A few times a year, usually in-between major holidays, I get the itch to spruce up my space. I usually find that just changing one or two little things can satisfy the itch, and with a little creativity and elbow grease, decorating on a budget can be a fun means to the end goal.
Here are 10 fun ideas under $20 for decorating on a budget:
1. Put up a mirror. Or two or three. Mirrors create the feel of larger space through reflection, and can brighten a room if they reflect natural light from a window. Paint or decoupage a cheap mirror from a hardware store or goodwill. Once decorated, you can also put up a full-length mirror horizontally or put a collection of small mirrors together for visual interest.
2. Paint sparingly. While it’s popular to paint a full room a unique color, you can also just use paint on one wall, on the ceiling, on a single piece of furniture, or even just a part of a piece of furniture (such as the back wall of a bookshelf, or the doors of a cabinet) to add visual interest. To save even more money from buying a small can of paint, ask your friends and neighbors or check Freecycle for leftover paint in fun colors.
3. Turn your jewelry into wall art. Purchase a basic wall-mount tie rack, or make one by screwing picture hangers or small hooks into a painted or sanded piece of wood. Hang the rack on the wall with a long ribbon strung between the two ends. Now your necklaces, bracelets, and jewelry can stay organized while decorating the space above your dresser.
4. Homemade tapestries. Joann Fabric, Hobby Lobby, and Ikea sell fun fabrics that run 30-60″ wide. You can either sew a one-inch hem in the top and bottom (or use no-sew iron-on hem tape). Install a curtain rod in the middle of a blank wall to hang the “tapestry” from and if the fabric is lightweight, thread a dowel or another curtain rod through the bottom hem to help it hold shape.
5. Make a decoupage tile mosaic on a counter, wall, or table top out of scrap paper and Mod Podge. The time and creativity factor is high but the payoff looks amazing!
6. Add light. It can be as simple as changing a lamp shade (Ikea sells a number of shades for $15 or less, or an opaque white shade for $10 that can be drawn or hand-stitched on, or covered in a favorite fabric). Hang curtain balls from the bottom with a glue gun. For $5, Ikea sells a pendant light socket that you can dangle from the ceiling in darker areas of the room covered with inexpensive paper lantern shades in varying colors. Home Depot even sells a Make-A-Lamp kit ($11.97 plus tax) for turning your favorite bottles into lamps!
7. Make a mirror where there once was none. For about $10, you can purchase mirror spray paint for creating a mirror on glass. Spray it on the back of glass windows in a cabinet or hutch, on glass ornaments, vases, or even on the glass in an old picture frame to give it a mirror-look!
8. Cover drawers with fabric. Use decoupage to affix fabric to drawer fronts on an old dresser or in the kitchen. If you don’t have enough of one fabric, you can alternate drawers, or use coordinating fabric scraps.
9. Add drawer knobs. If you have a drill, liven up a basic dresser by installing colorful ceramic drawer pulls. Cost Plus World Market sells a variety of fun knobs in sets of two for $4-10.
10. Reupholster chair cushions and make matching throw pillows. With needle-nosed pliers, a glue gun, and a staple gun, you can change out the fabric on your chair cushions in about a half-hour. If you have leftover fabric and basic sewing skills, you can purchase cheap cotton batting at a fabric or craft store (or by recycling the insides of a pillow from Goodwill) and make matching throw pillows for the couch.
What cool budget decorating ideas have you tried?
Don’t forget that you can usually save 40% on a full-price item at Michael’s or Joann Fabric by printing a coupon from their website, joining their mailing list, or downloading their app.