Monday, May 22, 2017

10 Unique and Frugal Ways to Decorate Your Home for Less

I don't know about you but I am completely in love with thrift shops and antique malls.  So many bargains and such amazing variety, its unbelievable.  I thought today I'd share with you some of my favorite finds and some ideas for what you should be looking for and how you can incorporate these items into your home.

#1  Furniture
There are so many great pieces of furniture to be found at your local goodwill or salvation army.  Thrift stores across the country have the best selection of used furniture pieces that just need some TLC to breath new life into them.  Here's a few of my favorite recent projects:

I purchased this coffee table while thrifting with mom in the Chicago land area for $8.  What a steal.  So many different things you could do with it.  I'm always on the lookout for pieces with built in framework.  They are perfect for tile inlay and at this time I was working on a bathroom project and had lots of glass mosaic leftovers just waiting for a project such as this to come along.

A quick, easy project that looks fantastic when completed.  For more information you can read all about it here:  "How To Mosaic A Table-Top".

This bed I picked up at a local estate sale, bundling multiple pieces of furniture together on the last day for really inexpensive prices.  It has some veneer peeling off and lots of "character" additions (scratching, knicks and the like).

It sat in the basement for a while waiting for the perfect project to present itself.  Can you believe wallpaper, of all things was involved.  Check out the finished results:

For more information on what I did you can read all about it here:  "It's Not Just For Walls Anymore".

So, next time you see that beat up desk or night stand and you're not sure if you can salvage it, 

"YES, you can".  

Grab it and think outside the box to create a unique, OOAK, gorgeous new piece of furniture.  Go ahead, breath new life into that old piece of junk, I dare you!

#2 Textiles
It really is worth a shot to take the time and peek at the textiles; bedding, rugs, tablecloths, window panels and yes, clothing, just to see what's there.  I have found some fabulous items, including the popcorn tufted blanket on the bed in the picture above.  If you do any of your own sewing; clothing, window treatments or a variety of crafty's you can find yardage at extremely reasonable prices here as well as great clothing pieces to repurpose and upcycle. I've also run into beautiful lace and trims.  Have you priced that stuff at the fabric shops, it's outrageously expensive.  Scoop it up fast, before I beat you to it.

Here's a few of my favorite finds:

This is a piece of sheer "fabric" roughly 8ft long x 4 ft wide.  Each floral square I'm "guest-imating" to be 2ft square with a beautiful embroidered floral design.  I looked at it the first time and decided I didn't need it.  Can you believe that?  I nearly passed.  I don't exactly know what I'm going to do with it yet but it's gorgeous and there's too many possibilities not to purchase it and figure that all out later, and you can't beat the price!

I am hoping to make large art prints for my wall with at least four of these squares, a future project to look forward to.

Don't turn your nose up at the sheets either, talk about great yardage at a fantastic price, you can't beat it.  I'm always seeing interesting abstract patterns, small stripes or checks, perfect for crafty projects of all kinds.  I've bought quite a few and put them aside for when I need them.  

Here's a perfect example:
When my grandfather passed I made a quilt and throw pillows from his shirts.  I needed yardage for the back of the quilt though, sheets are perfect for that.  Turned out so cute at minimal cost, that's my kind of deal.
There's a dealer at The Pink Elephant Antique Mall (just 3 miles north of us) who does some upcycling with clothing pieces, she does an excellent job turning ordinary run of the mill clothing into extraordinary works of art.  Here's one of her pieces now available:

#3 Books
My grandmother is an avid reader, more often than not you'll find her sitting in a chair near the window, basking in the sunshine, reading a book.  She has a few favorite authors and genres that she's always on the look out for and don't even think about getting her to purchase a book that's not on sale, not gonna happen.  What a great way to keep her happy and fill her bookshelves for next to nothing (a quarter for a book, really, I'm not kidding).  

Not only that, if you're not opposed to tearing up a book, there's so many great crafts you can do with book pages.  Here's just a few to get you thinking about it:

My mom takes gorgeous books with great covers and turns them into artistic journals.
This particular book is a pictorial "family tree" of sorts.  You can find out more about this particular book here:  "Mom's Creative and Inspiring Art Journal Memory Book"

They are great for decoration as well.
And what great wreaths and garlands they make.  If you're looking for ideas visit my Pinterest board entitled DIY- Paper Crafts for inspiration.

#4 Glassware
I am completely infatuated with glassware.  No matter what your preference you're bound to find something.  Generations of baby boomers are now clearing out their parents things. They lived with it once and aren't interested in doing it again.  It's all hitting the thrift shops and you can score some really great stuff.  

I am slowly piecing together collections of my favorite patterns and my, oh my, the selection is really quite amazing.  

Feast your eyes on the variety available if you're willing to take the time and scout it out (this is one trip BTW):

#5 Belts
I know what you're thinking, "belts, has she gone and lost her mind?"  Well, yeah, but that's beside the point!  Have you seen some of the amazing things people have done with belts?

Here's a few to tease you into my way of thinking:

You have to admit, that's some pretty great belt repurposing.

#6 Lighting
I know I've said this before, but this one's my favorite, I really love lighting.  There are all kinds of items that can be repurposed into fantastic light fixtures.  Simply paint an old ugly lamp and add a new light shade or turn a hat box into a cool, unique lamp.  Check out some great thrift shop lights:

Do a quick Pinterest search and you'll be surprised and inspired to keep your eyes open for tons of great items to turn into unique light fixtures for your home.

#7 Tins and Trays
Just like every lady needs a little black dress in her closet, every room needs a little splash of metal.  Here's some great ideas for adding a little bling into your home decor:
 Metal trays make great magnet boards and cookie tins could be decoupaged with gorgeous papers on the inside and displayed in a grouping while pulling double-duty for shelves.   Of course, it might not be home decor but remember jewelry, oh the jewelry you could make with those fabulous cookie tins.

So many gorgeous trays, so little time!

#8 Suitcases
Not all suitcases are created equal, at least in my mind.  I'm talking the hard cases that could be mounted to the wall and used as shelving, turned into end tables, decoupaged with adorable papers and memorabilia and used for decoration (and storage, loads of storage).  Here's a look at some great suitcase repurposing:

#9 Toys
I must admit, toys are not real high on my priority list, after finding some of these cool projects I might have to move them up a notch (at least put them on my radar anyhow).  Check out these great toy projects:

That's adorable and I've seen it done with all kinds of different toys

#10 Baskets and Boxes
Who couldn't use a couple more baskets or decorative boxes for added storage around the house?  I know I could.  Here's a couple great ideas to get you thinking next time you're out thrifting and run across some great baskets and can't think of how you'd use them.

I've heard over the years that the key to staying organized is that everything has a home, well, I don't think that works for everyone, face it, some of us are just messy, but in theory it sounds great doesn't it.  Baskets and boxes are great organizing tools to help keep the mess contained and "in its place".

So, there you have it, my top 10 Unique and Frugal Ways to Decorate Your Home for Less.  

I love to thrift and I easily find myself in a rut going through the same boring section time and time again.  Hopefully I've shown you how much more there is to see and inspired you to take a look outside your comfort zone and try something new.  I know I'll never look at belts the same way again.

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