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Have you ever shopped at Aldi? If there’s one in your area and you haven’t been, you need to go stat! Aldi has amazing prices, and a wonderful selection of store branded products, as well as a limited supply of names brand items. I’ve never had anything from Aldi that wasn’t delicious, and I can generally take care of most of my grocery list in one trip there.
Part of what allows Aldi to keep their prices so low is the fact that they don’t employee people to bag groceries or clear the lot of carts. Instead, they provide a long counter for you to bag your own groceries (bring your own disposable or reusable bags, or you can buy paper bags for a few cents each or reusable plastic bags for a little more). To keep the lot clear, they give you some motivation to bring back your own cart – you “rent” a cart for a quarter at the start of your trip. Just place your quarter into the slot of the little box chaining the front cart to the one behind it, and the chain will pop free and release your cart. When you’re done with the cart, wheel it back to the line of carts and plug the chain on the next cart into the back of the lock box on yours, and your quarter will pop back out.
I try to always have a quarter in my wallet when I go, but I’ve forgotten more than once. Aldi is actually happy to let you borrow a quarter from one of the cashiers if you forget yours, but then you have to go through all the hassle of going in first to ask, then returning it to the cashier after you retrieve it from the cart at the end. So I decided to make myself a little keyring specifically to hold my Aldi quarter, and I created a free cut file for my newsletter subscribers so you can make one too! AND you can feel free to use this cut file for commercial purposes!
When we had our church’s Ladies Tea last year, I cut Dollar Tree vinyl placemats into big circles to use as chargers for my place settings.
Because I hate to waste anything, I saved the parts of the placemats I cut away, and they were the perfect material to make my quarter holder! I haven’t tried other placemats, but these cut like a dream on my Silhouette Cameo.
I used the Coverstock setting in Silhouette Studio, but changed the passes to 4 instead of 2. I saved this as a custom cut setting, which is why it says Dollar Tree Placemat instead of Coverstock, but you can see that the Blade is 7, Speed is 1, Force is 33 and Passes is 4.
The width on this should be 4 inches, so make sure you have it sized appropriately before you cut! To get the files, just sign up for my newsletter right here, or you can do it over on the right where it says Get the Sawyer Ford Home Newsletter and Free Cut Files. You will get 3 files – a .png, a .jpg and a .svg. Because I am offering this for commercial use, I cannot include a .studio3 file, but both the .jpg and the .png should be easily traceable with basic Silhouette Studio, or you can open SVGs with Design Edition or higher, or with Cricut DesignStudio.
After you’ve cut out your placemat piece, fold it in half, wrong sides together. Slooooooowly stitch around the outside of the circle using a zigzag stitch on your sewing machine. I tried super hard to sew these using a straight stitch, but it always came out super wonky. The zigzag stitch worked perfectly though. Just make sure that the “outside” stitch goes just off the edge of the vinyl and it should look very neat. When you are done, you can use a little bit of stitch fix or even super glue to keep the ends of your thread from unraveling. Thread the strap loop onto a split key ring, and you’re ready to load up your quarter and add it to your keys! I made one for my mom, and she and all the ladies sitting near her at church had a fit over it!
These would make a fantastic craft booth item, which is why I wanted to offer the cut files for commercial use. You should be able to get about 20 pieces from the Dollar Tree placemats, which are 11.25×17, so for cost of $5 worth of placemats and a 100 pack of split key rings (Amazon has them currently very cheap, linked below), you can make 100 awesome items that you can price at $1 each and still make a good profit on them.
Alternately, they make awesome little gifts for your mom or your sister or your kid’s teacher, or your secret sister. And come Christmas, they make great stocking stuffers for the grocery shoppers in your life.
There are at least a couple of different placemat designs currently at Dollar Tree, and I’m going to pick up one of each to make more of these. Please do sign up for my newsletter and get the free cut file as well as a few other free personal use cut files!
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