Frugal & Fun Country Decorating

by Monica Resinger

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Country decorating can be fun, creative and frugal because the items that work in country decor are either handmade like quilts, rugs, wood items, and folk art or natural items like dried flowers, branches and flowers. Many of these items can be made or found at little or no cost.

Quilts, for example, can be handmade by you with fabric scraps or worn out clothing. If you don't know how to make quilts, you could check out a book from the library and learn how. You may even be able to find one at a yard sale or thrift store, if you're lucky. If you can't find or make quilts, check thrift stores for beautiful crocheted afghans; I have seen many and these would be equally as beautiful in your country decor. Just be sure to find colors that match your scheme. You can drape quilts or afghans over your sofa, or hang on a quilt rack. I have even seen them hung on a wall, like art.

Throw rugs are a wonderful way to vary your decor. If you want a change, just switch rugs or add one in a new area. Rugs can be braided or crocheted with scraps of worn out clothing or fabric. If you don't know either method, there are books out on the subject and you could also do a search on the Internet for instructions. I have found many throw rugs at thrift stores and yard sales. Whenever the price is right and I like the look of a rug, I'll buy it so I can make a fresh look when needed.

Wood items are abundant at thrift stores and are very reasonable. There is a huge variety too; I have seen wood fish, shelves, mini rocking chairs, coasters, plaques, bowls, boxes, figurines, letter holders, spice racks, planters and a lot more. Sometimes, I'll find a scratched wood item that I like and I'll still buy it because I'll take it home and fix it up with paint. These can be decoratively painted or just touched up. You can also learn how to make your own wood items by taking a class or studying a book.

Usually folk art is very simple, so it is possible to make your own! Look around at other folk art to get ideas for your own original design. Go to the craft store and get artist paper (like 140-lb. watercolor paper), lightly sketch your design, and then paint. If you really believe that you aren't able to do this, then again check thrift stores! I see charming prints and original art for very reasonable prices. Another inexpensive option would be to frame calendar pages. Look for pretty frames at a dollar store.

The nice thing about natural items is that they are free. Hopefully, you have your own yard where you can gather pine cones, branches, flowers, and leaves. If not, maybe you have a relative or neighbor that will let you take some naturals from their yard. Branches and fresh flowers can be placed in pretty vases (check thrift stores) or canning jars. Pinecones look beautiful in big wooden bowls, as do leaves. The possibilities are endless; just use your imagination for containers and combinations.

Monica Resinger is a loving wife and doting mother of two who enjoys gardening, painting, dancing and homemaking. You can check out some of her other articles at

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