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How to Save Money on Home Décor
by Ruby Bayan

Handcrafted Hanging Lamps We all wish we could decorate our homes "just like in the magazines." Because many of the décor elements in magazines and catalogs are expensive name brand items, fixing up an identical layout can cause a major dent on the family budget. But decorating doesn't have to be costly. With a little bit of creativity and some handcrafting, home décor can be easy on the pocket.

What you'll need:

Creativity
Time for discount shopping
Time for handcrafting
Botanicals

What to do:

1. Have a wish list. Go ahead and thumb through the home and garden catalogs and magazines. Get a feel for the style you want to have in your home, or for a particular room in the house. If you have a concept or a "dream theme" in your head, you'll develop an awareness for the elements you will be looking for. Knowing what you want keeps you on track and away from non-essential purchases.

2. Have a budget. By designating specific funds for décor, you can plan on your purchases, making sure you are able to acquire all the decorative items you need to complete the room. For example, you'll know you can't get a fancy curtain rod if your budget for window treatments is only $50 per window.

3. Hit the thrift stores and garage sales. With your "dream theme" in mind, explore the discount stores, estate sales, flea markets, and garage sales. Don't forget online auctions. You'll be surprised how many decorative items are being sold and resold like new. Slightly used vases, centerpieces, silk plants, curtain rods, blinds, drapes, lamps, candle holders, picture frames, and various pieces of furniture can all be acquired at ridiculously low prices from people who have grown tired of their old décor themes.

4. Handcraft your own decorative items. Even with only basic knowledge of sewing, you can make your own throws, toss pillows, curtains, roman shades, art frames, and other fabric décor. With basic woodworking and painting skills, you can create your own shelves, picture frames, and wall decor. Children's artwork is always attractive and heartwarming.

5. Go natural. Plants, flowers, foliage, and various botanicals are among the best décor items because they are fresh, compliments any decorative style, and are highly versatile. Rotate potted plants indoors and outdoors for variety. Incorporate cut leaves, fresh fruits, and even dried branches and vines into your layout. If you have a garden, decorating with plants is practically free.

6. Repurpose and recycle. One of the most cost-effective ways to decorate is to repurpose what you already have. Old bedding can be converted into window treatments. Retired bamboo shades that become part of a handcrafted oriental lamp or wall décor. Outdated shutters can be recycled into plant stands. Old boxes can be embellished into decorative containers.

Helpful Tips:

If you think you're not creative enough to do your own décor, consult a friend who loves handicrafts. Do-it-yourselfers and handcrafters tend to have plenty of ideas for decorating the home.

References:

Save Money on Window Treatments
Recycle Shoeboxes Into Decorative Storage


Contributed to eHow.com by Ruby Bayan, Home & Garden Topic Expert 2007-2010

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