I live alone and, whilst it has its perks, it can be pretty expensive forking out for everything that comes with independence each month. With rent, food, bills, petrol and anything else that might arise (hello unexpected bald tyre), finding the funds to decorate or add some of your personality to your home can be daunting on a tight budget.
Improvising is a biggie for me because I’m kinda’ impatient when it comes to getting creative. If I have an idea I tend to manage to find a way to do it, without having to find the money first and even if I don’t quite manage to pull it off, if I have to admit defeat and head to the shops, at least I know I tried.
Here are some little tips that I discovered that helped me save money when decorating:
- Bottles of all shapes and sizes make great vases – and who doesn’t love an excuse to drink more Prosecco? Obviously, most bottles only have narrow necks but a single flower makes for a lovely centre piece on a table. For a little more room, glass milk bottles are the perfect vase for a small bunch of flowers. Daffodils work great for this so long as you ensure you trim the stalks enough.
- Sticking with the bottle theme, I decided my living room required black vases so instead of buying some, I used old Prosecco bottles and stuffed it with bin liners to stop the glass glowing green in the day light – who needs paint anyway?
- Get creative and make your own prints. If you’ve got some picture frames to fill (which you can pick up for a couple of pound each in most home stores) and you fancy scattering some quotes or some art work around, instead of buying art work from the shops, make you’re own! You don’t even need to be super artistic for this, if you’re not a great drawer, download a free font (it’s always good if you can donate a small amount to the creator as most designers will give their fonts free of charge as long as they’re not used commercially) and get typing. Movie or song lyrics can be a great start if you’re not feeling to inspired. Print them out, pop them in a frame and da-daaah! virtually free art. Another way to save money on artwork, if you’re not very creative, is to get your adult colouring book out, get colourful and then frame the page!
- You can also use old magazine covers or pages to make interesting art work. If you’re feeling super arty then get your scissors and glue out and get a collage on the go – if you’re a music fan, a bunch of gig tickets in a frame can look great. If you’re less confident, choose an old magazine cover and frame it, or frame a few covers together for a quick way to fill some frames and/or wall space.
- Be at one with nature. If you’re looking to fill shelf space, you don’t always have to go to the shops. Natural items such as pine cones can make great ornaments, especially if you spray paint them to match the theme in your room or in bold colours. If you have any green fingered friends, ask them if you can have a clipping from one of their indoor plants and grow your own rather than buying one and (depending on how bold you’re feeling) long twigs gathered from woods look rustic and homely tied together and draped in fairy lights in a corner of a room .
Happy free/cheap decorating!