Saturday, January 1, 2011

Waldorf can be budget friendly!

What a year we are looking towards!!
The finishing touches are being made on our Waldorf Inspired Playschool....
Operating this small group will be so very helpful in funding my waldorf early childhood teacher training.
I can hardly believe that this dream is becoming a reality...
Especially since I never, ever thought we could afford to furnish such a space..
a space that would be filled with beautiful handmade items from so many different people..
All of this seemed so out of reach a few months ago..
but I can attest...where there's a will...there is always a way!!
I am not one to focus on concrete items...the energy of our space will be the most important aspect. However, there were some core items I felt we should have...dolls to love, a wood playkitchen, a beautiful snack table, a carefully selected assortment of natural and handmade toys...
Everything else would be details that would arrive to us eventually...if it was meant to happen.
I'd love to share some advice that I've found to be helpful with you, dear friends...
#1. Look second hand..
you never know what is hiding in thrift stores, yard sales, estate sales..turn over every rock! Much awaits!
#2. Try Ebay!
I have found so many beautiful items on ebay for excellent prices...
I've also sold over $400 worth of things that were just laying around my house!
Dvds, clothing, baby items (cloth diapers, etc.), handbags, and electronics have sold very well and has helped us declutter.
Navigating through Ebay is basically easy. Don't be intimidated!
#3. Make connections and network
Become friendly with your local beekeepers for beeswax and other supplies..
Get to know your local sheep farmer..
Become involved in your Waldorf never know who you will meet...perhaps they are looking to sell or give away gently used items...
#4. Believe in the kindness of strangers..
I recently met the most generous woman and doll vendor at a Waldorf Holiday Craft Bazaar.
Fate was on my side that day, and I won a beautiful gift basket full of Kathe Kruse dolls. W loves them; offering them kisses every chance he gets...
Last weekend, she called me to see if I was interested in some items she wasn't selling in her Ebay store any longer...she offered them to our playschool for free.
Generous might be an understatement...
If you're looking for beautiful dolls at very reasonable prices, check out her ebay store, Inspired by Waldorfs....tell her I sent you over; she may give you a discount!
I know I've mused about this before, but joining the Yahoo group Waldorf curriculum supplies was so very helpful...I have been able to find many Waldorf supplies at fantastic and generous prices...
the Wynstone series...a second hand steal at $45.00!
a large tin full of used stockmar
#5. Repurpose and rethink...
Much of the time, there are already treasures around the home (or found very cheap) that can be turned into something wonderful with a bit of creative thinking...
our repurposed festivity tier
(originally it was a candle holder)
rethinking playstands (not in our budget at the time!)
silks + 2 chairs + clothespins....
The postcards above were not purchased. I cut them out of magazines, brochures for Waldorf schools, etc. and glued them onto cardstock. Free and lovely!!
The shelf is also repurposed!
#6. Believe in Yourself!
Oh, it sounds a bit cliche, but it's so true! You have the power and creativity to live the life you've imagined! Nothing is out of reach! The power of the will is a force unparalleled....tap into it!
Make 2011 your year to use your creativity to the fullest!


  1. Rebecca, I have been so inspired by this post! I sometimes feel down because financial constraints keep me from fully expressing my desire for natural, beautiful items in our home. Thank you for your example.

  2. oooh! beautiful and so inspiring! i hope you get to share some pictures of the little ones who will be in your loving care. you've done an amazing job and thank you for these wonderful tips on bringing waldorf into your home on a budget. i will be looking into a lot of the things you mentioned!

  3. This is such an inspirational post. You are so positive, and I believe that is a big part of why this dream of yours has come together so well. The playroom is beautiful. Happy New Year!

  4. What wonderful ideas! I often wonder how we can add Waldorf things to our space for less money. You've put together a wonderful list of ways!

  5. What a lovely post! Wonderful! Your playroom is really beautiful! Cheers, Barbara

  6. What a lovely space you have created. The children who will be there are lucky indeed.

  7. That is truly a lovely space that you've created! I love that you shared a list of how you found items frugally :). I always felt that things that are second hand always carry the magic of the people before them. Ordering things straight out of the Nova Natural catalog is easy (and fun!), but I think there's an extra special pleasure in finding things in unexpected places!

    Happy New Year!

  8. I am so happy for you. Yes, if you want it, you can make it happen. Funny how our possessions can change purpose when seen through new eyes.

  9. So so true. We did it with no budget at all. We have had donations from so many pplaces. A tiny article in our local paper prompted a woman to donate lots of waldorf toys her children had grown out of. A Steiner school in the sounth of the county donated their old charis, and with a bit of tlc we nursed them back to full health. We have even recently been given the use of a beautiful 'barn' with wooden floors and a wood burner, to hold our group in, for free! We are now well on our fundraising way to opening a kindergaten. Have a look

  10. I LOVE this post. So inspirational and motivational for the new year. I've always been intimidated by ebay. I normally sell on craigslist or give away, but I'd like to try it. Thanks for the ideas & Happy New Year!!!

  11. Its wonderful to hear that your dream is becoming a reality. The playroom looks beautiful. It's very inspiring to hear the varied ways in which you acquired the necessary supplies. I'm sure you'll have many wonderful, special moments there.

  12. yay! that is so inspiring that you were able to manifest so many resources for your space!! i love the synchronicity that flows into our lives when we really put it out there and use things like thrifting, networking, exchange and belief in good luck. congrats lovely!

  13. So inspiring! I love that you put your mind to it and made your dream come true by being creative and stretching. That reminds me that I can do that too! Your school is wonderful. The children will be well-loved and learned. You have such a talent!! Congrats and all the best!

  14. Beautiful post, and very well put. You have inspired me to get online and get selling on ebay and Craigslist. We have so much that we would love to declutter :)

  15. Back again...I hadn't realized that you were putting together this "playschool." Can you point me to earlier blog posts where you discuss this? I'm a fairly new reader, and I must have missed the earlier discussion of your amazing project!

  16. Your space is gorgeous and I can feel the positive energy through the screen!

    I agree that handmade, beautiful objects and playthings do not need to break the bank. In fact, I think Steiner intended for beautiful, natural things to be easy to obtain as they are what fill our world already.

    Way to go! It has been magical watching this dream of yours come into reality.

  17. Congratulations, Rebecca! How wonderful to see your dreams come to fruition! *hugs*

  18. Congratulations on this beautiful space for those lucky children! I agree with you so much and am always trying to explain to people that Waldorf toys and supplies don't have to be expensive. Really. I have found amazing stuff at garage sales and thrift stores, you never know! And, I don't think buying every single toy in all the beautiful boutiques (online or otherwise) is really that much in keeping with the Waldorf philosophy anyway. Less is more and this really does include wooden and beautiful toys!!! Plus, something special, be it previously loved, handmade or just something picked up on a walk in nature, is so often better than anything in a catalog and I believe children can sense the energy of things like that!

    Also, I you probably know this , but for what it's worth and for others' information, Dharma trading has white, un-dyed silks for like $4 or something. Its then very easy and fun to dye them yourself with natural materials or even kool-aid!

  19. what a lovely, welcoming little space... the children and parents will be sooo grateful for it. I have been doing at home care for nearly 6 years now - and i love it... i am sure you will too...
    That's what i love about Waldorf that the environments are sooo nurturing and can be very affordable to accomplish when you get creative.. all of the items that have been created and searched out with love and dilegence hold such a positive energy for your space and the children that use them... good for you! Don't you just love the idea of creating such a unique place for children to gather?
    light and peace to you ...

  20. such great ideas! thank you for sharing them.

  21. Congratulations on creating such a beautiful space, and thanks for all the great advice! I don't know if you guys do any woodworking, but Jonny built our playstands years ago from inexpensive pine, and we finished them with linseed oil. They are very inexpensive to make and not too complicated.

  22. Dear Rebecca, How wonderful that your dreams are coming true for you. Your little play area I'm sure looks very magical to the child's eye. The things my children use the most in their creative play are the large pieces of drift wood we found along the beach and in our creeks, clothes and play silks for forts. I have the waldorf tower but they never used it. They also have a stove and have hardly used it, they prefer the real thing and if not they build little boxes of cardboard and make their own. They are so very creative, their play throughout the day consists of their own little drama acts between them and their teddies, it's really amazing what they come up with. Who needs drama classes?
    Not sure if you received my reply from the comment you left at my blog, about my little barefoot babies,, they hardly wear shoes (we can never find them). they are comfortable that way, not to mentioned their mud stained clothes. Good luck with your little venture Rebecca! Your little one is so beautiful, his face shows much love and happiness.

  23. I love you post.
    It is so easy to find things in store, but second hand items, have a magic that you cannot capture in something you can find everywhere.
    Love the space you putted together! and congratulations in being able to create that!

  24. I like your ideas. They are very interesting :)


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