November 16, 2015

Ballin' on a Budget: Crafting for your Sorority Little

As many of my readers know, I'm one for the savings. I've been meaning to make this into a series for quite some time, so I figured I'd start where I know the most: my littles. Welcome to the first installment of the Ballin' on a Budget series.. aka my life motto as a college student!

I've mentioned this before, but I have two littles in my sorority, but I didn't take them at the same time, After getting my first perfect little, we did informal recruitment in the Spring and they needed bigs for the new members. My little was 100% ok with it (more okay than I was really), and we began the process of "dating". I knew my second little was the one for me when she accidentally liked a picture from my first little's Instagram from like 30 weeks back. I was like YAASSS SHE'S STALKING US SHE LOVES US!

Little #1 - Lia - just took a little of her own and she finally realized how big of a task it was preparing for her. If you don't pay attention, you can spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on your little, and while it is super tempting (because we love spoiling our precious babies), it's probably not the best idea for your wallet to blow hundreds of dollars that you may not have.

Because I've done this one twice, I figured I would share some tips to help some potential bigs with the crafting process.

// know your budget: 
The biggest thing is to be realistic when it comes to crafting for your little. Realistically assess how much you are willing and can afford to spend on your little - a lot of money isn't necessary for beautiful gifts for your little, so be honest with yourself and know what you can spend before you start the crafting process.

// don't try to compete: 
I know how tempting this can be, especially when your friends are also taking littles. We all want to spoil our perfect littles, but sometimes we can get caught up in trying to compete or match every little thing someone else is doing. Your little loves you for you, not for the gifts you buy her. So no, you don't need to buy her a designer bag or craft super crazy expensive elaborate crafts, just create something meaningful and spoil your little with love!

// buy in bulk or larger portions: 
When I was crafting, I made sure to buy larger tubes of acrylic paints that I knew I would use a lot of, like white, red and green (my sorority's colors), and black. Buying bigger packs of canvases, larger bottles of glitter and value packs of glue sticks and mod podge saved me a ton of money in the long run! Don't need all of this? Share supplies and split the cost with a friend or someone from your fam!

// ask your big for help: 
Big always knows best (don't tell my big I just said that..) and she can lend her expertise to you! Whether it be ideas, or bribing her to make some crafts for her new G-little (shout out to Tamar for making the cutest Lilly-inspired letters for my little!), your big will be there to help, and if all else fails, I'm sure she'll be by your side with a glass of wine cheering you on! Remember, she did this all for you last year, we know she's capable to do it again!

// buy dollar store versions: 
Scouring dollar stores is one of my favorite broke girl hacks when it comes to crafting. On a super strict budget? Skip Michael's and the real mason jars for similar-looking dollar store versions for only, you guessed it, a dollar! Need cute baskets to hold all your gifts? Check out your local dollar store!

// make a list: 
Make a list before you go supplies shopping! This seems like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised how easily it is to pick up random (and often unnecessary) things as you stroll through the aisles! Make a list of all the things you need and stick to it!

// search for sales: 
Joanne's, Michael's, Hobby Lobby and even Walmart constantly have sales on craft supplies. Many of these stores even have student discounts, so get a membership card and save yourself 10% on your order. Every penny counts! Plus, many Greek online shops have flash sales to save you money on lettered shirts, sweatpants and other sorority memorabilia.

Taking a little in a sorority is one of the best feelings and most important parts of being in a sorority. Through my two littles, I have found sisters, best friends and two of the most important people in my life (and my Snapchat best friends list.. #goals). Good luck crafting!

Need craft ideas? Try these Lilly-print wooden letters, and these gold glittered mason jars
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  1. I'm not in a sorority, but in high school, we had big/little for drill team. It definitely can get expensive with gifts for your little, but I totally agree that knowing your budget and finding the best deals can really help!

  2. I always used my coupons at Michael's and Hobby Lobby to minimize what I was spending on crafting which did save me quite a bit of money. I had twins though so that was definitely a lot more difficult since it was double the cost for everything.

    xoxo, Jenny || Breakfast at Lillys

  3. This is great!! Budgeting is always a good idea and I love the idea of getting your other sisters to help.

    Sara Kate Styling

  4. These are such wonderful tips!! Reading this made me slightly sad that I wasn't crafting this year for a little for grand little (but also happy because I remember the stress of last year to get everything done on time ;-) ). Hobby Lobby was my saving grace last year!!

    xoxo A

  5. genius post!! When I was crafting for big little I spent waaaaayyyyy too much!

    Nicole // Chronicling Home

  6. I always always make a list! Plus, I try and figure out what they actually need/want before making it for them!
    with southern grace,

  7. Buying gifts for your little can be SO expensive. These tips are great to help save!

  8. I need to share this with my coworker because she has been spending HUNDREDS on her little and now her new g-little!
    Lauren Ashley

  9. Seriously one of the biggest struggles! Love your advice!

  10. What great advice! Who doesn't love to save and I feel like getting crafty is so much more fun!

    xo Ashley

  11. I loved decorating and getting gifts for my little!

  12. I'm not in a sorority, but I have a few friends that talk to me about crafting for a little and I totally agree with searching the dollar store!

  13. I lucked out because I started working at Michaels right before taking a little! I saved sooo much money, and in turn was able to help her save money when she took a little! Buying in bulk is such a good point. My friends and I would buy those massive packs of canvases and split them between us.

    XO, SS || Seersucker Sass

  14. I never was in a sorority but always envied the bonds sisters form!

  15. I've always wondered ways around expensive sorority life. This post answered a lot of those wonders! x Nicole |

  16. Love that you mentioned crafting out of the dollar store for you little - I swear by it for all my craft projects (and who really knows where that mason jar comes from?) Thanks for sharing these great tips!

    Pick Your Beau

  17. I'll be using some of these ideas over the holidays for sure! These would make great gifts for any friend!

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