By Nancy Cavanaugh
Every parent knows that
the easiest way to save money on children's clothing is by
using the hand-me-down system. This is especially
you have kids or cousins a few years apart and the same gender,
gender doesn't always matter.
Being a sometime recipient
of hand-me-downs, I can remember how much I
disliked getting someone else's clothes. It was nice to have
something new to wear but it wasn't "new." Looking
back now I can see all kinds of ways those "gently used" items
could have been given an
inexpensive and easy makeover.
For boys, you can add a fun dinosaur or truck iron-on patch to
the back pocket or to the knees, which will
also serve to extend the life of the
For girls, you can add
patches on the back pocket or legs. You can trim
the pockets with ribbon or lace, or use decorative trim around
leg hem. You could add rhinestones or other beads to the back
The easiest way to jazz up a plain colored t-shirt or sweatshirt
is to add an iron-on or have the recipient decorate
it with fabric paints. You
can use a variety of techniques with the fabric paints, such
with sponge shapes, stenciling, a paintbrush, etc.
Tie-dye the shirts
Add ribbon, lace, ribbon
roses, buttons, small bows or beads to shirts for girls.
You can pretty much add anything to a hat: ribbons, bows, flowers, buttons, beads, lace, patches, etc.
While you can't do this
with every hand-me-down, you can let your
children pick a few things to give a makeover. It will give them
project to do and help make everyone happy with this money-saver.
Nancy Cavanaugh, is a stay-at-home
mom and avid crafter. You can find lots more fun crafts for kids,
ages three to seven, at her site: Kids Holiday Crafts www.kidsholidaycrafts.com