Wednesday, July 11, 2012

DIY Dream Jars

I've talked about dream jars *several* times in different posts as a way of saving money for something you want.
Originally I saw a really cute dream bank that my former sister-in-law had pinned for us. We had planned on going to France together someday and it was a bank themed around that. Basically it was a shadow box with a picture of France inside. It was a nice visual to remind you of exactly what you're saving for *every time* you pop a penny in.
You can see a picture of that with a link below to purchase.
Then when I was searching Etsy for the first dream bank I had seen (yeah... it's not on Etsy), these little painted pigs were the only ones that came up. I thought they were cute, too, so I used that for my dream bank example again when writing last week's series about Living on Less.
While they *are* cute, it seems like I'm talking out of both sides of my mouth when writing a series about saving money and then advertising a $39 piggy bank.
Soo... let's talk about how to make them yourself.
Three styles:

1) The shadow box. (purchase here Shadow Box version) This is easily made. I saw these shadow boxes in the unfinished wood section at Michael's for $10. You can buy one with a coupon (for half off!), paint it however you like and stick in a picture of whatever your dream is that you're saving for (lessons, vacation, instrument ... whatever). Use a little saw to make a slit in the top to deposit money- though I feel like the ones at Michael's already had a slit.
2) The piggy bank. This was so easy. I was really distressed about what to use to paint the plain white porcelain pig I got from Michael's (for $3.99- without a coupon!). I didn't want to buy expensive paint just for porcelain. And then there was a breakthrough thanks to a recent manicure... nail polish! It worked really well. If I did it again- I'd dump a bit on to a plate and use a paint brush to apply it for better control. I just went straight from the bottle. The best part was that when I disliked the "love" design I put on back, I just swiped it off with remover! However, I tried that on the front after deciding to give "Europe" another go and took off some of the glaze. I think once the polish is dry you're stuck with your design.
In the second to last picture (Paris, France) I just used vinyl stickers I had in my collection to adorn it. You can also make a stencil from contact paper to use with the nail polish if you want a cleaner look/shapes. The final picture was my second attempt at lettering, which I didn't like as much as the first. But oh well!

(3) Jars. Are you really serious about saving every little penny? Then just use the nail polish or whatever paint you have at home to decorate an old jam/peanut butter/pickle/whatever jar. Done. Easy. Get that dream, baby.

Start saving! Change, dollars, whatever you throw in will add up fast. Before you know it, you will be enjoying your dream. Ours really is for going to Europe. One of my dearest, oldest friends is getting married in Poland this fall and to miss it would be a shame. She is one of the most virtuous and lovely women I have even known and I miss her. We'd like to go and visit my friends in Germany and Austria as well. I haven't been back since we got married- so John and I have never gone together, I did go twice while we were dating but not since. Two of my good friends from abroad came to our wedding, so John got to meet them, but it will be an incredible experience for him to meet my German family + see my "home town" and just to live it all together. Very excited.
But before you break into my home looking for my dream stash (jerk.), just know that we're making regular deposits into a saving account. So there isn't much and it isn't work your time. ;) All the best and good luck saving! As always, thanks for reading!

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