Some of my best design ideas were very inexpensive or free. Here are some of my budget saving decorating ideas that keep more money in your wallet! Click on the highlighted links or directly on the photos to see the full projects in the below paragraphs.
1. Updated your kitchen on the cheap. Here is my Kitchen Cabinet makeover. This project cost me roughly $230.00 not exactly free but thousands of dollars cheaper then new cabinets and far cheaper than getting them refaced by big box stores. All I did in this project was build the height of the cabinets up to the ceiling, built a refrigerator surround, added molding, painted the cabinets and put on new inexpensive hardware. It completely transformed the look of my kitchen.
2. Make your own artwork! I am notorious for making my own art work and you don’t have to be an artist to do these things! Last year I wanted some fall art on my walls. I simply went out to my yard, chose three different leaves, painted them with gold leaf paint that I already had on hand and once they were dry I framed them to get Gold Painted Leaves.
If you live near the ocean and know any Fishermen you can always create some Fish Impression art like I did for my recent living room makeover post!
Clipboard Art: I recently made these clipboard frames for my living room makeover. These were free for me to make since I had the wood in the basement and a few metal clips around the house. The art is just a few photos of my dog that I printed from the computer.
3. Make your own curtains. Do you know how expensive curtains are? I almost fainted when I was looking at purchasing curtains recently for the living room. Nope, no way was I about to pay $40.00 to $80.00 PER WINDOW! I ended up spending $9.00 per window for two windows and $11.00 for the third window by using sheets to make my curtains and I spent no money for the dining room curtains since I made those out of a drop cloth that I already had on hand. Here are my DIY Curtains.
4. Make your own furniture. I have recently become addicted to making my own furniture not only is it a lot of fun, super gratifying but far cheaper then buying pieces like these from a store. Below are a few pieces I have made.
I’m in the middle of redoing my dining room which includes building a new Dining Room Table, it cost $60.00 for the lumber!
5. Re-upholster your furniture yourself. It cost me less than $20.00 to re-upholster this chair in a Restoration Hardware Deconstructed knockoff design. A chair similar to this at the RH store would run you hundreds of dollars.
6. Make your own furniture stain using this DIY Oxidize Wood Stain recipe!
7. Use Appliance Paint to give your old appliances a new look, this is far less expensive then replacing your appliances that are still working!
8. Grow your own flowers so you can use them in dried arrangements! I grew these money plants and used the dried stems on this DIY Money Plant Mirror Wreath! You can also use fresh cut flowers that you grow in vases through out the house.
One thing I love doing for the Christmas season is taking fresh cuttings of the pine trees from my yard and using them in vases around the house throughout the winter season!
9. Shop your house. I asked my readers if they had any suggestions for budget friendly decor ideas, Leah said “I shop what I have in the house when I don’t want to spend any money, but want a different look. I move stuff around the house on a regular basis (including furniture!)” She is so right! I recently did my living room over and ended up moving the black bombe chest out of the living room, I moved it into the master bedroom, I Love it in there and I moved a stained wood bombe chest from the guest room to the living room and again found that I absolutely love it in there. I was never one to shop my house until recently and now it is the first thing I think to do when contemplating updating the look of the rooms in my house.
10. Make your holiday decor. I decorated a tree last year with a whole new theme all for less than $10.00. I simply made ornaments out of paper, computer paper I already had on hand and some pipe cleaners & Styrofoam balls that I purchased. I decorated a second Christmas tree with my father, grandfather and great grandfathers tools, my dads old plaid shirt was the skirt and a garden lantern I had in my basement was the topper. The only thing I spent money on that tree was the plaid ribbon that cost me $5.00. I had no intentions of doing a “tool tree” but once the tree was up my nephew and I decided to challenge ourselves by decorating the tree with items we had on hand minus the ribbon!
You can see these Christmas projects here
My best advice…. When you see something you want in a store or on-line for your home challenge yourself to make your own version of it, not only will it most likely be a lot cheaper but the satisfaction of making things yourself is far greater then buying something mass produced!