General ramblings, My Make Do and Mend Year

Birthday number 1

I posted yesterday about the fact that we celebrated not just one, but THREE birthdays in our family this weekend. And I thought you might like to know what we made for each of them.

So first off, it was SmallSmall’s “number 2” birthday (as BigSmall called it).

Being the second of two boys, he already has pretty much everything a Small boy could ever want or need, so I was really quite glad that we are in the middle of My Make Do and Mend Year and didn’t feel the need to go and buy yet more plastic stuff.

We were very kindly offerred a small trampoline by one of the mum’s at Pre-School, to which I said a very resounding YES!

It was duly delivered and was in need of a little TLC



So I set the Smalls to work…! (Yes, I did make SmallSmall ‘clean’ his very own birthday trampoline…)

Trampoline3I put the other bits in the washing machine and Hubby then hammerited the whole frame, and re-assembled it.

I think SmallSmall is pretty chuffed with the results…

Trampoline41My other favourite thrifty Make Do and Mend triumphant find was this


Bob the Builder Beanbag chair! Total cost 45p..!!

I found the fabric at the Scrapstore, and just thought they were ordinary beanbags. I got 2 for 90p 🙂

Once I filled it with beans that I got free from Freecycle (even more :)) I realised it was in fact a chair! How cool is that? I want one!

We also wrapped him up a new toothbrush-possibly the first and only time we will get away with this as a birthday present….

Of course, we musn’t forget the Gruffalo Cake…

gruffalo cake1

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  • Reply Hattie May 1, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    This is seriously inspiring. The question I get asked over and over again on my blog is “What are you going to do about kids’ birthdays? They’re soooo expensive!” Next time, I’m just going to wave people away and send them over here.

    • Reply Jen May 1, 2013 at 4:56 pm

      Yay! Just goes to show you don’t need to spend a fortune on the little blighters (and it’s much easier when they are small and have very little idea about birthdays…)

  • Reply suth2 April 27, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    Love your gruffalo cake.

    • Reply Jen April 28, 2013 at 9:20 am


  • Reply Hilary April 27, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    My teenage grandson had an iphone3 for Xmas, he knows it was preloved cos it was mine! I bought it new earphones and charger and a more teenage cover(mine was purple!) and he was the happiest boy alive! He’s a very sensible boy who had been saving up all his previous birthday and other money towards buying himself a preloved one. And it has the added benefit that he can text me more so it was a win win all round!

    • Reply Jen April 28, 2013 at 9:18 am

      That’s fab Hilary! I hope ours will appreciate pre-loved when they get bigger..

  • Reply nicola baird April 27, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    Of course you’ll get away with it with teenagers – vintage prom dresses; secondhand ponies/cars/musical instruments etc! And best of all they can tell you what they want and source it… hours of time spared from ebay trawling. Nicola

    • Reply Jen April 27, 2013 at 4:35 pm

      Ponies!! Glad that teenagers can be persauded to embrace ‘pre-loved’ things too 🙂

  • Reply Jo aka Kiwijo April 27, 2013 at 8:06 am

    Brilliant, well done you :o)

    • Reply Jen April 27, 2013 at 1:11 pm

      Thanks Jo!

  • Reply Stephanie April 27, 2013 at 6:01 am

    Great cake! Just found your blog, inspiring idea!

    • Reply Jen April 27, 2013 at 1:10 pm

      Thankyou so much. Hope you enjoy it 🙂

  • Reply Antonia April 26, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    Saying it was in need of a little tlc was a bit of an understatement Jen! So pleased you were able to make good use of it and I hope the boys enjoy a long summer bouncing away! X

    • Reply Jen April 26, 2013 at 8:53 pm

      Thankyou so much! They are very happy 🙂

  • Reply carla April 26, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    That cake looks brilliant!!!!!
    I guess it’s nice for the children to be young enough to not fully understand the concept of having a pre-loved present. I’m not sure pre teens and teens in this day and age would appreciate the same thought if they were not used to the idea that is ( which by being in the middle of your year they might have done but who knows!) :D.

    • Reply Jen April 26, 2013 at 7:32 pm

      I’m fairly sure we wouldn’t get away with it with teenagers Carla!

      • Reply sarah@everydaylifeonashoestring April 26, 2013 at 8:16 pm

        I say train them young – my youngest (10 tomorrow) has spent his whole life playing/wearing/living secondhand and asked for an Oxfam voucher to spend in our local Oxfam shop for his birthday…I don’t think they do that kind of voucher so I’m just about to make him a homemade one. I really hope his mindset continues into his teens! Great presents and cake Jen!

        • Reply Jen April 26, 2013 at 8:54 pm

          Sarah, that is so sweet. I hope my boys are the same and don’t end up rebelling and turning into massive consumers!Happy Birthday to your lovely boy. 10-now that really is big and grown up. Have a great day 🙂

  • Reply Hazel April 26, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    Brilliant! I loved the Gruffalo cake too 🙂

    And Father Christmas brings things like flannels in this house (obviously nicer ones than I would buy!) and youngest wanted Father Christmas to bring her a less babyish toothbrush last year so he did.

    • Reply Jen April 26, 2013 at 7:33 pm

      glad we are not the only ones who give our children toiletries at Christmas 😉

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