Five frugal things to celebrate VE Day

Picture of red flowery fabric, thread and bias binding to make bunting

Ready steady sew

I’m looking forward to a fun but frugal VE Day, despite lockdown.

In fact, I’m keen to celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day almost because of lockdown.

Normally we have hordes of friends over to stay for the first bank holiday weekend in May, but that’s all cancelled (sob).

So instead, we’ll be commemorating the end of the second World War in Europe here at home. I’m planning afternoon tea for our family, and will be decorating the front of the house.

Read on to discover how we’ll be celebrating a frugal VE Day!

Pinterest size image of materials for making bunting for a frugal VE Day


Picture of scones with jam and cream and our teapot

Remembrance of cream teas past

Making afternoon tea

Much as I loved my birthday afternoon tea from Tiptree, there’s no doubt that making your own costs less.

So I’ll be chucking together my own scones and cakes for a frugal VE Day. Luckily I remembered to add whipping cream to our most recent supermarket delivery. I also added bread to the milk delivery, to whip up trad cheese, ham and egg mayo sandwiches, and my daughter has asked for tuna and cucumber too.

Currently I’m intending to bake some tried-and-trusted family favourites: these fruit scones, lemon drizzle cake and best ever chocolate brownies. If you fancy making a Victoria sponge, this post has loads of tips. I figure if I can fend off the family for long enough, I can freeze some portions for next week.

Let’s hope the sunny weather stays long enough to eat outside!

Picture of jam jars decorated with bunting, poppy and forget-me-not pictures, for VE Day


Decorating jam jars

A while back, my daughter got into decorating stones after she found a beautiful moon and stars design on Felixstowe beach, so I bought her some fancy Posca pens (affiliate link) that draw on rock, metal and even glass.

The Posca pens have been brilliant for livening up jam jars to decorate the tea table on VE Day. I had a go at drawing bunting, poppy and forget-me-not designs. I’m a bit wary about using them as candle holders, with tea lights inside, but we’ll give it a whirl.  

Picture of cardboard bunting pattern pieces on the sleeve from a man's shirt

Making bunting from a shirt sleeve

Transforming shirts into bunting

I’ve been tempted to make bunting since my children first started having birthday parties, and finally carved out time during lockdown to dust off my sewing machine.

(To put this in perspective, my oldest is now 12).

I emailed the lady who runs the haberdashery shop down the road,  and was able to buy some bias binding tape and an off cut of red ditsy print material. Rather than splashing out on further fabric, I’ve been chopping up blue and white shirts. Don’t worry – my husband won’t be going topless. They were from the rag bag,  after being worn so much they frayed at the collar and cuffs. There’s actually loads of  material in men’s shirts. I’ve used them for lavender bags, pyjamas for toys and doll’s bedding in the past.

For the bunting, I printed off a free template and have been using cardboard from cereal packets as a cutting mat. I fancied sewing double sided bunting, but for an easy life you could just use pinking shears so the edges don’t fray.

Picture of the Union Jack flag we were given as a wedding present

Knew it would come in handy one day

Using what we have

I appreciate that not everyone has a goady right-wing friend who gives them a 6 foot by 3 foot Union Jack flag as a wedding present.

But we do, so I’ve dug it out to hang up during VE Day.

I’ve also unearthed twirly straws from past children’s parties and my stash of mismatched colourful crockery from charity shops. 

Colouring in some printables

Don’t fancy the faff of making fabric bunting? Put the kids to work, colouring in free printables to make paper bunting. Or do it yourself and call it mindfulness.

Hollie over at Thrifty Mum has Union Jack bunting and poppy versions and Lynn from Mrs Mummypenny has rounded up some printables and crafts.


Now – over to you. Are you doing anything to celebrate VE Day? What are your tips for a fun but frugal VE Day?

Do share in the comments, I’d love to hear!


Want more frugal inspiration?  Do head over and join the Much More With Less #MoneySavingYear Facebook group, to share thrifty tips and support. It’s a private group so your comments won’t be splashed all over your friends’ Facebook feeds.

I’m linking up with Cass, Emma and Becky in this week’s ‘Five fabulously frugal things I’ve done this week’ linky

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