Frugal Fun: Zero Waste, Minimalist Toy Frog Tutorial


Can you hear this sweet frog singing? Oh, the fun and joy this little frugal project has brought to my high-intensity household of six children! I never knew when I started cutting up worn-out pants into shorts that my frugality would bring such fun as making frogs.

If you stopped by our little log home on any given day, you may see one of these frogs peeking out of a couch cushion. Or you may see a little blonde boy carrying it with its pocket filled with rocks or small cars.  We don't have many toys around since I gave most of them away. However, these homemade frogs are a family favorite. 

The irony of this fun project is that I'm terrible at sewing. I give myself barely a passing grade. I know enough to be dangerous, not enough to be good at sewing. However, my boys look forward to Christmas when we secretly work on frogs for the younger siblings late into the night. Whispering and laughing with my 11-year-old boy is a precious treasure to my soul. This year, he told me "Mom, this is my favorite part of Christmas!" After a long day, that was healing balm to this momma of six. 

The instructions for this project are easy, I promise. Remember my sewing skills are below average. 

1. Cut off boys pants after they have shredded them beyond being patched. Cut the fabric so it's open and wide. You can also use old sheets or shirts like I did here. I cut out the pocket of my own pants for this particular frog. 

2. Draw freehand a pattern of a frog onto the pants legs or largest part of the fabric. Cut only once a doubled piece of fabric so you have both the front and back of the frog. 

3. Make silly jokes with your child about frogs singing and coming to life (this is a vital step, not to be skipped). 

4. Sew the pocket on what will be the outside of the frog. Turn the fabric so that it is inside out and sew around the edges leaving the bottom open for stuffing.

5. Turn the frog right-side out and stuff with whatever kind of stuffing you have. I used bulk raw cotton that was "seconds" online. I also have used old couch cushion stuffing or shredded t-shirts. Basically, anything can be stuffing if you cut it up small enough. 

6. Stuff the frog and use a knitting needle to evenly distribute the stuffing. 


7. Sew up the bottom of the frog securely. 

8. Name the frog and sing a frog-song.

9. Give your sweet frog to your precious child.

10. Talk about using what you have in new and creative ways. Share your heart for being a good steward of natural resources to protect real frogs and their habitat.  Hug the child and frog close to your heart and ignore the muddy face and crooked stitching.

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This moment is precious.

Giving doesn't need to cost money.

Gifts of time and experience and stewardship principles are precious.


Blessings for your sweet family,


Our reason....our story

Moments create our lives. Our reason and our story has multiple beginnings. Perhaps it began with trying to live on a youth pastor's salary and keeping everything, "just in case." Maybe it was the weight of our grandparents' passing away and all their stuff being poured into our basement. Probably it came with a deep conviction.

People are more important than stuff.


We knew we needed change. And as all good and permanent change began slowly. Slowly, painfully, I began with the support of my husband (as long as I didn't touch his stuff), to peel back layers of years and in heartache. In short, we ended up giving 2/3rds of everything we owned away.

In the last 6 years, we have donated over 550+ huge bags, pieces of furniture, and stuff to charity (doesn't count other items shared to friends and family).

We also are about to have baby #6. With children, we thought it would be difficult to find peace and minimalism. How wrong we were! Actually children thrive in a less cluttered home. And not only thrive, but help create minimalism. More than we ever realized. Sometimes in humorous ways. Sometimes in extremely hard ways. Always good and always moving us forward.

This is our story, with our reasons, but as you hear in these pages and images the laughter and often deep struggle, may you find courage. A path. One more step forward. For your family, for your season. Create for yourself the kind of life you want using all that we have learned along the way. Welcome to our journey and yours.

We know that you will find the life you want to CREATE is just beyond all that is let go along the way.

~ Blessings,