What do you do when your home needs an overhaul but you don’t have money to decorate? Here are some home decorating ideas you can use to decorate for free!
12 Ideas To Decorate For FREE!
A Reader Asks:
So, gals, what do you suggest for a homemaker with walls in need of painting, and windows that need curtains, but hubby does not want you to paint the walls or put up newer curtains (The old one has holes). You’re right– He does not want to spend time or money on them, and does not want me to do so either. We are on a pretty tight budget.
Thanks for any advice! He’s a nice guy, but our home is in need.
Here are a few easy things you could do to decorate for free:
- Hang a large dramatic picture on the wall trying to cover up as much as you can. If you don’t have a picture, find a large piece of cardboard (you can get them for free everywhere) and cover them with a huge collage of pictures.(By huge, I mean something like 4′x5′.) You can use family pictures, other pictured you may have laying around or even pictures of bright colored flowers and scenics torn from magazines.
- Tightly wrap squares of cardboard with fabric from old clothing or sheets or decorate the squares with anything that looks good and make a large arrangement of these on the wall.
- Find a bunch of very tall branches, spray paint them (or if you can’t even do that, leave them as-is) and twist a strand of white lights around them. (You can get the lights at the dollar store.) If you don’t have just leave them as it. Then stage it as you would a potted tree.
- Be very dramatic using large amounts of things to draw attention. In the winter, I find mounds of evergreens for free, so I arrange them neatly on my mantle with some pine cones I picked up. People’s eyes go to the mantle first thing instead of the unpainted walls. (Definitely don’t this in a way where fire might come in contact with the arrangement.)
- If you don’t need the curtains for privacy, take them down and don’t have any at all. If the ones you have are old and dingy, it is better to show off a sparkly clean window with the sun shining in.
- Do you have sheets that you no longer use? I open up the end with the wide hem and slide them on the rod for some very long dramatic looking curtains.
- If you’re working in a room like a kitchen, replace your curtains with some pretty dish towels, doilies, aprons or napkins arranged in a cute way over the rod. I have even seen decorations where the people took an old skirt, slit it down a seam and hung it across a window.
- If you need to keep the same curtains in place, then patch the worn spots with appliques, squares, hearts, rough cut flowers or cute buttons. Use fabric and buttons from old clothing that match your decor. Don’t forget that things like old jeans and squares from old jeans would work well in places like boys’ rooms.
- If you need the privacy: If you have a piece of lace, dip it into some liquid starch then carefully smooth it onto the bottom part of the window pane.
- Use what you have. I needed tie backs for my curtains, but it would have cost me $50 or more. I had only paid $5 for the curtains for 10 windows, so there was no way I was going to spend that much on tie backs. I was trying to figure out what to do when I noticed some scraps of heavy duty electric wiring the electricians had left. It was flexible but strong. I cut them to the correct size, made sleeves for them from the scraps of curtain material and they worked great. You don’t even need to know how to sew. You can use fusable web.
- Check out your recycling center. We get free paint, stain and all kinds of things there. I even went to one recycling place and they had some huge cardboard Disney characters and crayons that would have been so cute in a child’s room. They also had some glass bottles that would have been pretty lined up in a window or on a shelf.
- Look around your house at what you do have. Pretty dishes, a bowl of fruit, cookies, candy set on a table or counter in the kitchen, blankets thrown over a worn spot on the couch can all be decorative. Tie a small table cloth around a bed pillow to place on a chair, or pin your pretty jewelry pins on a pillow or a fabric covered cardboard. Other things like a basket filled with pretty balls of yarn work well also.
If you can’t do any of these, then just keep your home as neat and sparkly clean (but with a comfortable lived in look) as you can. I lived for a very long time with the plaster falling off my walls in big chunks when I had no money and I had to improvise. I also had a couch that had seen better days. It had a slip cover that was worn out when I got it and springs poking out so that if you didn’t sit just right they would cut you. This was my living room furniture. I lived with those for many years. Keep it clean and homey in the best way that you can. People notice a dirty house more than a worn and tired one, but using ideas like these can add a lot of charm and cure a lot of visual flaws!
Local thrift or discount stores may have good quality flat bed sheets for cheap. Make a rod across the battered wall, and hang the sheets like drapes to help cover the whole battered wall. Pleating or adding fullness to the fabric will also help sound proof a home. White sheets can be dyed or left white. Curtains that are done in could possibly be shortened and trimmed or not, to make simple valance like curtains. Cute in a kitchen, or near a doorway. Good condition blankets (quilts especially) or bedspreads make great furniture covers, and are totally washable. A clean house is best, with some fresh air, a spritz of lemon, or simmering cinnamon in a pot of boiling water on the stove, goes a long way to picking up a room. A small bouquet of flowers, wild or otherwise, set in a bowl or vase on the table, helps, too.t
Walls can be dusty. Wash them and they might be able to get away without new paint.
Frame pretty pieces of scrapbook paper, if you can find some that coordinates with the room.
I’ve used clearance cloth napkins to make pillows.
Your mentioning the scrapbook paper reminded me Jodi to tell everyone to check out places that sell wall paper. Ask if they have any sample books they are tossing. I got a bunch once for free and used them for so many things. I made dolies for under vases, lamps etc. – cutting them in circles or pinking shears. Framed them for the wall, place mat on the table, to line drawers.
I live in a home built in 1960. The walls are the old plaster with half dollar sized holes in it, then they covered that with about 1/2 inch of cement. You literally have to predrill everything. If you try to pound a nail in, you are liable to end up with a chunck of wall left from a dime size to that 50 cent piece. I love to show pictures of my family photos, trips etc. My husband and I purchased a 4×8 wood trellis, painted it white, and hung photos on it. I bought one of those insta hangs, (as seen on t.v.). I used the nails that come with it, they look like thumb tacks. While I have changed the color of my walls several times, the trellis remains white. (the wall it is on, have only 4 holes).
I made curtains out of old fleece blankets just cut strips on which ever end you want to use to hang them then tie them on the rod, I used camo and it turned out real cute. It was great in the summer because they let in just enough light but not the full glare and in the winter they insulated the windows.
A no-cost way to get a new look is to rearrange furniture and accessories. Move that small table from the guest bedroom to the living room, for example.When guests arrive, move it back to the guest room if it’s really needed. Turn the sofa at a 45 degree angle instead of placing it flat against the wall. Move the rug to another area of the house, or rotate a rectangular rug 90 degrees. Slide the chair from near the entryway and place it near the window to create a reading nook.