Using creative recycling in frugal home decorating

Thrift Store Home Decorating

by Kathy Wilson

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Many of us who are on tight budgets are faced with the dilemma of how to find affordable materials for our home decorating. One would think a thrift store is the last place one would shop if they were trying to create their dream home, but don't overlook the potential of creative recycling. Here are some great ideas for using thrift shop finds for home decorating projects.

You can find old curtains, quilts, sheets and even clothing that can be sewn into home decorating items such as placemats, tableskirts, or pillow covers. Old blankets and comforters can be used as batting when making a quilt or padding a dining chair seat. Pretty sweaters make wonderful throw pillows, and a silk floral dress might cover all four chairs in your dining room. Don't forget to wash all linens first, and then send through a hot dryer to sanitize.

Ugly lampshades can be found in spades at such shops. They can be transformed with some creative paint or decoupage treatments or a fabric cover stitched up to drape over the shade.

Dishes can be found that are pretty enough to hang on the wall, but they are sold for pennies because they are lacking a full set.

Picture frames can be repainted to match your decor. It's really okay to throw out the picture you hate inside.

Interesting containers can be found that make wonderful vases and planters, such as chipped tureens, old cast iron pots, or pretty mismatched teacups.

Use your imagination and find some great bargain finds at bargain basement prices the next time you have a home decorating project in mind!

Kathy Wilson is an author, columnist, and editor of several popular home and garden websites. For hundreds of free home and garden ideas, please visit her now at and

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