Try some of these simple ways to make your shoes last longer and take a little pressure off of your wallet.
Buying new shoes can put a strain on your wallet, especially if you have a large family. There are several things you can do to make your shoes last longer and get better value for your hard earned dollars.
One of the most overlooked ways to save money on shoes is to purchase well-made, high quality shoes. You may be able to find shoes at lower prices at discount shoe stores and bargain department stores but they are likely to be made cheaply out of man made materials that seem to disintegrate with daily use. The money you save buying cheap shoes will be lost when you need to replace them more often. Purchasing shoes that are well made out of durable materials such as leather and suede may cost more but the shoes will last much longer.
One of the first areas to wear out on shoes is the sole. Shoe soles can be protected from wear in advance by gluing a layer of rubber onto the bottom of the shoe. This can be done by a shoe repair shop or on your own if you can obtain the rubber. Gluing rubber onto the sole of the shoe is an inexpensive preventative care method that can be repeated as the rubber wears down. Rubber will also give extra traction to your leather soled shoes in the winter. Dragging your feet when you walk will make short work of the soles of your shoes. Pay attention to the way you walk and be sure to pick your feet up with each step.
Using shoe inserts is another great way to prolong the life of your shoes. Shoe inserts can absorb odor and moisture and protect the inside of your shoes. When the shoe inserts get soiled you can simply replace them. If you are extremely thrifty you can even make your own shoe inserts out of cardboard or scrap cloth.
Storing your shoes with newspaper stuffed inside of them can keep your shoes from losing shape and also absorbs excess moisture.
Sneakers can be given a new lease on life with a bit of bleach. Most sneaker soil can be removed with a mixture of half bleach and half water and a soft cloth. Take off the shoe laces and toss them into the washing machine with some bleach and they will emerge as good as new. Any scuffs or scratches in your sneakers that you can't remove with bleach can be buffed away with a bit of white shoe polish.
If your shoes are leather or suede you can protect them from the elements with a protective spray or saddle soap. Periodically treating your shoes with one of these products will keep them from being stained and damaged by water, snow, and salt. Always wipe your shoes down when you come in from bad weather to keep moisture from settling into the surface of your shoes and to keep any salt from drying into a crust that is hard to remove.
Removing your shoes incorrectly can actually cause unnecessary wear and tear. Always unlace your shoes and remove them with your hands rather than kicking them off by pressing down on the backs of them with your opposite foot. While it may take a few extra seconds to remove your shoes, your toes and heels will get less abuse.
The way you sit and stand can wear away the toes of your shoes. Pay attention to the way you sit when you are at your desk or on the train. Do you cross your ankles and rest your toes on the ground? Do you sit with your toes bent under? Most of us do one of these things without even realizing it. Try to sit and stand with your feet flat on the ground at all times. Not only will this save wear and tear on the toes of your shoes but you will have better posture.
Unique, highly personalized wall decor ideas for the folk artist, sentimentalist, or shabby chic individual on a budget.
It might cost a few cents more than just keeping the unframed unique, highly personalized wall decor ideas posters you bought in college (or ugly "artwork" you've accumulated over the years), but it won't cost as much as gallery-approved "art," while looking every bit as impressive: start framing your life!
Almost everybody has a few collections of things that are cherished but unused: old school prize ribbons, favorite record albums, sets of postcards bought on a trip abroad. The idea here is simple: take them out of the drawers, and give them new life as framed, autobiographical wall decor.
Inspiration should come fairly quickly from your cedar chest or even the bottom of a filing cabinet. Great ideas we've seen include groupings of foreign items to commemorate a trip abroad - even a few candy bar wrappers can look good if they're foreign (or vintage), especially if they're highlighted with other items: postcards or currency from the same country, for example. This idea lends itself nicely to thoughtful decoration for children's rooms: a collage of clippings of the best parts of drawings and "A+" papers will be an inspiring display, while freeing up your fridge door space. More sophisticated "prints" can be obtained from a fancy stationery store; these days, there are lots of greeting cards and single-sheet gift wrap that really look as though they were intended to be framed in the first place. Deeper, "shadow box" frames can be used to store and show off your most cherished childhood book, or a collection of contemporary miniature books. Grouping miniature items together will give off a bit of a museum display effect, making for truly interesting decor.
Once you've got some ideas for things to frame, start shopping. Mass-market stores such as Target and IKEA are good sources for cheap frames. Keep an eye out for sales, and inexpensive unfinished wood frames that you can paint to highlight the objects you're going to frame. Consider a certain theme for any grouping you plan on making for various areas of your home: your 1950s albums, for example, would probably be well highlighted by frames from the same era, dug up at tag sales and flea markets.
If you're framing greeting cards or other items with value more decorative than sentimental, the framing can be done quite cheaply and simply. The only caution here is that you may want to take special care with more valuable items: if you have a paper matting in your frame, acid-free is best for archival purposes. (Try seeking out frames designed for diplomas and other permanent displays.) Scrutinize your lighting: the main enemy of your artwork is likely to be the sun. Almost anything will fade if it's left out in the sun for long enough, so don't put the cherished Elvis albums in your sunny breakfast nook.
Haven't found anything to frame? Go outside, or go back to kindergarten: those early "art" projects lend themselves very well to this: paint a frame the same color as a pressed flower, or go nuts with stamps cut from potatoes. Let either folk art or sentimentality or both be a guide if you're stuck for inspiration. Happy framing!
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