Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Little to No Cost Decorating

I am the QUEEN of thrift!  If there were a tiara and a sash for this title I would wear them proudly to show off my love of all things cheap!

I shop at thrift stores for just about everything!  Every once in a while I'll go to a discount store, but even then I have a hard time buying anything unless it has an additional mark down.  I would prefer to scour yard sales in the summer and take weekly trips to Good Will.

In my mind there is nothing more gratifying that a good buy!

And when it comes to decorating that is always my rule!  I can't remember the last time I paid full price for something.  I would much rather have a unique and one-of-a-kind piece that is a conversation starter than purchase the same couch that 700 other people purchased at the local furniture chain.

True, this can make things a little more challenging and lengthen the process when it comes to decorating....but hey, I'm always up for a good challenge.

Too many times I've heard people say that, "I can't have this room," or "I can't decorate in this style," because they look in a magazine or see something on a high end blog that they love, but they can't even afford to buy one of the throw pillows shown in the picture without going bankrupt.  

Well I'm here to tell you that decorating doesn't have to be expensive and high end to be beautiful!  One of the decorating lessons I've learned along the way is that the best thing you can do is to decorate for YOU!!....within your scope, and your ability, and most importantly within your budget.  And you know what?  Yours will be JUST as beautiful as any magazine picture could be!

I wish I had a "before" picture of the craft room that I just organized, because you wouldn't even recognize it!!  It was one of those catch-all know, the kind where you just throw things in there because you don't have anywhere else to put them so you just kind of randomly toss items in and you close the door so you can't see the mess you're creating behind it.  But then over time you've finally thrown so much in there that you can't even see the floor anymore, and you live in fear that some small animal might have gotten into your house and built a cozy little den underneath  it all. are looking for something that you KNOW you have, but you also know that it is SOMEWHERE in that mess of a room and you finally give up because it's easier just to go buy another "thing" than to dive in and search for it!  Well that's exactly where this room was.  I don't think I'd seen the floor in 2 years.....seriously!!!  Not something I'm proud of but it totally happened.

I decided that I needed to figure out a way to be a little more organized.  I had a room that wasn't even being used to I had the space.  And I wanted a designated area where I could work and create and actually see what supplies I had on hand.  What a crazy concept, right?  

But here's the catch.....I poured over Pinterest inspiration and there were plenty of gorgeous and well-designed craft rooms out there.  But I couldn't afford designer rugs and walls of built-ins and fancy wallpaper or pretty pegboards, and the list goes on and on.  In all honesty, I really didn't want to spend ANY money for this makeover!  I couldn't justify it at all in my head!  So I had to be creative.  But as I started going through that mess of a room, I found out that there were several things I already had that could be used.  I had lots and lots of mason jars that make great storage containers because you can easily see what you have stored in them.  I had several baskets on hand.  And I had some shelving that was in another room that I could totally use to organize everything.  I had buckets and dividers and plenty of other items.  

So that became my create a craft room using mostly what I had and spending little to no money if possible. 

In the end I probably ended up spending just under $30 total.  Most of the money was spent at the dollar store where I purchased several plastic containers for organization.  And my weakness was magnified when I found some cute jars and aqua baskets at Hobby Lobby in the clearance aisle.  I quickly justified those purchases since I had not really spent very much money at all on this project.  So all in all....even though I didn't stick to my "no cost" plan, I'd say I still stayed on track with budget.

And this is the space I created.....

I already had a can of paint in my stash that was this beautiful shade of aqua (it was a mistint by the way, and only cost $5.00 for a whole gallon!) that I thought would be the perfect light shade of blue, just enough to brighten up the room but still leave it warm and cozy.
Next up I had several old pallets from a previous project that hadn't been used and they became the perfect place to hang frames and small buckets for storage.  They were tall and narrow so they were a great way to create some different texture and dimension while still being so functional for "shelving."  I love having things out and visible in the room so I know just what supplies I have on hand.  One of the tricks I've learned is that even though you think that all of your "stuff" may be just supplies, most of the items you have are really quite pretty and work great when left out to display.  So I just proceeded to set out some items that I thought fit the decor of the room, making it pretty, filling empty wall space, and leaving things out so I could take a quick inventory of what I had at any point in time!  This is perfect because there is no need to spend additional money to "decorate" your space, and you can never get bored because once you use something, you find another item to take its place and that way your decor is always new and you never get tired of your own decor!

I needed a way to keep track of projects and custom orders and I've loved all of the chalkboard walls I've seen just about everywhere, but I didn't really want to use an entire wall.  I found this cork board for $5.00 at a local thrift store and I thought it would be perfect!  I already had a spray can of chalkboard paint so I just added a couple of coats and we were good to go!  This board is great because not only can I keep track of projects, but because it's a cork board I can also pin ideas and other inspiration for what I'm currently working on.

For the rest of the decor I just used whatever I had and tried to add a few lamps for some extra lighting.  This will be a work in progress for sure...but I feel like it's a great start!  Although it isn't perfect, I really do love it.  I used extra baskets, jars, strings and anything else fun and interesting and left it out somewhere rather than tucking it away.  Again, what is better to use than the items you will be working with to create!

 And lastly I moved this shelf in and added all kinds of jars, baskets and buckets to create a space for just about anything and everything I had in stock.

This space may not be magazine worthy, but I'm pretty proud of it!  And it's definitely a place that I find myself wanting to spend more time in and that is leading to more crafting and creating projects, which is the ultimate goal, right??

One of my most favorite things about this room is the saying I created on the wall.  Creativity is truly my "happy" and any time I get the chance I find myself looking for a project to work on.  So now I have this fun reminder and equally fun space to spend all my spare time in!  And since I didn't spend very much money I have lots more that can go towards other fun projects I want to get started!  

Cuz Makers are ALWAYS gonna make!!! :) 

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