10 Tips for Decorating on a Budget

I love decorating and making a space my own, and I love making it happen on a budget.  So, here are my top ten tips for decorating on a budget.

Do you ever find yourself drooling at all of the gorgeous homes on Instagram and Pinterest?  I know I do!  Do you long to have a beautiful home, but feel held back by lack of funds?  If so, you’ve come to the right place!  I love decorating and making a space my own, and I love making it happen on a budget.  So, I’ve come up with my top ten tips for decorating on a budget.


1. Shop end of season/holiday sales

I know it’s tough to wait, but end of season sales and after holiday sales are an awesome time to stock up on decor items for cheap.  Twice in the past few months, I scored some amazing deals at end of season sales.  Over the summer, Hobby Lobby was clearing out their Spring Shop decor, and everything that was labeled Spring Shop was 80%-90% off.  I scored this awesome galvanized planter (among other things), which I then turned into a super cute decor piece, for just a few dollars.  (See how I did it here.)

Do you love those galvanized farmhouse wreaths that are so popular right now? If so, check out this tutorial for how to make your own farmhouse wreath in just 5 minutes (or less!).
I also racked up at At Home’s summer clear-out, when everything from their summer line was 90% off!

2. Shop garage sales and estate sales

This takes a bit more patience, but again, you can often score amazing decor pieces, or even furniture, for next to nothing.  Garage sales are great, because the people hosting them are wanting to get rid of stuff.  So, they are often willing to let things go for very little.  When it comes to estate sales, prices are typically not as low as garage sales, but they usually discount items on the last day (or sometimes even the last couple of days).  So, if you are willing to wait until the last day of an estate sale, you can potentially get some amazing deals.  I scored these vintage glass medicine bottles at an estate sale this summer for about a dollar apiece!  (The glass vase with the flower was one of my 90% off scores from At Home that I mentioned above.  😉  )

Here are some tips to help you make your home beautiful, and something to be proud of, while sticking to a low budget.


3. Shop Craigslist/Facebook Marketplace/Online Auctions

Shopping Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and online auctions are all great ways to find discounted items from the comfort of your own home.  Obviously, I recommend that you exercise caution when purchasing items from craigslist or facebook – take someone with you, meet in a public place, etc.  I will also say, though, that I have never had any issues with buying or selling on craigslist, and I have done a fair amount.  You can also look up online auctions that may be in your area.  Online auctions are typically established businesses, as opposed to individuals, but the deals are often still fantastic.

Do-It-Yourself Decor:

4. Upcycle Cheap Items

You can easily customize cheap decor items to fit your taste.  It often doesn’t take much time or talent to turn a small piece into exactly what you want.  I often pick up picture frames, vases, etc. at garage sales and paint them to fit my decor.  Spray paint is so easy to work with, and it can completely transform a piece.  Click here for my most recent spray paint transformation.  

5. Customize Items You Already Own

This goes right along with transforming cheap pieces that you’ve picked up while shopping.  You can also easily change the look of items that you already have in your house.  This is an even cheaper way to decorate your home.  I have been slowly making over my family room, and I have definitely put this idea to good use recently.  I had a pair of lamps in my family room that worked perfectly fine, and fit well on my end tables.  The problem was, they didn’t match the new look I was going for in the room.  So, what did I do?  I painted them!  Click here for the full tutorial.

Here is a simple and easy guide for how to quickly and cheaply transform a lamp. Create a whole new look for your space for minimal time and money.

6. Create Cheap Artwork

It is so easy to create cheap artwork nowadays, and it is a fantastic way to update your decor.  Many bloggers offer free printables that they have created.  All you have to do is download the printable, print it off, and frame it!  So. Easy.  I also once saw a blogger who had taken gift bags and framed them.  It was totally adorable, and I never in a million years would have known that it was simply a gift bag in the frame.

7. Do-It-Yourself

Do-it-yourself projects can really save a lot of money if you are willing to put in the time.  And the great thing is, even simple DIY projects can often pack a large punch.  As I mentioned earlier, paint can be completely transformative, and it’s not that difficult to do.  You could paint a whole room, just an accent wall, or a specific feature in a room.  Not too long ago, we whitewashed our fireplace.  It was a super easy project, and really changed the look of the space. 

Do you love the look of whitewashed brick? This tutorial will show you step by step how to whitewash your fireplace in order to update your home.

I’m also currently painting the backsplash in my kitchen and have been surprised at how much it has changed the overall appearance of my kitchen.  Another of my favorite DIY projects was when we took our stairs from carpet to hardwood for under $100.  Basically, if you are up for an adventure, the sky is the limit when it comes to DIY!

Get Creative:

8. Rearrange furniture

The truth is, you actually don’t need to spend a dime to create an entirely new look in your home.  All you have to do is get a little creative.  Rearranging furniture is an easy way to make a big impact.  I used to rearrange furniture frequently.  Early in our marriage, my husband would often come home from work only to find that a room in our house had been completely rearranged from top to bottom.  Fortunately, he’s always been good at just rolling with it, and at this point, is no longer surprised by it.  Ha!

9. Shop Your Home

This is another easy way to change up the look of your home without spending anything at all.  Simply move things around.  If you are styling a particular shelf and need some more items to fill it with, don’t forget to take a look through your own house.  The perfect item may be right at your fingertips.  Don’t be afraid to move things around and try pieces out in different locations.  It can keep things fresh, and it’s totally free!

And finally…

10. Be Patient

This is probably the hardest one on the list.  Be patient.  Decorating your home on a budget requires a lot of patience.  Waiting for sales, taking the time to do-it-yourself, shopping at garage sales, etc. is tough.  I know how hard it is to have patience when you are longing for change or just wanting to finish a project up already.  It will all be worth it in the end, though, and your wallet will thank you.


What’s your best tip for decorating on a budget?


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  1. All really great tips Amy! I was able to get a bunch of Christmas ornaments last year for practically nothing at the yard sales. And of course, I love to shop my home or in my case the basement.

    1. Thanks, Mary! It’s so much more fun when you find things for practically nothing. Plus, you can get so much more that way. Win-win!

  2. I really enjoyed reading this post… I love reading tips about working inside a budget. Even if I’ve heard some of the tips in the past, I always learn something new, and enjoy others perspectives! Thanks for sharing… Pinning! Thanks for co-hosting Sweet Inspiration!

    1. Thanks so much for the share! And I agree – it’s always nice to get someone else’s perspective. You never know what new tips you might come up with. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. You, my friend, are a woman after my own heart. My house decor could be summed up with something I often say when people ask me where I got my teacart or my church window or whatever. “All things come to those who wait.” All my besties know my style, so like you, I shop my house when I want a decor boost. Love these good ideas to find stuff! (I’m still waiting for an old clickety-clack typewriter.)
    Happy Fall!

    1. Haha! Yes, patience is key! And it’s funny you should mention an old typewriter. I just saw one of those recently, at an estate sale maybe, but didn’t really have any use for it. There are plenty of things on my “patiently waiting and looking for” list, though. 😉 Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Super tips Amy. So many people tend to shop at high end stores because it’s seems easier, but we can save so much money by thinking outside the box and seeing old things in a new light. And you do that sooooooo well.

    1. Thanks, Michelle. I can’t hardly even bring myself to walk into a high end store. Ha! It’s so much more fun to hunt for bargains and stretch your money. 🙂

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