How to Decorate with Things You Already Have

How to decorate with things you already have- Freshening up your decor doesn't have to cost a lot, in fact, it can be free if you use stuff you already have on hand!

How to Decorate with Things You Already Have

Do you want a fresh look for your space but don’t want to go broke making it happen? If so, take a look at these ways to decorate with things you already have!  I find that once February comes (or once I’ve had enough of the dreary winter weather), I want to freshen things up inside. Make things brighter if you will.  Chances are, with these tips, everything you need is right under your own roof; you just need to get creative with it. Here are some helpful tips to get you started decorating with the things you already have!

1. Get savvy with spray paint.

Just about anything can achieve a fresh new look when you give it a coat of spray paint. Paint vases, lamp bases, small furniture pieces, even glassware knick knacks. Choose a color that goes with your color scheme or opt for fresh white. It’s sure to look like a whole new piece!

2. Bring the outside in.

Arrange some long branches in a vase for a pop of rustic charm. Fill bud vases with flowers and fresh cut greenery. You can even paint rocks or pine cones to use as bowl fillers. Nature provides so much beauty, find ways to bring it indoors!

3. Get crafty with fabric.

Take fabric scraps or old clothing pieces to use as the makings for runners, throw pillows, place mats, and more. You only need a little fabric and some simple stitchery to make these items happen, so why not give it a shot?

4. Get creative with picture frames.

Do you have tons of picture frames around your home? Use them to frame photos, artwork, colorful fabric scraps, scrapbook paper and more. You can even use them to frame electrical outlets.

5. Use old things in new ways.

Use that old mason jar as a cotton ball holder in the bathroom, or an old fruit crate for magazines. Using items in ways other than for what they were intended is so fun and functional.

6. Get budget savvy with books.

Books can be stacked up to create some visual interest on end tables and coffee tables. You can even frame old pages of books, make bunting banners, or use them as trinket boxes when you carve out the center of them.

7. Let kids get creative.

Display children’s school and art work in fun and decorative ways. Create banners with it, frame it, or laminate it and use as place mats, runners, and more.

See how simple it can be to decorate your home with things you already own? Give these tips a try and see how budget savvy and beautiful your space can be.

How do you decorate on a budget?

Decorate with Things


Free Printable Wall Art for Your Home

free printable wall art

One of my good friends celebrated a birthday last month and I wanted to do something a bit more personal for her this year.  We’ve been through our ups and downs together for nearly 18 years.  18!  Now, that in itself is special. :)

I have been having a lot of fun creating the graphics for Simply Frugal so I knew I wanted to try my hand at creating some wall art.  So, I asked her what her favourite bible verse was and got to work playing around with different fonts and colours.  Fun!

This is what I came up with:


I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out and my friend seemed to love it!  Especially, I think, that it was made just for her.  I gave it to her in a picture frame I picked up somewhere along the way.

I was having so much fun, I decided to make another one:

Life does not have to be perfect2

Of course, I can’t show you these without making them available for you to download and print for yourself!  Each picture is made to fit a 5×7 frame and perfect for decorating on a budget!

I hope you enjoy!

DIY: Easy Spring Mantel

easy spring mantel 3

I’ve been meaning to show you how I decorated our fireplace mantel for spring this year.  Not because I think it’s wonderful, but because I actually spent a little bit of time into making our home feel more homey.  You see, I’ve been struggling with a bit of discontentment when it comes to our current living situation.  So, aside from Christmas time, I haven’t decorated the mantle in quite a few years.  I figured, why decorate something I don’t love?  Why show this small, cramped, old place, that we call home, any love when I don’t feel the love for it?

Well, wouldn’t you know it, but I had a bit of an “ah ha” moment when I realized that this is the place we call home and we do make memories here.  This is also the first place my daughter has known as her home.  My home doesn’t dictate who I am as a person so when I succumb to discontentment in my circumstances, I’m creating an unhappy person on the inside.

This mantel project will hold a place in my heart forever as the project that “kicked some sense” into me.  I have nothing for want.  My needs are well taken care of.  So each time I look at the banner, I will be reminded of all that I have to be happy for. And remember that I’m a work in progress and that one day (or starting today), my circumstances won’t decide who I am as a person.  So I will welcome friends and family into my home without feeling ashamed.

Friends, please tell my you have the same sort of struggles?

Now, in case you”re still with me to find out how I made the paper banner, I’ll tell you how!

First of all I chose a few pieces of scrapbook paper that coordinated and were spring-like in colour.  Next, I folded the papers in half and free-handed with a pair of scissors a pendant shape.  this is so I could drape the paper pieces over a piece of twine.

Finally, I added mini clothes pins to each paper and added some burlap flowers I picked up at Michaels in the dollar bins.  Simple, right?  The jars holding the daffodils are from Target and the ribbons tied around the jars are also from Michaels.

How have you shown love to your home lately?

easy spring mantel 2  easy spring mantel1

15 Frugal Christmas Decorating Ideas

 Frugal Christmas Decorating Ideas

It’s Christmas decorating week here in the Simply Frugal household!  I thought it would be fun to do a round-up of some amazing frugal Christmas decorating ideas!  Each of the links feature simple, but neat DIY projects from other fantastic sites! Enjoy!

Will you be trying to make anything off the list?

Decorating Your Home on a Budget

decorating your home on a budget

Another thing I enjoy doing is decorating my home.  Making it a place of comfort and refuge while being appealing to the eye.  I’ve found myself, over the years, drooling over beautiful magazine spreads and jaw dropping images of interiors around the web.

Not to be discouraged by the high price tag of the rooms I’ve been admiring, I’ve found my own ways to create rooms I love on a budget.


I’m sure you’ve all heard this before, but a can of paint really can do wonders to a room.  Painting one, three or all four walls can transform the feel of a room in an instant, for less than $50!  Take a whole bunch of paint sample chips home and place them against the walls throughout the day to pick a colour that will be right for you.

Don’t always think of paint in terms of walls.  Pick up a quart of paint for some old furniture that needs a facelift.  Or my favourite, spray paint!  I spray everything from candlesticks to mail boxes.  I like to go with bright colours for these items since they add a bit of personality or drama.


I’ve been known to take old greeting cards and frame them in a cheap frame to create art for the walls.  Or another favourite of mine, I buy nice, inexpensive dish towels to use as table runners for my coffee and kitchen tables.  Think creatively!


Really, it’s all in the accessories you use!  Accessories are cheap in comparison to furniture pieces.   Go for items in colours you’d never have the guts to use in large areas.  For example, my kitchen, quite accidentally, is full of red accessories.  These accessories happen to be practical though.  A dish towel here, a red spatula there, and my piece de resistance, my beloved red KitchenAid mixer!

Play around and have fun with smaller items.  I have a shelf of items that I like to rotate around my home so I don’t get bored with a certain look.  I like to call it shopping at home!


Yep, you heard me, I said splurge!  Just be smart about it.  I’m a believer that with some items, like furniture, you’ll save money in the long run if you purchase quality the first time.   Have patience when it comes to buying the more expensive items as they will most likely end up on sale at some point!

Be Inspired

While looking through magazines or the like, ask yourself if you can recreate something you saw with items you already have or something from the thrift store.  Fell in love with a dramatic black dresser with glass knobs?  Make it yourself!  It’ll be a fraction of the cost.  Inspiration can be found everywhere.   A store window, a piece of fabric, a photograph or even scrapbook paper!

All in all, use your brilliant ideas to create the home of your dreams, that functions just as you want it to and is full of your own personality!

Small Rooms on a Budget

small rooms on a budget

Small rooms can be a blessing and a curse. A blessing because there isn’t a lot of room for tons of stuff, which means less to clean. A curse because they can get chaotic if not organized properly. If you have ever seen those very stylish and cool room organizers then you know how expensive they can be. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to organize a small room without investing in any expensive equipment. You do not need to hire a professional organizer to come in and create more space in your small room. Most of the items professional organizers use are available at local stores, you are simply paying for their time.

Use Bulletin Boards

Bulletin boards are great because they are affordable and they take up very little space. A bulletin board is great for pinning important documents, pictures and even hanging keys. You can do a lot of different things with bulletin boards and they truly do help to keep a small room organized.

Multipurpose Furniture

Using furniture for a variety for different purposes is a great way to save space and money. You can use a desk for work, but it can also be a TV stand. You can use a leather coffee table for seating and even storage. If you live in a small apartment or studio consider getting a futon as you can use it as a couch and bed.

Use The Closet 

The closet provides more space than you might think. Need a home office but don’t have the space or the funds to build one, not a problem. Find a small desk and create a home office in your closet. This is a great space-saving technique and you can easily close it up with company comes over.

Use Shelves

Shelves are very affordable and provide you with much-needed additional space. You can use shelves in the bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, living room, garage or any other small room in the house. If you really want to save some money purchase plain wood at the hardware store and paint or stain the wood yourself.

Use Existing Space

Take advantage of the space that you already have in your home. Even in the smallest of rooms you can make more space without spending much money. You can purchase plastic bins that slide under the bed, hanging organizer units for the closet and even organizers that go behind the toilet. Most of these items you can pick up at Target, Walmart, Amazon or your local hardware store.

Create a Stylish Home on a Budget

create a stylish home on a budget

If you have ever watched any DIY show you have probably seen the amazing homes showcased. It’s easy to get caught up in the fact that your home might not look like a million dollars. However, you can have a beautiful home that is stylish and done on a budget! Just about with any budget you can make your home stylish and welcoming. Also keep in mind that simplicity is typically what looks the best in any home.

Create a Stylish Home on a Budget


Purchasing paint is fairly inexpensive and can change-up the look of any room. If you are ready for a change and don’t have a lot of money, consider painting. Even just painting an accent wall can turn any home from dull to very hip and stylish! Don’t be afraid to try out different colors. Most paint stores will give you little amounts of paint to take home and try out.


One very inexpensive way to bring style to a room is by adding rugs. You don’t have to go out and pay expensive rugs! In fact places like Target, Walmart and Home Sense are all great places to find very large and beautiful rugs on a budget. Try to pick out a rug that adds color as you can find other accents based off of the colors in the rugs. If your rug has some red and purple in it, look for red and purple throw pillows for your couch.


Lighting can make or break any room. You want to make sure you have just enough lighting and don’t be scared of trying out different lamps. Adding some lamp shades, stand up lamps or even recessed lighting can turn your room into a stylish one.

Wall Art

There are different price ranges when it comes to wall art. You can really dig in the pocket-book and hit up a gallery or you can go the more budget friendly route. Look for wall art at garage sales, discount stores and even at your local mall. You can also just make your own wall art with family pictures blown up onto canvas.  Or, make a beautiful printable and frame it. Wall art is an area you can really get creative since it isn’t permanent.


Using decorations to bring some style to a room is easy and affordable. In fact just adding in some simple things like throw pillows, inexpensive curtains, candles and plants can really liven up any room. You can find these items at second-hand stores, garage sales or re-purpose what you already own.

How are your creating your stylish home on a budget?

Easy DIY: Rothko Inspired Cardboard Art

Tanya from Dans Le Townhouse sent along another great DIY project!  This time check out her Rothko inspired cardboard art, made for a song and a dance!

How to Install Peel & Stick Vinyl Flooring that you can Grout

Visit Frugal Family Times for a pretty amazing (and cheap) floor makeover tutorial using peel & stick vinyl tiles that you can grout!

Free eBook – Home Decor on a Budget

Download Home Decor on a Budget for free!  The price is currently $0.00 but please be aware that this can change at any time.  Also note that this free download is especially for Kindles but you can download a free application called Kindle for PC which allows you to read these Kindle ebooks on your computer!

Double check that it is still $0 before purchasing it!!

Thanks, Mrs. January.