Frugal Decorating Ideas

It doesn't have to cost a lot of money to decorate your home. This guide contains frugal decorating ideas.

May 21, 2008 Flag

I have a friend who is relocating for her new job and doesn't want to bring anything with her - or even buy new furniture, as she doesn't know how long she will be there. If I were her, I would use it as a chance to do some cheap experimental decorating.

Make a little side table out of a large roll of newspapers tied, with a glass plate on top. Or a pile of old hardback books. Make bottle lamps with converters from the hardware store, wine bottles and thrift shop shades. Use old wood crates for side tables. Make brick and board bookcases. Put your mattress on the floor. Put transparent contact paper on the windows for privacy.


Look around for neat found objects. (I had a big piece of wood I dragged in from a camping trip in the big living room of my old NYC apt. Or collect neat river stones or shells). Make a footstool from a foam cooler covered with a remnant. Make wastepaper baskets from recycled ice cream cardboard containers wangled from your local ice cream place. Recycle any and all containers you can. Be creative!

By Pamphyila from L.A., CA

May 21, 20080 found this helpful

i like the newspaper stack side table idea the best.

I plan on turning this

into cost next to nothing wall art very soon.

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May 22, 20080 found this helpful

Instead of using newspaper for a side table, go to a place that makes draperies or a fabric store. Ask for the tubes that draperies come on and you can cut them down to size. You could cover them with remnant fabric or maybe even paint. Tie together with cording at the top and the bottom. You might want to use some silicone caulk to keep them together but use it only at the edges where each cylinder meets.

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May 23, 20080 found this helpful

My first solo appartment was decorated this way:

- Made some bean bags type seating just by sewing an old sheet and used shredded paper from the office as filling.

- Used a stack of books as a little side table to put my cup of tea next to my seating bags.

- Used emptied tomato cans for a veggies garden to add ambience and greenery. Served double purpose as you can eat the greens you grow.

- Used some empty plastic buckets from a nextdoor restaurant and an old door as a table.

- Glass bottles, be it wine or sodas, made great vases

- Got a nice chair from the street on garbage-removal day

*** The key is to use items that you can put in the recycle bin or give to charity organisation when you move.

I didn't know how long I would stay in this city. Was afraid of having a lot of furniture to relocate. I will use the same ideas if I ever need to move to another city for work purposes.

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May 29, 20080 found this helpful

I lived in a 3rd world country years ago, and visited homes from a hut to a very nice house. The most important thing I took away was whether or not people took care of what they had. Keep everything clean and polished as possible, add a nice crisp piece of linen here and there and the humblest home can be peaceful and pleasant. Be where you are at in life and it will be just fine.

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October 8, 2008 Flag
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Save or collect cosmetic mirrors (pick them up at sales or thrift stores) and hot glue them to an acrylic or glass frame. Some are upside down. You can mat the background with a coordinating fabric of your choice (under the glass).

Framed Cosmetic Mirrors as Bathroom Art

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December 29, 2005 Flag

I had an extremely large wall behind my couch with cathedral ceilings and couldn't afford to buy large pictures to "balance" the room. We purchased very inexpensive wood molding from Home Depot, mitered it and attached to walls with finishing nails.

Pictures On Large Wall

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August 23, 2010 Flag
2 found this helpful

I always find really nice place mats at local thrift stores. I like ones made from straw, seagrass, and other materials like that. I really like the ones that are loosely woven so you can see through them.

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April 15, 2004 Flag
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I have been collecting wine and champagne corks for some time now. Never knew what to do with them. Now that I am moving to a brand new apt., a.k.a. clean slate.

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December 9, 2008 Flag
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I have been redecorating my bedroom and found many items at yard sales, trash day, etc. I have a "new" hand made quilt for my bed that was given to me, and I needed something to accent it. Since I live on a fixed income, my brain went into gear.

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August 19, 2008 Flag
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For inexpensive artwork that looks like an oil painting, you can use a picture from an old calendar (or similar paper stock) by gluing it to poster board or cardboard and then lay a piece of cheese cloth over the picture. Next step is to brush on a thin coat of shellac over the cheese cloth.

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May 28, 2009 Flag
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I was looking for some super cheap decorating ideas for a small concrete fenced back yard, e.g., seating, lighting, plants, etc.

By Melissa B

June 2, 20090 found this helpful

I'm not sure where you live but in my area has many people wanting to give away outdoor tables, planters, chairs etc. check it out.

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June 2, 20090 found this helpful

Go to Goodwill. I found some great pots and sconces. The sconses I hung on the house - one on each side of the back window and flower pots line the steps off the deck.

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June 2, 20090 found this helpful

I use one thing on my deck that is perfect for what I want. I took strings of Christmas lights, the tiny ones that go on the tree or around windows, and use only white lights. I attached them up under the railing around my deck, including going down the steps.

This puts out just enough lights to be nice, without putting out enough to be bright or to attract mosquitos. If it's too much light, I simply remove bulbs here and there, or if they arn't the kind that you can do this, then cover some with black electircal tape. The lights don't get hot so it's safe. I love the way it makes my deck look at nite.

If you don't want to use these lights then rope lights will work too. Again, with these if it's too much light, just put black electrical tape every so often until you get the amount of light you want.

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June 12, 20090 found this helpful

Container garden! This year I discovered "recipes" for planters; from a "Spaghetti" planter with tomato plant and herbs; to colourful combinations and varying heights.

If you are a do-it-yourselfer, you could always trek down to the library to find books on building the furniture you want, maybe see if you could score some reclaimed wood from demolition sites. Another cool place to look is at the Architectural Clearinghouses; where construction materials are recycled. You could maybe find a cool old clawfoot tub for a planter... stuff like that. Craigslist and Kijiji are good too! Have fun!

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January 24, 2011 Flag
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I am looking for a frugal decorating website? Any ideas?

By Jenny from MN

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January 25, 20110 found this helpful


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January 26, 20110 found this helpful

Try They have lots of step-by-step, easy and frugal ideas.

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January 27, 20110 found this helpful

Kathy Wilson has a great site. I get her weekly newsletters on decorating. She has some great ideas. Hope this helps, Faith

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January 27, 20110 found this helpful

The BHG site has a lot of good inexpensive ideas for decorating.

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January 29, 20110 found this helpful
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