Three Frugal Decorating Tricks

by Kathy Wilson

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Decorating your home can be an expensive task, even if you do it yourself! Luckily, there are some creative ways you can find the resources you need, cheap or even free! Here are The Budget Decorator's top 3 tricks!

  1. Linens can provide fabric for decorating projects for a lot less money than a trip to the fabric store. Flat sheets can be purchased from discount shops on sale for just two to three dollars apiece and can be cut and used for sewing projects such as placemats, wall hangings, or pillow covers. They can be used for curtains, tablecloths, or to make duvet covers to change out your bedding. They even make great casual slipcovers. You can shop thrift stores or garage sales for old quilts and blankets that can be used to dress up an old table, as quilt lining, or frame a small section of a damaged quilt for a one of a kind wall hanging. (You may even have what you need in your own linen closet!)

  2. Construction materials for many projects can be found for free in the scrap piles of construction sites. Always ask before removing anything from a construction site, even if it is obviously discarded. Theft from such sites is on the rise, and only the site supervisor is in a position to make a decision on releasing materials. You can use these scraps to create rustic signs for home and garden or for small projects such as planters or birdhouses. You can use broken tile for mosaic tabletops. Scrap siding may be able to be pieced together and painted for a bead board look on cabinet doors. Also consider asking related businesses such as tile shops for their broken pieces or discards.

  3. Since paint is the number one way to change out a room, how about discount paint? Visit your home improvement store paint department often for the discount cans of paint. These are cans that were mixed and either not picked up or not approved by the buyer. Many times, this top quality paint is often discounted by 50% or more. Most everyone can find a can in their color scheme after just a visit or two. You may get lucky and find it the first try. Be a little flexible, but do keep within your theme.

If you are looking to make a decorating change, but your budget is really tight, make a plan, pick a theme, and then try out some of the resources above to recreate your rooms, on a budget!

Kathy Wilson is an author, home and garden columnist, and editor of The Budget Decorator and Decorating Your Small Space. For thousands of budget home decorating ideas, visit her now at

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  • Make a list! What are you looking to change? What materials will you need?
  • Read what our wise readers have to offer about getting quality paint at bargain prices.
  • Looking for great deals on all your home decorating needs? is the answer!

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