How to Decorate on a SHOESTRING Budget!

Is it just me or does it seem every “how to decorate on a budget” isn’t really on a “budget.” When I say the word “budget”, I mean…single mom…college student… less than $1000 BUDGET. Everyone’s perception of a budget is different and in the design world, you can’t get much for under 1K. However, it’s disheartening for those who are really working on a shoestring budget to hear people saying they’re working on a budget…but end up spending 5K on a bedroom makeover; it’s just not realistic for everyone. 

Gummy Bear Lights

I’m here to show you, that it IS realistic to have a beautiful space without spending a bunch of money…you just have to get creative. You gotta think out of the box. You gotta get your hands dirty. You can’t be afraid of used, worn, dust, and dirt. You either want it or you don’t. Not everything comes easy. But, if you’re willing to step outside of your box,  you’ll be surprised at what you can make something become.

Playroom Makeover

Alright, let’s get on with some tips and ideas on how to really decorate on a SHOESTRING budget! 

“Don’t look at it as what it is, look at what it could be.” – Laci Jane, LJDECOR

I would have passed up so many good thrifty finds if I simply looked at items as what they are. That embroidery hoop would have never became a light. And that dresser would have never became two nightstands, those same nightstands would have never became mirrored zgallerie inspired nightstands the ebay couch never would’ve became pink, and a piece of glass into a mirror—you get the point. I could have tossed it because I didn’t like it. Instead, I used what I had and worked with it. You’re working on a 1K budget, quit being picky. 

              $200 Living Room Makeover

This doesn’t just apply to furniture, it can also apply to housing. You may even be hesitating decorating your home because you’re looking at it as it is, and not what it could be. This perception applies to everything…except people, ya can’t change them 😉 

Racer Pink Semi-Gloss Interior Paint


Painting is the least expensive thing you can do that brings the biggest impact.

A Thoughtful Place Blog

Paint your accessories

If you’re renting and not allowed to paint your walls, paint your accessories (blue chairs / orange pedant)

Source Unknown-Unlinked Pinterest Pin

Decorate with Books

Go to Goodwill and get a ton of books in your favorite colors (try to go on a day the books are 50% off, I think its the first Saturday of the month). It’s an inexpensive way to fill those bookshelves, empty nooks, shelves, and coffee tables.

Thumbtacked Canvas

DIY it-make your own art

I have several DIY projects on the cheap here on my blog. There’s a ton of ideas online, if you search you will find some really great ideas. For example, wrap your canvas with a shower curtain (or any sort of fabric) for a new look. You can also paint over your existing artwork, or use wooden letters over fabric for your artwork to say whatever you want it to say. You can stencil it, use letter decal stickers, create a silhouette or design with thumbtacks, etc…Here are some more great ideas.

Playroom Makeover

Rearrange/take things from other rooms/ repurpose them

This cubicle was turned into a playhouse. I turned a shoe storage into a toy storage bench. I’ve turned a dresser into two nightstands Before getting rid of something, or hesitating to get it, think all the different ways you can use it.

Source Unknown-Unlinked Pinterest Pin

Dip Dye your Curtains

You can dip dye your curtains, bedding, tapestry, etc… using Kool Aid.

Playroom Makeover

Create a wall stencil

Create large artwork with some acrylic paint and a stencil. I did this one in Jayli’s playroom using what I already had on hand.

DIY Mirrored Closet Doors

Mirror Closet Doors

Mirror out your closet doors to make the room look bigger. This is very inexpensive and really makes a big difference on builder grade doors.

Design Of Furniture

Ask for help + Take It.

People are always getting rid of things. Our vacuum went out last month and Scott told his mom in a casual conversation and she had an extra one laying around she was wanting to get rid of. She had also gotten rid of a lawn mower rake and he kicked himself for not telling her he was looking for one. Closed mouths don’t get fed. Don’t be afraid to speak up. Also, don’t be afraid of accepting the help.  Take the things that are offered to you, even if they aren’t necessarily your style. Remember, don’t look at something as what it is….look at what it could be.

Design of Furniture

Be Patient

Be patient. Decorating is never really “done”. Look around and wait for deals. Don’t get yourself in debt because you can’t stop thinking about the 5K sofa. Be patient, keep an open mind, and use your imagination to create what you want.

Inspirational photos 

I’m now going to show you some inspirational photos that I love, and what I would do to make it on a shoestring budget.

Style at Home

Goodwill sells pictures in really big frames. Use the frame as a statement piece on an accent wall. I’ve seen pendant lights like this at Habitat for Humanity Restore, check it out if you haven’t been!

You can get pieces of plywood (and cut to size) at Lowes for really cheap. Paint them, stencil them, upholster them, etc…to make a statement and balance out the weight of your sofa. Love these! Spray paint is your BEST FRIEND. Get a lamp from Goodwill and spray paint it one of your accent colors.

Remember what I said about upholstering plywood? Get them cut into even squares and upholster them to create one big statement piece behind your sofa, like in the photo above.

You can even create a big statement mirror out of plywood and Dollar Tree mirror (kinda like this one I made except I used circle mirrors). You can create a faux fireplace to create a nice little cozy sitting area.

I also plan to continue sharing how to decorate on a little budget with more tips and ideas. Once a week, I will be going to thrift stores and show you what I find and I will repurpose it.

Do you know your style? Click here to find out how to find YOUR personal style. You gotta know what you like and what your style is, so that you have direction.

I hope this blog post helped you. If you’re still struggling, maybe eDesign is right for you. I am an international decorator and my rate is very cheap compared to other designers. I do because I love it. I love helping others, especially people on a very little budget. You’re all near and dear to my heart, I have been there. I know how important it is to have a nice home for yourself and your family.  I can work on a shoestring budget, help you with DIY ideas, and you’ll have email access to me for 30 days after your purchase.

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