Tag Archives: making it do

The Frugal Musician is in stitches



After I sold my first bags on ETSY.com for $20, I reinvested my $20 bucks and bought a great mid 70s Singer sewing machine for (tada!!!!) $20 bucks!

The machine came with the cabinet and it is immaculate condition and works perfectly. When I get back from vacation, I’m going to tackle the big bag of fabric scraps I got for free on craigslist.org and make gem bags, rune bags, tarot bags and wine bags.

Usually after vacation, I experience a bit of a let down. Hopefully, having this fun project to come home to will keep my spirits high upon my return.

I need lots of tips. Anything and everything will be appreciated!


The Frugal Musician’s glove



Last year, our first with a garden and a home of our own (did I mention the garden first….whoops) Boyfriend and I were in Lowes buying planting supplies. We’d bought several shovels and rakes at a local Goodwill, but we needed a hose and other assorted stuff for the yard. We saw garden gloves neatly displayed. I was shocked at the $15.00 price tag but Boyfriend insisted his farmerette have proper hand wear for gardening (and HE was buying!) so the above gloves were purchased. Yes they came in a pair (lol).

This year a hole appeared in the middle finger of the right glove. After mulling over the purchase of new gloves I decided to try and make a little repair myself. After all, it was only ONE TEAR in the right glove. The left glove was holding up nicely (I’m right handed…).

SO, I brought the glove in, got out a sturdy needle to go through the leather and made the repair. It worked great and saved me purchasing more garden gloves at the beginning of garden season.

Have you stitched anything up lately to make it last a little longer? It would be fun to hear about it!

The Frugal Musician says DARN IT




According to Wikipedia, “darning consists of anchoring the thread in the fabric on the edge of the hole and carrying it across the gap. It is then anchored on the other side, usually with a running stitch or two. If enough threads are criss-crossed over the hole, the hole will eventually be covered with a mass of thread.”

I darned several socks this weekend-they only had tiny holes. I also hemmed a pair of pants, patched a holey pocket in some jeans and sewed buttons back onto a favorite summer shirt.  I did it all by hand with no sewing machine.

I love mending things. I get a true sense of gratification and a big boost when I can make something last a little while longer.  My fav summer shirt is probably 8 years old but I totally dig it and have never seen another one like it. I consistantly make little repairs, sew up tiny holes and rips in the hem of this favorite garment.

My next sewing project is repairing my big, blanket-like Christian Dior winter robe. The hem is fraying and the pockets need work. 

Consider the economics of repairing instead of replacing. Ponder the ingenuity of the Depression generation whose motto was: Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.

The Frugal Musician makes a cardboard mailer



I use A LOT of big manila mailing envelopes. At least 50-75 packages go out from my office every month, bearing music to all parts of the globe. Typically a mailer contains a cd and perhaps some written info about a band (known as a press kit). Some bands enlist my consignment services, and that entails sending cds in cartons or boxes. I have never bought a shipping box because I can always recycle incoming mailers and boxes into outgoing mail recepticles.

I’ve watched the price of 100 manila envelopes soar at Staples. Last year, 100 manila clasp envelopes were less than $5.00. Now they’re over $7.00. I use Staples Rewards and get a decent rewards check quarterly (Staples is where I do my copying) so I can offset the cost. But last week, I ran out of mailers and the weather was miserable and I didn’t want to drive the 30 mile round trip to Staples and refused to pick up a three pack at the store for $2.00 to just get by. SO The Frugal Musician got creative and made mailers out of empty cereal boxes.  The boxes made a nice sturdy mailer, saved time and money and I was able to recycle. Here’s how I did it.

First flatten the box and cut off the sides. frugal-musician-017frugal-musician-018

Fold the box to form a pocket and staple the sides together. I added a little logo I made on the computer that says MOONSTRUCK RECYCLES and glued it to the top of the mailer.


Put in the contents of the package, fold the top over and tape. I also put tape around the outer edge of the mailer where the staples are so no one accidently slices a finger on a staple should it decide to work loose.  Then I add my return address sticker and a white label for the addressee. Then I may add some colorful stickers just to spice the whole thing up.


I hope recipients of my cardboard packages realize I truly do attempt to recycle nearly all paper products. I am reminded of all the years I’ve spent shipping plastic jewel cases and cds around the world and I cringe.  I’ve personally put a lot of plastic out there….

The Frugal Musician patches things up…


Last week, boyfriend discovered a rip near the pocket of his practically brand new jeans.  He asked about sewing the hole but the fabric had frayed just enough that sewing would not have repaired the problem. But patching…now that was the ticket. If you’ve never patched anything before, it is tremendously easy. When a fabric problem is bigger than a needle and thread can handle, try patching.

Here is the item that needed repair. You can see the fray at the pocket.


Here’s a quick how to:


You’ll need an iron, a pack of patches in the color of the item you’re repairing and a towel or ironing board. The pack of patches will have full instructions. I bought Bondex patches and the pack was maybe $1.50 and contained two 5×7 patches.


Turn item inside out. Set iron on cotton setting. Iron patch area until warm (I’ve found about 30 seconds works well).


Place the patch SHINY SIDE DOWN on the warmed area. Place iron on patch and press down firmly for 30 seconds while sliding iron across patch area.


Wait ten minutes and let the patch cool. You can still see the fray at the pocket but there is no longer a hole there! Since I discovered this little trick, I’ve patched shirts, jeans and jackets. Works great and it saves the item from being discarded or further damaged.

See www.wrights.com for more info on patching things up.