I was asked to give a 10-15 minute schpill about designing on a dime and had so much fun doing it. Disclaimer: I do not proclaim to be the queen of DIY or upcycling or designing on a dime in any way shape or form. I know there are a lot more creative people out there with a lot more experience than me. That being said... I do have a desire to create and to make my home a beautiful and inviting place to be. As much as I can, I try to do that with either 1. Free things 2. Thrift/antinque purchases and 3. The Clearance racks at my local Target, TJ Maxx and Homegoods.
A few of the things I shared were collage walls, holiday decorating, storage, up cycling old picture frames and furniture. I set up my "entry way" so that I would have an example!
1. Don't spend a kajillion dollars on it.
2. Raid your parents/grandparents basements for cool treasures - frames, doilies, etc. the three oval frames hung in my grandmas house and were sitting in a box at my moms. She had no use for them so I snatched them up. The empty rectangle frame was given to me by Brads grandma. You can't see it very well, but underneath the owl figurine is a doilie that I took out of my moms cedar chest. It was made by my great grandma. We are pretty lucky right now that "old things" are in style! Take advantage of it!
3. Make your own items - wreaths, etc. you can make wreaths out of card board, find them on sale or at the dollar store. The wreath below I got at target for $0.75. I added the burlap and fabric flowers to it from left over burlap and an old tank top that happened to match my color scheme.
When decorating - look for items that can serve a dual purpose. My husband loves early American history and has a small library of books. So... I use them in my decor. Most of them have neutral covers and look nice enough to stack up. My favorite place to shop is Target, but lets be honest, I can't afford to spend what they are asking for all of their gorgeous pieces.. So if I see something I really want, I wait and if I happen to see it again and it's on clearance I will get it. I also check TJ Maxx for similar items. I kind of have an obsession with Owls and got the cute owl figurine in the picture for about $6.00. Which didn't break my bank for my entry way. Neither did the $3.00 frame from target or the books that my husband is waiting till he has time to read them!
Holiday Decor doesn't need to be expensive either. One thing I like to do is fill a vase for each holiday - Easter eggs, candy pumpkins, fall candy corn, ornaments, candy hearts, etc. Don't buy a vase for full price - they go on sale quite frequently at hobby lobby, michaels or Joann's.
I love to make wreaths and one trick I've learned is to not make the, conventional. You can't really see it, but the purple feathers belong to a BOO wreath that I made out of things from the dollar store. The heart wreath is made out of cardboard painted black and covered with felt flowers. It's so easy to do!
I also like making paper banners for each holiday. I used to be an avid scrapbooker and have soooo much paper I don't know what to do with it, so this was one solution. Even if you don't have paper, you can buy 4 sheets at the craft store for $0.25-0.50 a piece for a total of $2 or less...
Storage is fun when you can display and organize your things in pretty jars that once housed pickles, vinegar, pretzels, oatmeal...you get the point. Don't become a complete hoarder of jars though cause it gets addicting!! :) you can store kids stuff in them too like crayons!
Picture Frames - I'm not sure i know anyone that doesn't have picture frames they aren't using stuffed in a closet some where. Start using them!! My favorite thing to do is paint the cardboard backing with chalkboard paint. If the cardboard backing isn't smooth, then you can paint the glass, but I've found the glass scratches easily. You can use them in your home or for parties.
Another thing you can do with picture frames is turn them into jewelry holders. The pink frame has paper covering the cardboard backing and has small hooks to hold the jewelry. I was able to screw them in by hand. For more support you can add glue, but it was strong enough on its own to hold my necklaces and bracelets.