Home frugal living/saving money Decorating and Stretching Your Dollars

Decorating and Stretching Your Dollars

by Kelly Crawford

It’s the homemaker-on-a-budget’s advantage that recycling and upcyling is such a chic thing to do. If you scour even high-end decorating magazines, you’ll see the reuse of all things old, faded and distressed. So much so that you can buy it to already look like it’s old.

As we’ve decorated our new home, we have tried to make the best of our resources and use what we had or spend very little to decorate. I get requests often to share more about decorating on a budget, so I thought I’d post a few projects we’ve done for a little inspiration (the first five are what my daughter did in her room):

And old suitcase, screwed into the wall to make a shelf.


I found this broken ladder at a yard sale for $5, already in that lovely blue.


Pallet bookshelf. Pallets. rule. We’ve made crates, smaller, hanging bookshelves and signs with words for wall hanging.


An old sheet given new life as a curtain. Pieces of elastic stretched across the back created the gathered effect.


This room is in the basement and because of all the water damage from the storm, the drop ceiling had to be replaced. We opted for Luan (cheap plywood) which my husband cut into squares, and made the grid with 2 x 4’s.

I’ve already posted this project, but thought I’d include it again for newer readers and to keep posts categorized. Old door-turned-headboard and shelf in our bedroom. Simple project–my 13-yr.old made it.

Missing some cabinets? (We were ;-)) Or just want to cut back on cabinet costs? Consider installing salvaged wood shelves.

My new favorite thing…looking out for t-shirts or skirts at thrift stores that make cute pillows.

I thought the skirt-pillow looked silly so I have since made a square one out of it and like it much better 😉


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Kristen August 26, 2012 - 9:12 pm

Kelly, you (and your daughter) are so creative and have such good taste. Those bedrooms could be in a magazine! Seriously!

Word Warrior August 27, 2012 - 6:48 am

Thank you, Kristen 😉

6 arrows August 27, 2012 - 11:33 am

Fun ideas! My husband gets old pallets from work sometimes (for free – woohoo!), and we were just talking about how we need more bookcases. It beats stacking them against the lean-to and having a toddler use them as a ladder to get herself up to the lean-to roof the minute Dad’s back is turned, and stand on the roof in all her one-year-old glory 😀 (She’s 15 now, BTW, and doesn’t do that anymore, but still enjoys hearing that story.) 😉

Thanks for being my long-distance interior decorator, Kelly 🙂

Jennifer August 27, 2012 - 12:07 pm

I second Kristen’s comment! Ooh, love seeing your books and movies up close!

Heather August 27, 2012 - 5:29 pm

Looks great!

Laine August 27, 2012 - 5:50 pm

Love these ideas! I need to be inspired to decorate…I’ve lost that lovin’ feelin!
I also LOVED getting to meet you Saturday and hope our paths will cross again soon!
Your writings bless and encourage and spur me on!

Charity August 27, 2012 - 8:07 pm

Beautiful! I love the blue theme that seems to be running through your home. And the pillows and curtain…isn’t it just amazing the crafty things you can achieve even if you can only sew a straight line?

Angie September 2, 2012 - 2:19 am

I really poorly hemmed 2 inexpensive flat sheets to use as curtains for a large window in the last home we rented. It was to be a temporary fix until we could find something I liked but then we moved and the new apartment had blinds so I left them behind thinking the owner would replace them. We walked by there tonight – 2.5 years later – and they are still hanging 🙂

Kim M September 2, 2012 - 5:57 pm

Love! <3

Wooden Pallet Bookshelves Design | Pallets Furniture Designs February 6, 2015 - 7:56 am

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