DIY: Wrapped Phone Charger Cable

23 Apr

DIY: Wrapped Phone Charger Cable // using embroidery floss

My iPhone charger has been in sorry shape for months now. Part of the cable’s plastic casing split open and you could see the electrical cables underneath. Instead of buying a new cord, I just taped it up with duct tape, which eventually frayed and came loose. It was a sorry situation.

Broken iPhone charging cable

I didn’t want to live with my gross cable anymore, and I didn’t feel like buying a new one for $20. Since the charger still works, I just needed a cosmetic upgrade.

Fixing split cable with electrical tape

First, I cut off the old duct tape. It’s obviously not the best material for the job. I covered the split cable with black electrical tape, which only took a minute and looks so much better. But I didn’t want to end there. I was set on a complete overhaul of the charging cable.

I settled on covering the cord with embroidery floss, similar to a friendship bracelet. I picked a couple different shades of pink and blue. Ultimately I used somewhere between 2-3 skeins of embroidery floss in total, between four colors, to cover my entire cable.

I did a simple Chinese Staircase knot along the entire length of the cable. Here’s a basic image of how to do that knot.

wrapping embroidery floss over stray threads

When switching colors, I made sure to knot my new color on top of the extra threads for a bit. This hides the thread ends and makes the design extra stable.

Embroidery floss wrapped cable

Covering the entire cable did take a bit of time, but it goes quickly when listening to music or watching TV.

DIY: Wrapped Phone Charger Cable // a DIY for an iPhone charger

Ultimately my phone charger cable looks so much more fun. It certainly doesn’t look ratty and falling apart anymore.

DIY: Wrapped Phone Charger Cable

Plus, I’ll never get it mixed up with anyone else’s.

Perfume Power | A Special Wedding Day Scent

21 Apr

I don’t wear perfume daily, but I love to experiment with scent now and again to try a new smell. There’s something very glamorous to me about having a signature scent that you’re known for. Plus, scent brings back so many memories. There are a few perfumes that always remind me of my Mom every time I smell them, even after being away from home for so long.

Perfume Power | A Special Wedding Day Scent -- your sense of smell will bring back the memories!

Years ago I heard the suggestion that you have a new, special perfume that you wear just on your wedding and for other wedding-related events (like a bridal shower). That way you’ll have a scent attached to your wedding and smelling it will bring back all those positive memories. And it’s not just some crazy wedding suggestion, there is a lot of science behind smell and memory.

Rollerball perfumes: See by Chloe  and Coach Poppy and Poppy Blossom

Regardless of whether a new perfume will help me remember details of my wedding, I was interested in trying out a new scent. I ultimately picked up a few different perfumes. I bought a combo of Coach Poppy and Coach Poppy Blossom, which are both bright floral scents.

I think, though, that the other perfume I purchased, See by Chloé, will be my bridal scent. It has floral notes, but is a more subdued, earthy/musky scent. It’s very well balanced and will be perfect for a low-key day and a preppy-meets-bohemian look. (I might be losing my wedding marbles based upon that description)

New scents can be ridiculously expensive, so I usually purchase the smallest size, a rollerball. Although it doesn’t look as fancy on my dresser, it’s so much cheaper and it’s always been enough for me. If it turns out I’ve found my signature scent, I can always get a larger size later.

A wedding day scent: See by Chloe

I’d be curious if anyone else has done this and purchased a special wedding fragrance and if the memories flood back every time you smell it.

But even if the memories don’t all come rushing back, I’ll still smell nice for my wedding day.

Help Shape The Thrifty Ginger’s Future! | A survey

18 Apr

The Thrifty Ginger is at a point of growth. With help from my very own in-house tech guy, the site will have a new look in the next few weeks (thanks, George!). But in addition to giving the blog a facelift, I also want to make sure the content is up to snuff. That’s where you come in.

Deciding on the future of The Thrifty Ginger

I’m looking for some feedback on what I’m doing well, what I could improve, and what you would like to see in the future on The Thrifty Ginger.

Please take this short (four question) survey to let me know what you’d like to see on The Thrifty Ginger in the future.

This blog is very much a personal project that began as ‘just for me,’ but I’m looking to grow and expand my reach. Seeing that people are out there searching for, reading, and responding to my content is what drives me. Thank you so much for being a reader. Your opinion is important to me, and I hope you stick around to see all the changes and new stuff coming soon!

With love,
Lauren

Gold Dipped Vases

16 Apr

DIY Gold dipped vases -- for weddings or parties

The themes, colors, and “look” of our wedding have been evolving over time. And, honestly, a lot of that is still changing. One color we have decided to include is gold.

Our centerpieces are already designed (and I can’t wait to share them after the wedding!), but we needed other ways to put bunches of flowers around the reception. We’ll have a bar, high tops for cocktail hour, etc, and needed something to jazz those tables up. Open flames are out, so vases with flowers are in.

Second hand glass vases to transform

We started gathering some glass bud vases from second hand stores and have a growing collection. I like having something simple and easy that doesn’t require a huge investment in greenery. However, I was a little worried that these plain vases would look too cheap and too plain. So I painted them gold!

I didn’t want each vase to be entirely covered, so I opted for a dipped, half-painted look. First I used FrogTape (nice painter’s tape) along the lower portion of each vase, anywhere from about one inch from the bottom to four inches up. I painted the bottom portion of my vases, but you could paint the top half instead.

Wrapped glass for spray painting half -- a dipped look

After you have a tape line where you want your paint to go, you’ll need to cover the rest of the vase. I used plastic bags cut in half over the top and secured them with a little more tape. Just make sure there’s no open spots for spray paint to get in.

Once I was certain my lines were right and the rest of the glass was covered, I took my vases outside to spray paint. Since I wasn’t coating the whole object, it was really easy to hold the covered part of the vase while I sprayed on the gold paint. I set each piece upside-down to dry and waited a couple hours. I found that one coat of paint was enough coverage for me.

After the gold paint was set, I carefully peeled off the tape and removed the plastic bags. On one of the vases, the paint had run down a little bit. To clean it up, I used an exacto blade and scratched off the uneven paint.

Gold dipped milk jugs - a DIY paint job

Gold bud vases -- dipped gold color

These vases were so easy and I think they look great.

Collection of half gold painted vases

I can’t wait to see them sprinkled about and filled with flowers at the wedding.

How I can afford to travel

14 Apr

About a month ago one of my friends asked me “how do you manage to travel so much?” At the time I didn’t really know how to answer except to say that traveling is important to me. Often I wish I could visit more locations, but, in all honesty, I do a lot of touring around.

How I can afford to travel // Tips from The Thrifty Ginger

Last year we visited Cape Cod, California, Washington DC, New York’s Finger Lakes (about 3 times), Boston, Rhode Island, and other random destinations. This year we already have trips planned for Italy and Mexico! Our destinations are getting a little more exotic now that we have a bit more income, but we’ve always managed to make travel happen.

Manage your budget
By far the best way to travel (or accomplish any money-centric goals) is to have a good budget. The assumption here is that you can adjust your income and expenses to at least break even every month. Check out my tips for creating a monthly budget and then pop back over here. By setting up a workable budget, you can save every month for vacations. That way you don’t need to cough up all of the cash at once, but can spread out the expenses over time. Ultimately you have to do what’s best for you and your budget might limit how extravagant your trips are. You might need to stick to New York City instead of Milan.

How I afford to travel -- save money on booking vacations

Make it a priority
This may seem obvious, but it’s something I learned a few years ago. Absolutely everyone has at least one category of items that they spend money on. Sometimes it’s clothes, or eating out, or fancy cars. And that’s fine. But most people can’t have it all. Something has got to give in order to pay for what you want.

Our wedding and honeymoon is the perfect example of this. One of the reasons we are having a more low-key and less expensive wedding is so that we have money to go on an amazing Italian honeymoon. It can be tough to keep the wedding on budget while seeing other people with more glamorous events, but I’m sure going to love our 2 weeks in Italy.

Think creatively
A lot of travel can be had if you just think creatively about booking. This past year we were tighter on cash so we mostly traveled to places we could drive to. That saved us loads of money on flights.

I also book lodging that’s as cheap as I can find. I love Hotwire, a service where you “blindly” book hotels, based upon neighborhood, and you find out the specific location after you’ve paid. We also love Airbnb, which is a service that hooks you up with individuals looking to rent their house, apartment, or rooms. Our upcoming Mexico trip was booked entirely based upon an Airbnb listing of this amazing little house with its own kitchen, patio, and private pool. And it’s under $100 a night! For a private yard with it’s own pool! This place is also so inexpensive because it’s outside of the top tourist towns in Mexico. I’m sure the same house in a popular destination like Key West or Hawaii would be a lot more money. We opted to book a little bit off the beaten path to get an amazing place in an interesting town after we found an equally amazing airfare deal.

There’s a lot of choice beyond the traditional hotel route if you do some creative searching and consider new and different destinations.

Affording vacations on a limited budget -- a how-to

Find those deals
There are so many resources online for getting cheap travel alerts. I recently started following a lot of travel blogs, especially those aimed at using airline points systems. I’m still wrapping my head around that aspect, but sites like Travelzoo and FlyerTalk are perfect spots for scoping out good deals. I also have signed up for low fare flight alerts on Airfare Watch Dog, which can be configured specifically for your home airport. Just keep your eyes peeled and be ready to jump on awesome offers.

Have a plan and have fun!
I find it’s easiest to save for travel when I have a destination in mind. This is a useful motivation tool and can help you figure out how much you need to save. Even though this year is pretty busy with getting married and two big trips, I’m already thinking of another amazing vacation (Bali, anyone?). Since it probably won’t happen for another 10+ months, we have time to watch for cheap airfare, do some research, and save up the necessary funds.

Hopefully one day I’ll be even more of a globe trotter, but for now I’m just living my dream one destination at a time.

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