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!

5 Places to Shop when Decorating on a Budget

So you want to decorate. The thing is, the piggy bank is pretty empty. However, there are plenty of ways to decorate on a budget, especially if you know where to shop.

So you want to decorate.  Liven up your home with a new few things.  The thing is, the piggy bank is pretty empty.  But that doesn’t have to stop you.  There are plenty of ways to decorate on a budget, especially if you know where to shop.

Here are 5 places to shop when you’re decorating on a budget:

Dollar stores

Dollar store decor is definitely cheap, price and quality wise, in most cases.  But, dollar stores always seem to have a nice selection of candles, candle holders, vases, wall art and more.  Not only do they have “pre-made” decor items, they provide a great selection of craft supplies so you can create your own unique decor.  As another example, I recently purchased two simple wooden picture frames that I intend on using for framing some nice papers I own to add some colour to the walls.

Thrift stores

Thrift stores can be amazing places to go decor shopping.  They often carry furniture, paintings, accessories, vintage fabric and more.  If you find a piece of furniture you like, but it’s a little on the worn side, you can always refinish, re-paint, or reupholster it. Old paintings and mirrors can be re-framed, or frames can be used for new pieces of art. Finally, clean, polish or spray paint the neat  accessories you find.

Garage sales

Similar to thrift stores, garage sales can be a treasure chest full of cheap home decor items.  While many items might need a little bit of TLC, you may find some beautiful items for sale simply because the sellers have changed their tastes.

Kijiji, Craigslist and Buy & Sell sites

If you’re on the hunt for some new-to-you furniture, I think Kijiji, Craigslist and Facebook Buy & Sell sites are a great place to look.  We recently were on the hunt for a new couch and love seat.  I had been scouring the flyers a good sale, but nothing jumped out at me.  It wasn’t until a leather couch set appeared on a local Facebook group that I got excited.  We ended up getting a great deal because we opted to purchase something gently used.


Possibly the most expensive option on this list, Homesense is a great place to look for brand new lamps, pillows, bedding, baskets, dishes, towels, bathroom accessories and more at marked-down prices.

Where is your favorite budget-friendly place to shop?

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