If you’re willing to perform a few easy clean-ups and fix-ups, refurbishing a thrift store or garage sale find can make your decorating budget go a lot farther.
Make a Table
If you have a solid foundation piece, it isn’t hard to make a table out of it. Wood, glass and acrylic table tops can be attached to unique bases to create cool effects. You can even find inexpensive, quirky candidates for the price of a set of table legs.
How about a glass topped table on a stone birdbath base? You might also consider using a discarded wooden cable spool as a table base or even use a wooden door as a table top.
Prefab tops and turned table legs are available at most home improvement and some craft stores. They’re easy to install and pretty cheap considering the cost of tables these days.
Sheets are a useful all-purpose fabric resource. In fact, never throw them away. After they’re through in the bedroom, you can cut them up for curtains, tablecloths, placemats, napkins, couch covers and even rag rugs.
Sheets have the advantage of being large and tightly woven, which makes them sturdy and versatile. As budget décor materials go, they’re a winner. One hundred percent cotton sheets work best, and if the thread count is under 200, multiple layers will be easier to sew together.
Craft a Lamp from a Kit
You can make a lamp out of almost anything that you can drill two holes into or wrap electrical cord around. That includes glass, ceramic, wood and even metal. All it takes is an inexpensive lamp kit (some go for under $10) and a drill with a bit that can cut through the object in question.
Turn a special wine bottle, candle holder or even a vase into a lamp. Once you start looking around, you’ll come up with lots of bargain lamp ideas that’ll work for you.
Start a Collection
Take advantage of the nostalgic appeal of old things by creating an attractive visual collection. Old pop bottles in a wicker basket, mismatched spoons mounted on a wooden base or old thimbles enclosed in a shadow box can look dynamic and cost very little. All you need is a group of similar objects and some time to play with the presentation.
Picture frames are one accessory item that can be reclaimed in lots of ways. There are also so many of them around that they’re one of the best designer bargains out there.
Put a painted plywood backing behind a frame and you’ll have a tray for the top of an ottoman or vanity. Add some legs and you have a serviceable table. You can also install a cheap mirror on an elaborate old frame for an expensive look that can add style to an entry or hallway.
A cheap print will look better in a vintage frame, and an eclectic collection of vintage framed art will add luster to your walls on the cheap. Add a backing covered with velvet (or even burlap) and mount your collection in a frame. Those ticket stubs or matchbooks may look silly by themselves, but once they’re enclosed in a unifying frame, they’ll look downright impressive.
When you use your imagination, anything’s possible.