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Decorating on a Budget

January 21st, 2014 - 10:26 AM

Cheap Decorating Ideas

Moving and decorating a new home can really put a dent in your bank account. We can help you move affordably with U-Pack, but now how do you make your new place feel like home on a budget? If you’ve ever decorating a new home before, you know how easy it is to overspend. But, with a little creativity, imagination, and a Saturday browsing the thrift shops, you can decorate without spending tons of money. Our U-Pack team has been really creative and thrifty in their homes, and we want to share our projects with you for some inspiration for decorating on a budget.

10 Projects for Decorating on a Budget

1. The first project is mine, and it’s an oversized photo in a window pane. I had to do a little digging around some antique shops and thrift stores, but I found the perfect window for $7! I touched up the paint using a small sample jar, and then had an engineering print made of the photo at an office store. This type of print is perfect for this project – it’s just printed on a big sheet of paper. It isn’t glossy like a photo, but works with this treatment. The engineering print is cheaper than a poster. I glued the print to the back of the window and hung it on the wall. Super easy, and by using the paint sample jar and an engineering print, I was able to do this project affordably.


Picture in a window pane

2. One of our web developers, Wesley, made this table. Yes, he made it! And you can too. He took inspiration from fancy retailers, then purchased wood planks, table legs, paint and stain from the hardware store to create this custom piece. If you want some project plans, browse the tables from Ana White and you can make a beautiful table for a fraction of the cost.


Make your own farm table on a budget

3. U-Pack Marketing Director, Chad Summerhill, took inspiration from a pricey Restoration Hardware seat for his chair redo. He bought an outdated chair at that had a great shape, then completely deconstructed the chair. In the places he wanted the wood to be exposed, he covered cardboard in burlap and attached it to keep the wood showing. Then, he covered the rest of the chair with updated fabric to match their home decor. Try this transformation and you’ll get a similar look for a small price!


recovered chair.png

4. One of our writers, Christina, created this cute wall decor on the cheap. She bought an inexpensive cardboard letter and covered it with spray paint. You could purchase a decorative letter from a high-end home store for upwards of $30, but Christina made this one for less than $10.


painted letter.jpg

5. Autumnn, our social media guru, decided to decorate her front porch, which included giving her front door a makeover on a budget. She used a paint store coupon to score a free pint of paint-her choice! Autumnn also redid the hardware on the door using antique bronze spray paint. You could easily do this to doors inside, too! Wouldn’t it be fun to have a brightly colored door leading to your bedroom or guest bath? That pop of color will really give your home some personality without breaking the bank.


Redo your door on a budget

6. Another project in my home is some of the artwork in my kitchen. I painted a canvas with a favorite saying, and then I surrounded the canvas with plates. I’m no artist, but with a few bottles of acrylic paint (that I bought when they were on sale), I was able to make this painted canvas for my kitchen. The plates were free – they came from my Grandma! You could use plates you already have, or buy some from a thrift shop. I simply used plate hangers to hang those on the wall (and to stay on budget, remember to check for coupons from your craft store!). To cut the cost of paint, check out the sale or mis-mixed items at your local paint store—you might be surprised at the options you’ll find.


Kitchen wall hanging with painted canvas and plates

7. Landon, U-Pack Search Marketing Sr. Manager, reworked this dresser for his baby boy’s nursery! He bought a dresser from an online classified for $20, then painted it and applied new, fun hardware. Landon said when they were looking for dressers like this, he was faced with options than carried price tags in the hundreds. For around $50, he was able to custom make one.


Baby nursery dresser redo

 8. Chad also got creative using an old side table he found. When he saw the table’s design, he was inspired to paint it with a checkerboard – and make a chess set! You could probably find a cheap chess set for the pieces at a thrift shop – or you could do checkers instead and use objects like buttons for the game pieces. I just love that this piece is fun and functional!



Thrift shop table made into a chess table

9. Our graphic designer, Devin,completely transformed the look of his kitchen. He wanted new cabinets, but  knew he couldn’t complete that project within his decorating budget. So Devin used the Rust-Oleum Cabinet Transformation® kit and added some new hardware. If you want a kitchen redo without spending all your savings, Devin says this kit was easy to use, and much cheaper than buying new cabinets (available for around $100).


Rust-Oleum Cabinet Transformation<sup>®</sup> before and after

10. One of my favorite budget decorating tips is to use glass jars. I keep this big jar on my kitchen counter after finding it on clearance at a home store, and I fill it with different things throughout the year. During the summer, I fill it with lemons. For Easter, I put decorative eggs inside. And this was during fall, where I put pinecones and plastic pumpkins (which I painted gold) in the jar. You can use ordinary items and display them beautifully using a basic glass jar!.


How to decorate using glass jars

I hope these projects have inspired you to get crafty, hit up the thrift stores, and decorate your home without emptying your wallet. We would love to see your very own cheap decorating projects come to life in your new home, so please send them to us! You can email them to social@upack.com or post them to our Facebook page.