Decorate Your Home on a Budget
Buy used vs DIY your home decor vs Shop strategically

Edited by Rebecca Kelsey Sampson, Eng, Doug Collins

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Decorating your home can be a daunting task, especially if you have just moved into your first place and don't have a lot of funds to get started.

Here are some easy tips to follow so that you can get the best decor items out of your budget.

General tips:

  • To make your home look cohesive, try to stick to a general color palette or theme (no matter where you shop).
  • Adding life to your home is as easy as adding plants, fake plants, emphasizing natural lighting, and little touches like family portraits.
  • Involving your friends and family in your home projects is a great way to create memories and bond with them. If it's been a long day of work, treat them to a champagne and pizza party afterward!
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Method 1: Buy used

Thrifting, getting donations from family, and other ways to get used items is the best way to get started in your new home. Not only are you helping the environment by reusing older products but you are getting the most you can for your buck.

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    Ask friends and family if they have any extra decor and furniture items stored away that they don't need any more.
    Most likely, they do! When I first moved out, my best friend gave me her couch (she was dying for an excuse for a new one), my mother in law gave me a lot of wall art and extra linens, and my stepfather and mom gave me a huge amount of cutlery and kitchen items. You never know what you can get until you ask. Most people accumulate too much junk that they feel bad throwing out or donating, so they feel perfectly happy giving it to you instead.
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    Take advantage of Craigslist!
    There are boards where people are giving away stuff they no longer want to whoever shows up at their house. Just proceed with caution, you can get some great items from people that don't want to deal with the fuss of a garage sale but it's always advisable to bring someone with you when you are going to a stranger's house.
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    Garage sale surf!
    Check online for local garage sale listings, get some cash from the bank, and go to as many sales as you can. Pay close attention for moving sales, estate sales, and other downsizing related sales. You are likely to find a lot of home decor items. Vintage books make cute home decor items as well and you'll often find them in sales like these.
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  4. 4
    Go to the Goodwill and Salvation Army.
    Both stores have a lot of home items for really inexpensive prices. You'll often leave with items that are one of a kind, no longer in production, or even antiques!
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Method 2: DIY your home decor

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Making items are a great way to save money and use your creativity, there are thousands of tutorials you can follow to make your home a completely custom and beautiful place. Here are a few ideas I've tried personally that I know will help add some personality to your home.

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  1. 1
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    Print your own wall art.
    There are plenty of free printables online (just Google "printable art print" and other similar terms) and use your home printer. If you have a sturdy cardstock paper, that would be even better. You can easily print 8 by 10 and 5 by 7 art prints, frame them, and put them up around your house. Or, simply print family pictures! When was the last time you printed out a couple's selfie? Adding family touches around the home are a great way to make your house feel full of love.
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  2. 2
    Put up your art or family photos in a unique way, like with a clotheslines art piece or by pinning it to a DIY corkboard wall.
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  3. 3
    Frame old maps, yellowed book pages, newspapers, and other odd things you wouldn't normally expect for a vintage look.
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  4. 4
    Create a DIY shag rug out of old clothing or a Make a Pom Pom Rug with supplies from the dollar store.
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  5. 5
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    Hot glue together old plates and candlesticks for a custom jewelry tray.
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    Create a wall hang out of paper towel rings!
    It's surprisingly easy to make, all you need is paper towels and hot glue. Or, try this gorgeous book wreath.
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  7. 7
    Making pillowcases are surprisingly easy and there are so many tutorials on this topic on YouTube.
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Method 3: Shop strategically

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For whatever you can't make or get from friends, buy at discount stores!

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    My favorite stores to shop at are Ross and Marshalls, stores like these have great deals on trendy items.
    To keep your budget low, buy only accent and statement pieces at these stores.
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  2. 2
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    Purchase plants from stores like Home Depot to bring some extra life to your home without spending too much.
    Just be careful to keep them alive!
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  3. 3
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    Buy recycled versions of items that you can't find used, like rugs.
    I purchased a gorgeous recycled plastic woven rug on Amazon that is completely pet proof. It doesn't gather dog or cat smells and my pets have no urge to pee on them. It does not look plastic at all in person.
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I hope this guide gave you some ideas for what to buy, what to make, and what to get used! You can get a lot from your budget if you make sure to think it all through.

Enjoy your new home!

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Categories : Home Improvement

Recent edits by: Eng, Rebecca Kelsey Sampson

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