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Day After Bargains- a report from the front lines

I just got back from an endorphin inducing, glitter covered, elbow deep hunt for discount Christmas decor!
oh the glitter!

This has become a tradition of mine, every December 26th I hit the stores early to snag some goods for next year, and saving a bunch of money in the process! While most stores are only offering 50% off holiday stuff today*, in a couple weeks they'll be down to 70-90% off. Woo hoo!

*scroll down to see the best discounts, and where to get what!

My Haul
Today I hit 7 stores (so far)- Walmart, Home Depot, Pier 1, Michael's, Joann's Fabric, and two Targets. I spent a total of $35 (plus $12 on a gift card). I didn't actually purchase something at every store. Here's what I scored!

Pre discount and gift card I would have spent $136 for the same stuff!! That's a savings of $101. Oh yeah:) And now the deets.
from Target: teal wrapping paper, silver bird ornaments, silver tinsel,  blue bells, silver snowflake ornaments
from Walmart: pack of teal ornaments, pack of clear glass ornaments,  lime starburst ornaments (that remind me of sea urchins!), candycanes,  lime "sun" ornament, gold frame ornament
from Michael's: lime and black ribbon, teal poinsettias, pine branch, teal "seaweed" silver charger, silver leaf wreath
from Joann's Fabric: "coloring book" wrapping paper, white owl, teal peacock clip on ornament

And the Award goes To-
Some interesting observations from my travels.
Most crowded- Pier One. The line was to the back door!
Most selection- Target and Walmart
Most discounted- Joann's Fabric (70% off, plus additional 30% off), and Michael's (80% off holiday floral)
Most Justin Beiber ornaments- Target

Where to get What
Here's what I found as far as discounts and selection at these stores.

Joann's Fabric, Buena Park
70% off, plus additional 30% off! The one I went to in Buena Park was pretty cleaned out. Still some floral and cute ornaments left. I'm hoping to hit the Ontario one this weekend and find more stuff!

Michael's, Brea
50%-80% off. Lots of garlands, plain wreaths, the "glitter bins" (multicolored ornaments and foliage)

Target, Brea, Yorba Linda
50% off. I went to 2 in north OC. Offering a good selection of wrapping stuff, lights, tree toppers.

Walmart, Brea
50% off. Good selection of wrapping stuff,  glitter ornaments, bulb ornament sets, and lights.

Pier One, Brea
50% off. Plenty of table linens, cute ornaments

Home Depot, Brea
40% off (come on Home Depot!) Still a nice place to pick up Martha stuff.

I haven't even hit Kohl's, Hobby Lobby, or Dollar Tree yet. :) I'll keep you updated with the current discounts as the weeks progress. LEAVE A COMMENT and let us know what the stores are offering in your area!

How to Get Even More out of Post Season Bargains
Use my 3 R's to make out like a wicked elf this week!

WRapping supplies
I stock up on a year's worth of wrapping supplies, especially tissue paper and packs of those white boxes. I look for designs in white, silver, or other non "Christmas" shouting colors and patterns and use them for birthdays, weddings, and all other gifts throughout the year.

Year Round decor
I try to think shape not color. If something got a fresh coat of paint, could it work as a new addition to my everyday decor? Whites and metals are also a safe bet to sneak in regular decorating, and don't shout "Christmas".

Green items could be used for St. Patrick's Day, red items for the 4th of July, black items for New Year's or Halloween. Star shapes work for almost all holidays! A bunch of clear glass bulbs could make a killer chandelier or art piece.

Happy Day after Christmas! If only the Wise Men had waited one day, imagine how much more gold, frankincense, and myrr they could have gotten?!?

kidding, kidding. Even I know frankincense never goes on sale.

Are we fb friends yet??? why the heck not?!:)

Custom Sewn Stockings {Joann's Craft Challenge!}

Lazy Stockings by Clever Nest #fur #sweater #fabulouslyfestive #clevernest
What do you consider "crucial" Christmas decor? A tree, a wreath, home made Christmas ornaments? I can't believe one of the key pieces that I've been missing for far too long are some custom made stockings!

I've wanted to make these for years. Now, thanks to Joann's Fabric Celebrate the Season Craft Challenge, I finally busted out some #fabulouslyfestive stockings of my own!

A Stocking Tale
Since I got married I'd had the traditional red and green, "whatever I thought was cute" approach to Christmas decor. Then, last year I had a brain-exploding epiphany of what my Christmas "style" was, and it turns out its the same way I decorate my house, no kidding! I love aqua, lime, and metals, glittery, and unique things. I've tried to bring this same style into my Christmas decorating, and now things are really cooking!
Lazy Stockings by Clever Nest #fur #sweater #fabulouslyfestive #clevernest
There's nothing "wrong" with these stockings except they just didn't say "me" at all.

Lazy Stockings (no pattern) by Clever Nest #fur #sweater #fabulouslyfestive #clevernest
these say "me!" "me!" "me!" "me!"

My Meh approach to Sewing Custom Stockings
I wasn't aiming for perfection in the least. Just look at it. I mean, a stocking is pretty much a formless blob that shlumps over to one side.  I certainly wasn't going to get all OCD about making perfect replicas!

I found two of these sweet sweater stockings at Joann's for $12 each (now $9!), one in white and one in green.
Lazy Stockings (no pattern) by Clever Nest #fur #sweater #fabulouslyfestive #clevernest

I also grabbed some synthetic aqua lining, and that gorgeous black and white upholstery fabric called Waverly Strands in Tuxedo (upholstery fabric is currently 50% off at Joann's too!:).
how to make custom stockings, the lazy way :) #fabulouslyfestive #fur #sweater #christmas #clevernest

My Meh Approach to Measuring Fabric
I got about a foot of the aqua lining, simply placing a stocking over the material to see how much I would need to copy the shape and have a bit extra for seams. For the Tuxedo fabric I really wanted the pattern to be vertical instead of horizontal so I "splurged" and bought about 2 feet of that.

I finished off my purchase with some faux fur, about 8 in. each of brown and white, again just laying the stocking cuff over the fur to see how much to cut. And I had extra to spare!
how to make custom stockings, the lazy way :) #fabulouslyfestive #fur #sweater #christmas #clevernest

Step 1. Cutting it Close
At home I laid a stocking over my fabric, right sides together. For awhile I thought it mattered which way the green stocking was facing when I cut, but it doesn't! (hides face in shame) Either way it faces the shape will come out the same :) so don't stress out.
how to make custom stockings, the lazy way :) #fabulouslyfestive #fur #sweater #christmas #clevernest

I used a sharpie to trace around the edge of my premade stocking, and then cut out the shape, leaving room for a 1/4 in. seam.
how to make custom stockings, the lazy way :) #fabulouslyfestive #fur #sweater #christmas #clevernest

how to make custom stockings, the lazy way :) #fabulouslyfestive #fur #sweater #christmas #clevernest
*Remember- don't cut along the sharpie lines (which I totally almost did) or your stocking will be too small! Leave at least 1/4 in. room for seams around the edges.

Step 2. Sew That Socker
I quickly sewed up my sock seam, turned my blob inside out, and ironed it so it would lie flat, and a little more sock-like.
how to make custom stockings, the lazy way :) #fabulouslyfestive #fur #sweater #christmas #clevernest

Repeat Steps 1 and 2 for the Cuff
I laid out a rectangle piece of fabric, folded in half, and traced around the cuff part, exactly like I'd done for the sock.
how to make custom stockings, the lazy way :) #fabulouslyfestive #fur #sweater #christmas #clevernest
Just like the foot of the stocking, I eyeballed 1/4 in. seam allowances along the top, bottom, and left side. The right side is the fold and didn't need any seam.

how to make custom stockings, the lazy way :) #fabulouslyfestive #fur #sweater #christmas #clevernest
I used my black fabric as a pattern to cut out my white fur. Then I sewed the cut edges of the black fabric together to make a sleeve. Ditto for the fur. I had two separate "cuffs" at this point.

Step 3. Pin and Sew, Pin and Sew...
I took both of my cuffs and pinned them right sides together, with the fur pointing up. This is very important! If you have a fabric with a distinct "up" and "down", it must be upside down when you sew this seam.

Geometry makes my head hurt, so trust me, I'll show you why in a sec.
how to make custom stockings, the lazy way :) #fabulouslyfestive #fur #sweater #christmas #clevernest

After sewing around the top edge only, I turned the cuff right side out. This seam makes the bottom of the cuff, hence why the fur needs to face up towards my hand. See, I told you it would all make sense!
how to make custom stockings, the lazy way :) #fabulouslyfestive #fur #sweater #christmas #clevernest

I pinned the unsewn edge of the cuff to the top of my sock. The cuff has the fur facing in right now because after this step I folded it down.

I made sure the side seams of the cuff and stocking went together. This isn't technically necessary, but it calmed my OCD a bit during this do-it-and-see-what-happens stocking making process.
how to make custom stockings, the lazy way :) #fabulouslyfestive #fur #sweater #christmas #clevernest

It was a little tricky to sew this part on my sewing machine. When I was on my second stocking I realized it would have been easier to stuff the cuff inside the stocking so that the "right sides" of the black and white fabric are facing outward. If that doesn't make sense, just do what I did, and awkwardly flip the sock part out of the way as I sewed around the seam!
how to make custom stockings, the lazy way :) #fabulouslyfestive #fur #sweater #christmas #clevernest

Voila! Well, almost. I hand stitched a loop of fabric on the inside of the stocking to hang it.
Now, Voila! I give you, 4 custom, "totally my style" Christmas Stockings!
how to make custom stockings, the lazy way :) #fabulouslyfestive #fur #sweater #christmas #clevernest

Technically I didn't sew the white and green sweater stockings. I just used a seam ripper to remove the original cuffs and sew on my new ones in the coordinating fabrics. I decided to swap the cuff of the white sweater stocking onto my black one. I like the mixture of sheens and textures!
aqua, lime, white, silver #fabulouslyfestive #stockings #clevernest
Maybe that wasn't such a Meh approach after all. But for someone as OCD and anal as me, that was a huge step into the unknown. Thankfully I came out the victor, with 4 formless #fabulouslyfestive Christmas Blobs hanging proudly on my mantle!
aqua, lime, white, silver christmas #fabulouslyfestive #stockings #clevernest

aqua, lime, white, silver christmas #fabulouslyfestive #stockings #clevernest

aqua, lime, white, silver christmas #fabulouslyfestive #stockings #clevernest

how to make custom stockings the lazy way #clevernest #fabulously_festive #christmas_mantle
See what I'm saying about making my Christmas decor match with my everyday decor? Same color palette and style (the beige walls and couch kill me. I wish I could POOF them both away STAT, but $$ prevents! My hope is to at least switch out the rug ASAP for something more my style!)

Got any last minute Christmas crafts in the pipeline? Don't forget to check out Joann's Craft catalog for discount holiday supplies! Here's an exclusive Clever Nest offer from Joann's. 50% off any regular priced item. Happy holidays! :)


P.S. If you're wondering why there's four stockings up this year, that's because we're a family of 3, with another boy due in March! He will have a stocking that matches the rest for next Christmas:)
how to make custom stockings the lazy way #clevernest #fabulously_festive #christmas_mantle

This post is part of the Jo-Ann Stores Celebrate the Season Campaign. Joann provided the materials free of charge in exchange for my honest opinion. All information and opinions are purely my own! :)
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