home decor http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/11479/all en-US 18 Amazing DIY Decorating Projects That Are Easier Than You Think http://www.wisebread.com/18-amazing-diy-decorating-projects-that-are-easier-than-you-think <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/18-amazing-diy-decorating-projects-that-are-easier-than-you-think" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/man-painting-canvas-85451640-small.jpg" alt="painter" title="painter" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you find lots of DIY home projects online that look absolutely amazing, but when you get to the instructions, well, your jaw drops at the difficulty? Me too. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-home-decorating-ideas-for-under-5?ref=seealso">15 Home Decorating Ideas for Under $5</a>)</p> <p>The good news is that there are plenty of straightforward projects out there that can make your home look fantastic (and give you the satisfaction of doing it yourself). Here are some of my favorites for every area of your home.</p> <h2>1. Painted Tablecloth</h2> <p>This <a href="http://ohhappyday.com/2013/05/polka-dot-tablecloth-diy/">Polka Dot Tablecloth</a> is so simple, a kid could make it. Cut out a dot shape using a potato, dip it in some textile paint, and stamp. Of course, if you have other ideas for designs, just use a brush or stamp and the same textile paint.</p> <h2>2. Painted Furniture</h2> <p>If you have an index finger, you can spray paint a variety of furniture pieces. I've given a bright coat to chairs, side tables, and even a dresser for design on a dime. There are definitely some <a href="http://www.sheknows.com/home-and-gardening/articles/952805/how-to-spray-paint-furniture-for-a-professional-look">best practices</a> here, including cleaning and lightly sanding, spraying outdoors in a well ventilated area, priming and painting with thin coats, and sealing with a clear finisher if your piece will be heavily used.</p> <h2>3. Fun Tile</h2> <p>Refresh that outdated backsplash by <a href="http://www.designsponge.com/2014/10/how-to-paint-a-tile-backsplash.html">painting over it</a>! You'll need a shellac-based primer, acrylic house paint, and a polyurethane top coat. I took this project a step farther by using metallic craft paint to create an artistic <a href="http://www.writingchapterthree.com/2014/10/the-hand-painted-backsplash.html">mixed-tile look</a> in my kitchen.</p> <h2>4. Stone Tub</h2> <p>That old bathtub can get a <a href="http://lovelycraftyhome.com/2013/01/28/update-your-boring-builder-bathtub-with-airstone/">spa-worthy makeover</a> using AirStone &mdash; a lightweight veneer you can buy at Lowes &mdash; and adhesive. You'll want to clean your tub well before beginning for optimum sticking power. From there, just apply the adhesive to the stone and stick. You can cut different sizes using a hacksaw.</p> <h2>5. Serene Fireplace</h2> <p>I've given <a href="http://www.bhg.com/decorating/fireplace/styles/how-to-paint-a-brick-fireplace/">new life to an old fireplace</a> in three homes now. Old red brick doesn't go with all decors, so paint those suckers by using a regular paintbrush and a foam brush (will help get in all the crevices) and good quality flat, semi-gloss, or gloss latex, depending on your tastes. Note: I've skipped the priming the last two times, and my results have been just as stellar. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/boost-your-homes-value-with-these-5-projects?ref=seealso">Boost Your Home's Value With These 5 Projects</a>)</p> <h2>6. Basket Pendant</h2> <p>Updating an old light fixture doesn't have to be expensive. I love this <a href="http://www.younghouselove.com/2012/08/total-basketcase/">Basket Pendant Light</a> idea &mdash; which features a cool $10 thrift store basket and cheap pendant light. Just remove the pendant's original cover, snake it through the basket, hang, and you're done (similar fixtures cost over $300!).</p> <h2>7. Haute Headboard</h2> <p>Head to your local lumber supply or box hardware store and get a large piece of plywood cut to size for this <a href="http://design-aholic.blogspot.com/2009/09/afternoon-headboard.html">DIY Headboard</a>. Once you have your board cut, cover it with batting and fabric, then embellish with nailhead trim. The cost was just $67 for a queen bed, and the time required was only an afternoon.</p> <h2>8. Towel Hooks</h2> <p>Tame all those bathroom towels with this <a href="http://myfabulesslife.com/diytowelrack/">beautiful rack</a> that assembles in only minutes. Cut (or have someone cut) your desired length from a 1x10 board, then sand it lightly and stain. Once it dries, mark where your hooks will go, hang, and then screw in your hooks. Bonus: The entire cost is less than $15 from start to finish.</p> <h2>9. Terrific Throw</h2> <p>Even if you've never once touched a sewing machine, you can still make a throw blanket for your couch to ward off chills. The classic is a warm <a href="http://lifeovereasy.com/diy-no-sew-fleece-throw-dorm/">fleece blanket</a>, where you take two pieces of fleece fabric, cut all along the edges, and then tie off to bind. If you live in a warmer climate, it's the same process for <a href="http://makelyhome.com/no-sew-color-block-summer-throw-blanket/">this throw</a>, just using jersey knit fabric.</p> <h2>10. Abstract Art</h2> <p>I recently went out looking for some art to cozy up our family room, and I was shocked at the price tags. This <a href="http://homecomingmn.blogspot.com/2014/02/diy-abstract-canvas-art.html">DIY Abstract Art</a> project looks a ton like a lot of the options I was considering, but at a fraction of the price. You'll need a large canvas, acrylic paints, a couple brushes, and about an hour of creative time.</p> <h2>11. Quote Pillow</h2> <p>Pillows with sayings scrawled on them are all the rage these days (that sounds like something my grandmother would say!). Fittingly, they can be quite expensive at the store. Make your own using this <a href="http://www.momtastic.com/diy/445213-diy-quote-pillows/">easy tutorial</a>, a linen pillowcase, stencils, and fabric marker. I'd paint words on both sides and flip to change things up every now and again.</p> <h2>12. Custom Chalkboard</h2> <p>Turn trash into treasure by taking an old picture frame and painting the glass on the inside with a couple coats of chalkboard paint. You can paint the frame with colorful spray paint, too! It's the easiest way to get a chalkboard in your house without painting the walls black. (See also: <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Paper-Bag-Fall-Wreath-31822923?ref=seealso">15 Fantastic Chalkboard Paint Projects</a>)</p> <h2>13. No Sew Curtains</h2> <p>I made these <a href="http://www.writingchapterthree.com/2012/03/nursery-curtains-tutorial.html">No Sew Curtains</a> for my daughter's nursery a couple of years ago. The hardest part was picking out the fabric design I wanted. Iron your yards until they are smooth, then cut to your desired size. Instead of sewing, use hemming tape to create clean edges. You hang using curtain clip rings. Done!</p> <h2>14. Table Runner</h2> <p>The same idea applies with this <a href="http://www.homeyohmy.com/diy-no-sew-table-runner/">No-Sew Table Runner</a>, just on a smaller scale. You could make one for every month of the year or the change of seasons. Pick out your fabric, cut it to fit your dining table, hem using the iron-on tape, and enjoy.</p> <h2>15. Copycat Shelves</h2> <p>Skip the Restoration Hardware order and make your own <a href="http://7thhouseontheleft.com/2014/01/diy-restoration-hardware-inspired-shelving">Industrial Shelves</a>. As with many other projects on this list, you can get your 2x10 board cut down to the size you want (in this case, the author chose 30 inches for three shelves total) at the store for little or no charge. After staining them, hang with spray painted pipes and floor flanges.</p> <h2>16. Kitchen Cart</h2> <p>My eyes nearly popped out of my head with this <a href="http://ana-white.com/2014/07/plans/easiest-industrial-cart">DIY Kitchen Cart</a>. And here's why: You just use three boards cut to the size you want, stain them, then fasten together using metal angles, and then screw on some caster wheels. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cheap-ways-to-make-your-apartment-awesome-without-losing-your-deposit?ref=seealso">10 Ways To Make Your Apartment Awesome Without Losing Your Deposit</a>)</p> <h2>17. Wrap Wreath</h2> <p>Liven up your front door by making a <a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Paper-Bag-Fall-Wreath-31822923">Wrap Wreath</a> using a foam wreath form and some recycled paper bags. Cut strips of the paper, twist, and then wrap around your form and hot glue to secure. You can make a more colorful wreath by using thick yarn instead of paper. Embellish however your mood strikes you. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-useful-items-you-should-never-throw-out?ref=seealso">10 Useful Items You Should Never Throw Out</a>)</p> <h2>18. Hand-Painted Rug</h2> <p>Upcycle an boring old rug into an amazing <a href="http://upcycledtreasures.com/2014/08/diy-painted-rug-inspired-west-elm/">West Elm Copycat</a>. You'll want to create a stencil of sorts using whatever design you think will match your home's decor. From there, draw the outlines using a Sharpie marker and paint over it using acrylic or latex. You can seal the rug using fabric protector to finish.</p> <p><em>Have you made any fab, easy DIY projects lately? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-marcin">Ashley Marcin</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-amazing-diy-decorating-projects-that-are-easier-than-you-think">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-amazing-diy-lamps-you-want-in-your-house">9 Amazing DIY Lamps You Want in Your House</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-home-diy-projects-you-can-do-in-one-day">10 Home DIY Projects You Can Do in One Day</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ideas-for-cheap-festive-fall-decor">12 Ideas for Cheap, Festive, Fall Decor</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-cheap-and-attractive-ideas-for-bookshelves">18 Cheap and Attractive Ideas for Bookshelves</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-uses-for-old-ties">10 Great Uses for Old Ties</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Home crafts design DIY easy decor home decor Tue, 18 Nov 2014 22:00:10 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1255031 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Ways to Make Your Home Look Amazing for Under $100 http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-make-your-home-look-amazing-for-under-100 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-ways-to-make-your-home-look-amazing-for-under-100" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/painting-home-187648776-small.jpg" alt="painting home" title="painting home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Beautifying your home doesn't have to mean building a new wing or digging out for an infinity pool (and paying infinity dollars for it!). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-cheap-and-easy-fixes-that-make-your-house-look-amazing?ref=seealso">25 Cheap and Easy Fixes That Make Your House Look Great</a>)</p> <p>In fact, here are 15 ways you can majorly upgrade your home for under $100.</p> <h2>1. Paint</h2> <p>A few gallons of paint will set you back far less than $100 and can make a huge impact, as long as you're willing to do the labor yourself. Sometimes a fresh color is all it takes to inspire you to rearrange furniture, hang some art, and in general change things around. Stripes or an ombre color scheme can perk up a boring room or revitalize a tired piece of furniture. For instant curb appeal outside, paint your front door or refresh your exterior trim.</p> <h2>2. Organize</h2> <p>Set yourself a budget of $100 and head for the Container Store or a home goods store and load up with baskets, shoe racks, desk organizers, or an inexpensive closet system. Getting all that clutter off the surfaces of your home and into dedicated organizational spaces can make your home look ten times bigger. And better.</p> <h2>3. Use Subway Tile</h2> <p>Tile has a reputation for being expensive, but the most trendy tile of this decade &mdash; basic white subway tile &mdash; is usually extremely affordable and can run for as little as $1-$2 a square foot. For $100, you can get enough subway tile to redo your kitchen or bathroom backsplash, or even to re-tile your shower surround if it's starting to look dated. Of course, you'll have to be willing to put in some sweat equity of your own (stripping off old tile and laying the new), but the results will be fresh, new, and clean.</p> <h2>4. Buy Plants</h2> <p>A large plant or tree in the ground, or in a planter box in front of your home can instantly upgrade the appeal of your house. Whatever climate zone you live in, you can find an attractive plant for about $100 &mdash; be it simple rosemary, succulents, an evergreen, or a Japanese maple tree. Or plant $100 worth of flowers, either in the ground or in planters, and your home will look instantly landscaped and beautiful.</p> <p>You can also bring the outside indoors by bringing in a striking indoor plant such as a trendy fiddle leaf fig tree (or for the less experienced gardener, a potted palm or money tree). Place a large green plant in the corner of the room to draw the eye and make the room appear larger.</p> <h2>5. Add Patterned Textiles</h2> <p>I'm kind of a fabric junkie, and I'm always picking up gorgeous patterned fabric at discount fabric outlets such as <a href="http://homefabricsonline.com/">Home Fabrics</a>. If you don't have a fabric store near you, you can often get great deals on fabric online on sites such as <a href="https://www.fabric.com/">Fabric.com</a>. I like the line of <a href="https://www.fabric.com/SearchResults2.aspx?SearchText=premier+prints&amp;CategoryID=1d5f47dc-9991-4088-93f3-26a376046a5e">Premier Prints</a> home decor fabrics that run for about $10 a yard or less. For that price, you can make a set of curtain panels, recover a bench or set of dining chair cushions, upholster a headboard, and in general use the pattern to bring extra oomph to your space (tutorials about such easy DIY projects abound on the Internet). (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-curtains?ref=seealso">How to Make Your Own Curtains</a>)</p> <h2>6. Install a Statement Light Fixture</h2> <p>While I love the budget-friendly line of <a href="http://www.shadesoflight.com/lighting/young-house-love-collection/">lighting by Young House Love</a> (all fixtures are under $100), in general a statement light fixture is going to run you far more than your $100 budget. But one great, creative solution is using <em>exterior</em> lighting, such as rustic metal lanterns, indoors. There is no danger in using an exterior light fixture indoors, and many of these rugged fixtures are very affordable. Hang a couple lanterns over an island or dining table, for example.</p> <h2>7. Plank a Wall</h2> <p>A really popular look these days is to cover an accent wall with reclaimed wood planks (check your local Craigslist for reclaimed lumber sources). Old wood can range in price, but for $100 you should be able to cover an alcove in old barn siding or plank the nook above your fireplace. With easy, straight cuts, this is a project suitable for even those new to DIY. Can't afford enough reclaimed lumber but want a wood-planked look? Try using laminate flooring right on your walls!</p> <h2>8. Upgrade Front Door Hardware</h2> <p>If your front door is still sporting early 90's brass hardware, consider updating it with a new hardware kit. While these kits, which include locks, knobs, and handles, range in price, you should be able to find something nice at the local hardware store for under $100. Your front door makes a big impression on visitors, so this is a sound investment.</p> <h2>9. Hang a Mirror</h2> <p>You can get large-scale mirrors for great prices at consignment stores, discount stores like <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-the-best-stuff-at-homegoods">HomeGoods</a>, or IKEA. Hanging a mirror over a buffet, dresser, or console table is a great way to bring more light into a room and make it seem more spacious.</p> <h2>10. Stencil Something</h2> <p>Modern stencils are chic and fresh (say goodbye to the grapevine stencils of the 90's) and can be bought for well under $100. Check out the gorgeous designs by <a href="http://www.royaldesignstudio.com/collections/new-stencil-designs">Royal Design Studio</a>. Try stenciling a wall in a geometric or Moroccan trellis pattern (a bathroom wall is a great place to go bold). If a wall is too ambitious for you, even stenciling an accent piece such as a thrift store tray, box, or chair can add a bespoke flair to your home.</p> <h2>11. Frame Your Photos</h2> <p>Stop putting off printing all your digital pictures! For $100 you can easily get some large-scale photos printed at Costco and pick up a few IKEA frames. Hang pictures in a grouping for bigger impact (especially if you can't afford a huge frame or picture). Hanging photos makes your house seem homier, cozier, and more personal. Just be sure not to go to the opposite extreme of cluttering up every side table and shelf with mismatched frames.</p> <h2>12. Upgrade Lighting</h2> <p>Bad lighting can not only put you in a bad mood, but also make your home look dated and ugly. Invest in a couple of sculptural lamps and quality light bulbs that will cast a warm glow on your space, putting you in a happier state of mind and making everything in your home look better. Another great place to add lighting is under cabinets &mdash; just buy some stick-on LED lights and you'll have the look of expensive under-cabinet lighting for far less. It's all about the details, folks!</p> <h2>13. Coordinate Colors and Patterns</h2> <p>Matching sets make your home look more pulled together, whether it be matching towels in the guest bath, coordinating bedding in the bedroom, or coordinating (though not necessarily matching) accent pillows. Make a few things match for under $100, and you'll find your home looks less visually cluttered and more intentional.</p> <h2>14. Let the Light In</h2> <p>This is a tip home stagers use often &mdash; roll up the blinds, throw open the curtains, and let the sunshine illuminate your home. You can take it a little further by getting rid of dark drapes (perhaps replacing them with inexpensive light-colored ones), painting your walls a light color, and/or painting dark furniture white. A tip for curtains &mdash; hang rods high and wide above and to the sides of your windows. This will make your windows look taller and wider, and will prevent the curtains from blocking any light when pushed to the side.</p> <h2>15. Clean and Declutter</h2> <p>A clean and neat home looks more upscale and stylish than a cluttered and dingy home. So get yourself some good cleaning products and get to work! While you're at it, get rid of old knick-knacks, magazines, and other things that you don't need or use anymore. Edit your belongings &mdash; display only the best.</p> <p>Hiring someone to clean your house might seem like a luxury, but often a professional eye will catch dirt and dinginess that you've simply gotten used to. There are often deals on Groupon or LivingSocial for discounted cleaning services. Consider having someone come and make your home spic-and-span for around $100.</p> <p><em>Do you have any tips on making your home look great on a budget? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camilla-cheung">Camilla Cheung</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-make-your-home-look-amazing-for-under-100">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-cheap-and-easy-fixes-that-make-your-house-look-amazing">25 Cheap and Easy Fixes That Make Your House Look Amazing</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-things-to-throw-out-today">25 Things to Throw Out Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-the-best-stuff-at-homegoods">How to Find the Best Stuff at HomeGoods</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-amazing-diy-decorating-projects-that-are-easier-than-you-think">18 Amazing DIY Decorating Projects That Are Easier Than You Think</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-cheap-easy-ways-to-make-your-home-safer">15 Cheap, Easy Ways to Make Your Home Safer</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home declutter home decor home maintenance Mon, 11 Aug 2014 17:00:04 +0000 Camilla Cheung 1179250 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: How to Save on Home Decor http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-save-on-home-decor <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-how-to-save-on-home-decor" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/home-1935165-small.jpg" alt="couple carrying rug" title="couple carrying rug" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="187" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some awesome articles on saving on home decor, travel hacks that will save you time and money, and getting your spouse involved with family finances.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.pennypinchinmom.com/how-to-save-on-home-decor/">How To Save On Home Decor</a> &mdash; Adding a new rug or swapping out artwork can spruce up your home without breaking the bank. [Penny Pinchin' Mom]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Best-Travel-Hacks-31715819">23 Travel Hacks That Will Save Time, Money, and Your Sanity</a> &mdash; If you are traveling with a companion, book the aisle and window seats since people are unlikely to select a middle seat. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://christianpf.com/spouse-involved-family-finances/">How to Get Your Spouse Involved With Your Family Finances</a> &mdash; Get your spouse involved with family finances by planning ongoing financial meetings and keeping your expectations reasonable. [Christian PF]</p> <p><a href="http://knsfinancial.com/7-ways-to-raise-cash-in-a-hurry/">7 Ways to Raise Cash in a Hurry</a> &mdash; Need cash fast? Sell things you don't need and skip a week of grocery shopping. [Faithful With A Few]</p> <p><a href="http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2013/09/money-101-how-to-become-wealthy.html">Money 101: How to Become Wealthy</a> &mdash; To become wealthy, keep your spending below your income to enable yourself to have a surplus of money. [Free Money Finance]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.frugalconfessions.com/scams/save-hundreds-thousands-dollars-falling-money-scams.php">Save Yourself Hundreds and Thousands of Dollars By Not Falling for these Money Scams</a> &mdash; Save yourself money by watching out for timeshare buyback scams and social media money scams. [Frugal Confessions]</p> <p><a href="http://www.biblemoneymatters.com/buying-a-refurbished-computer-can-save-you-hundreds-of-dollars/">Buying A Refurbished Computer Can Save You Hundreds Of Dollars</a> &mdash; When buying a refurbished computer, make sure it comes with the same warranty as a new computer. [Bible Money Matters]</p> <p><a href="http://moneyplansos.com/4-steps-making-smart-purchasing-decisions/">4 Steps To Making Smart Purchasing Decisions</a> &mdash; Make smart purchasing decisions by searching within the right parameters and figuring out if what you are buying will do the job. [MoneyPlan SOS]</p> <p><a href="http://genxfinance.com/are-precious-metals-good-investments/">Are Precious Metals Good Investments?</a> &mdash; Metals tend to be a volatile but low risk investment option. [Generation X Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/put-your-family-on-a-sugar-detox">Put Your Family on a Sugar Detox</a> &mdash; If you want to put your family on a sugar detox, buy fruit! [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-how-to-save-on-home-decor">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-simple-ways-to-make-an-apartment-a-home">14 Simple Ways to Make an Apartment a Home</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-the-best-stuff-at-homegoods">How to Find the Best Stuff at HomeGoods</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-amazing-diy-decorating-projects-that-are-easier-than-you-think">18 Amazing DIY Decorating Projects That Are Easier Than You Think</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-home-diy-projects-you-can-do-in-one-day">10 Home DIY Projects You Can Do in One Day</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/keeping-santa-sane-budget-holiday-decorating">Keeping Santa Sane: Budget Holiday Decorating</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home best money tips decor home home decor Wed, 18 Sep 2013 09:48:04 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 987837 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Find the Best Stuff at HomeGoods http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-the-best-stuff-at-homegoods <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-find-the-best-stuff-at-homegoods" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/relax-2032189-small_0.jpg" alt="furniture" title="furniture" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you aren't yet a <a href="http://www.homegoods.com/">HomeGoods</a> devotee, then maybe it's time to check out everything these stores have to offer. Owned by the TJX Companies, this popular chain of discount home furnishing stores complements the company's well-known TJ Maxx and Marshalls apparel stores. HomeGoods is a gold mine for finding everything from dining chairs to dog beds at deeply discounted prices (up to 66% off regular department store prices to be exact). (<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-frugal-rules-you-must-follow-when-shopping-at-costco">5 Frugal Rules You Must Follow When Shopping at Costco</a>)</p> <p>Unfortunately, because of the store's popularity and steep discounts, finding just what you're looking for can be challenging. But with these useful HomeGoods shopping tips, you will always bring home the biggest savings and the best finds.</p> <h2>Know When to Shop</h2> <p>The unique, ever-changing, affordable inventory at HomeGoods is enough to make any decorator or homeowner shout with glee. This does mean, however, that popular items, like Le Creuset bakeware and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/free-or-cheap-wall-art">limited edition art prints</a>, get snapped up quickly. The good news is that most HomeGoods locations restock weekly, if not daily. Therefore, shopping the store about an hour after it opens works best. This gives the staff enough time to stock the new goods of the day and gets you there early enough to snag the best stuff before things get picked over. Weekdays are also a plus as there tends to be less competition by avoiding the weekend rush.</p> <h2>Where to Look for $10 Gifts</h2> <p>Economical gifts are abundant throughout HomeGoods stores, but there are always some great go-to options under $10.</p> <ul> <li>In the decorative glass section, check out the authentic, hand-blown vases, bowls, and figurines from Poland and Italy for under $10.</li> <li>The stationery area always has decorative note cards, journals, and other pretty paper goods.</li> <li>The candle section is also worth a stop, where you'll find candles in unique colors and sizes for just a few dollars.</li> <li>Decorative dishtowels, cloth napkins, and fancy pump soaps make other great, cheap gifts.</li> <li>Finally, head over to the kids' department for some extremely discounted brand name toys and classic books.</li> </ul> <h2>Scope Out All the Departments</h2> <p>Thinking outside the box can score you some unique finds at HomeGoods. For example, think about searching the sea of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-to-use-your-outdoor-furniture-inside">outdoor furniture and accents and bringing them indoors</a>.</p> <p>I have found small, outdoor tables and plant stands that make excellent nightstands or hall tables. By perusing other departments, you may land a piece that can surprise you. This is true of a fantastic gold garden stool I once found in the outdoor area, which is now a side table in my formal living room. I have even used a small storage vanity from the bath section as an end table. Check out the store's site for <a href="http://www.homegoods.com/stylescope/">great designer inspired ideas</a> for every taste.</p> <h2>Always Check Out the Seasonal Stuff</h2> <p>Around the holidays, the seasonal decor virtually takes over the front half of the store. This makes HomeGoods one of the cheapest and most well-stocked places for Halloween, Christmas, and Hanukkah decor. It's also definitely worth checking out other seasonal items as well. Come spring and summer, garden-inspired accents, beachy decor, and an array of outdoor items hit the floors, all with steep discounts.</p> <h2>Look for Items That Need a Little Makeover</h2> <p>You may not think of HomeGoods for your DIY project, but many good finds make for inexpensive, one-of-a-kind pieces. Examples include the multitude of tables for sale, which can be easily <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/repaint-your-old-furniture-for-a-budget-d-cor-update">transformed at home with paint, lacquer, or stain</a> into whatever you can dream up.</p> <p>Chairs are also abundant, and you can easily change up the fabric for your own look. The same goes for the many beautiful mirrors and frames, as a new finish is a simple project.</p> <p>My favorite HomeGoods DIY project started with a small, brown wooden end table I scored for $29. I transformed it with some gray paint, nailhead trim, and colored stones into a really cool piece.</p> <h2>Consider the TJX Rewards Card</h2> <p>I am not one to promote opening another credit card, but if you are going to be shopping HomeGoods, TJ Maxx, or Marshalls on a regular basis, then a <a href="http://tjxrewards.com/home.asp">TJX rewards credit card</a> may be a money-saving option. This is only true IF you can always pay off the balance each month, since it will carry a very high APR. The TJX rewards card has a point system where 1,000 points earns you a $10 in-store reward certificate, and you can earn 5 points for every $1 spent at any TJX store. This equates to $10 back on every $200 spent, or as I like to think of it, 5% off of all of my HomeGoods purchases. The rewards never expire and there is no limit on how many you can earn and redeem at one time. You also get 10% off your first in-store purchase when you open the card.</p> <p>The real fun of shopping at HomeGoods comes from their ability to provide a selection of discounted, quality inventory, since the stores' buyers continually handpick items from a variety of vendors and name-brand retailers. For me, I always get a thrill from finding a treasure at an amazing price.</p> <p><em>Are you a HomeGoods shopper? What's been your best find?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kelly-medeiros">Kelly Medeiros</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-the-best-stuff-at-homegoods">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-amazing-diy-decorating-projects-that-are-easier-than-you-think">18 Amazing DIY Decorating Projects That Are Easier Than You Think</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-kitchen-gadgets-that-arent-worth-the-money">10 Kitchen Gadgets That Aren&#039;t Worth the Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/13-must-have-kitchen-purchases-under-10">13 Must-Have Kitchen Purchases Under $10</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-things-youre-paying-too-much-for-around-the-house-and-how-to-pay-less">9 Things You&#039;re Paying Too Much for Around the House (And How to Pay Less)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-furnish-your-home-for-less-than-the-cost-of-a-moving-truck">How to Furnish Your Home for Less Than the Cost of a Moving Truck</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Shopping discount shopping home bargains home decor HomeGoods Wed, 07 Aug 2013 09:48:32 +0000 Kelly Medeiros 980707 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Cheap Home Decorating Projects That Look Amazing http://www.wisebread.com/7-cheap-home-decorating-projects-that-look-amazing <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-cheap-home-decorating-projects-that-look-amazing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/home-2008893-small.jpg" alt="home" title="home" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>As the housing market gradually makes a comeback, many folks are buying and beginning to decorate their first homes. Still gun-shy from the recession, some first-time home buyers are looking for ways to furnish and decorate their new digs without breaking the bank or going into debt. Never fear. With a bit of ingenuity, a creative eye, and some weekend devotion, it's easy to create high style on a low budget. Here are some of my favorite tips to channel your inner Martha and turn that new house into a home. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-home-decorating-ideas-for-under-5">15 Home Decorating Ideas for Under $5</a>)</p> <h2>1. Get Shady Art</h2> <p>I've always loved this idea &mdash; scout around thrift stores and yard sales for large old paintings. Don't worry about the subject matter; your focus is only on the canvas as an inexpensive and recycled medium for a new piece of art. Cover the canvas with two coats of quality primer, and then paint the whole thing one shade lighter or one shade darker than your interior room color. It's a simple, bold statement piece that takes absolutely zero artistic talent. Hang similar pieces in groups to give large walls depth and interest.</p> <h2>2. Dish It Up</h2> <p>Hanging plates on the wall might sound like a decorating idea from your grandmother's era, but it's all in your approach. Group mismatched plates of similar colors together, but mix up the sizes and patterns. Choose vintage items for a curated look and randomly alternate simple, elegant patterns with bold and graphic designs. Make color your unifying theme. Play off the hues in your room or choose a palette that complements your wall color.</p> <h2>3. Bring the Outdoors In</h2> <p>Art is all around us; we just have to look with a designer's eye. Adding natural elements to your decor creates a peaceful, rustic look. Try pressing, drying, and framing leaves to create a simple and elegant art piece. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-pretty-projects-for-pine-cones">Collect and group pinecones</a>, sea shells, smooth stones, or driftwood together to make a naturescape on a side table or nightstand. Add an elegant and long-lasting willow or birch branch to a floral arrangement.</p> <h2>4. Make a Headboard (Without the Board)</h2> <p>A headboard gives a bed more prominence in a room, but you don't have to build one. If your bed is likely to remain in the same spot and won't be moved if you rearrange furniture, consider painting your headboard right on the wall. With painters tape, frame out an area on the wall about as wide as your bed and about three feet higher than the top of the mattress. Select a neutral color or one that complements your bedding, and paint away! Get even more creative by adding vertical or horizontal stripes or color blocks. For other stylish and inexpensive headboard projects, check out <a href="http://www.bhg.com/rooms/bedroom/headboard/cheap-chic-headboard-projects/#page=1">this article</a> by Better Homes and Gardens.</p> <h2>5. Build a Family Gallery</h2> <p>We all have hundreds of photos from old film cameras or saved digitally on our hard drives. Usually they end up tucked away in an album or preserved on a disk, but why not try making a stunning gallery of your photo collection? Print the photos in black and white and hang in <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/free-or-cheap-wall-art">inexpensive identical frames down a long hallway</a> or in the dining room, or display them along the sloping wall of a staircase. For visual interest, arrange your composition chronologically, play with perspective, and favor casual slice-of-life snapshots over more formal pics.</p> <h2>6. Cluster Your Collection</h2> <p>Are you a collector? Collections can be wonderful ready-made design elements in any home. Cluster small collections in groupings of no less than five or six around a room or create stunning displays from larger collections of 20 or more pieces. If possible, vary the height of the objects in your clusters to create more visual interest. Keep your collections fresh by rotating what you display throughout the year. For more ideas on how to display the collections you love, check out <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/decorating/display-collections-00000000059391/index.html">this article</a> from Real Simple.</p> <h2>7. Turn Old Into Gold</h2> <p>All too often folks get hung up on the color or finish of an item or are put off by a few scrapes and scratches. Channel your inner handyman by using a bit of sandpaper, stain, or spray paint to give new life <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/repaint-your-old-furniture-for-a-budget-d-cor-update">to cast-off and secondhand items</a>. Focus on an item's design elements, construction quality, details, and appropriateness for your home. Any cosmetic challenges can usually be solved with a little elbow grease and patience. Here's a great <a href="http://tlc.howstuffworks.com/home/how-to-refinish-furniture.htm">set of articles</a> on how to handle nearly every wood refinishing project. And if you've never tried your hand at spray painting before, here's a <a href="http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/how-to-spray-pa-141892">handy tutorial</a>, so you can do it like a pro.</p> <p>Decorating well, while keeping your budget in check, comes down to a few simple principles. First, don't be afraid to try new things; get inspired by the high-end looks you see in magazines and explore how you can recreate them inexpensively. Second, get acquainted with your local thrift stores. So many times they're filled with undiscovered treasures just waiting for someone's vision and time. Third, take a new look at you already own. How can the things you love be rearranged, reinterpreted, revamped, or revitalized? Our homes should reflect not only what we've managed to collect or been able to buy &mdash; they should reflect our passions and the very best of our ingenuity. Happy decorating!</p> <p><em>What are your favorite inexpensive DIY home decorating tricks?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-cheap-home-decorating-projects-that-look-amazing">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-the-best-stuff-at-homegoods">How to Find the Best Stuff at HomeGoods</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-amazing-diy-decorating-projects-that-are-easier-than-you-think">18 Amazing DIY Decorating Projects That Are Easier Than You Think</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-online-resources-for-the-design-impaired">Top 5 Online Resources for the Design Impaired</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/keeping-santa-sane-budget-holiday-decorating">Keeping Santa Sane: Budget Holiday Decorating</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/free-or-cheap-wall-art">Free or Cheap Wall Art</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home cheap decorating ideas home decor Mon, 05 Aug 2013 10:36:37 +0000 Kentin Waits 981011 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Home DIY Projects You Can Do in One Day http://www.wisebread.com/10-home-diy-projects-you-can-do-in-one-day <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-home-diy-projects-you-can-do-in-one-day" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/tools.jpg" alt="hard hat and tools" title="hard hat and tools" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>My husband and I are in the midst of a major home remodel, and we're faced with big tasks such as tiling new bathrooms, installing flooring, putting up new walls, and rerouting plumbing. Such challenging tasks can seem overwhelming, and I've found that doing a few easy one-day DIY projects gives me a sense of accomplishment. When I'm able to significantly improve my home in one day or less, I feel as if we're making progress, and that encourages me to stick it out for the long haul.</p> <p>Even if you're not overhauling your entire home, some of these easy DIY fixes can freshen up and update your home with minimal effort. One of these projects can be a fun family activity for a Saturday, and everyone gets to enjoy the results. (See also: <a title="Upgrade Your Home Decor for Less" href="http://www.wisebread.com/upgrade-your-home-decor-for-less">Upgrade Your Home Decor for Less</a>)</p> <h3>1. Make No-Sew Curtains</h3> <p>Getting rid of old plastic blinds and installing fresh new curtains is a quick fix that makes your home so much cozier and up-to-date. You can easily make your own custom, no-sew curtains using fabric snapped up at a discount from a fabric store (check online for those 40-50% off ), iron-on hem tape, and clip-on curtain rings. Throw them up on your windows with a curtain rod from Target and you're good to go within an hour or two. YoungHouseLove has an excellent tutorial for <a href="http://www.younghouselove.com/2010/02/nursery-progress-getting-the-hang-of-it/">homemade no-sew curtains</a>.</p> <h3>2. Paint a Sign</h3> <p>Use an old piece of plywood or MDF board and cut it to your desired size. Prime it, and then use craft paint to DIY a simple sign to hang on your wall with the message of your choice, whether it's &quot;Don't Forget to Flush&quot; or something more poetic. Finish it off with a coat of polyacrylic to seal and protect your <a title="Free or Cheap Wall Art" href="http://www.wisebread.com/free-or-cheap-wall-art">new work of art</a>.</p> <h3>3. Paint Trim</h3> <p>Freshening up the trim around your house is a pretty simple project but will have a dramatic impact in making your home seem more up-to-date, clean, and fresh. Cover up that yellowing paint with a bright white, semi-gloss paint &mdash; just be sure to tape off the edges (or make sure you have a steady hand).</p> <h3>4. Spray Paint a Light Fixture</h3> <p>The Habitat for Humanity ReStore is brimming with old light fixtures just begging for a new finish. Buy an old chandelier or other light fixture for a few bucks, as well as a few cans of spray paint (try a dark brown oil-rubbed bronze finish for a transitional look, or a bright color for a punch of cheer). Wear a mask and apply the spray paint evenly in a well-ventilated area. Voila! You've got a brand-new light fixture that no one else will have. CentsationalGirl has an excellent <a href="http://www.centsationalgirl.com/2010/10/spray-paint-faqs/">FAQ for spray painting</a> almost anything.</p> <h3>5. Re-Upholster a Stool</h3> <p>Some upholstery jobs can take days, and many require the attention of a professional. But recovering that old padded footstool you found at the thrift store? You can do that yourself pretty easily. Buy a piece of foam, some batting, and a piece of fabric at your local craft store. Cut the foam to fit, then use a nail gun to attach the batting and fabric. No nail gun? Try using cheap upholstery tacks instead, like in this <a href="http://www.younghouselove.com/2012/01/another-post-that-john-wanted-me-to-name-stool-boom/">quick upholstering project</a>.</p> <h3>6. Back Bookshelves With Wallpaper</h3> <p>Spruce up a &quot;blah&quot; bookcase with some <a href="http://www.thehandmadehome.net/2010/11/put-a-back-on-it/">pretty patterned wallpaper</a>. You can apply it with glue, or even with double-sided tape so you can take it down when you are ready for a new pattern. A vibrant color or pattern can make your books and curios &quot;pop&quot; and look like new again.</p> <h3>7. Sew (or No-Sew) Pillow Covers Made from Napkins</h3> <p>While my husband desperately tries to curb my accent pillow addiction, I just can't stop. A few brightly-colored, well-placed pillows cheer up any space instantly! These <a href="http://www.centsationalgirl.com/2011/03/no-sew-cloth-napkin-pillow-covers/">innovative pillow covers</a> are made from colorful cloth napkins, a super-frugal and easy way to freshen up your living room couch. You can whip out the sewing machine to put them together, or use trusty old iron-on hem tape for a no-sew version.</p> <h3>8. Make a Compost Bin</h3> <p>A compost bin is a handy thing to have outside within easy access. Instead of buying a fancy version that can run into the hundreds of dollars, make your own with just a few hours of work. Compost bins have many designs, from open bins made from scrap wood and chicken wire to &quot;tumbling&quot; bins made from old garbage cans. Both are easy to DIY with plenty of tutorials on the web, such as this frugal <a href="http://supermomnocape.wordpress.com/tag/homemade-compost-bin/">garbage can tumbling compost bin</a>.</p> <h3>9. Paint Your Front Door</h3> <p>Paint your front door a fun color to welcome guests to your home. Take the opportunity to fill any cracks or dents. If the previous paint is in bad condition, you may want to prime the door first. Then paint it with an exterior paint in red, yellow, turquoise, navy, or another high-impact color. Since the front door is one of the first things to greet guests, a fresh coat of paint makes a big difference. Even better, swap out the old <a href="http://homesinoc.info/brass-fixtures-send-cheap-message/">cheap-looking builder-grade brass</a> door handle for something more updated in oil-rubbed bronze or satin-nickel.</p> <h3>10. Plant a Flowerbed</h3> <p>Although we were deep into several other home improvement projects at the time, my husband and I took an afternoon off to plant a flowerbed in front of our home. We dug up the old weedy flowerbed, added some topsoil and compost, and planted a few inexpensive flowers and shrubs. The project took a couple of hours but we've been rewarded with colorful blooms that put a smile on my face every day.</p> <p><em>What DIY project will you be tackling this weekend?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camilla-cheung">Camilla Cheung</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-home-diy-projects-you-can-do-in-one-day">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-amazing-diy-decorating-projects-that-are-easier-than-you-think">18 Amazing DIY Decorating Projects That Are Easier Than You Think</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-curtains">How to Make Your Own Curtains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-awesome-uses-for-milk-crates">20 Awesome Uses for Milk Crates</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-diy-magazines-can-help-you-be-self-reliant">These DIY Magazines Can Help You Be Self-Reliant</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-paint-the-exterior-of-your-home">How to Paint the Exterior of Your Home</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Home Lifestyle budget home projects DIY DIY Home Improvement home decor Mon, 13 Feb 2012 11:36:28 +0000 Camilla Cheung 892646 at http://www.wisebread.com Free or Cheap Wall Art http://www.wisebread.com/free-or-cheap-wall-art <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/free-or-cheap-wall-art" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2783845935_24dcacaebf_z.jpg" alt="framed art" title="framed art" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Most of us would love to have beautiful art decorating the walls of our homes, but we can't always afford to buy expensive prints and canvases. Fortunately, there is a wealth of ways to decorate the walls of your home that will have your friends admiring the beauty of your décor &mdash; and are cheap or entirely free! From art that you print off the Internet to simple paintings that you create yourself, here's a roundup of great ideas for free and cheap wall art. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-home-decorating-ideas-for-under-5" title="15 Home Decorating Ideas for Under $5">15 Home Decorating Ideas for Under $5</a>)</p> <h2>Print Art From the Internet</h2> <p>The web is a great resource for beautiful and free art that can easily be printed if you have a printer, and framed in cheap frames from IKEA or upcycled from the thrift store. <a title="Feed Your Soul" href="http://indiefixx.com/Feed_your_soul/downloads.html">Feed Your Soul &mdash; The Free Art Project</a> is an excellent source for beautiful illustrations by bona-fide artists that this website makes available for free download. <a title="The Graphics Fairy" href="http://graphicsfairy.blogspot.com/">The Graphics Fairy</a> is a website that provides free vintage graphics for download. Print off a few of these color or black-and-white beauties, frame them, and create a gallery cluster of the pretty images. <a title="Taidye Original" href="http://taidyeoriginal.blogspot.com/p/printables.html">Taidye Original</a> and <a title="MissKrissie" href="http://missiekrissie.blogspot.com/p/free-letter-jpgs.html">MissKrissie</a> both have some pretty typographical images that you can download and print.</p> <p>Also, did you know that you can download digital images of vintage magazines from <a title="Google Books" href="http://books.google.com/books?id=R1cEAAAAMBAJ&amp;source=gbs_navlinks_s#all_issues_anchor">Google Books</a>? Print off some full-color covers from Life Magazine, or some of the vintage advertisements you'll find within its pages, and frame them to immortalize some of the biggest events of the last century.</p> <h2>Frame Fabric and Other Patterns</h2> <p>Got a few vintage embroidered handkerchiefs from your granny? Or a piece of silk from that trip to Asia? A bit of lace from your mother's wedding dress? Or how about a few leftover scraps of fabric from your last curtain or upholstery project? Use the fabric you've got lying around the house, or buy a few inexpensive remnants from the fabric store, and set them in frames to showcase the textures, patterns, and colors of the cloth.</p> <p>Along the same lines, you aren't limited to fabric when it comes to framing pretty prints and textures. Try framing a few pieces of sheet music for a classic, cultured look. Or show off some pretty wrapping paper, which looks great under glass, but is also cheap and easy to swap out when you want to change things up.</p> <h2>Pressed Botanicals</h2> <p>Save flowers and pretty leaves from your garden by pressing them between the pages of a few heavy books, and then framing them once they're dry. Create a grouping with similar botanicals for a more focused effect.</p> <h2>Thrifted Art</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/guerrilla-thrift-shopping-the-9-laws-of-profit" title="Guerrilla Thrift Shopping: The 9 Laws of Profit">Thrift stores</a>, estate sales, and garage sales are great sources for cheap original art. True, many of the paintings are from unknown or amateur artists, but they can still be charming and more interesting than some of the generic art you can buy at the home décor store. I have found acrylic paintings of flowers, fruit, and local landscapes, and my sister and I have both picked up lovely framed botanical prints.</p> <h2>Buy Art While Traveling</h2> <p>My travels abroad have been a rich source for affordable but unique art that never fails to ignite a conversation. In Egypt, I picked up a couple of Eastern Orthodox prints that were printed on real papyrus, and an oil painting I bought in Vietnam hangs above my bed. In Laos and Thailand, I saw hundreds of beautiful prints of trees and elephants printed on thin rice paper. In China, scrolls of ink calligraphy and landscapes went for a few dollars each. Roll up your art securely in a paper tube and it will survive the trip home without problems, and will serve as both a souvenir of your trip and a unique conversation-starter.</p> <h2>Make Your Own Art</h2> <p>Whether it's a collage of all the beer labels you've collected over the years or a spectacular painting on canvas, art that you make yourself can be memorable and meaningful. Try creating your own twist on Rothko's abstract paintings by painting blocks of color on a large canvas. Or create a drip painting à la Jackson Pollock. If you're not up to creating a painting, what about simple wall art made up of <a title="toilet paper roll art" href="http://www.designsponge.com/2009/11/diy-project-toilet-paper-roll-wall-art.html">toilet paper rolls</a>? There are all sorts of crafty solutions to an empty wall, and your imagination is the limit.</p> <h2>Buy It</h2> <p>There are lots of budding artists that sell limited edition prints on <a title="Etsy" href="http://www.etsy.com">Etsy</a> for very affordable prices, and <a title="eBay" href="http://www.ebay.com">eBay</a> can also be a good source for affordable art. For limited edition prints by up-and-coming artists, check out the website <a title="20x200" href="http:// http://www.20x200.com/home">20x200</a>, which carries many prints for just $20, making fine art accessible to more and more people.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camilla-cheung">Camilla Cheung</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/free-or-cheap-wall-art">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-the-best-stuff-at-homegoods">How to Find the Best Stuff at HomeGoods</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-ways-to-display-your-art">How to Cheaply Display Your Art</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-amazing-diy-decorating-projects-that-are-easier-than-you-think">18 Amazing DIY Decorating Projects That Are Easier Than You Think</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/hang-frames-perfectly-every-time-with-these-5-picture-hanging-hacks">Hang Frames Perfectly Every Time With These 5 Picture Hanging Hacks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-make-your-home-look-amazing-for-under-100">15 Ways to Make Your Home Look Amazing for Under $100</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home art home decor home decorating Wed, 17 Aug 2011 10:36:15 +0000 Camilla Cheung 665806 at http://www.wisebread.com Keeping Santa Sane: Budget Holiday Decorating http://www.wisebread.com/keeping-santa-sane-budget-holiday-decorating <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/keeping-santa-sane-budget-holiday-decorating" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/santa_sane.jpg" alt="Santa&#039;s mugshot" title="Santa&#039;s mugshot" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="240" height="177" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I started this article desperately wanting to coin a new term that combined the words &quot;recession&quot; and &quot;holiday.&quot; Much like &quot;staycation&quot; implies a slightly downshifted and saner vacation, I think we need a word that describes a smarter approach to holiday spending and the crazy expectations that give rise to it. Alas, my linguistic skills have failed me; I&rsquo;ll leave it up to the readers to coin a term that fits the concept best. Meanwhile, how can we get a head start on our holiday festivities and not get caught up in the preholiday madness? Below are some tips for holiday decorating on a budget; they just might help curb the high price of decking the halls and leave a bit more green in your wallet:</p> <h2>Wrapping and Bows</h2> <p>The wrapping and presentation of gifts can be a great chance to challenge your own creativity and engage your kids. Newsprint, road maps, old wallpaper scraps, or rolls of standard brown shipping paper can each be personalized and embellished for a custom gift-wrap look. Swing by your local newspaper &mdash; often they just toss out remaining rolls of paper if the roll won&rsquo;t complete an entire printing. You can sometimes get yards of the stuff for free. I use brown shipping paper and unroll just the right amount for each gift. Then, using a ruler or T-square, I create graphic grid patterns and designs with markers or colored pencil. If you&rsquo;re a stamper or scrapbooker, this is a perfect canvas for leftover supplies and some holiday inspiration. It&rsquo;s customized, durable, reusable, and far less expensive than the big rolls of the glossy holiday-specific stuff.</p> <p>Bows don&rsquo;t need to be satin or silk &mdash; go for a totally organic look by using pinecones as the &quot;bow&quot; on plain brown paper and fasten with raffia or colored twine. Shells, small twigs, sprigs of pine, or family photos can also be used to replace the standard bow.</p> <h2>Gift Tags</h2> <p>I took a few calligraphy classes in college, but with a computer and printer, that skill is no longer a prerequisite for cool gift tags. Use your printer to make customized tags, then embellish with drawn or collaged holiday scenes. Fasten your tags with self-adhesive photo corners or frame them in small vintage frames from a thrift store. Dissect some old holiday cards for colorful and abstract folded gift tags that really pop on plain brown paper or newsprint.</p> <h2>Ornaments</h2> <p>Many of us have heirloom holiday ornaments for the tree, but if you&rsquo;re buying new, the prices can be outlandish. One quick online search put the average price for a dozen glass bulbs at $14. Try a new approach to trimming the tree &mdash; one that uses less cash for decorating and leaves more for merriment.</p> <p>First, choose a color palette for your tree. One or two consistent and repeating colors can help unify all the various ornaments you&rsquo;ll make and give the tree a more intentional look. Next, work with your family to craft ornaments from things around the yard and in the house &mdash; mist natural pinecones lightly with spray paint in your tree&rsquo;s color palette, or weave small twigs together to create stars or snowflake shapes using yarn that fits the color scheme. Wallet-sized school photos can be framed with Popsicle sticks and hung with twine to make a family of ornaments. Those old slotted clothespins can be painted to look like toy soldiers, animals, or other characters.</p> <h2>Garland</h2> <p>Popcorn is a classic here, but let&rsquo;s think outside the popcorn box. Evergreen boughs can be tied together and laced with dried fruit or dried flowers for a natural garland. Old wooden spools, beads from broken necklaces, even small glass ornaments can all be strung together for a unique handmade look. Anything that has a hole to loop through or a surface to weave through can become material for garland. Remember, with any natural tree, safety comes first. Always use properly sized tree stands, keep your tree moist, and use low-heat lights.</p> <p>If there&rsquo;s one thing this recession is teaching us, it&rsquo;s how to do more with less. Challenge yourself and your kids to create memories while you work on projects together. You never know what creative impulse or burst of artistic pride will define this holiday as one of your kids&rsquo; best. Now, back to that elusive new term for our frugal holiday&hellip;any ideas yet?</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/keeping-santa-sane-budget-holiday-decorating">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-festive-frugal-ways-to-spruce-up-your-home-for-the-holidays">6 Festive, Frugal Ways to Spruce Up Your Home for the Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-remodel-your-bedroom-without-demolishing-a-thing">7 Ways to Remodel Your Bedroom (Without Demolishing a Thing)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-curtains">How to Make Your Own Curtains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-find-the-best-stuff-at-homegoods">How to Find the Best Stuff at HomeGoods</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-awesome-uses-for-milk-crates">20 Awesome Uses for Milk Crates</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home budget decorating decorating holiday decorations Holidays home decor wrapping paper Mon, 15 Nov 2010 12:00:12 +0000 Kentin Waits 295324 at http://www.wisebread.com Top 5 Online Resources for the Design Impaired http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-online-resources-for-the-design-impaired <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/top-5-online-resources-for-the-design-impaired" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/title-image-design-impaired-400.jpg" alt="Painting a wall" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If the pages of home design magazines leave you drooling &mdash; and frustrated about your own lack of skill &mdash; there&rsquo;s no need to give up on your dreams of having a chic, modern, or even award-winning look to your home. At our <a href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2010/10/top-5-online-resources-for-design-impaired.html">newest My Life Scoop article</a>, we gathered the top websites to help you become more skilled in your design efforts, and we're previewing two of them here!</p> <h3><a href="http://www.greenyourdecor.com/">Green Your Décor</a><b><br /> </b></h3> <p>With an eye for trends that are easy on our environment, Jennae Peterson of Green Your Decor gives her picks for the best new eco-friendly design products while sharing her own DIY projects. In addition to cheeky commentary via her <a href="http://www.greenyourdecor.com/5442/drab-fab-recycled-tie-clock/">Drab or Fab reviews</a> and putting step-by-step &ldquo;green&rdquo; tutorials right into your hands, she shares practical advice for those who are looking to cut costs by thinking outside the design box. Her <a href="http://www.greenyourdecor.com/5424/avoid-bed-bugs-buying-furniture/">bed bug prevention piece</a> is perfect for new and used furniture connoisseurs, while the guide for <a href="http://www.greenyourdecor.com/5227/curate-home-quality-pieces-over-time/">curating quality pieces over time</a> is priceless. If your love for Mother Earth runs deep and the time to design something different is now, this is the blog for you.<b><br /> </b></p> <h3><a href="http://www.readymade.com">ReadyMade</a><b><br /> </b></h3> <p>You&rsquo;re probably already familiar with the print magazine from the same people. <em>ReadyMade</em> has been bringing unique and trendy DIY projects to a culture of <a href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2010/10/top-5-apps-for-artists-and-designers.html">inner artists</a> for years. While their site is mostly focused on afternoon projects (<a href="http://www.readymade.com/projects/home_organization_101_floating_box_shelf">bookshelves</a>, <a href="http://www.readymade.com/projects/gourd_planter">planters</a>, and even <a href="http://www.readymade.com/blog/home-and-garden/2010/10/13/a_collection_of_very_contemporary_chicken_coops">chicken coops</a>), they do have some very well done whole-room plans to harvest ideas from. Perhaps the most valuable feature of the ReadyMade site is its collection of blogs and community posts. Why leave notions of <a href="http://www.readymade.com/blog/readymade/2010/10/13/calling_all_color_buffs">ways to use up paint chips</a> to just one sole author, when an entire audience can give their two cents?</p> <p><iframe width="400" height="225" frameborder="0" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/15786146?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;portrait=0"></iframe></p> <p>Are you overwhelmed by all of the online design resources? We&rsquo;ve got a few helpful places to start with. These projects are 101-level and approved by professionals!</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/decorating/decorating-gray-00000000042822/index.html">Decorating with Grey</a> (Real Simple)</li> <li><a href="http://momadvice.com/blog/2009/01/notebook-experiments-will-a-loft-bed-save-us-space">Incorporating the Use of a Loft Bed</a> (Mom Advice)</li> <li><a href="http://www.designspongeonline.com/2010/10/before-and-after-basics-dry-brush-painting.html">Dry-Brush Painting Basics</a> (Design Sponge)</li> <li><a href="http://www.greenyourdecor.com/4748/before-after-thrift-store-chair-turned-tree-swing/">Thrift-Store Chair Turned Tree Swing</a> (Green Your Décor)</li> <li><a href="http://www.readymade.com/projects/surf_shack_fold_down_table">Surf-Shack Fold Down Table</a> (ReadyMade)</li> </ul> <p><em>Do you have a design nut living inside you that needs to be set free? Read the complete list of Wise Bread approved resources <a href="http://mylifescoop.com/featured-stories/2010/10/top-5-online-resources-for-design-impaired.html">at the original My Life Scoop article!</a></em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-online-resources-for-the-design-impaired">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-repair-a-dripping-faucet">Should You Repair a Dripping Faucet?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-amazing-diy-decorating-projects-that-are-easier-than-you-think">18 Amazing DIY Decorating Projects That Are Easier Than You Think</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-your-own-furniture-9-helpful-tips-for-non-carpenters">Build Your Own Furniture: 9 Helpful Tips For Non-Carpenters</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/breathe-easy-10-natural-air-fresheners">Breathe Easy: 10 Natural Air Fresheners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/like-diy-avoid-these-ten-costly-mistakes">Like DIY? Avoid These 10 Costly Mistakes</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Green Living Home build furniture home decor home improvement interior design Thu, 28 Oct 2010 12:00:13 +0000 Linsey Knerl 269690 at http://www.wisebread.com Furnished For Free http://www.wisebread.com/furnished-for-free <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/furnished-for-free" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/325170831_fa62cd4561.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Free is such a great word. It brings images of cool things and cool experiences flying your way for less than the cost of an average cup of coffee or snack at the grocery store. It&rsquo;s even better when all of that free stuff helps you furnish an entire apartment at no real cost to you, aside from a little bit of time and gas.</p> <p>That&rsquo;s exactly what I did a few years ago. I had pared down all of my belongings to just two suitcases and a few boxes before I moved overseas. When I returned, I didn&rsquo;t even have a sleeping bag to use on the floor of my new place. That problem was easily solved with a little bit of ingenuity and some Internet research.</p> <h3>Start Your Search on Craigslist</h3> <p>One of the best places for free stuff is <a href="http://www.craigslist.org/about/sites">Craigslist</a>. Craigslist offers a plethora of amazing goodies for nothing or next to nothing. You can check under the For Sale/Wanted section where there&rsquo;s a free link or you can surf through the furniture and appliance sections. Even a general search in a broader category can pull up some interesting tidbits. Don&rsquo;t forget: The closer it gets to moving day, the more inclined people are to start giving household goods away for free. Keep an eye out for anything that has a specific date on it.</p> <h3>Join a Freecycling Group</h3> <p><a href="http://www.freecycle.org/">Freecycling</a> is another beauty of a place to find free furnishings. Once you join a Freecycling group in your community, you can start surfing through the postings. If you&rsquo;re in a hurry to find things, try searching the group postings specifically for what you want. If you have more time and a general interest in collecting things, you can sign up for a daily or weekly email or check the postings out periodically. The summer that I spent decking out my apartment, I found everything from a bookshelf and a table to dishes and utensils for the kitchen. I even came up with a few unexpected niceties like almost new place settings and a set of matching glasses.</p> <p>With Freecycling, though, it&rsquo;s a give and take situation. While you can easily find and pick up dozens of furnishings, clothes, and books, you have to be willing to give something back to the community. After I had furnished my apartment and was well on my way to creating a comfortable living space, I started looking around for things I no longer needed. I donated an old laptop to a non-profit that needed one and spent some time showing the woman who picked it up how to work the different programs. I also donated books and hangers the next time I moved.</p> <p>To get started, sign up for a group in your area. Make sure to read the rules for how to post ads and how to respond to ads. Each group uses its own specific terminology and online rules of etiquette.</p> <h3>Hook into Free Stuff on the Web</h3> <p><a href="http://kashless.org/?gclid=CNPU_8qt3Z0CFSZdagodqShVNQ">Kashless Krew</a> is one of the newest freecycling sites out there and uses all the benefits of Web 2.0 technology to spread their message, which is to &ldquo;give and get free stuff.&rdquo; Similar to Freecycling, the idea is to re-use things in a community. You might not need your old iron any more, but it might be exactly what someone else is looking for. Plus, with Kashless Krew, you can hook into Facebook and look for free stuff while you do some social networking.</p> <h3>Take a Stroll Through Your Neighborhood</h3> <p>A final place to look is at your local curbside. No kidding, especially if you&rsquo;re living in a college town. Students start dumping their belongings on the streets towards the end of every semester and year. I&rsquo;ve found dressers, books, and even a clean futon mattress just by keeping my eyes peeled while going on a casual walk or bike ride through my neighborhood. Plus, if you tell your friends and family what you&rsquo;re looking for, they can keep their eyes peeled too.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s all about staying connected. Once you&rsquo;re hooked in, you&rsquo;re all set to find cool stuff for free. Have fun furnishing your digs!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sasha-a-rae">Sasha A. Rae</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/furnished-for-free">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-make-your-kitchen-look-awesome-for-under-100">9 Ways to Make Your Kitchen Look Awesome for Under $100</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-online-resources-for-the-design-impaired">Top 5 Online Resources for the Design Impaired</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/51-uses-for-coca-cola-the-ultimate-list">51 Uses for Coca-Cola – the Ultimate List</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-6-least-expensive-dog-breeds-to-own">The 6 Least Expensive Dog Breeds to Own</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cheap-ways-to-make-your-car-look-awesome">12 Cheap Ways to Make Your Car Look Awesome</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living furniture home decor household goods interior design Tue, 17 Nov 2009 16:00:03 +0000 Sasha A. Rae 3838 at http://www.wisebread.com