Frugal Decorating Ideas

Gold Post Medal for All Time! 519 Posts
May 21, 2008

Rustic looking bookcase.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

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October 8, 2008

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

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

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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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 104 Feedbacks
December 9, 2008

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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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 846 Posts
August 19, 2008

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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9 Questions

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May 28, 2009

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

By melissa


May 28, 20090 found this helpful

Go with a theme, or color scheme. I'm using some left over paint and fabrics to liven things up. Stones are good for decorating too. I pick them up at the beach.


My favorite tip from a city dwelling friend with a patio: use branches to make barriers. Trim to desired height, fill a planter with cement or plaster of paris, put the branches in (support if necessary), then decorate with real plants like moonflowers or other vine plants and twinkle lights. Really classy and adds privacy where needed. Have fun!

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 149 Feedbacks
May 29, 20090 found this helpful

I agree with the 1st post and pick a theme. Lightning can be done by the tiny solar lites, kmart has a 10 pack for $14 and you can place them anywhere>on ground in flower beds/in pots. Or string up lights in the trees /on your fence/intwined in a flower bush. Use the tiny white (or any color) christmas lights or any theme lights>mine are changed out but now its red peppers for a mexican theme.


Ebay has lots of string lights (just put in the key word string lights and look in the home & garden catagory). You could also paint your concrete area. I painted mine all brown then made a river stone look ontop by making a large stencil and using other earth tones in browns to be my stones.

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Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 140 Feedbacks
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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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 205 Posts
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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May 22, 20160 found this helpful

Empty food tins, instead of being recycled can by upcycled into luminaries. Clean and remove labels then use a hammer and nail or metal punch or ice pick (anything sharp enough to make a hole) to carefully punch holes in the sides of the cans without making dents. You can just make random holes or try to make star patterns or anything at all, really. Be sure to add a couple of holes near the top if you want to hang these from a tree or your fence, but be sure to use long pieces of cord or string. Add candles (from the dollar store).

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January 24, 2011

I am looking for a frugal decorating website? Any ideas?

By jenny from MN


Bronze Craft Medal for All Time! 52 Crafts
January 25, 20110 found this helpful


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Silver Post Medal for All Time! 277 Posts
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

Well, the best thing to do is to go to Google and type in "budget decorating" and see what comes up. I did that and came up. It seems like a good website. I also found, which is a great site.

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January 12, 2022

This is my frugal idea for decorating your home. I choose a picture that I like and then decorate the room based on the objects/colors of the picture. The decor that I purchase has been found at garage sales or thrift stores. The end result makes my home look well decorated but I am able to do it on a budget. These are some of the pictures and decor I have used.

Teddy bears on a shelf.

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