a mark-up in my frugal eyes.

It took me quite a while to find the style of rhinestones I was looking for. And I mean A WHILE. Almost embarrassing! I was having a brain fart and couldn’t think of what to Google to find them, “gemstones?” No. what the heck do they call those fake-diamond-like things anyway! I kept Googling “strands,” “cubic zirconia” and sooooo many other things. I just wasn’t finding what I wanted. I went onto Joann’s website and was looking around in the jewelry section to see if I could figure out what they would possibly be called, I’d ALMOST given up since I was only coming across bead stuff there! When I finally found the magic words … “rhinestone trim”!! hallelujah!!!!

SO for any other DIYers out there, I hopefully just saved you a buttload of time. I’ll also be super nice and provide all the links to the photos above if you’d like to purchase them yourselves! 🙂

  1. Rhinestone Floral Trim $39.98/1 yard*
  2. 1/2″ Rhinestone Trim $44.98/1 yard
  3. Braid Rhinestone Beaded Trim $35/1 yard
  4. Samara Rhinestone Chain $29.50/1 yard

*1 yard = 36 inches. Newborn headbands are about 12 inches total and I see no reason to have the rhinestones all the way around the full 12 inches. I’ll have a tie with ribbon for the back. I estimated 8 inches of rhinestones for the front/sides of the headband to be on the safe side (this could change). If I made only newborn headbands (I’m going to make some larger ones for 3-6 month as well) I could get 4.5 headbands out of this single yard.

Head over to my photography page on Facebook and comment which style of headband (1-4 above) is your favorite!


22 – broke – and able to afford Europe?? A Cash Envelope System

I started out 2013 with a goal of getting organized. Well it’s April and the only part of my life that I can say is far more organized than it used to be is my budget & saving money. The system I use (that has worked well for me) I found on none other than the wonderful, Pinterest!! Since I’ve had a few friends ask about Europe costs and how I’ve been planning things out for our trip, I’ll make sure to post about that as well.

Here’s the system, thanks to Simple Dimples blog:


For envelope templates from Simple Dimples, click here.

It’s a cash-based system. So I get paid on the 1st and the 15th (some times it changes depending on if the day falls on a weekend). My check is on direct deposit to my savings account and then I pull out cash (in twenties) and split it up into my envelopes for gas, food and misc. Since I have the luxury of still living with my parents, I am able to save A LOT, I know it won’t always be this way. I’m so thankful! Thanks mom & dad! 🙂 Eventually, I’ll have to figure out how to modify this cash-based system to work with paying bills, rent/mortgage, and such. But we’ll cross that bridge when needed.

On Simple Dimples, there is a template for the envelopes which fit perfectly into my wallet and little ledgers that fit into the envelopes, so you can keep track of where your cash is going.

This system has worked really wonderful for me. I find it more difficult to spend cash than swipe a card, so I actually THINK about my purchases. I also think about how much money I have left until I get paid next. It’s such a great feeling when I get paid and still have cash left over from the previous 2 weeks! It means I’m saving even MORE (and I don’t have to pull out as much cash for the next two weeks)! I love it!!!

I always consider myself on a budget/ballin’ on a budget/broke, I spend most of my money on gas, I eat out every once and a while and that’s about it! The reality is I’m not broke, I have money in savings and I’m able to pay for all of Europe! But I’m able to do that by being very strict about my weekly spending, by keeping the frame of mind that I ONLY have a certain amount to spend and then it’s gone, keeps me on track with my savings! So I’ll continue to say I’m broke and tell myself that I’m broke 🙂