Simple Tips for Decorating on a Budget

Happy Monday friends! I shared this post over at Simply Frugal Mom and Tattered and Inked over the past few months but I thought it was worth sharing here too (I made a few changes)! If you’ve been around here long enough you’ll know that I am always trying to design on a dime. I’m always trying to use things I already have on hand or spend as little money as possible to complete a project. So today I’m sharing some of my simple tips for decorating on a budget!

When my husband and I got married and started decorating our first home together I would swoon over Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel, Restoration Hardware and die a little inside when I would look at the price tags. How was I ever going to be able to decorate our house? For a while my husband would give me a monthly decorating allowance and I would sometimes save for months just to buy one piece. But today, it’s all different. I still swoon over those catalogs but instead of paying those prices I come up with my own inexpensive alternatives.

Today, I’m sharing my tips on how to achieve chic and classy decor for a fraction of the cost.

1. Look In Your Recycle Bins

Let’s start with the basics. There is no better way to decorate than for FREE! So before you even head to the store, head to your recycle bin. Instead of throwing out jars, bottles, cardboard, paper etc, stop and think what you could make with them.

Example 1: Here are basic food jars that I rescued out of our recycle. With just a little bit of ribbon and burlap scraps I turned them into this:

I used these as a centerpiece for my daughter’s 1st birthday party and now they currently live on the windowsill in my kitchen. They would also work on a mantle or at an outdoor party.

book page wreath

Example 2: Here is a book page wreath I made from recycled materials and few items from my craft supply. I used cardboard from an old box to create the base of the wreath and then folded old book pages to create the medallions. 100% FREE and I just added a new accessory to my home!

2. Save Your Scraps

If you don’t save your scraps from previous projects, start now because you never know when they will come in handy. Wood, fabric, beads, paper, ribbon…save it all (and yes, this is the beginning stages of becoming a craft hoarder).

Example 1: 100% of this DIY Deer Wall Art was made from scraps. The wood was left over from my Board and Batten, the paint was from painting my molding and the wood stain was purchased for a different project. That means, this project was 100 % FREE. Not too shabby.

3. Find Your Nearest Dollar Store

Let me start out by warning you that not all dollar stores are the same. Some are better than others. I am a loyal customer to my local Dollar Tree. I find that they have the biggest selection and highest quality products in their stores. Every time I walk into the Dollar Tree I am filled with inspiration and guess what.. everyone cost $1!

DIY candle display, christmas

Example 1: Here is a centerpiece I made for the holidays this year made completely from dollar store finds. The cylinder vases, chocolate wafer cookies, and pine cones were all from the dollar store. And good thing I’m gluten-free or else these would have been devoured!

Edible Valentine's Day Decor

Example 2: This year for Valentine’s Day I picked up a few styrofoam spheres and festive candy at the dollar store and created these decorative spheres. I placed them in a milk glass pedestal bowl I purchased for $2. Simple festive centerpiece for such a few dollars! So simple any one can do it!

4. Go Thrifting

Second hand finds are one of my favorites for a few reasons. 1) Old pieces have so much character and history to them 2) you will be amazed at what people discard as trash! I have found several great home decor pieces that are practically brand new or are still in great shape and only cost pennies. Check out your local Goodwill, search Craigslist for garage sales or even check their FREE section and shop antique stores.

Take these chairs as a prime example.

Example 1: I picked these chairs up at the Goodwill for $1.30! Yes, for both chairs. They were on an extra discount that day and I hit a major score! With just a little bit of paint and new upholstery I turned them into new chairs for my family room. That’s less than your daily latte!

DIY chair makeover

Well, I hope you learned something new today or were motivated to get a jump-start on some new projects. Just remember, the amount of time it takes you to shop online for your newest home decor accessory, you could have been making something completely custom just for you for 1/4 the price!

 Linking to some of the parties here along with Today’s Creative BlogTipJunkieHome Stories A 2 Z, Funky Junk Interiors


Taryn is the owner/editor of Design, Dining and Diapers, a lifestyle blog that focuses on DIY home decor, design, seasonal crafts, easy recipes and just being a mom! She is all about making things for less by upcycling thrift store finds and using what’s on hand. Taryn lives in the greater Seattle area with her husband, 3 year old daughter and 1 year old son.

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  1. says

    Hi, I found you at my uncommon slice of suburbia and I’m so glad I did. These are all such great ideas! Hope you’ll stop and see me at Quirky Vistas.

  2. says

    You are just too clever. I love your ideas. Yes, I have been guilty of throwing away really good stuff:( I am loving the center piece. Just dropping in from Just a Party with my Peeps and am now following you. I would so love your you to link up any of your great ideas at Freedom Fridays Blog Hop. So hope to see you there.

  3. Lauren says

    Thanks for sharing these ideas!! These are low-cost but definitely look high end! I’m going to steal some of your ideas for sure.

  4. says

    Great tips; thanks for sharing! I also save jars instead of throwing them away. My hubby sometimes thinks it’s silly, but I’ve used them for storing buttons and other craft supplies, turned some into drinking glasses (the cute ones that are in good shape), and used a few as vases. Can’t beat free!
    – Diana at Diana Meredith Designs

  5. says

    What a great article! I’ve pinned the Dollar Tree centerpiece for future holiday inspiration!! LOVE!

    And, of course I still love your daughter’s party centerpiece!! Such a beautiful party! Have you started on the 2nd birthday yet?? :)

  6. says

    Ok I know I am behind but hey I was on a cruise ship….I like thes ideas so much I’m sharing them on my blogs facebook page. Just wanted to let you now.

    LIfe, Love , Green

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