It would be rather interesting to find out the percentage of readers here who are in the same position as me, thinking to yourself, I really hope I’m going to be able to pay my next insurance bill, and pay rent, and buy groceries. It seems like every third thought I have these days is somehow related to money and the lack thereof. So how in the world would I have the funds to buy decor for my home?
In short the answer is, I don’t. The solution is coming up with clever ways to accessorize my living space without breaking the bank. Being in a beautiful space is a huge inspiration to me and I spend the majority of my time at home, so I don’t want my limited income to hinder me from that feeling. Here are a few tips for decorating for the new season when you’re living by a budget.
My go-to craft store is Michaels. I always put aside a certain amount of my monthly budget to use on craft supplies and Michaelshas been the most reliable spot thus far. I also love Hobby Lobby but there isn’t one close to me (i.e. gas money). A couple years ago I signed up for the Michaels mailing list and religiously give them my phone number every time I make a purchase there. Depending on your purchase history, you will get coupons that pertain to what you have a tendency to buy. Also, Michaels is constantly sending out coupons for those on the mailing list. Right now, I’m looking at one received today that has some coupons for 70% off…that’s insanely wonderful.
Also, seasonal sales are huge and you don’t have to wait until the end of the season to take advantage. Michaels almost always has the current season’s supplies on 50% off throughout the entire season.
You can also find things at discount stores like Dollar Tree or in the dollar section at places like Target. Also, don’t be afraid to stop in places like Kirklands, Home Goods, and furniture stores. If you can have the self control to skip over the full-priced items, you may get the pleasant surprise of a good sale.
I simply like Michaels and other craft stores with good sales because then you can take a little time to create the items yourself.
2. Do It Yourself
You may not think you’re a “crafty” person but you probably know someone who is and there are a million blogs (including the one you’re reading) that have how-to’s for things like wreaths, centerpieces, table settings, etc. Decorations don’t need to be extensive when you’re on a budget.
Another tip, like with place setting and centerpieces, is to start with a neutral canvas and just change it up depending on the occasion or season.
Doing it yourself tends to always be cheaper. It is the equivalent to cooking at home instead of eating out, which leads to my next tip…
3. Buy in bulk.
Anytime you see something made with burlap on the blog, it’s from a giant roll of ribbon. I buy burlap ribbon in bulk because it tends to be in most of my projects. It’s a great way to add texture and it’s neutral so it goes with everything.
Bouquets of faux flowers are also a great way to spread funds. One bouquet can be separated into multiple projects. Whenever I make wreaths there tends to be leftover flowers and leaves. I’ll take what’s left and use it on other things.
For fall, they also sell packs of fake leaves. Those can be spread around sparingly or put under things to add a touch of fall colors.
The last thing I bought in bulk for fall was potpourri. As you can see, my “centerpiece” on the dining table is just some potpourri in a measuring glass, and yet, I still think it’s an adequate decoration. If you’re not a fan of artificial strong smells, which I am not, you can find potpourri that is unscented or scented all naturally.
4. Use what you already have.
You don’t have to completely re-invent your home to decorate it. I left the things in my everyday decor that worked with the fall colors.
For example, the potpourri in the measuring glass on the table replaced the air plant that was in it before. Also, the measuring glass is a practical item from the kitchen that can be set out on display. This also works with cake stands, platters, teapots, and tableware.
I used a placemat I already had to sit underneath the pumpkin and flowers by the window. It happened to be fall colors but the next time you need to buy dishes or tableware consider investing in a set that is neutral and will work for every occasion and season.
The garland on the mirror is made out of strips of fleece material. You can also use old ratty shirts or other material that you may have been planning to take to goodwill at some point, or is sitting in a corner of a closet and never used. Repurpose things like bottles, jars, vases, baskets, crates, bowls, drawers…the list goes on and on.
Example: If you like the “chalkboard” look, repurpose a glass bottle or jar by painting over the label with black chalk paint and hot gluing some twine around the border. You can use it as a vase and label it with a word or phrase you like.
If you live in an area with beautiful pines and other trees, go outside and gather up your own pinecones and acorns–no need to buy things that you can get for free. The acorns I found in the clearance section and used on my garland could have easily been made at home with pinecones, yarn, and hot glue.
Make your own wreath base out of branches you find outside instead of spending $15 on it at the store.
You get the idea…don’t spend money if you don’t have to. Spend an hour or two making some simple things instead of buying them from the store. You’ll feel proud of seeing your own hand in it as well.