Hi! I saw the other gals are introducing themselves, so I thought I would, too, even though y'all have seen me around for a while.
I am the DHM, DeputyHeadmistress, and my regular blog is The Common Room, where sometimes other family members join me as well- when I can twist their arms.=) We blog about just about everything, including, but not limited to, frugalities.
Bed risers are hard plastic flat-topped dome shaped devices, about six inches tall, that you put under the legs of a bed in order to gain more storage space beneath the bed.
When we moved into our new house about three years ago, or thereabouts, we had some, but discovered we needed others. The small twin bed in our craft room is uncommonly low, and we wished to raise it both for the comfort of any guests and because the under the bed storage totes for crafts did not actually fit under this bed.
We did once pick up two official, genuine, intended for this purpose, sets of bed-risers in the clearance section of that discount store people love to hate. They were marked down so much that we couldn't have used blocks of wood or bricks for any less, so we bought them. They were already in use, however, in the bedrooms of the small-fry, so their bins of dress-up clothes and blocks could slide beneath their beds.
We have a friend who uses bricks, and they work quite nicely, although they do hurt if you stub your toes on them. You can cover the bricks with felt, foam, or other cushioning. But we didn't have any bricks and when I get a bee in my bonnet, it's a bee with an extreme need for instant gratification. I wanted the bed up N.O.W.- not the next time we mad a run into town and remembered to get the bricks while we are actually in town and not on the way home when we slap our heads and say, "oh, I meant to get bricks, maybe next time we go into town...." We thought about blocks of wood, but we only had three that would work, and we needed four, of course.
Then Jenny-Any-Dots had a stroke of genius. We had <em>quart sized paint cans</em> from all the painting and decorating we did before moving in! For some reason, they'd been left in a corner of the garage instead of being thrown out. There were four of them. One of them was still about 1/3 full of paint, so we put that one beneath the most accessable bed leg. Should we ever want to touch up the trim with that paint color, we'll just move it out temporarily. Jenny even made them look pretty with some scraps of cloth and ribbon in just a matter of minutes.
It took more than few minutes for us to sort through the crafts that were going under the bed, but that's done, too. To make them even sturdier (although ours are still going strong, three years later), you could fill them with sand.
Paint can bed risers is a good example of what's in my hand frugality. You start with an idea of what you want- I wanted bed-risers. Then you think about the purpose and function your item will be filling, and the size, and shape of the item you want, and start thinking by analogy- what other items have a similar shape? What other items could fulfill the same purpose?
In our older house, Jenny's bed fit in a nook in the wall that was exactly the size of a twin sized mattress. It was not the size of a mattress with frame. Storage space was even more limited there. So we needed something to support her mattress and raise it above the floor as well as provide more storage space- so got a set of sturdy metal and plastic milk crates (my husband works at a grocery store, so we could get them easily) and put her mattress on those. Had they been available, our five gallon buckets, four -six of them , covered by a board and then her mattress would have worked. Or we might have tried a couple of used coffee tables or end tables, side by side, topped by a board, and then her mattress. We might have used end tables with cupboards in them, and had some extra under the bed drawers for clothing.
It takes a bit of creative thinking, and lots of us think we're not creative. But what I've found is that the more you practice thinking this way, the more creative you become.