Cheap Decorating Tricks

You all know I'm a big proponent of using what you have, living green when you can, and not taking up a giant footprint on the earth. As in big McMansions that waste so much energy.

So how do you decorate your home and get a new look for under $50? I found these on the Better Homes & Garden website, one of my favorite go-to places for budget-friendly decorating.

If a lamp is drab and boring, liven it up. Put fabric or paper around the shade. And add a little paint, as in the green above, to tie it together. 

Pillows. It doesn't cost much to buy pillows, pillow covers or make your own pillows. It is a very fast way to get a totally different look. You might even just trade out pillows from other rooms.

Wallpaper the backs of cabinets or shelves. This will utterly transform your space.

Make little vignettes like the one above with just a dash of creativity. Turning one mug upside down gives it a whimsical look and some height.

Back to lamps. One of two favorite things to decorate with. (The other being pillows.) If you have an ugly lamp, prettify it with paint. This glossy red paint takes this lamp to a whole new level.

Is your coffee table or side tables a cluttered mess? Corral items in a tray. The look is elegant and neat.

A very simple and cheap way to make your sink area look sharp is to buy a fancy soap. When you run out, simply fill it with cheaper soap and keep the pretty bottle it came in. Or create your own.

You don't need fancy art to bring your walls to life. Try a gallery look illuminated by mini chandeliers or pendant lights. Draw the shapes out on butcher paper and try them out on the walls before you start hammering in nails. It will save you some time and you'll get an idea how it's going to look. 

The idea here is to not have everything match. To have different shapes and textures. 

Scrapbook paper is so pretty these days (and cheap) that you could frame that alone. Or print out old family photos, cut them in a circle shape, and tape them to the center of plates. 

A cheap way to create table art is to take clear glass containers, pour some acrylic paint inside, and turn and swirl the paint around until you achieve the look you like.

If you have room (which unfortunately I do not) put your laundry detergent and such in clear glass jars. Add a pretty teacup or spoon to liven it up and to use for measuring. 

A way to make your bathroom take on new life is to get a new shower curtain. Or you could make one. This could be the start of a whole new look and bring new color possibilities into the small space.

There are all kinds of ways to "decorate on a dime." The best way is to shop the house. Or get together with some neighbors and do some trading. 

Painting is your cheapest and most versatile friend.

Let you imagination be your only limit to what you can do to beautify your home.

I'll be back this afternoon with Tweak It Tuesday. 


  1. I love the graphic on that grain sack pillow. I am looking for some inexpensive grain sack towels for making pillows on my window seat.

  2. I am actually in the middle of pillows now! : ) Not new pillows...just making some covers for the older ones. ( Envelope closure which is the extent of my ability right now ) I am on my third one, two to go down the line.

  3. Ohhhh.... that kitchen - the very first photo. It reminds me of jadeite dishes, which I am so fond of. LOVE that color on those cabinets... Great roundup and inspiring tips! :)

  4. Olá,
    amei suas sugestões. Também penso como você decorar com pouco dinheiro e muito bom gosto.
    Tenha uma ótima semana.

  5. I am all for saving money, and loved the ideas you presented. I am a painting fool and I think paint alone can make such a dramatic difference in a room.

  6. These sure are some great ideas! I'm in love with that kitchen and that cute little feedsack pillow.

  7. Brenda,
    Great tips and I must say the lampshade tip really caught my eye-those 2 pink vintage lamps of mine, with the plain lampshades, are going to get a makeover soon!
    Thanks, hope all is well,

  8. So many wonderful ideas! I especially love the ones where painting is involved! When talking about my decorating passion I always say, "If it isn't moving, its going to get painted sooner or later!" (This scares my husband a bit!)

  9. Those are some wonderful, wonderful ways to make some minor changes and not spend a fortune. Love it. xo Diana

  10. All great ideas Brenda!Love using the wallpaper/giftwrap backed shelves myself!

  11. I read your posts each day even though I don't always comment. You are constantly sharing neat tips, photos, and your cozy little house. I recently was able to "downsize" so I am trying to get into the mood to change things a bit. Still recouping from the move. LOL
    Connie, IN/FL

  12. Lots of great tips! I love to change around my pillows (that pic of one is very cute!)

  13. Wonderful ideas Brenda, thanks for sharing so many good ones. I really like the acrylic paint in the clear jars and the feed sack pillow is so cute!

  14. The first lamp makeover is so cute. Great ideas and I like your comment about the "giant footprint"....seriously!

  15. Love that green & blue bathroom!!

  16. Wonderful ideas. I need to update my lamps with paint and fabric now!

  17. Thanks for the great tip, Brenda :)

  18. Brenda, all great ideas and many I have used over the years as well. Another tip I use, having limited space for storage I made pillows and then covers out of inexpensive fabric, I can the slip a cover on the pillows to change the look for the season or holiday.

  19. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the living room yellow color and color pallet. Can you share what brand/color of yellow paint you used?


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