< Budget Decorating Ideas

Welcome to Margo's Budget Decorating ideas page

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I'm the queen of thrift around my house. I also love to change my surroundings and re-decorate. So I've come up with some creative and INEXPENSIVE ideas that I'd love to share. I hope you are inspired to try some of these Ideas, most of which I stole from TV shows or Magazines, and even friends. Hope you Enjoy, and if you found a project particularly inspiring please email me.
Winter is really getting to me. The grass is finally completely brown, and nothing is blooming. I have an old wagon on my porch that was empty, I plan on putting flowers in it in the spring, but what to do with it now? I decided to gather up every terra cotta pot I have and fill the wagon. I call this "waiting for spring"


One of the keys to decorating on a budget is to use what you have. Like in the picture above, I just used Terra Cotta pots that I already had to fill anotherwise, empty space. Here are some other ideas to take what you may have hidden away in a drawer or closet, and use it as decor in your home.

Don't hide colorful candles in a drawer, pull them out and place them in a basket or some other container, they can add colorful interest to a table, or cabinet.

Here I've used an old beat up platter to display a candlescape. Covering most of the flaws with chunky pot-pourrie. Also, I've displayed my colorful dishtowels and napkins in an open shelving unit below.

Here I've just gathered together some wooden children's toys to add some color and interest to a bookshelf.

So go through those drawers, pull out those old toys, candles, game pieces etc., and see what great ideas you can come up with.


Here's another idea, using what I already had around the house. I had a basket and a wooden box, that I was no longer using. I decided, instead of storing them in the Barn or Attic, I'd turn them into a side table for my reading nook. I had to fill the bottom basket with books to give it some strength. This little makeshift table works great for setting a drink or a book, and it cost nothing.

Click here to see similar projects with old luggage


My Son introduced me to this book. It is great for finding color combinations that complement eachother. Pages and pages of compatible colors in various tones. It's designed for graphic arts, but it's a treasure trove for the home decorator.


Craftsman Lamp

I wanted new lamps for our bedside tables. I really like the craftsman look for this but I couldn't find a lamp at a reasonable price that I liked. They all had stained glass shades, or were too tall. So I decided to make them. I used some scrap wood and stain from a previous project. This is the result, they cost about $25.00 each.

Click here to see how to make a lamp from almost anything




In the Kitchen

for an unused area of the Kitchen Counter. Some inexpensive jars filled with colorful pasta and beans. You can get the Jars at The Container Store.


In The Bathroom

I've collect different soaps from Hotels and as gifts. Put them all in a basket or old Milk carrier, and placed them on the toilet. Handy for anyone who needs them, And pretty to look at.

Click here to see ideas for decorating with baskets

An Old Drawer makes a great basket for guest soaps etc

Interesting way to hang your "nice" towels, and People resist the temptation to use them too.


Window Treatments

My friend Hilda had a good idea for her Kitchen Windows. Her husband made the wooden parts, and They found these iron roosters, spraypainted them to match and hung this just above the windows. This could be done with anything like Stars or flowers, to suit your decor, and It's not very expensive, and it's very elegant looking

Old Bottles on a shelf make an interesting window valance Alternative. The other was made from Napkins.

Both of these are variations on the "just drape a garland over the top of the window" idea

An out of the ordinary window valance. Made by gluing old chair spindles etc onto a piece of trim.

Here's a Window valance made from an old Shutter and some left over crown molding.

Click here to see what to do with old shutters


On the Walls

Alternatives to the "Framed Print or Painting"

Framed and Matted Prints can get pretty expensive. Here are some ideas for alternative that can save you big bucks and add interest to your walls.

An old game board like this can run from $20-$45 at flea markets, a Bargain for the wall space it covers. We had a bare spot as you walk down the stairs, a Garden Trellis Filled this space.

Stained Glass, and Antique Iron Grates

Architectural Elements

We have a large wall and needed something to fill it. After looking at different framed art pieces at a local print store, we were depressed at the cost of framed prints. We also wanted something a little different. Roger and I came up with this through an evolution of this idea and that idea. His major contribution was the wood pieces between the tapestry pieces. It wasn't cheap, the tapestry fabric was about 50.00, but it WAS less expensive than your normal, boring, predictable framed art. We like it.



Budget Framed Art

Take some pictures of buildings, machinery, whatever you like. Crop them in an unusual way, zooming close to the architecture or detail. Print them in B&W or sepia tone, or in color if you like, and frame them in black frames with white mattes. The look can be dramatic and inexpensive.


Don't forget those family photos, I find this is the place people stop and linger, look at the pictures, ask where they were taken etc. I've taken a long wall in a hallway and filled it with a gallery of family photo's. They are all in different frames and hung with no semetry.


Left: These are Fern Leaves from my garden, sandwiched in an inexpensive wal-mart frame, with some art paper and behind that is some craft paper that has been crickled.

Right: A greeting card, placed in a frame with corrugated cardboard as a background, no glass.

This is a fall leaf print that I ordered from an internet print site. Instead of having it professionally framed, I just sandwiched it in a frame I already had (that I had picked up at a garage sale) with craft paper as a backing.

I had a box of note cards that I had picked up at Half Price Books, that I really loved. I picked up a pre-made Matt and Frame with 3 sections, and framed three of the note cards. I've seen some of these pre-made for over 40.00. I spent a fraction of that on this one.


Old window frames can also make great wall art

Click here to see what to do with old windows


This was a framed print I got at a garage sale. I didn't like the print so I removed it and replaced it with one I liked. So the only real expense was the print.




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T2T Furniture Ideas

New life for old luggage

Projects with old shutters

Projects for old windows and doors

How to make lamp from almost anything

Projects for Old Balusters, Spindles, and Porch Posts

Garden Benches from Old Beds and Cribs

Quick Projects

Past Projects/Artists of the week

Budget Decorating Ideas

Decorating with Baskets

Fun & Games

Decorating with Collections

Decorating with Music and Instruments

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