7 Tried and True budget-friendly decorating secrets revealed!

Hello!  I'm back on the blog today to share some actionable tips for hand-made, thrifty decorating (even for the non do-it-yourself-er).  

This week I posted the picture below on Facebook.  There are thirteen items in the picture. How many do you think.....

  • were bought second hand?  
  • were bought new?  
  • were hand-made?
picture courtesy of Fresh snapped photos

picture courtesy of Fresh snapped photos

Just two items on this shelf were bought NEW.  Two!  That means that all the rest of the items (86%) were either hand-made (5), or purchased second-hand (6).  

Please don't let the "hand-made" word scare you or turn you off, because here you'll see how EASY and time efficient these tricks really are.  

7 tried and true budget-friendly decorating SECRETS:

1.  Embroidery Hoops:  

These are EVERYWHERE in second hand stores. Find two hoops (each hoop comes with two hoops/pieces that are "attached").  Unscrew them from each other so you have four hoops.

Place two in cross cross fashion (one inside the other) and do the same with two other hoops to form a spherical shape, like you see below: 

You can glue your hoops to each other, but it's not necessary. Spray paint them for a pop of color, or leave them in their natural "wood" state (both pictured)

2.  Frames and Calendar Pages

Use your old picture frames for new art.  Remove the old "stuff" inside the frames, and replace with pictures from calendars.  SECRET:  Go to Big Lots. They have tons of wall calendars for $5 a piece.  Excluding the cat calendars, (sorry cat lovers, I"m a dog gal) I've been know to score a handful of these calendars in a single visit.   

Sunflower picture straight out of a nature calendar and placed in this frame for a fast and easy art solution

Sunflower picture straight out of a nature calendar and placed in this frame for a fast and easy art solution

Frames, frames, frames!

Frames, frames, frames!

3,  Vases/Pottery

Thrift shops have a plethora of old pottery and vases.  Look for unique sizes and shapes. You WILL find something.  Guaranteed. 

4.  Books

Books are the ultimate accessory. They really are!  Books are multi-purpose (use them for stacking, displaying things, and adding height to your decor).  Oh and you can read them too. LOL.   Do not pay full price for a brand new hard cover book!  Go to a second hand store instead, and pay $3. 

Books add color, texture, and height to any room. They are well-loved in our home for so many reasons.  

5.  Oatmeal containers, coffee cans, + fabric/contact paper

If you eat oatmeal, or drink coffee, you can make this vase when your supply runs out.  Use these containers to create cute vases and storage. 

See the navy and white striped vase in the picture below?  That's your oatmeal container.  Just cover it with decorative contact paper, fabric (or even scrap book paper).   

Need cute storage but not up for paying $12 for one bin?  Save those coffee cans.....

6.  Greenery

It's questionable whether you'll find "nice" greenery at a second hand store, but, it is possible. The greens you see pictured happened to be from Hobby Lobby (50% OFF, I never pay full price for greenery).  They are perfectly suited to the oatmeal vase, and the fabric covered planter.  Don't you think? 

7.  Baskets

I could talk about baskets at length. Seriously.  Baskets work anywhere, anytime, and with anything.  I LOVE decor that can be left out all year long.  I especially love them for filling in dead space above taller furniture.   SECRET:  Allow yourself plenty of time (like 15 minutes) to rummage through the sea of baskets at thrift shops.  The good ones are always buried. 

I've said it once, and I"ll say it again,

"I will never pay more than $5 for a basket again"   

Develop a keen eye for baskets and you won't turn back. 

The list could go on as far as budget-friendly decorating goes, but these are today's top seven.  Re-creating a small space or nook in your home CAN be done in under $50, $25, or even $15.  Give these ideas a try! 

Are you a thrifty decorator??? Share you photos to Novo's Facebook page!  

Now drink up that coffee and get eating those hearty oatmeal breakfasts and you're on your way to simple, chic, and affordable decorating! 

Enjoy your weekend.

Kate 

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