Boden & Mini Boden Sample Sale Review (Boston)

Friday, August 24, 2012

This is a review of the Boden & Mini Boden clearance sale at the Hynes convention center, Boston – August 18, 2012. If you'd like to see the schedule for Boden sales both in Boston and Pennsylvania, please see my website here and like my facebook page here. I will post $5 off coupons for the sales on my facebook page (at least for the Boston sales)

I arrived at the Hynes at about 8:45 and I had already made my first mistake - parking in the Prudential Center. I ended up paying $36 for parking - painful. At the last sale I had parked on the street and gotten a ticket, not good either. The bottom line on parking is - if you are sure you'll be there less than 5 hours, you can park in the Pru & get your ticket validated - you'll get a decent rate. But stay more than 5 hours and you'll pay the regular rates. Think you'll be there 4 hours at most? You might be surprised. I spent an hour and twenty minutes in line to get in and a whopping 2 hours and 20 minutes in line to pay! But I can honestly say, it was totally worth it.

The wait to get in was actually pleasant. Most people there are very happy and excited to shop. I brought a book and got some reading done too. Everyone sat while we waited. There were at least several hundred people in line by 10, and they let us in in groups of 50. 3 groups were let in ahead of me - meaning that by 8:45 there were already over 150 people in line. People showed up to wait as early as 5:30 am. If you do show up that early, DO NOT wait outside the Hynes on the street! The people inside the Hynes (who got in through the hotel) apparently were let in first.

8:45 seemed to be the perfect time to arrive. I was let into the sale within 5 to 7 minutes of the start. I was told by workers that at the last sale (February 2012) there was one truckload of merchandise - at this sale there were two. Twice as much great stuff!! My main priority was buying a lot of great clothing for my two boys. I was looking for sizes 4 to 8. My second priority was to get a couple of nice fall things for myself and I accomplished both my goals. At the kids' tables it was mayhem. Women grabbing lots of clothing and stuffing into bags. I filled my bag and then headed to the women's area.

After an hour or so of shopping I sat down to examine my haul. By that point there were huge "discard piles" accumulating on the floor. Everyone was going through their things deciding what they did or did not want. I went through my items and added several to the discard pile. Then I walked around looking for women sorting through boys' items. I went through their discard piles - I ended up getting about half my purchases from the discards rather than from the sales tables. There were thousands upon thousands of items so the whole thing felt like an enormous treasure hunt.

(below, the line to get in about half an hour before the sale opened)

A lot of people have asked me about what the prices are like - for the categories I looked at (women's and boy's) prices seemed to be about 70 to 80% off full retail. Some sample items:
Boys lined pants: $10 (retail $46) 
Boys long-sleeve applique shirt: $10 (retail $28)
Women's heavy wool sweater dress $30 (retail $188)
Women's jersey dress $20 (retail $128)
Women's super heavy wool socks $5 a pair (retail $36 a pair)
Women's high leather boots $50 (retail $268)

Get my tips for shopping at upcoming Boden sample sales, plus find out when/where they'll happen here!

Last but not least, if you want MORE discounted Boden and Mini Boden and you don't feel like leaving your house, here are a few ways to save money on Boden right at home. 
  1. To get regular updates on Boden coupon codes (I never personally order without at least a 20% off code) - join Sample Sale Mom Deals on Facebook, as I regularly post the current coupon codes.   
  2. Online discounter Zulily sometimes has Boden sales at up to 50% off catalog prices. You can also search in their search bar any time and they often have a few Boden items on sale. To be alerted about upcoming Boden sales on Zulily,you can click the white heart next to "Boden" on the site so that it turns red. They also have sales on plenty of other awesome brands - some of my favorites include Hanna Andersson, Tea Collection, Kate Quinn Organics, Keen & Sophie Catalou.
  3. Several other sites now occasionally sell Boden "vouchers" - For $35 you can buy a $50 Boden voucher good on anything on the site. There is usually a one or two per household restriction, per voucher sale. Sites that sell Boden vouchers include Zulily, and Rue La La, and I post all of these sales by the day they start on my facebook group
  4. If you love Mini Boden, check out Hatley, which is high-quality, (read the reviews) to-die-for cute, and can be much less expensive. 
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Do it yourself patterned wrapping paper made with bubble wrap

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of my links, I will be compensated a small percentage of commission. Thanks for supporting Sample Sale Mom!

This is a fun and extremely easy project that my five year old son was able do. Great for wrapping holiday gifts for relatives.

Mix water-based paint with water and paint onto the textured side of bubble wrap with a wide brush. You can print the pattern onto brown or white craft paper. If you want to be extra eco-friendly, use the inner side of old brown paper shopping bags. Paint enough on so that every bubble gets covered, but don't use too much or it will slosh in between the rows.

Quickly, before the paint starts to dry, flip your bubble wrap over onto the craft paper. Use your hand to smooth the back down, so that every bubble comes into contact with the paper. Then peel off the bubble wrap. If desired, you can let the pattern dry and then use a different color bubble wrap pattern over the top for a layered effect. I used plain white string to tie the package.

This technique also works with the large bubble wrap (with much wider circles).

Ikea Kura bed makeover with chalkboard paint

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

This post contains affiliate links. If you buy through one of my links I will receive a small percentage of commission. Thanks for supporting Sample Sale Mom!

A unique bunk bed that cost only about $150. First bought an Ikea Kura bed off craigslist for $125. Bought painting supplies for about $25. Disassembled, then painted the frame with white paint. Painted side panels with chalkboard paint (leaving the other side the original white) so that the boys could color on them. Used stencils to chalk their names on the side of the bed.

You may want to replace the side panels with actual wood (as opposed to particle board). You can get pieces cut to the right size at Home Depot - they are extremely inexpensive. Solid wood stands up to wear and feels nicer than the particle board. We only replaced one of the side panels, which is the big one with the boys' names on it. The others are still the original particle board which came with the bed.

You can purchase stencils to chalk your kids' names on the bed at an arts/craft supply store. For a nice, inexpensive but brightly colored chalk, this 64 piece set is cheap and beautiful. If you want your lettering to be unique you can also custom-make it with a silhouette die cut machine. I LOVE my silhouette machine! Designers and scrapbook-makers use them to cut out any shape they want to, from paper, card stock, vinyl, T-shirt transfer material, etc... I can use it to make stencils in any font that I choose, in any size up to 12 inches high. The machine is particularly useful when used with design software such as Adobe Illustrator, but it comes with its own software, which I've heard is great too!

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