In my (very rare lately) moments of blog jogging, I came across this FAB site called Creations by Kara. Kara is a Utah wife and mother and super (creative) woman who is decorating her home in a frugal way! I was blown away by her talent (and so very much inspired!), so I begged her to do a guest post for our Fabulessly Frugal Friday Series!!

So without further adieu…

I am so thrilled that Cathy asked me to do a guest post. As a quick introduction, I am a stay at home mom of four boys with an amazingly supportive hubbie. We are in the process of trying to adopt a baby girl.

I have always been a frugal shopper, but I just recently discovered the fun and addictive world of thrifty decorating. I love shopping at thrift stores and transforming someone else’s trash into a treasure for my home. It is so satisfying!!!

Before you start to say, “Oh, I could never do that, I am not creative at all”, let me assure you that you absolutely can. Until March of this year, I was completely afraid to decorate my own home. Seriously! Never bought home decor at a thrift store. Had never re-finished a single piece of furniture. If I can learn, you can too. Really. I promise!

Here are a few of my favorite thrifty decorating tips:

Spray paint is your very best friend.

You can transform just about anything with spray paint. And it is soooo easy!

I bought these frames at the thrift store for less than a dollar each:

After a couple coats of black spray paint, they now hang in my entry way:
I have even used spray paint to transform my cabinet hardware from this: to this:

Tip #2
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box.

Just about any item can be used in a way other than what the manufacturer had in mind. Use your imagination!

When I couldn’t find a towel rack anywhere that would fit in the space I had, I came up with my own solution: I just hung a frame around a set of robe hooks. It’s totally unconventional, but it works for us, and I love it!

We had an old entertainment center that we were going to get rid of:

Then I decided to re-purpose it. Now it is an organization center in my laundry room. And it was basically FREE!

Tip #3
Use catalogs, magazines, and the internet for inspiration.

I order Pottery Barn and other catalogs just to get decorating ideas. Don’t forget the web, it is chock full of great inspiration!

I saw these hurricane lamps at Ballard Designs for $59. Ouch!

I made my own for $4 using a vase and candle from the thrift store, a $1 bag of leaves from Walmart, and acorns I picked up at the park.

I loved those moss spheres, but didn’t want to pay $50-$100 for one. I made my own for under $5.

You will not believe what I used for the sphere! 😉 I did a tutorial here if you want to make your own.

Tip #4
Don’t give up if a project doesn’t work the first time.

I bought a plate rack and some plates at the thrift store. Got everything all spray painted and ready to hang. Then discovered that the plates I bought didn’t fit in the rack. Doh! I still wanted to use the plate rack, so I just came up with another idea.

And I love it even better!!

Tip #5
When you are looking for furniture to re-finish, pay attention to shape and construction. Color doesn’t matter!

I bought this table for $25 off of Craigslist. It was my very first furniture re-finishing project ever.
It had some water damage and the finish was darn ugly, but it was solidly built and I loved the shape and curves it had.
I did a tutorial on my refinishing process here.

This is what the table looks like all spruced up and decorated for fall.

Who woulda thought?

Tip #6
If you’re really nervous like I was starting out, start will small rooms first.

One of the first rooms I transformed was my laundry room. Since it is in the back of the house, I knew that if I totally messed up, at least not very many people would see it. When it turned out absolutely fabulous, it really built my confidence. You can see the total transformation here.

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