decorating http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/635/all en-US 8 Ways to Stage Your Home Without Hiring a Pro http://www.wisebread.com/8-ways-to-stage-your-home-without-hiring-a-pro <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-ways-to-stage-your-home-without-hiring-a-pro" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-505618800.jpg" alt="Woman staging her home without hiring a pro" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>So, you're selling your home but don't have the budget to hire a professional stager. Who does? After all, supplying and artfully arranging those vintage books, ficus trees, and nesting tables takes time and money. In fact, according to a 2016 article by Realtor.com, professionally staging a 2,000-square-foot home can cost around $2,000 a month.</p> <p>But never fear: By employing a few basic tips and tricks, your humble abode can still look like a million bucks. Here are eight ways to stage your home without hiring a pro. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-unexpected-costs-of-selling-a-home?ref=seealso" target="_blank">8 Unexpected Costs of Selling a Home</a>)</p> <h2>1. Edit and organize</h2> <p>Not only can you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-a-deep-declutter-can-improve-your-life?ref=internal" target="_blank">improve your life with a deep declutter</a>, it's an essential first step in staging a home properly. Toss out the junk, donate unused items, and consider packing for your move early and storing boxes off-site or in the garage. Once that's done, tame the wild spaces in your home. <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-ways-to-organize-a-messy-closet?ref=internal" target="_blank">Organize messy closets</a> and neatly arrange the pantry, basement, and other catchall areas.</p> <h2>2. Clean</h2> <p>Staging is an art, so start with a clean palette. Mop the floors, wash the windows, scrub the toilets, and dust anything that's standing still. In the minds of most buyers, a clean home is a well cared-for home.</p> <h2>3. Pack up the personality</h2> <p>As a stager, your goal is simple: Help potential buyers feel as if your home was made for <em>them</em>. Since you want to appeal to the widest audience possible, it's time to put away the personal photos and bubble-wrap that troll doll collection you've been curating since 1982. Sure, these things may mean the world to you, but they only limit the vision of would-be buyers.</p> <h2>4. Paint</h2> <p>Painting is one of simplest and most cost-effective ways to freshen up the look of a home. Stick with neutral wall colors. Shades of cream and white, soft greens, and subtle blues can add glow to a room without overpowering it. Though flat paint is ideal for nearly every area in your home, choose an easy-clean semi-gloss for kitchens, baths, and mudrooms.</p> <h2>5. Slow your roll</h2> <p>Selling a house is stressful. Besides packing and looking for a new place, you have to constantly bend your schedule around multiple showings and make sure your home always looks pristine. Don't add to the pressure by starting major projects.</p> <p>Forget retiling the bathroom floor, expanding the deck, or transforming the attic into a guest suite. Keep things simple, small, and entirely manageable. The goal is to accentuate the positive, not launch a full remodel. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-cool-diy-home-improvements-for-50-or-less?ref=seealso" target="_blank">15 Cool DIY Home Improvements for $50 or Less</a>)</p> <h2>6. Add detail</h2> <p>Once your house is decluttered, cleaned, and painted, it's time to take things to the next level. Spruce up the décor with plush accent pillows, new bathroom linens, tailored bed skirts, and neutral window treatments. If you're buying new, choose simple forms and solid colors that complement what you already own. Top things off by adding a few lush houseplants (skip the fresh flowers; some buyers may be allergic).</p> <h2>7. Expel bad smells</h2> <p>A well-staged home looks good and smells good (or at least doesn't smell <em>bad</em>). Remove pet and cooking odors with a deep clean that focuses on carpets and upholstered furniture. Air things out the old-fashioned way: Throw open the windows and turn on a few fans. Run a dehumidifier regularly to battle musty odors in bathrooms and basements. And remember, it's better to neutralize odors than cover them up with loads of scented candles and plug-in air fresheners. Strong artificial scents can turn off buyers.</p> <h2>8. Take it outside</h2> <p>Yes, curb appeal is a thing. Take your staging skills outside and spend an afternoon caulking windows, touching up paint, replacing broken light fixtures, and power-washing the deck. And green thumb or not, try a few inexpensive ways to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-ways-to-make-your-yard-look-awesome-for-under-100?ref=internal" target="_blank">make your yard look awesome</a>.</p> <p>Successful staging is all about refinement &mdash; elevating a home's best features and appealing to the tastes of the general public. Though it doesn't take a professional to accomplish either of those tasks, it does require a professional-level commitment and a willingness to take your personality out of the equation. For your trouble, you just might land a top-dollar offer and get the chance to put your own stamp on a brand new place. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-cheap-ways-to-stage-your-home-in-a-buyers-market?ref=seealso" target="_blank">6 Cheap Ways to Stage Your Home in a Buyer's Market</a>)</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/8-ways-to-stage-your-home-without-hiring-a-pro">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/sell-your-house-faster-with-these-6-house-flipping-tricks">Sell Your House Faster With These 6 House Flipping Tricks</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/8-unexpected-costs-of-selling-a-home">8 Unexpected Costs of Selling a Home</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/6-ways-to-improve-your-curb-appeal-for-next-to-nothing">6 Ways to Improve Your Curb Appeal for Next to Nothing</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-easy-home-improvements-that-add-thousands-to-your-listing">9 Easy Home Improvements That Add Thousands to Your Listing</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/7-smart-ways-to-get-your-apartment-deposit-back">7 Smart Ways to Get Your Apartment Deposit Back</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing attract buyers cleaning curb appeal decluttering decorating packing painting selling a home staging Fri, 21 Apr 2017 08:30:15 +0000 Kentin Waits 1931273 at http://www.wisebread.com 20 Cheap and Easy DIY Kitchen Improvements http://www.wisebread.com/20-cheap-and-easy-diy-kitchen-improvements <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/20-cheap-and-easy-diy-kitchen-improvements" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_cooking_pot_534722067.jpg" alt="Woman making easy DIY kitchen improvements" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Cook, clean, repeat. Making meals day in and day out is a lot of work! No wonder Americans <a href="https://www.zagat.com/b/the-state-of-american-dining-in-2016">dine out between four and five times</a> per week. Are you ready to lighten your load a little, or cheer up your kitchen space? If so, here are 20 fun and easy DIY improvements.</p> <h2>1. Fancy Furniture to Kitchen Island</h2> <p>Google some of the images for &quot;dresser into kitchen island&quot; and you'll be as stoked as I was (and you'll be looking at dressers along with me, at yard sales!). Not only are these practical, but some of them are <a href="http://www.remodelaholic.com/from-dresser-to-kitchen-island/">really great-looking</a>.</p> <h2>2. Cutting Board Holder</h2> <p>Do you use separate cutting boards for raw meats and another for ready-to-eat foods? Safer, for sure, but storing multiple cutting boards can be a pain. Sleek sets of cutting boards aren't cheap ($30 and up), so instead try one of these <a href="http://amzn.to/2fpmq9E">wire step file organizers</a> at a bargain for $11.75 (even less if used). It'll also hold some cookbooks and small baking sheets.</p> <h2>3. Ditch the Drawers</h2> <p>Ugh, my poor, aching, back. I have come to despise my deep cupboards (where is that darn yellow casserole dish?). Maybe I'll install these awesome <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZH0gHFRI_rU">DIY pullout drawers.</a></p> <h2>4. Make a Cheerful Rug</h2> <p>Love my hardwood floors, but rugs do &quot;warm up&quot; the room, and they are nice to stand on while doing dishes. Why not <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YADYD28wIWU">make your own</a>?</p> <h2>5. Sharp Storage</h2> <p>I love my big knife block, but if your knives weren't all purchased together, consider this handy <a href="http://amzn.to/2fRSmHJ">magnetic knife bar</a>. At less than $25, it'll keep your knives easy to find. It's also easy to install.</p> <h2>6. Hang 'Em High</h2> <p>Pots and pans everywhere? I know, I had that problem, too, until my husband built me a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnVRZPzNBvk">hanging pot rack</a>. This project takes only about 45 minutes and what a terrific space-saver it is.</p> <h2>7. Fun Retro Look</h2> <p>Putting ingredients into Mason jars not only looks neat in your pantry, but the clear glass is practical. Take it a step further with a <a href="http://amzn.to/2gBGryR">label maker</a> and go nuts organizing.</p> <h2>8. Shelf Space</h2> <p>Wall space with no cupboards attached? Lucky you &mdash; try your hand at building some <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxnduhQDuMo">floating shelves</a> and store/display your stuff.</p> <h2>9. Peg It</h2> <p>Remember pegboard? Guess what: It's cool again. Pegboard is inexpensive stuff, and it's not just for the garage, anymore. Paint it, or leave it in its natural state, add hooks, and ta-daah! Instant storage. A 2' x 4' piece is only about $6.</p> <h2>10. Cover It</h2> <p>I have, like&hellip; zero... craft ability, but even I can run a hot glue gun. You can use twine, rope, or even raffia to <a href="http://www.frugelegance.com/rope-wrapped-cans/">cover an old coffee can</a>; fill with spatulas, ladles, wooden spoons. Then, utensils are not only easy to find, but look great.</p> <h2>11. Hook It</h2> <p>Don't forget about <a href="http://amzn.to/2ggkr8n">cup hooks</a>! For about $6, you can buy a package of 30 sturdy hooks. Just screw them in &quot;wasted space&quot; spots in your kitchen and voilà! Hang up potholders, aprons, and, well, cups.</p> <h2>12. Outdoors In</h2> <p>I love fresh fruit in a bowl, but it does take up valuable counter space. Solution? Snag an inexpensive plant holder on clearance in a big-box garden shop and hang it inside for a &quot;hanging&quot; fruit basket.</p> <h2>13. DIY Countertop</h2> <p>Building your own <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7GuE2O2DAo">concrete countertop</a> is not a project for a beginner or a weekend, but if you have the skills, it's pretty cool!</p> <h2>14. Spicy Solution</h2> <p>No built-in spice rack? Don't despair. Here is a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bwiSU26xPRI">spice-rack project</a> that can easily be done in an afternoon.</p> <h2>15. What's for Dinner?</h2> <p>Like those big menu boards you see in restaurants? How about a place to easily write shopping lists, post family notes, or schedules? Try making your own <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Magnetic-Dry-Erase-Wall/">dry-erase board</a> &mdash; a project that is really fun <em>and </em>practical!</p> <h2>16. Plant It!</h2> <p>Fresh herbs make your cooking efforts so much better. Why not plant an <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cu6Cda37Us4">indoor herb garden</a>? It's a snap. I love having chives, rosemary, basil and cilantro around.</p> <h2>17. Rakishly Handsome</h2> <p>Watch for old rakes at yard sales. Cut the handles down, clean, and hang on a wall. A rake is, as it turns out, perfect for hanging wineglasses, potholders, or kitchen towels, and they have a lot of fun character.</p> <h2>18. Re-Purpose the Wipes Container</h2> <p>Love those handy pop-up wipes containers? Re-use by covering with pretty wrapping or contact paper, and fill with plastic bags.</p> <h2>19. Snack Extravaganza</h2> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2g4ea0j">Hanging shoe pockets</a> aren't just for shoes. Hang one in your pantry and add snacks, tea and cocoa packets, gravy or sauce mix packets, etc.</p> <h2>20. Cookbook Character</h2> <p>Need additional cookbook storage? Why not try making a <a href="http://www.wherethesmileshavebeen.com/how-to-make-and-install-pallet-bookshelves/">bookshelf out of a pallet</a>? The instructions include super-helpful information about how to select safe pallet wood.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/marla-walters">Marla Walters</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-cheap-and-easy-diy-kitchen-improvements">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-home-improvements-you-should-always-negotiate">9 Home Improvements You Should Always Negotiate</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-smart-ways-to-reuse-your-empty-glass-bottles">18 Smart Ways to Reuse Your Empty Glass Bottles</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/25-beautiful-things-you-can-make-with-paint-sample-cards">25 Beautiful Things You Can Make With Paint Sample Cards</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-cool-diy-home-improvements-for-20-or-less">10 Cool DIY Home Improvements for $20 or 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/7-ways-to-decorate-an-apartment-without-losing-your-deposit">7 Ways to Decorate an Apartment Without Losing Your Deposit</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Home crafting decorating home improvements Homemade kitchen projects storage Fri, 02 Dec 2016 12:00:09 +0000 Marla Walters 1843718 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Ways to Decorate Your Christmas Tree for Under $30 http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-decorate-your-christmas-tree-for-under-30 <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-to-decorate-your-christmas-tree-for-under-30" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/family_christmas_tree_614873318.jpg" alt="Family decorating Christmas tree for under $30" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When I moved into my first &quot;grown-up&quot; apartment after college (many moons ago, now), I wanted to do everything just right &mdash; including the holidays. But between travel expenses and a growing gift list, my holiday tree-trimming budget was tight.</p> <p>Without years' worth of accumulated ornaments, I had to get creative and keep my spending in check. Here's how I did it &mdash; and here are 10 ideas to decorate your own Christmas tree for under $30.</p> <h2>1. Take a Walk in the Woods</h2> <p>Potential ornaments are all around us &mdash; even outside. Pine cones are classic holiday decorating fare. Even better, they're sustainable, biodegradable, and entirely free.</p> <p>Add dimension to dried pine cones with flocking. Just dip the tips of the pinecone scales in glue and brush with white, silver, or gold flocking powder. Fresh out of flocking supplies? Leftover household or craft paint (applied very lightly) works too. When done, attach a twine or satin loop to the broadest end and hang!</p> <h2>2. Tie One On</h2> <p>Simple bows all in the same color add drama and elegance to a tree. Use them as ornaments in their own right or to fill in sparse areas between traditional ornaments. At this very moment, my local dollar store is selling a package of 18 small red &quot;velvet-like&quot; bows for $1.00.</p> <h2>3. Get Thrifty</h2> <p>You really can find anything at thrift stores &mdash; including Christmas tree ornaments. Oddly enough, many ornaments that find their way into secondhand stores are handmade (donated during estate liquidations or as part of a family's downsizing project, I suspect). Give these little one-of-a-kind treasures new life by making them part of your annual holiday tree. Most secondhand ornaments can be picked up for $. 25 to $. 50 apiece.</p> <h2>4. Pick Up Sticks</h2> <p>Have a yard full of leaves and twigs? Me too. Arrange five 3&quot;&ndash; 4&quot; long sticks into a rustic star shape, securing each of the five points with thin wire or twine. Use wire or twine to also reinforce the five areas where two sticks intersect/overlap. Nestle completed ornaments into the boughs of your tree or feature a large one as a tree-topper.</p> <h2>5. Frame It</h2> <p>Recycle tiny photo frames by turning them into unique ornaments. Insert vintage holiday scenes cut from old greeting cards or trim family snapshots down to size. Then, hot glue a loop of nylon ribbon on the back for easy hanging.</p> <h2>6. Fold It</h2> <p>Mastering basic origami forms like stars, hearts, cranes &mdash; and even Christmas trees &mdash; doesn't take much time, and it's an activity kids will gladly try with you. As I write this, there's a 1000-sheet set of origami paper for sale on eBay for $9.73 (shipping included). That's a lot of ornaments!</p> <p>Nestle finished creations in the boughs of your tree, but remember, fresh-cut trees can dry out quickly and pose a fire hazard. Use extra caution when combining paper ornaments with natural branches and hot holiday lights.</p> <h2>7. Uncap It</h2> <p>Don't toss out those bottle caps. Instead, arrange three into a snowman shape (concave sides up) and connect by hot gluing a single strand of ribbon the back. Paint the concave sides white then add frosty facial details with permanent marker or paint.</p> <h2>8. Unlock It</h2> <p>Though they're quickly getting snatched up by jewelry designers and collectors, vintage skeleton keys can be still be found at garage and estate sales for a dollar or two apiece. Add a unique look to your tree by spray painting the keys a glossy white and hanging with a bright red satin ribbon.</p> <h2>9. Break Out of the Mold</h2> <p>Small vintage aluminum baking molds can be had for less than $. 50 in most thrift stores. Collect a dozen or so in classic heart, leaf, and star shapes. Turn them into quaint tree ornaments by simply hot-gluing a loop of ribbon to the back of each.</p> <h2>10. Throw a Party</h2> <p>Why not crowdsource your tree decorating duties? Host a potluck style ornament party where guests exchange ornaments with one another. Keep the vibe lighthearted by encouraging homemade, secondhand, and comical contributions.</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/10-ways-to-decorate-your-christmas-tree-for-under-30">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/20-cheap-and-easy-diy-kitchen-improvements">20 Cheap and Easy DIY Kitchen Improvements</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/8-creative-ways-to-upcycle-used-baby-furniture">8 Creative Ways to Upcycle Used Baby Furniture</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/my-budget-challenge-2016-how-to-live-frugally-when-you-have-no-time">My Budget Challenge 2016: How to Live Frugally When You Have No Time</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/5-pretty-projects-for-pine-cones">5 Pretty Projects for Pine Cones</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-wrap-gifts-with-leftovers">How to wrap gifts with leftovers.</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living DIY christmas trees crafting decorating Holidays ornaments pine cones thrift stores Tue, 29 Nov 2016 12:00:14 +0000 Kentin Waits 1839212 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 House-Hunting Red Flags You Can't Ignore http://www.wisebread.com/12-house-hunting-red-flags-you-cant-ignore <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-house-hunting-red-flags-you-cant-ignore" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/house_mortgage_trap_63718741.jpg" alt="Learning house hunting red flags you can&#039;t ignore" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You've found the home of your dreams. The price is right, the time is right, and you have the down payment ready to go. But before you get your heart set on the property, you need to be aware of some red flags that could make you change your mind. Here are 12 potential issues that should give you cause for concern.</p> <h2>1. Some Part of the Property Is Off-Limits</h2> <p>When you go to an open house, you expect it to be, well, open. The homeowner wants to sell the property quickly, and creating any kind of hurdle, be it locked doors or bolted sheds, is a warning that something may be wrong. It could be that the person showing the home simply wants to keep some valuables locked away. If you're interested in the home, ask to come back later to see what's behind those closed doors, with an escort. If they still say no, you've got your red flag. And if it remains locked during the inspection, run away. There could be anything waiting for you, including bugs, water damage, faulty electrics, or any number of hazards.</p> <h2>2. The Neighborhood Is a Ghost Town</h2> <p>Depending on when you visit the home, and where the home is, you will see various things happening in the streets &mdash; kids playing, people out mowing the lawns, and a general feeling of regular activity. If the neighborhood is deathly quiet, take a closer look. Why is it so quiet? If you start seeing a lot of &quot;For Sale&quot; signs, and see that some properties are in a state of disrepair, you could well be moving into a place that most people are trying to escape from. Ask around, and talk to neighbors if you can. It may just be it's a very quiet neighborhood. But it could also be a place that is quickly becoming abandoned.</p> <h2>3. Popcorn Ceilings</h2> <p>Used in homes between the late 1950s, through to the late 1980s, popcorn ceilings were a trend that thankfully died out. Aside from being horrendously ugly, and difficult to paint, they could also pose a serious health hazard. Many popcorn ceilings contain white asbestos fibers, and that is nothing you want to mess around with. It takes a professional crew hours to remove it, and the charge can be up to $3 per square foot. Multiply that by all the rooms in the house that have the tacky popcorn ceilings, and you could be looking at thousands of dollars in labor. If you see it, ask the seller if they can have the popcorn texture removed on their dime. Or, ask for a reduction in the house price to deal with the costs of removing it.</p> <h2>4. Strange Smells and Unusual Stains</h2> <p>Where there is a funky smell, there is usually an underlying cause. It could just be some weird cooking that happened the night before, but chances are, it's something ingrained in the home. You may be smelling mildew, mold, or water damage in the floors and ceilings. Get your nose inside areas where smells can be hiding, like closets, cabinets, and the corners of basements and attics. And if you smell nothing but air fresheners in every room, the seller may be trying to cover up an offending odor.</p> <h2>5. Recent Painting and Decorating</h2> <p>To be fair, some homeowners want to freshen the place up before selling it, to get a better price and a quicker sale. But look at the type of redecorating that has happened. If it looks consistent throughout the home, or one room has been completely redone, then that's probably fine. But if you're seeing little patches of new paint and paper, they may be covering something the seller wants to hide. If you see some major construction work has just happened, you must get it inspected thoroughly. If the renovations were done in a hurry, and didn't have permits, they could be dangerous, or even deadly. It's not unusual for load-bearing walls to be removed, to open up a layout, causing serious structural problems.</p> <h2>6. Poor Upkeep and Maintenance</h2> <p>Unless you're buying a brand-new home, you will be living in a house that has been lived in before. We all hope the current owner has done his or her best to keep the property in tiptop condition, but it's not always the case. So, look for signs of a lazy homeowner. Are several doors really tough to open and close? Are some of the light switches and sockets cracked or broken? Do you see wallpaper peeling at the corners, or burned out bulbs that haven't been replaced? All of these can signal a homeowner who didn't maintain the property, and could signal bigger issues that you will only find after moving in.</p> <h2>7. Faulty Wiring</h2> <p>It's not as easy to spot as a couple of dangerous loose wires sticking out of the wall; faulty wiring can be lurking behind switches and faceplates. When going through the home, check all of the switches, even on the garbage disposal. If there are issues, like flickering lights, circuits that buzz and hum, excessive heat, or just switches that do not work, it could be a sign of larger electrical issues. Old wiring that has to be brought up to code can be costly, and should be a burden on the seller, not you.</p> <h2>8. Signs of Pests</h2> <p>As you walk through the property, look for telltale signs of bugs and rodents. Are there mouse traps hiding in the corners of the garage? Do you see shelves full of pest control products? What about droppings? Do you see a lot of dead bugs on the window ledges and in the basement and attic? Any of these signs, and many more, can be an indication of a pest problem that could be costly. If it's termites&hellip;very costly.</p> <h2>9. Old Heating and Cooling Systems</h2> <p>When the house was built should help you figure out if the heating and cooling systems should have been replaced by now. In some cases, they should have been replaced multiple times. The average life span of a furnace and air conditioner is 13&ndash;20 years, depending on the make and model. If you're looking at a home that was built in the 1980s, those systems should have been replaced twice. So, take a close look at the age of the units, or ask the seller to tell you how old those items are. To replace them both can cost many thousands of dollars. Also, ask for them to be turned on. If you notice strange sounds, they may be in need of repair or full on replacement.</p> <h2>10. Heaving Closets and Storage Spaces</h2> <p>One of the big complaints many homeowners have is storage space, or the lack of it. If the home doesn't have a basement or attic, you should definitely check out the state of the cupboards, and the garage. Can they even get a car into the garage? If it's full of their things, chances are, you are going to have storage issues, too. If the cupboards are threatening to pour the contents all over you when you open the door, that's another big red flag. Of course, they may be hoarders, but if you see that it's just regular items that are jammed into every available corner, you have a storage problem on your hands.</p> <h2>11. Rugs and Wall Coverings Everywhere</h2> <p>Homeowners can get pretty creative when it comes to hiding stains, holes, and damage. If you notice area rugs in every room, lift them up. It could be that the rugs are disguising unsightly carpet stains, or damaged floor coverings. If you see walls covered in posters, frames, hangings, and even drapes, look behind them, too. They may be hiding a whole host of problems, including wet rot or dry rot.</p> <h2>12. Cracks</h2> <p>Most homes develop a few hairline cracks over the years, as the house settles on the foundation. But cracks in the walls and floors that are greater than a third of an inch wide are a cause for concern. It's highly possible the house has serious structural problems, and you may have to foot the bill for some very costly repairs and foundation work.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-house-hunting-red-flags-you-cant-ignore">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/thinking-of-skipping-the-home-inspection-heres-what-it-will-cost-you">Thinking of Skipping the Home Inspection? Here&#039;s What It Will Cost You</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-evaluate-a-neighborhood-before-you-buy">How to Evaluate a Neighborhood Before You Buy</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/what-you-need-to-know-about-homeowners-associations">What You Need to Know About Homeowners&#039; Associations</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/14-things-youll-hate-about-your-next-house">14 Things You&#039;ll Hate About Your Next House</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/8-times-you-need-to-walk-away-from-your-dream-home">8 Times You Need to Walk Away From Your Dream Home</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Real Estate and Housing buying a house damages decorating dishonesty house hunting maintenance neighborhoods red flags repairs warning signs Wed, 14 Sep 2016 09:30:27 +0000 Paul Michael 1792245 at http://www.wisebread.com 8 Creative Ways to Upcycle Used Baby Furniture http://www.wisebread.com/8-creative-ways-to-upcycle-used-baby-furniture <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-creative-ways-to-upcycle-used-baby-furniture" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/baby_white_crib_97471605.jpg" alt="Learning creative ways to upcycle used baby furniture" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Every parent knows just how costly it can be to set up a nursery. From cribs and changing tables, to dressers and chairs, you can spend many thousands creating the perfect room. And then, after a few years, it's time to get rid of most of it. With safety regulations constantly changing, it may not be possible to <em>sell </em>used baby furniture on the secondhand market. But with a little creative thinking, you can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cute-ways-to-upcycle-shoeboxes" target="_blank">repurpose these items</a>. Here are eight ideas to get you started.</p> <h2>1. Turn a Crib Into a Kids' Workstation</h2> <p>Cribs can be an expensive purchase, and yet they don't serve much of a purpose beyond a few years. However, with a little creativity and ingenuity, you can turn that crib into a wonderful desk/workstation that is the perfect height for you children. This <a href="http://alittlelearningfortwo.blogspot.com/2011/08/repurposed-cot.html">instruction guide</a> gives you all the tips you need to create a workstation that's both attractive and functional, and reuses almost all of the crib. All you really need to purchase for the conversion is a piece of MDF or particleboard, and some blackboard paint.</p> <h2>2. Use the Crib Spring as a Drying Rack/Pot Rack</h2> <p>If you dismantle the crib and are wondering what to do with the crib spring, don't throw it out. With some chain, a few hooks, and a little paint, you can turn that boring crib spring into a drying rack for the laundry room, or a <a href="http://adiamondinthestuff.com/2013/10/crib-spring-drying-rack-wash-room-decor.html">pot rack for the kitchen</a>. Just make sure the ceiling hooks you use go into something substantial, you don't want the whole thing coming down on you.</p> <h2>3. That Old Changing Table Makes a Great Potting Station</h2> <p>The basic changing table &mdash; three shelves, the top one being used to hold a changing pad &mdash; is a functional piece of furniture for any baby room. Of course, once the toddler is out of wearing diapers, there's not much call for it. Well, the way it is set up makes it an ideal potting table. You really don't need to do much to it, other than painting it a color that matches your new set up. If you have a little more time and materials, you can add a handy hutch to the top, making the changing table into a <a href="http://www.shelstring.com/2011/06/baby-to-potter.html">fully functional potting station</a>.</p> <h2>4. An Old Dresser Can Become a Kitchen Island</h2> <p>This doesn't just apply to the baby dresser, but any old dresser you have that has outlived its usefulness in the bedroom. <a href="http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/painted-dresser-as-kitchen-isl-97355">Take an old dresser</a>, apply a new coat of paint, and add some hooks, a paper towel holder, a stone top, and some new hardware. The result is a kitchen island that completely transforms the look and feel of the room. If you don't like stone, you could make the top of the island a butcher block. Add wheels, and it could move from kitchen to dining room, making a handy serving station.</p> <h2>5. Crib Sides Make Great Magazine Racks</h2> <p>Turn a crib on its side 90 degrees, and you suddenly have a whole lot of real estate that will hold dozens of magazines comfortably. The best part is, this is as simple as remove the side and propping it at a slight angle against the wall. Voilà, <a href="http://nodimedesign.blogspot.com/2012/04/reduce-recycle-reuse-and-renew.html">instant magazine rack</a>. If you want something a bit more permanent, you can mount it to the wall, either at an angle, or flush (leaving enough room to let the magazines easily slide over the rails). A touch of paint can really make this one stand out as a feature on a wall.</p> <h2>6. Turn That Crib Mattress Into Outdoor Seating</h2> <p>While you're busy turning the crib into something cool, don't ignore the mattress. With a little ingenuity, you can quickly turn it into a fun and <a href="https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/8c/34/85/8c3485907e9c997e1704c0ac41983288.jpg">functional outdoor seating station</a>. It can be as simple as a crib mattress cover, some old palettes, and some throw pillows. Many crib mattresses are designed to be waterproof, for obvious reasons, so they hold up well outdoors. You can also <a href="http://fabrehabcreations.blogspot.com/2012/01/repurposing-crib-mattress-into-kids.html">turn it into a daybed</a> for use indoors.</p> <h2>7. A Changing Table Can Be Transformed Into a Bar Cart</h2> <p>Or a dessert trolley, if you feel the need to wheel out your impressive confections on a regular basis. However, <a href="http://www.rusticrediscovered.com/2013/08/my-new-bar-cart.html">the bar cart</a> is a fantastic use for that old changing table, and with some wheels and a new paint job, few people will recognize it as a piece of old baby furniture. Adding a cheap accordion-style wine rack is a great finishing touch, especially if you paint it the same color as the cart.</p> <h2>8. Use Crib Ends to Create a Cool Chalkboard Easel</h2> <p>If you happen to have a crib with a solid headboard and footboard, you can quickly and easily turn them into a <a href="http://www.the-red-kitchen.com/2010/02/crib-to-easel.html">very cool easel for signage</a>. Use chalkboard paint (or whiteboard material), and you can make it customizable on a daily basis, which is great for small businesses. But it's also a very handy thing to have to announce birthday parties, anniversaries, play dates, and so on.</p> <p><em>What have you done with furniture the kids have outgrown?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-creative-ways-to-upcycle-used-baby-furniture">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/25-beautiful-things-you-can-make-with-paint-sample-cards">25 Beautiful Things You Can Make With Paint Sample Cards</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/12-cool-ways-to-make-treasure-out-of-trash">12 Cool Ways to Make Treasure Out of Trash</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-clever-ways-to-reuse-your-plastic-shopping-bags">18 Clever Ways to Reuse Your Plastic Shopping Bags</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-smart-ways-to-reuse-your-empty-glass-bottles">18 Smart Ways to Reuse Your Empty Glass Bottles</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-things-you-already-own-that-can-be-turned-into-a-tote-bag">10 Things You Already Own That Can Be Turned Into a Tote Bag</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living DIY Home baby furniture changing tables crafts cribs decorating repurposing upcycling Wed, 27 Jul 2016 10:00:16 +0000 Paul Michael 1757120 at http://www.wisebread.com 18 Smart Ways to Reuse Your Empty Glass Bottles http://www.wisebread.com/18-smart-ways-to-reuse-your-empty-glass-bottles <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/18-smart-ways-to-reuse-your-empty-glass-bottles" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/empty_glass_bottles_000056169688.jpg" alt="Finding smart ways t reuse empty glass bottles" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I was in a secondhand store recently and saw a beautiful corked bottle on the shelf for sale. It wasn't until I had it in my hand, reading the $3 price tag, that I recognized it as identical to the empty tequila bottle I'd tossed into the recycling earlier.</p> <p>Maybe you're embarrassed (like me) by the loud jingling sound when you push your bins to the curb, or you'd rather spend your money on a fine vintage than on home decor (like me); either way, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-cool-ways-to-make-treasure-out-of-trash" target="_blank">turning empty bottles into art</a>, light fixtures, and useful household objects is a smart move. Here are some ideas.</p> <h2>Without a Glass Cutter</h2> <p>If you don't own a glass cutter or any other fancy tools, you can still get artsy with intact empties. For all these ideas, start by soaking the bottle in warm soapy water to get the label off. If there is any residue left after the soak, a solvent such as lighter fluid can get it off.</p> <h3>1. Bird Feeder</h3> <p>All you need to make an inverted <a href="https://thechickenstreet.wordpress.com/2011/10/17/wine-bottle-bird-feeder/">wine bottle into a bird feeder</a> is one plank of wood and some basic woodworking tools.</p> <h3>2. Candy Jar</h3> <p>Fill a clean, dry bottle with candy as an alternative to a treat bowl on your desk &mdash; or use mini bottles for candy-filled adult party favors. To dress it up, add a <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Chalkboard-Painted-Wine-Bottle/step3/Actually-Painting-the-Bottle/">stripe of chalkboard paint</a>, where you can write the name of the gift recipient or party guest, or the type of candy.</p> <h3>3. Yard Torch</h3> <p>Anyone can stick a candle in an empty wine bottle, but with a few dollars' worth of supplies from the hardware store, you can <a href="http://helloglow.co/diy-wine-bottle-citronella-candles/">turn your empties into torches</a> that could stylishly illuminate your whole backyard. Just fill the bottle with marbles and fuel, stick a tiki wick through a metal coupler, and light it up.</p> <h3>4. Table Card Holder</h3> <p>At a rustic-style wedding, a wine bottle with a cork in the top could handily <a href="http://www.weddingchicks.com/2013/09/24/natural-chic-wedding/">hold a table number</a>. Slice the cork halfway down from the top, and place the card in the resulting slot.</p> <h3>5. Vase</h3> <p>While an unadorned empty bottle can hold flowers as is, you can also dress it up by painting the surface, swirling paint inside for a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/03/craft-of-the-day-paint-swirl-vase_n_1466328.html">Venetian glass effect</a>, or spraying it with adhesive and wrapping with a pretty ribbon.</p> <h3>6. Candelabra</h3> <p>Line up half a dozen identical empties (hello, six-pack discount) and put candles in the tops to make a casual candelabra. For more polish, spray the bottles with metallic paint. Or spring for one of these <a href="http://www.beveragefactory.com/wine/wine-gifts/fleur_wine_bottle_candelabra_42-232.html?CAWELAID=1372128416&amp;CAGPSPN=pla&amp;CAAGID=28020747258&amp;CATCI=pla-93389998458&amp;catargetid=320012430000341573&amp;cadevice=c&amp;gclid=CjwKEAjw6sC5BRCogcaY_dKZ2nESJABsZihxgCrTjzNzhxPcnCAvSK_Iox2dRDGStb08-ayllmuLmBoCqunw_wcB">candelabra bottle toppers</a> to hold all your candles in a single bottle. You could <a href="http://www.shanty-2-chic.com/2015/03/diy-wine-bottle-wall-sconce.html">attach your bottle candelabras to a sconce</a> to make them into permanent wall decor.</p> <h3>7. Rolling Pin</h3> <p>Keep a clean empty in the kitchen for this purpose.</p> <h3>8. Boot Holder</h3> <p>Have tall leather or vinyl boots that flop over on the closet floor and get unsightly creases? Put some pebbles in the bottom of empty bottles, and stand them up inside the boots to make them stand at attention.</p> <h3>9. Vessel for a Gift</h3> <p>A pretty, very clean bottle can be repurposed to hold so many homemade goodies: infused oils, homemade infused vodka, bubble bath &mdash; the options are endless. If the gift will take a long time to use, securely attach a fancy drawer pull to the cork to make the bottle easy to unstop.</p> <h3>10. Garden Edger</h3> <p>Bury your bottles upside down to demarcate the borders of your garden. This idea is probably best used in a yard not frequented by children who could break a bottle and get hurt.</p> <h3>11. Slow-Drip Irrigator</h3> <p>Drill a small hole through the cork, fill the bottle with water, replace cork, and place upside down in the planter.</p> <h3>12. Leveling Tool</h3> <p>When hanging framed pictures on the wall, use a bottle to make sure it's exactly straight. Fill the bottle with water even with the top of the label and hold it so that it's bottom is perfectly aligned with the frame's top. Adjust until the water in the bottle is level.</p> <h3>13. Bottle Tree</h3> <p>Popular in the <a href="http://ritamonette.blogspot.com/2010/12/legend-of-bottle-tree.html">American South</a> and linked to folk beliefs about trapping bad spirits in the glass, trees festooned with colored bottles can be a beautiful landscaping feature, especially in winter. There are many <a href="https://www.pinterest.com/2309jrw/bottle-trees/">spectacular ways to arrange bottles</a> on real trees or frames specially built for the purpose. Blue is the most popular color for these, so bring on the Bombay Sapphire gin, Skyy vodka, and Blue Nun wine.</p> <h2>With a Glass Cutter</h2> <p><a href="http://amzn.to/2210p40">Glass cutting tools</a> run from about $5 to $30 (not as fancy as I thought!). They can come in the form of a simple hand tool, or in the form of a drill bit. What they do is score the glass so that you can break it off along the score line. To break it, you need to alternately heat and cool the glass a few times. Or, you can knock the portion of the bottle below the score line off using a hammer. Then you need to sand the sharp edge. Using this technique, you can remove the bottom or top from a bottle, opening up more ways to reuse it.</p> <h3>14. Hanging Planter</h3> <p>Remove the bottom, then <a href="http://diyready.com/wine-bottle-crafts-how-to-make-wine-bottle-planters/">fill with plants</a> wrapped in moss for a cool upside-down, sun-catching planter.</p> <h3>15. Drinking Glasses</h3> <p>You'll see a lot of online tutorials on turning empty wine bottles into drinking glasses. While this is possible, keep in mind that the freshly cut edge of a bottle will be extremely sharp, and <a href="http://thespacebetweenblog.net/cut-bottle-string-trick-really-work/">may not cut cleanly</a>, depending on your method and skill. You'll need to do a lot of <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Drinking-Glasses-from-Wine-Bottles/">grinding and sanding</a> to get the edge smooth enough to raise to your lips.</p> <h3>16. Bottle Chandelier</h3> <p>There are many, many possible designs for chandeliers made of wine bottles online. What most designs have in common is that you cut your bottle open, <a href="http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/make-and-decorate/decorating/how-to-make-a-chandelier-from-old-wine-bottles">string a light inside it</a>, and attach it to a wood or metal holder to suspend from the ceiling. What with the glass cutting, the wood or metal working, and some minor electrical work, it's a bit of a project. But the results can be stunning, and would be great decor for a rec room, man cave, or deck.</p> <h2>With a Drill</h2> <p>Using a tile and glass bit, you can <a href="http://www.familyhandyman.com/tools/drills/how-to-drill-a-hole-in-glass/view-all#step2">drill a hole in a glass bottle</a> with a little practice and care.</p> <h3>17. Lantern</h3> <p>Drill a hole into the back of a wine bottle and thread through a string of small LED lights to make a beautiful lantern. This technique could also be used when making a chandelier.</p> <h3>18. Party Lights</h3> <p>Drill a hole in the bottom or side of a bottle, then <a href="http://witandwhistle.com/2009/11/03/diy-wine-bottle-light/">shove in a string of holiday lights</a>. You could also push the lights in the top of the bottle, but it wouldn't look as elegant.</p> <p><em>Any clever re-uses for glass bottles we've missed? 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/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-smart-ways-to-reuse-your-empty-glass-bottles">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/25-beautiful-things-you-can-make-with-paint-sample-cards">25 Beautiful Things You Can Make With Paint Sample Cards</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/13-scariest-halloween-frights-you-can-make-from-trash">13 Scariest Halloween Frights You Can Make From Trash</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-cool-ways-to-make-treasure-out-of-trash">12 Cool Ways to Make Treasure Out of Trash</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-awesome-practically-free-upcycled-craft-projects">18 Awesome, Practically Free Upcycled Craft Projects</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/11-creative-ways-to-reuse-egg-crates">11 Creative Ways to Reuse Egg Crates</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Green Living crafts decorating eco friendly empty bottles glass bottles lighting projects recycling Wed, 01 Jun 2016 09:30:24 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1721636 at http://www.wisebread.com 17 Cheap Ways to Dress Up Your Garden http://www.wisebread.com/17-cheap-ways-to-dress-up-your-garden <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/17-cheap-ways-to-dress-up-your-garden" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mother_daughter_gardening_000088044735.jpg" alt="Woman finding ways to dress up her garden for cheap" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's spring, and you've had enough of being cooped up indoors. Outdoor living is experiencing a boom, with Americans now spending $60 billion a year sprucing up the space outside their homes, according to Garden Media Group. That's $200 for every American &mdash; even more when you consider all the people who don't have any outdoor space to spend on.</p> <p>So what if you don't have $200 or more, but you still want your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-improve-your-curb-appeal-for-next-to-nothing" target="_blank">yard and garden to look nice</a>? There are lots of ways to brighten things up for free or cheap, especially if you're crafty.</p> <p>A word of advice before we start: If people start stopping by your yard asking how much your lawn ornaments cost, <em>you've gone too far</em>! Being mistaken for a yard sale is never a compliment.</p> <h2>Planters</h2> <p>You can spend anywhere from $20 to hundreds of dollars for pots to put plants in. But almost anything can hold a plant as long as you put drainage holes on the bottom. My uncle, the plumber, used to put his petunias in old toilets and bathtubs. It's not what I would choose, but it represented him.</p> <p>Start with these creative planter ideas, then think about what kind of containers would represent you. If you don't have the items around the house, many can be found free or cheap on Freecycle, at garage sales, or at thrift stores.</p> <h3>1. Give Pricey Planters the Boot</h3> <p>Have you got a single, outgrown child's boot in the back of your closet? <a href="https://feltmagnet.com/crafts/How-to-Make-a-Flower-Pot-out-of-an-Old-Rubber-Boot">Poke some holes in the bottom</a>, weight it with gravel, and you're ready to plant. If it's a plain old brown boot, you could always dress it up by painting on a design.</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> Free to $5.</p> <h3>2. Tin Pan Garden</h3> <p>Instead of buying terra cotta or plastic bowls for hanging planters, repurpose thrift store metal bowls, cups, or even coffee cans. Macrame straps were the crafty way to hang planters in decades past; for an update, try <a href="http://2knitsters.blogspot.ca/2010/08/my-mom-bought-this-little-gem-on-one-of.html">beaded wire</a>.</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> Free to $5.</p> <h3>3. Have No Seat</h3> <p>Use an old, broken-down chair to dress up an ordinary planter. These instructions involve <a href="http://gardentherapy.ca/outdoor-chair-planter-project/">removing the seat</a>, if the chair has one, and putting on a fresh coat of paint.</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> $10&ndash;$20.</p> <h3>4. Barney Rubble Planter</h3> <p>For a rustic look, <a href="http://www.tampahomebody.com/tree-log-planter/">hollow out a fallen tree</a> trunk or limb and put plants inside.</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> Free, if you have tools for the hollowing and drilling drainage holes.</p> <h3>5. Pedal Planter</h3> <p>It's a classic that's perfect for bike enthusiasts or those who want to imagine cycling along the canals of Amsterdam while they sit in the yard: The old <a href="http://www.organizedclutter.net/2013/07/add-bike-to-your-garden-just-for-fun-of.html">bicycle with a basket full of blooms</a>. Organized Clutter explains how she plopped a coconut fiber liner into an existing bike basket to make her planter.</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> $5&ndash;$10 for the liner, assuming you can find a nonfunctional bike for free.</p> <h2>Lighting</h2> <p>Outdoor lighting can be pricey, but going without reduces the number of hours that you can enjoy your patio &mdash; especially if you live in a region where it's warm during the winter months when daylight is shorter. You're not going to get long lasting, quality fixtures with a shoestring budget, but these ideas can help you enjoy the evenings until you can afford something more permanent.</p> <h3>6. Tuna Can Lanterns</h3> <p>You wouldn't believe it, but you can make an <a href="http://inmyownstyle.com/2011/06/trash-and-thrift-store-treasure-outdoor-candle-lantern.html">elegant outdoor lantern</a> using an old broomstick, a tuna can, and a hurricane shade. A coat of metallic paint has the whole thing gleaming in a jiffy.</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> $5&ndash;$10 for hurricane shade, spray paint, metal adapter, and candle.</p> <h3>7. Repurposed Holiday Lights</h3> <p>Everyone has a string of old holiday lights in their basement, with only half the lights working, right? Instead of throwing those away, turn them into pretty outdoor orbs by combining them with another forlorn item: A round glass shade, frequently found in thrift stores.</p> <p>Ball up the light string and shove it in the globe. Once plugged in, you have a <a href="http://www.theartofdoingstuff.com/landscape-lighting/">mystical glowing ball</a> you can place anywhere in your yard for effect and illumination. Just be sure to use light strings meant for outdoor use.</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> $1&ndash;$15 for glass shades (cheaper for used, more for new).</p> <h2>Hacks and Crafts</h2> <p>These ideas will appeal to the makers among us &mdash; those who love finding new ways to use familiar materials.</p> <h3>8. Solar Renewal</h3> <p>When solar yard lights get old, the plastic covering their solar cells can cloud over, limiting the amount of energy they receive from the sun. One blogger figured out that you can rejuvenate these with a <a href="https://blog.kriegsman.org/2012/04/19/rejuvenating-solar-garden-lights-with-nail-polish/">coat of clear nail polish</a>, of all things.</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> $1.</p> <h3>9. Moss Graffiti</h3> <p>Did you know you can gather moss, stick it in the blender with sugar and buttermilk, and <a href="http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Moss-Graffiti">paint it onto a wall</a> to create a live, growing mural or sign? I sure didn't!</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> $2&ndash;$3.</p> <h3>10. Hacker Couch</h3> <p>The author of <em>The Basement</em> created a <a href="http://kaylasbasement.blogspot.com/2014/07/diy-outdoor-bench-update.html">bench from cinder blocks</a> and two-by-fours in less than an hour.</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> About $40; more for optional cushions.</p> <h3>11. Magical Marble Fence</h3> <p>With a drill and a handful of marbles, you can transform a boring backyard fence into a magical fairyland. Just drill holes into a wooden fence and <a href="https://gardendrama.wordpress.com/2011/09/17/garden-art-on-the-cheap-diy-glass-marbles-in-your-fence/">place marbles into the holes</a>; sunshine will provide the dazzle.</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> $1.</p> <h3>12. Key Chimes</h3> <p>What to do with those mystery keys that have been on your key ring for years? Paint them and hang them with string to make a <a href="http://giving.innerchildfun.com/2013/04/recycled-crafts-for-kids-diy-key-wind-chime.html">DIY wind chime</a>.</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> Free to $5.</p> <h3>13. Rock Garden Markers</h3> <p>Use stones and paint to make cute <a href="http://craftsbyamanda.com/painted-rock-garden-markers/">labels for each row</a> of the garden instead of using store bought ones.</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> Free to $5.</p> <h3>14. Mega Mushrooms</h3> <p>Turn a planter upside down and give it a paint job to <a href="http://www.birdsandblooms.com/backyard-projects/diy-garden-projects/diy-garden-%C2%ADmushrooms/">create cheery mushrooms</a>.</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> $5.</p> <h3>15. Owl You Need</h3> <p>Rolled strips of cardboard can be used to fashion <a href="http://empressofdirt.net/owl-craft-project/">a whole family of owls</a> to watch over your garden in an earth-friendly project.</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> Free.</p> <h3>16. Step Right Up</h3> <p>Get the kids involved in making <a href="http://pinkandgreenmama.blogspot.com/2009/08/daddy-camp-cement-stepping-stones.html#.VyvTX_mDFBc">stepping stones</a> by pressing just about anything into wet cement: old toys or costume jewelry, marbles, and beads.</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> $5.</p> <h3>17. Gnome Home</h3> <p>A tree or even a stump in your yard can be turned into a <a href="https://snapguide.com/guides/make-a-gnome-home/%20">fairy house</a> that kids will love to discover. Twigs can be used to frame windows, and a small piece of wood can be shaped into a door. If your gnomes want their <em>own </em>outdoor living space, use found objects or dollhouse furniture.</p> <p><strong>Cost:</strong> Free to $5.</p> <p><em>How are you dressing up your landscape for free or cheap this year?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carrie-kirby">Carrie Kirby</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-cheap-ways-to-dress-up-your-garden">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/how-to-get-the-greenest-lawn-on-the-block-naturally">How to Get the Greenest Lawn on the Block — Naturally</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/8-diy-backyard-home-improvements-that-save-you-big">8 DIY Backyard Home Improvements That Save You Big</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/10-cool-diy-home-improvements-for-20-or-less">10 Cool DIY Home Improvements for $20 or Less</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/6-decorative-plants-you-can-eat-too">6 Decorative Plants You Can Eat, Too</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/secret-lawn-tonic-recipe-from-golf-course-groundskeeper">Secret Lawn Tonic Recipe From Golf Course Groundskeeper</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Home decorating gardening hacks landscaping lighting outdoor living plants Tue, 24 May 2016 09:00:03 +0000 Carrie Kirby 1711684 at http://www.wisebread.com 7 Ways to Decorate an Apartment Without Losing Your Deposit http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-decorate-an-apartment-without-losing-your-deposit <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/7-ways-to-decorate-an-apartment-without-losing-your-deposit" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_diy_paint_000050206910.jpg" alt="Woman dressing up apartment without losing her deposit" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It can be a challenge putting your own personal touches on a rental apartment, but with these budget-wise decorating ideas that won't compromise your security deposit, you'll start to feel at home in no time.</p> <h2>1. Use Removable Wallpaper and Decals to Add Personality to a Room</h2> <p>I love the idea of an accent wall featuring wallpaper or some sort of design to give a room more personality. But how can you achieve this look without the permanence or expense of wallpaper? Modern décor has become so DIY these days that you can, in fact, install removable wallpaper &mdash; essentially stick-on paper that you apply in minutes and simply peel off when you want to take it down &mdash; or spot-design using decals. I've done the latter myself. I created a birds-in-flight effect on three accent walls in my house that give my living room a great amount of detail and depth, and it cost me less than $30 total.</p> <p>Alice Choo, an interior designer in San Francisco, adds that <a href="http://amzn.to/23ywowO">washi tape</a> (or Japanese masking tape) is an affordable ways to add color and patterns to your apartment. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/60-things-you-can-decorate-with-washi-tape?ref=seealso">60+ Things You can Decorate with Washi Tape</a>)</p> <p>&quot;With washi tape, you can create your own designs and bring texture to the space. These can be easily removed from the walls,&quot; she says.</p> <h2>2. Swap Out Outdated Hardware for More Modern Updates</h2> <p>I can tell you from personal experience that one of the easiest, most inexpensive ways to freshen up a space is to change hardware. For instance, when I moved into my home, I wanted to completely overhaul the bathroom, but I didn't have the budget for it. Instead, I compromised by updating the towel racks, TP holder, light fixture, and other bits with brushed nickel accessories that instantly gave the room a cleaner, fresher look. Same goes for the kitchen. Instead of ripping out the cabinets because I didn't like the style, I changed all the handles and knobs to suit my taste, and it made a major difference.</p> <p>You can do this in your apartment, too, without losing your deposit, by replacing the old hardware before you move out. Just keep the original hardware handy and in a safe place.</p> <h2>3. Add Mirrors to Create the Illusion of More Space</h2> <p>If you live in a small apartment, you know all too well that what once looked like a lot of space when the unit was empty, may very well look (and feel) cramped once your furniture and belongings are all moved in. Well-placed mirrors, however, can seemingly expand the space, providing the illusion of more room.</p> <p>&quot;When dealing with a small space, illusions are your best bet to fool yourself &mdash; and, more importantly, your guests &mdash; that you have more space,&quot; says Adam Busch, head of renter outreach for apartment-finding site RentLingo.</p> <p>He suggests incorporating a mirror into your living room to create more space.</p> <p>&quot;Utilizing the height of your room changes the appearance as well and one of the best ways to do this is to use taller curtains to create a larger height dimension,&quot; he says.</p> <h2>4. Paint an Accent or Feature Wall</h2> <p>If you don't want to (or can't) paint an entire room for fear of losing your deposit, perhaps your landlord will consider an accent wall. Or maybe you don't even have to tell them about it. That's the great thing about an accent wall &mdash; you're not covering a lot of territory, but it can make a world of difference in the overall aesthetic of the room. To take this concept a bit further, consider creating a pattern with the paint instead of applying a single straight color.</p> <p>&quot;The benefit of this feature is that instead of covering an entire wall with paint and the added stress of having to repaint the entire wall before you leave, you make use of a smaller space but add complexity for flair,&quot; Busch says.</p> <h2>5. Use Alternative Adhesives Instead of Nails</h2> <p>Many renters will likely agree that most of the time the reason their security deposit is in jeopardy is due to the state of the walls &mdash; that is, the nail and other holes that have accumulated over the period of your tenure. To avoid this deal-breaker, try using wall putty to hang lighter items, like prints, posters, and small canvases. Stay away from hanging glass items with putty, however, because if the putty fails, you don't want to have that dangerous mess to clean up. <a href="http://amzn.to/1MweO5h">3M's Command line</a> has lots of solutions that help you hang items with heavier-duty adhesives, and you can find these products at any hardware or office supply store, and even more common retailers like Walmart and Target.</p> <h2>6. &quot;Remodel&quot; the Kitchen With Faux Granite or Stainless Steel</h2> <p>Aside from replacing hardware in your kitchen to freshen up the space, another great redesign tactic you can implement is to use faux granite and/or stainless steel to wrap countertops and appliances. The concept is similar to removable wallpaper. Peel and stick the vinyl covering on the smooth surface you're trying to change, and voila; instant makeover without the hassle, cost, or loss of deposit. I'll admit that I hadn't actually heard of this cool trick before I started researching this post, but from what I can tell it definitely seems like a legit way to modernize otherwise out-of-date kitchen focal points without getting in too deep.</p> <h2>7. Rely on Textiles to Make the Space Cozy</h2> <p>And, finally, if you don't want to do anything to the wall, appliances, or hardware in your apartment, remember that you can use textiles to make your space cozy and comfortable.</p> <p>&quot;Pillows and rugs can be affordable and helps dress up a plain apartment; you just need to know where to shop for these items,&quot; Choo explains. &quot;You can get a set of stylish pillows for $25 and under online on sites such as Target.&quot;</p> <p>Expanding on that, area rugs, throws, and interesting upholstered furniture can all add that little something extra to your apartment without costing you any deductions from your deposit on the backend.</p> <p><em>What are some of your budget-wise ways to dress up an apartment without compromising or losing the deposit? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-decorate-an-apartment-without-losing-your-deposit">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/20-cheap-and-easy-diy-kitchen-improvements">20 Cheap and Easy DIY Kitchen Improvements</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-cool-diy-home-improvements-for-20-or-less">10 Cool DIY Home Improvements for $20 or Less</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/8-creative-ways-to-upcycle-used-baby-furniture">8 Creative Ways to Upcycle Used Baby Furniture</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/17-cheap-ways-to-dress-up-your-garden">17 Cheap Ways to Dress Up Your Garden</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/home-improvements-that-pay-off">Home Improvements That Pay Off</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Home Real Estate and Housing apartments decorating rentals security deposit updating wallpaper Fri, 15 Apr 2016 09:00:06 +0000 Mikey Rox 1689030 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Clever Ways to Improve Your Home Gym http://www.wisebread.com/10-clever-ways-to-improve-your-home-gym <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-clever-ways-to-improve-your-home-gym" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_doing_yoga_000044875812_0.jpg" alt="Woman finding ways to pump up her home gym" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Gym memberships are expensive. At the same time, staying fit and active is important for your health. Heck &mdash; healthy habits, like exercise, can even <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-being-healthy-saves-you-money-and-why-bad-health-habits-cost-you">save you money</a>! Here are some tips for creating a great at-home gym without spending a fortune.</p> <h2>1. Use What You Have</h2> <p>Take stock of any equipment you already have. We have a spinning bike, some kettlebells, a balance ball, yoga mats, and hand weights. Put everything in one area so you're not always searching around the house. If you do nothing else, at least you'll be more likely to use your equipment if it's all in once place.</p> <h2>2. Check Around</h2> <p>Don't have much? You can find gently used treadmills, stationary bikes, rowing machines, other cardio equipment, weights, and more on sites like Craigslist. There are some things you should know about buying a used machines. Experts at Runner's World say you should <a href="http://www.runnersworld.com/other-gear/how-to-buy-a-used-treadmill">research the brand</a> of treadmills, for example. Don't forget to ask about the machine's background, obtain any service records, and even test it out before handing over the cash.</p> <h2>3. Calculate</h2> <p>The big price tags on cardio equipment can be frightening &mdash; but consider the return. The YMCA where we live charges $80/month for membership. We recently bought a treadmill (on sale) for around $900. If you divide this cost by a year, you come up with $75 a month. No, we won't get all the gym extras, but my husband and I primarily use the treadmill anyway. Plus, the machine will last for years and even comes with a warranty.</p> <h2>4. Think Body Weight</h2> <p>Getting a great workout can be accomplished with absolutely no equipment. If you don't have money to invest in your gym, try first making a dedicated area for working out in your home. You can search for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-online-workout-videos-for-free-or-cheap">free online workouts</a>, do pushups, jumping jacks, sit-ups, and other basic moves, and even strike a few yoga stretching poses. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/these-at-home-exercises-will-give-you-a-gym-quality-workout-for-free?ref=seealso">These At-Home Exercises Give You a Gym-Quality Workout for Free</a>)</p> <h2>5. Create the Space</h2> <p>You may not have a dedicated room to make your at-home gym, and that's okay. Carve out some space in your family room or even your garage. This blogger created her <a href="http://polishedhabitat.com/2015/organized-home-gym/">at-home gym</a> in a corner of a room by putting a treadmill in the space. The rest &mdash; magazines, headphones, towels, a yoga mat, and resistance bands &mdash; is organized on a peg board and clip boards.</p> <h2>6. Get Organized</h2> <p>Here's another wonderful way to keep all your gym items neat and tidy. Buy or repurpose an <a href="http://www.iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/2014/01/exercising-my-right-to-organize.html">inexpensive book shelf</a> and place it behind your treadmill, elliptical, or other equipment. You can store anything from shoes to water bottles to hand weights on the shelf. If you have even more stuff, hang a wall shelf above that for the rest.</p> <h2>7. Inspire Yourself</h2> <p>Hang some inspirational quotes or posters to help you get moving. Try <a href="http://www.lowes.com/creative-ideas/decorate-and-entertain/stenciled-word-wall/project">stenciling words</a> in bright colors on your wall so you can see it while you're working out. You just need paint, tape, a brush, and some patience. Trace the letters and mark them in tape before painting.</p> <h2>8. Jot It Down</h2> <p>I love this idea to paint a <a href="https://twobertis.wordpress.com/2012/01/12/home-gym-update/">chalkboard wall</a> or two in your gym space to track workouts. If you don't want to paint directly onto your wall, try buying a chalkboard or even painting the glass in an old picture frame.</p> <h2>9. Floor It</h2> <p>Making your gym in your garage or basement? You don't have to suffer with that cold concrete floor. Cover it up with some <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00K2TWXD6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00K2TWXD6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=CR2EYCODMBYCODAN">rubber tiles</a> that can be installed like puzzle pieces. You'll find a variety of prices on this type of flooring, so I encourage you to check local discount shops before taking the plunge. Many products I've found are around $1 per square foot.</p> <h2>10. Reflect</h2> <p>What do most gyms have in abundance? Mirrors! You can occasionally find large mirrors on Craigslist when hotels or other businesses are changing theirs out. If you're not having any luck, try buying several of those door mirrors at a big box store and arranging them together on your wall.</p> <p><em>How have you gussied up your home gym?</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/10-clever-ways-to-improve-your-home-gym">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/get-a-great-workout-for-free-with-11-simple-moves">Get a Great Workout for Free With 11 Simple Moves</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-tricks-to-avoid-workout-burnout">10 Tricks to Avoid Workout Burnout</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-cheap-home-workout-hacks-for-people-with-no-equipment-and-no-room">12 Cheap Home Workout Hacks for People With No Equipment and No Room</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/36-workouts-you-can-do-in-your-living-room-while-its-cold-out">36 Workouts You Can Do in Your Living Room While It&#039;s Cold Out</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/13-easy-ways-to-save-on-your-gym-membership">13 Easy Ways to Save on Your Gym Membership</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Health and Beauty Home decorating exercise fitness home gym storage working out Tue, 03 Nov 2015 21:15:18 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1603575 at http://www.wisebread.com Carving Pumpkins and 14 Other Cool Ways to Make Cash From Fall Holidays http://www.wisebread.com/carving-pumpkins-and-14-other-cool-ways-to-make-cash-from-fall-holidays <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/carving-pumpkins-and-14-other-cool-ways-to-make-cash-from-fall-holidays" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mother_daughter_halloween_000075821055.jpg" alt="Mother and daughter carving pumpkins and making cash " title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If there's ever a time of year that we could use a little extra padding in our pockets, it's the holidays. So try adopting a different approach this year by taking on a side hustle. All you have to do is get up, get out, and make a commitment to staying in the black with just a little creative thinking. Take a look.</p> <h2>1. Offer Pet-Sitting Services</h2> <p>Dogs and cats can get pretty lonely when Mom and Dad are visiting family or on holiday vacation. To ensure their furry best friends are well cared for during this time of year, many pet parents opt for a sitter. Services like <a href="https://dogvacay.com/">DogVacay</a> and <a href="https://www.rover.com/">Rover</a> help regular people like you and me earn extra money by providing a safe, loving environment for pets to spend time while their parents are busy. I'm a dog sitter on DogVacay myself, and I can tell you firsthand that it's a decent way to put a few bucks in your bank account. It's also a lot of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-it-costs-to-own-a-dog">fun to have a dog</a> (I'm not a cat person) liven up your home.</p> <p>Once vetted by the service, you can set your sitting fee and have fun for the weekend, or even the week, with a loving pet. Both DogVacay and Rover also offer insurance, 24-hour support, and other services that make pet sitting easy and fun.</p> <h2>2. Open Up Your Home to Travelers</h2> <p>If you have extra space in your home &mdash; a guest bedroom, or even pull-out couch &mdash; you can &quot;micro-sublet&quot; (fancy word for a short-term rental) your digs on sites like <a href="https://www.airbnb.com/">Airbnb</a> and <a href="https://www.roomorama.com/">Roomorama</a>. I've been a micro-subletter for the better part of a decade now, and I can honestly say it has enriched my life. Not only by providing an additional source of income, but because of all the people I've hosted over the years with whom I've interacted and often befriended.</p> <p>Micro-subletting will only be successful if you're a people person &mdash; nobody wants to stay in the home of a Scrooge &mdash; but if you can make it work, you could potentially pay for all your holiday expenses and then some. No joke.</p> <h2>3. Host a Real or Virtual Garage Sale</h2> <p>I'm hosting a yard sale this month to get rid of too much accumulated junk in my basement and to pull in, ideally, a couple hundred bucks. Of course, there's not much time left to host an outdoor sale, but wouldn't you know that the Internet has solved that problem.</p> <p><a href="http://www.varagesale.com">VarageSale</a>, founded by a wife-and-husband team, is a social, local, and mobile online marketplace for families who want to sell their unwanted items to people in their neighborhoods. Once approved for a community, members can sell (and buy) everything from children's clothing to cars at a fraction of the retail price. As an added bonus, members can meet and develop closer ties with their neighbors &mdash; if that's your thing.</p> <h2>4. Clean Out Your Closets for Cash</h2> <p>Why not turn your closet clutter into some extra holiday cash? <a href="https://www.tradesy.com/">Tradesy</a> lets users safely, securely, and easily sell or rent their clothing, shoes, handbags, wedding dresses, and more. They handle the transaction from the time a photo of the product is uploaded to its delivery to the purchaser's door.</p> <p>Parents can also get in on the clothing resale action with&nbsp;<a href="http://www.totspot.me/">Totspot</a>, a parent-to-parent mobile marketplace that allows moms and dads to buy and sell gently used (or brand new) children's clothing and accessories. TotSpot boasts more than 150,000 active users today, and users often buy and sell just in time for the holidays.</p> <h2>5. Sales Referral Programs</h2> <p>If you have a robust social media following or a website that gets a lot of traffic, you may be able to take advantage of sales referral programs. If a customer buys an item as a result of your advertising, you get a cut. You can find these opportunities from large companies, like <a href="https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/">Amazon</a>, and even some mom-and-pop merchants.</p> <h2>6. Social Media Influencer Programs</h2> <p>The number of sites that will pay social media users for promotion of products is increasing, and you don't have to be a Twitter or Instagram superstar to participate.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.getswayd.com">Swayd</a>, which connects micro-influencers (defined as anyone with a couple hundred followers) with brands, is creating a marketplace for these people to connect.</p> <p>Instead of paying Kim Kardashian $100,000 for an Instagram or retweet, Swayd is paying 100,000 micro-influencers a dollar apiece to tweet. It's working with brands big and small, and if a campaign matches a profile, the influencer can see it and choose to accept the offer to post to their social media. Swayd will allow the market to define what a social media post is worth and allow influencers to show that even though their numbers are small, their engagement is strong.</p> <h2>7. Sell Unused Gift Cards and Merchandise Credit</h2> <p>If you've received gift cards for which you don't have much use (hey, it happens), or you've got merchandise credit to a store you don't particularly like, sell it to&nbsp;<a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=368971.3&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0">Raise</a> for cold, hard cash.</p> <p>Raise is an online marketplace that sells unwanted gift cards or store credits for real money. On the platform, consumers can choose their selling price and once the gift card sells, they have the option to be paid by check, PayPal, or direct deposit. Easy as that.</p> <h2>8. Become Part of Your Local Holiday Event Activities</h2> <p>Everybody thinks of being a mall Santa or one of his festive helpers, but there are lots of other opportunities to become part of your local holiday event activities, especially for Halloween. <em>Someone's </em>got to be the monsters in the haunted houses!</p> <h2>9. Entertain Kids With Scary Stories at Halloween Parties</h2> <p>Just like a magician or clown entertains at kids' parties, you too can read scary stories in costume to add a spook factor to local Halloween bashes.</p> <p>&quot;Dress up like a scary character and read books to kids,&quot; suggests<a href="http://www.sharronsenter.com/products/attract-customers-to-your-business"> marketing consultant</a> Sharron Senter. Your ideal target audience is parents hosting Halloween parties. You could easily get the word out by [putting flyers in] mailboxes and posting to online community portals. You could also pitch your entertaining services to small independent retailers who have a customer following.&quot;</p> <p>Taking this one step further, perhaps you could even become a regular reader at your local bookstore. Never hurts to ask.</p> <h2>10. Run Errands for Busy Holiday Shoppers</h2> <p>Some lucky ducks have assistants to do all the things they can't accomplish in a day, but what about the rest of the world? They often need help, too, and there's a possibility that folks in your area are seeking someone to run errands &mdash; like shop for meals, buy gifts, or other tasks. Post your errand-running service on Craigslist, <a href="https://www.taskrabbit.com/">Task Rabbit</a>, or mention it to your <a href="https://nextdoor.com/">NextDoor</a> community to get started.</p> <h2>11. Provide Gift-Wrapping Services</h2> <p>For many folks, gift-wrapping is the bane of their existence. You know who they are in your family because your presents look like they were kicked all the way from one house to the other. Likewise, there are plenty of people out there looking for someone with the handy, crafty skills of Martha Stewart to turn their gifts from drab to fab &mdash; and they're willing to pay for it, too.</p> <h2>12. Help Decorate Area Homes for the Holidays</h2> <p>I'm completely able-bodied, but after it took me 11 hours to decorate the exterior of my home last Christmas in the freezing cold, I'm not altogether opposed to finding someone on Craigslist who's willing to assist me for at least part of the day. If I'm looking, others are looking, too.</p> <h2>13. Start a Small Fall/Winter Yard Work Business</h2> <p>When I was a kid, I made a good amount of holiday (and post-holiday) spending cash by shoveling snow from my neighbors' walkways and driveways. The best part about this prospect is that you can totally start your own fall and winter yard work business (which can also include raking leaves and other tasks) the old-fashioned way &mdash; by walking door-to-door. The easiest way to capitalize on this tactic is to wait until a weather event, like a snowstorm, to make your move. Some of your neighbors would much rather pay someone to do that grunt work for them, and that's money in the bank for you.</p> <h2>14. Carve Pumpkins</h2> <p>Fancy yourself an artist? Offer to carve pumpkins in your area for those who like to get in the holiday spirit, but don't want to get their hands dirty.</p> <h2>15. Sell Baked Good and Cooking Services</h2> <p>If you know your way around the kitchen, and your baked goods taste like they could be in a professional bakery, there's a market for your skills. To build your business, start with the people you know &mdash; friends and family. Let them know that you're taking orders for holiday events, and that you'd love to supply the cakes, cookies, pies, and pastries. Also, if you're a decent cook, you can offer your services to cater a small party or prepare a holiday meal for a small group of people. There are a fair amount of overwhelmed hosts out there who'd be happy to pay your fee to free up their time and ultimately stress less.</p> <p><em>Do you have other ways to make cash from the holidays? Let me know some of your ideas in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/carving-pumpkins-and-14-other-cool-ways-to-make-cash-from-fall-holidays">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/8-ways-to-earn-extra-income-while-christmas-shopping">8 Ways to Earn Extra Income While Christmas Shopping</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-use-the-holidays-to-teach-kids-about-money">How to Use the Holidays to Teach Kids About 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/15-ways-to-make-money-on-halloween">15 Ways to Make Money on Halloween</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/6-fast-ways-to-restock-an-emergency-fund-after-an-emergency">6 Fast Ways to Restock an Emergency Fund After an Emergency</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/11-easy-ways-to-earn-more-on-ebay">11 Easy Ways to Earn More on eBay</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Extra Income AirBnb Christmas decorating Halloween Holidays making money selling Wed, 21 Oct 2015 11:15:40 +0000 Mikey Rox 1597145 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Cool DIY Home Improvements for $20 or Less http://www.wisebread.com/10-cool-diy-home-improvements-for-20-or-less <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-cool-diy-home-improvements-for-20-or-less" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_diy_painting_000017057578.jpg" alt="Woman doing best DIY improvements for less than $20" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you have an extra weekend and $20 burning a hole in your pocket, then a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-diy-landscaping-and-gardening-skills-that-will-save-you-money">DIY home improvement project</a> may be just what the doctor ordered. We've compiled a list of some of the best DIY home improvement projects that can give your home a facelift, without making a dent in your pocketbook. These affordable upgrades can add curb appeal and even value to your property, without requiring a large investment of time or money.</p> <h2>1. Add a Fresh Coat of Paint</h2> <p>A fresh coat of paint can completely transform a room or piece of furniture. Experiment with different colors and trims to update any room in your home. If you don't feel like painting the whole room, consider adding an accent window frame or accent wall by choosing one or two walls to paint. You can even add stripes or dots to any wall for a unique, sophisticated touch. While you're at it, add a fresh coat of paint or spray paint to your air vent covers.</p> <p>Total cost for a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005NHJEYI/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B005NHJEYI&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=RZU323EML5VOYX56">quart of interior paint</a>: $18.95</p> <h2>2. Paint the Front Door</h2> <p>Adding new paint to the front door will make it feel and look completely fresh and renewed as soon as you or a guest drives up. Often, a door can become covered in scuff marks, signs of weather changes, and other exterior damage. A fresh coat of paint can help cover that damage and make your door look like new again. While you're at it, consider painting the inside of the door as well, which can add an exciting accent to your home. It should only cost you about $15 for the paint and supplies.</p> <p>Total cost for a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00291RKCE/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00291RKCE&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=LJPC5OUAMCCGU6YM">quart of exterior paint</a>: $17.07</p> <h2>3. Change a Window Treatment</h2> <p>Choose an inexpensive fabric treatment to update the window in your kitchen, bathroom, or bedroom. Drapes and window coverings are available in all different colors, designs, and price ranges, so you can find the perfect fit for any room. You can even use fabric remnants on small windows.</p> <p>Total cost for a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0041HYB7Q/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0041HYB7Q&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=QFGMNB5Y5AOEOUF4">new window shade</a>: $9.38<br /> Total cost for <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00E18ZE5I/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00E18ZE5I&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=3BCJU4Y3WOB2336N">new window panels</a>: $5.00</p> <h2>4. Install a Message Center</h2> <p>A message center can help you get organized and allow you to leave notes and reminders for your family. There are several possible message center options for your home, including:</p> <ul> <li>Install a premade magnetic, cork, or dry erase message board on any wall.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Buy chalkboard paint and paint any surface you like for an instant chalkboard message center anywhere. You can even add chalkboard paint to your cabinets to draw or write inspirational words.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Use an inexpensive glass panel to create a DIY dry erase board. You can then paint the back of the glass panel to match your kitchen or office decor and color scheme, and frame the glass panel to complete the look.</li> </ul> <p>Total cost for a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00114ZT78/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00114ZT78&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=HK4XNHOQNGCDN5D2">magnetic dry erase/cork combo board</a>: $12.99</p> <p>Total cost for <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000RMPLJ6/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000RMPLJ6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=JNVEI2FVGXNQVHY2">spray-on chalkboard paint</a>: $3.74</p> <h2>5. Add a Wall Decal</h2> <p>Wall decals are extremely affordable, simple to install (they work like a sticker), and can completely change the look of any room. They can be applied in an office, bedroom, kitchen, or bathroom, and are available in a variety of colors and designs. You can also use self-adhesive and repositionable wallpaper to create a unique accent on any wall. You can experiment with different patterns, colors, or even shapes!</p> <p>Total cost for a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00C3UOKOM/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00C3UOKOM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=XEBD5DTDCICJRTBB">vinyl wall decal</a>: $3.99</p> <h2>6. Upgrade Doorknobs and Handles</h2> <p>Installing new doorknobs or spray-painting old ones can transform the look of any door, making it look more polished. The same can be done for the handles and drawer pulls on any of your cabinetry. These are simple projects that won't cost much and can make old doors and furniture feel like new.</p> <p>Total cost for a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003F3FBQC/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B003F3FBQC&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=OVE2672B37KKZRPG">new privacy doorknob</a>: $10.50</p> <p>Total cost for <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009PXR85S/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B009PXR85S&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=PLVHKTDZVVVMDFOO">10 decorative cabinet handles</a>: $11.15</p> <h2>7. Add Hooks, Shelving, and Storage</h2> <p>Hooks can be easily added to any room to increase space and allow you to hang up things like your bathroom towels and robes. Consider adding hooks or shelving to your closet for an instant storage upgrade. You can also install floating shelves in your bedroom, office, or bathroom. This can add the extra storage you need to better organize any room. You can also use them to display unique artwork, vintage finds, and other decorative items that display your personal style.</p> <p>Adding labels, dividers, and clear plastic bins can help instantly organize things and make it easier for you to locate all of your items at a glance. If you decide to add more storage, keep your eyes open for used or refurbished furniture that you can use around your home. With the right paint and handles, any furniture can be transformed.</p> <p>Total cost for <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000FSORW4/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000FSORW4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=XW2PWQXDNUHQE5QP">six medium hooks</a>: $7.07</p> <p>Total cost for a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008AD0JAA/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B008AD0JAA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=54SM6C2A2DS5MGAP">set of three floating shelves</a>: $19.95</p> <p>Total cost for a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000XJKD9G/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000XJKD9G&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=L53BQVM4DNN7FLCE">12-drawer plastic storage bin</a>: $17.99</p> <h2>8. Change Electrical Plate Covers and Wall Outlets</h2> <p>Whether we like it or not, electrical plate covers and wall outlets are in every room of the house. Take a look at yours and replace any that are cracked, stained, or just need an upgrade. There are a variety of affordable electrical plate covers to choose from, or you can paint your current switch plate and install an affordable frame around it for a decorative flair. While you're at it, consider also replacing your wall outlets or upgrading to USB wall outlets, which can also charge your mobile device.</p> <p>Total cost for an <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00002NARM/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00002NARM&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=C5C4BSGZPN2THFWJ">electrical plate cover</a>: $1.18</p> <p>Total cost for a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0065KWUCK/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0065KWUCK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=WNVM5GIMGPCESZZG">three-outlet wall mount with USB ports</a>: $14.99</p> <h2>9. Upgrade the House Numbers and Doorbell</h2> <p>The numbers in the front of your home are the first things a guest will look for as they're driving by looking for your home address. You can easily and affordably install new metal or wooden house numbers or simply add a fresh coat of spray paint to your current ones. You can also install a new doorbell for under $20, adding a modern, vintage, or retro flare to your home.</p> <p>Total cost for each <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005AZK4GK/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B005AZK4GK&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=QXGN3D3WQEBDTGVP">brushed nickel house number</a>: $5.98</p> <p>Total cost for a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001PO7I4G/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B001PO7I4G&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=5AOFNDJ6NRZB4SCI">satin nickel doorbell</a>: $7.00</p> <h2>10. Take Up Gardening</h2> <p>Decorating with potted plants, hanging plants, and flowers is a home improvement project that will continue to provide benefits to your home over time. Visit your local nursery to speak with someone about what plants may be right for you, based on how often you want to garden, your budget, and the look you are trying to achieve. With the right plants and flowers, you can add a decorative touch that welcomes you and your guests.</p> <p>Total cost for a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000DZH3XO/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000DZH3XO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=BL2YS6CXQWXIJF5D">gardening tool set</a>: $15.02</p> <h2>Bonus: Clean Up and Get Organized</h2> <p>Nothing transforms a home like getting rid of clutter and giving the place a good cleaning. Give your home a spring cleaning by shampooing the carpets, cleaning the furniture and upholstery &mdash; and don't forget about your filters and vents. Get rid of what you aren't using and donate what you can. This will instantly make your home feel bigger and can even help clear allergens.</p> <p>Total cost for a <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00W1UVZVA/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00W1UVZVA&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=VKXO2OHQ3R3SQAZL">spring cleaning kit</a>: $19.99</p> <p><em>What are your some of your favorite DIY projects under $20? Please share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cool-diy-home-improvements-for-20-or-less">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/how-to-create-your-dream-backyard-on-a-budget">How to Create Your Dream Backyard on a Budget</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/17-cheap-ways-to-dress-up-your-garden">17 Cheap Ways to Dress Up Your Garden</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/secret-lawn-tonic-recipe-from-golf-course-groundskeeper">Secret Lawn Tonic Recipe From Golf Course Groundskeeper</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/diy-home-improvement-10-free-options-for-training-and-advice">DIY Home Improvement: 10 Free Options for Training and Advice</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-cheap-and-easy-diy-kitchen-improvements">20 Cheap and Easy DIY Kitchen Improvements</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Home decorating gardening home improvement painting value Wed, 02 Sep 2015 21:00:35 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1544911 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Wonderful Ways to Use Wallpaper http://www.wisebread.com/10-wonderful-ways-to-use-wallpaper <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-wonderful-ways-to-use-wallpaper" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/wallpaper_000012245443.jpg" alt="Finding wonderful and creative ways to use wallpaper" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Do you have old wallpaper remnants collecting dust in your closet? Or perhaps you've seen some patterns that inspire you, but aren't right for an entire room? Whatever the case, you can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cheap-ways-to-make-your-apartment-awesome-without-losing-your-deposit">use wallpaper</a> for some pretty nifty projects. Check out our top picks and feel free to add your own ideas in the comments.</p> <h2>1. Framed Art</h2> <p>For quick art on the cheap, try <a href="http://www.huntedinterior.com/2014/06/diy-framed-wallpaper-panels.html">framing wallpaper</a>. You get the look and whimsy of wallpaper without the long-term commitment. Just cut paper to the size of some thin wood panels. Moisten and stick on, making sure to brush away the bubbles. Then use inexpensive trim pieces to make your frame.</p> <h2>2. Dresser</h2> <p>Or dress up an old dresser by <a href="http://chelseylifeanddesign.blogspot.com/2013/05/diy-wallpaper-dresser.html">lining its drawers</a> with wallpaper. This project cost only $25, and the author found a great way to get fancy wallpaper for less: Order samples! Alternatively, you can put the wallpaper on the faces of your drawers for a bolder look.</p> <h2>3. Stairs</h2> <p>This blogger made her &quot;stairway to heaven&quot; using <a href="http://www.theboldabode.com/stairway-to-heaven.html">wallpaper samples</a> to lead the way. Simply cut paper to fit your stairs. Then wet, stick, and smooth. Try mixing and matching patterns for a fun look that will brighten your whole house.</p> <h2>4. Bookcase</h2> <p>Give your old bookcase some pop by adding a colorful <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/cleaning/bookcase-makeover?crlt_pid=camp.v85udxxJrKNi">wallpaper backing</a>. Remove the shelves before measuring the length and width of your bookcase. Then cut wallpaper to the exact measurements before brushing with paste and adhering.</p> <h2>5. Window Shade</h2> <p>Window treatments need not be expensive. Breathe new life into boring shades by <a href="http://houseandhome.com/tv/segment/diy-wallpaper-blind">covering them with wallpaper</a>. Unroll the shade and cut your paper to size. Cover the shade with wallpaper paste and stick on your new print.</p> <h2>6. Clipboard</h2> <p>Jazz up an old clipboard by adding <a href="http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/organization-inspiration-wallpapered-clipboards-house-and-home-187120">wallpaper to its backing</a>. You can arrange several of them above your desk as a beautiful way to wrangle papers, bills, and other stuff. I think they'd also make great (inexpensive) gifts.</p> <h2>7. Headboard</h2> <p>Don't have a fancy bed? No problem. You can make your bedroom look like new by simply <a href="http://www.justbellablog.com/2011/03/my-house-guest-room-wallpaper-headboard.html">framing some wallpaper</a> at the head of your bed. Measure and cut paper to size (the larger it is, the more dramatic the look will be). Then apply and let dry. Finish by framing out with trim.</p> <h2>8. Lampshade</h2> <p>Over the years, lampshades get dings and stains. Spiff yours up by <a href="http://www.redbookmag.com/home/decor/advice/a2880/wallpaper-lampshade/">covering it with wallpaper</a>. This project is so easy. Cut paper to the right width and height before applying scrapbooking paste all over. Once that has dried, finish with a little grosgrain ribbon.</p> <h2>9. Switch Plate</h2> <p>Martha Stewart shows us how to <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/916667/how-decoratively-cover-switch-plates#916667">customize drab switch plates</a> by covering them with wallpaper. Cut paper so it's around half an inch longer on all sides of the plate. Cover paper with glue and center your plastic plate before letting dry. Then carefully cut out room for the switch and screws before folding the excess over and installing.</p> <h2>10. Accent Wall</h2> <p>Of course, we cannot forget the accent wall in this list. If you're having trouble deciding between prints, I love this <a href="http://henhousehomemade.blogspot.com/2012/11/tuesday-ta-dah.html">patchwork wallpaper wall</a> using different designs and colors. It's like making a quilt with paper. Cut squares or rectangles of different papers and arrange them on the floor (or on a bed) before sticking on the wall.</p> <p><em>Is wallpaper part of your interior design arsenal?</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/10-wonderful-ways-to-use-wallpaper">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/7-ways-to-decorate-an-apartment-without-losing-your-deposit">7 Ways to Decorate an Apartment Without Losing Your Deposit</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/the-5-best-in-home-dry-cleaning-kits">The 5 Best In-Home Dry Cleaning Kits</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/10-great-uses-for-old-ties">10 Great Uses for Old Ties</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/20-cheap-and-easy-diy-kitchen-improvements">20 Cheap and Easy DIY Kitchen Improvements</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/30-awesome-decorating-hacks-anyone-can-do">30 Awesome Decorating Hacks Anyone Can Do</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Style artistic creativity decorating wallpaper Fri, 07 Aug 2015 15:00:09 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1511508 at http://www.wisebread.com Cheap Home Furnishing Ideas http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-home-furnishings <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/cheap-home-furnishings" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/flowers_000024129743.jpg" alt="Flowers in a vase" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The point of home decorating is to create a space that you can enjoy, so how much more would you enjoy a room if you saved big bucks while making a home out of your house? Find out for yourself by learning how to decorate on a budget and get the most out of your space and furniture. Get inspiration from four do-it-yourself projects that will help make your home uniquely yours.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stretch-out-a-small-space"><strong>Stretch Out a Small Space</strong></a><br /> You&rsquo;ve finally found the space of your dreams, only it&rsquo;s not as spacious as it ought to be. Have no fear. There are tried and true design tips that work, regardless of the size of your room or apartment.&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-ways-to-display-your-art"><strong>How to Cheaply Display Your Art</strong></a><br /> There are so many places nowadays to find good, cheap art, but framing said art can be one of the most expensive aspects of decorating your home. Well, there are plenty of ways to display your art that are still funky, fun, and cheap.&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/furnished-for-free"><strong>Furnished For Free</strong></a><br /> Find out how to furnish an entire apartment at no real cost to you, aside from a little bit of time and gas.&nbsp;</p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-home-decorating-ideas-for-under-5">15 Home Decorating Ideas for Under $5</a></strong><br /> You don't have to break your budget keeping your home fun and stylish.</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/decorating-a-living-room-for-you-and-your-money"><strong>Decorating a Living Room for You and Your Money</strong></a><br /> You don't need a professional designer or a steep budget to help you feel good about your living room.&nbsp; Here's how you can create a room you can really live in -- without gutting your wallet.&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-a-bed-for-cheap-and-look-good-doing-it "><strong>Build a Bed for Cheap (and Look Good Doing It)</strong></a><br /> Sure, it's easier to buy the various components of a brand new bed from the store of your choice, but with a little creativity and smart investments in the parts that really matter, you can build a bed that feels good, looks great, and costs much, much less!&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-ways-to-live-large-in-a-small-space"><strong>Small Space Survival Strategies</strong></a><br /> Living in a small space doesn't have to mean a cramped lifestyle! Here are 20 suggestions to open up a crowded room.&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amy-lu">Amy Lu</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-home-furnishings">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/keeping-santa-sane-budget-holiday-decorating">Keeping Santa Sane: Budget Holiday Decorating</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-things-to-know-before-you-start-a-home-improvement-project">10 Things to Know Before You Start a Home Improvement Project</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/30-awesome-decorating-hacks-anyone-can-do">30 Awesome Decorating Hacks Anyone Can Do</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/11-home-and-houseware-upgrades-that-prove-youre-finally-a-grownup">11 Home and Houseware Upgrades That Prove You&#039;re Finally a Grownup</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home decorating home decor Thu, 21 May 2015 05:00:56 +0000 Amy Lu 1431587 at http://www.wisebread.com 4 Ways to Use Your Food That Don't Involve Eating http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-use-your-food-that-dont-involve-eating <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/4-ways-to-use-your-food-that-dont-involve-eating" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bowl_of_lemons_000019714803.jpg" alt="Creative uses for lemons that don&#039;t involve eating" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all have to eat to live, but did you know food can do way more than satisfy an empty stomach? It's true. Your kitchen holds some pretty powerful tools for everything from soothing dry feet to staging your house for a quick sale. Check out these awesomely smart uses for your edibles &mdash; no chewing required.</p> <h2>1. Beautify Yourself</h2> <p>This <a href="http://www.allure.com/beauty-trends/blogs/daily-beauty-reporter/2014/09/diy-avocado-hair-mask.html">avocado hair mask</a> gives your tresses some major TLC. Combine one avocado with a quarter cup of olive oil and a tablespoon of lemon juice. Leave the mixture on your hair for 20 minutes. Then, wash out and dry to uncover silky smooth strands.</p> <p>Those of you with dry feet should try this <a href="http://skincare.allwomenstalk.com/great-diy-masks-for-pampered-hands-and-feet/2/">oatmeal foot mask</a> straight away. First, bathe your feet in hot water and baking soda to soften. Then slather on the thick mix of rolled oats, flour, honey, and olive oil. It may sound crazy, but you'll look crazier walking around during flip-flop season with cracked heels.</p> <p>And if your face isn't cooperating, cheer it up with this <a href="http://dirtylooks.us/blog/how-to-make-an-egg-white-honey-face-mask">egg white and honey mask</a>. The recipe is simple! Whisk together one egg and a tablespoon of honey. Apply to your face and let dry before washing off. Your skin should feel tight and deeply cleansed.</p> <h2>2. Ward Off Pests</h2> <p>If ants are cramping your style, try my mom's red hot secret &mdash; cayenne pepper. Just sprinkle the pepper around where you've noticed ants entering your home. They hate the stuff. It should stop them from continuing their onward march. Then add a dash to your chili that's simmering on the stove.</p> <p>Some people swear by garlic &mdash; whether slivered, in supplement form, or rubbed directly on skin &mdash; to <a href="http://www.almanac.com/content/how-deter-mosquitoes-and-other-bugs">deter pesky mosquitos</a>. Apple cider vinegar might have a similar repelling effect. Just beware that you might smell a little funky.</p> <h2>3. Clean Your Place</h2> <p>Lemon juice is naturally antibacterial and antifungal, so it makes a <a href="http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/maintenance-and-repair/cleaning/cleaning-with-lemon-juice">perfect cleaner</a> for some of your dirtiest areas. Many spots &mdash; like your cutting board and kitchen counters &mdash; can be cleaned by simply rubbing the lemon on top, letting the juice sit a few minutes, then wiping away with a damp cloth. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-alternative-uses-for-lemons?ref=seealso">25 Alternative Uses for Lemons</a>)</p> <p>Vinegar might be a great dressing for your salad, but there are countless ways you can use the tangy stuff for cleaning. My favorite way to use vinegar is in an all-purpose cleaner. Mix together vinegar with water in a 1:1 ratio, pour it into a spray bottle, and get scrubbing. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/254-uses-for-vinegar-and-counting?ref=seealso">254 Uses for Vinegar and Counting</a>)</p> <h2>4. Decorate Your Life</h2> <p>Citrus fruits are bold and bright. Before our first open house, our real estate agent told us to put some lemons and limes in a bowl as a cheap staging trick. Of course, you can keep the fun going all year round. I know some people who adorn their Christmas trees with <a href="http://www.abeautifulmess.com/2014/12/try-this-dried-citrus-ornaments.html">citrus ornaments</a>.</p> <p>Clever couples even use food to decorate their wedding receptions. For example, <a href="http://www.gardenphotoworld.com/lightbox/detail/3117-Holiday_still_life_of_fruits_a.html">apples and artichokes</a> make a festive centerpiece for fall gatherings. These <a href="http://www.projectwedding.com/photos/32270/72998">asparagus bunches</a>, on the other hand, nest together to create an organic vase for delicate flowers.</p> <p>Herbs taste divine in cooking. Why not decorate with them, too? This <a href="http://www.notjustahousewife.net/2011/08/mason-jar-wall-planter.html">DIY wall garden</a> is fabulous and functional all at the same time. (Plus, it cost less than $20 to make!) You'll assemble some glass jars, pipe clamps, and pieces of wood. Screw it all together, then add your dirt and plants. Herbs also dress up your outdoor areas with lush, edible greenery. Just remember to water them, and you're good to go.</p> <p><em>How do you put your edibles to inedible purposes?</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/4-ways-to-use-your-food-that-dont-involve-eating">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/the-7-best-pieces-of-homemaking-advice-from-martha-stewart">The 7 Best Pieces of Homemaking Advice From Martha Stewart</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-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-yuck-to-yes">How Baking Soda Took My Bathroom from “Yuck” to Yes!</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/254-uses-for-vinegar-and-counting">254 Uses for Vinegar. And Counting.</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/chill-out-with-these-6-simple-diy-freezer-treats">Chill Out With These 6 Simple DIY Freezer Treats</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/paint-a-room-and-wash-your-face-more-uses-for-powdered-milk-than-you-ever-imagined">Paint a Room and Wash Your Face: More Uses For Powdered Milk Than You Ever Imagined</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Food and Drink beauty masks bug repellent cleaning decorating Tue, 12 May 2015 11:00:11 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1414196 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Cheap Ways to Make Your Apartment Awesome (Without Losing Your Deposit) http://www.wisebread.com/10-cheap-ways-to-make-your-apartment-awesome-without-losing-your-deposit <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-cheap-ways-to-make-your-apartment-awesome-without-losing-your-deposit" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/apartment-decoration-planning-180204421-small.jpg" alt="apartment decoration" title="apartment decoration" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The white walls and boring fixtures of apartments are a thing of the past. You don't need to own your abode to make it totally your own. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-make-a-tiny-apartment-awesome?ref=seealso">12 Ways to Make a Tiny Apartment Awesome</a>)</p> <p>Check out these thrifty &mdash; but impactful &mdash; DIY ideas that will transform your space to home, all while ensuring you'll get that security deposit back.</p> <h2>1. Wow! Wallpaper</h2> <p>You can find temporary wallpaper rolls in a variety of <a href="https://www.etsy.com/shop/Betapet?ref=l2-shopheader-name">shades and prints</a> these days. Most brands are self adhesive for easy installation. To keep the cost low, consider papering a single accent wall versus an entire room. Think focal point by choosing the wall at the head of your bed, for example. A little will go a long way.</p> <h2>2. Brazen Backsplash</h2> <p>You can also use temporary wallpaper as a backsplash in your apartment's kitchen, but there's an even cheaper way to get a faux-tile look. Use contact paper! This <a href="http://bee-arthur.tumblr.com/post/8883206325">frugal project</a> cost only $13 and resulted in a stainless steel look that really brightened up the space. Simply cut contact paper into &quot;tiles&quot; and arrange in a pattern above your countertop. When it's time to move, just gently peel away from the wall.</p> <h2>3. Curtain Call</h2> <p>If you'd rather not stick something to the wall, consider adding some pizzaz with curtains on a tension rod. I used this technique in my <a href="http://www.neverhomemaker.com/2010/01/never-homemaker-kitchen-tour.html">first home's kitchen</a> to hide an otherwise ugly closet door; you could use it wherever you want a little color or flair. Tension rods of all sizes cost under $10. If you don't have curtains, follow this <a href="http://www.writingchapterthree.com/2012/03/nursery-curtains-tutorial.html">no-sew tutorial</a> to create some from fabric using hemming tape and an iron. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-unexpected-uses-for-tension-rods?ref=seealso">20 Unexpected Uses for Tension Rods</a>)</p> <h2>4. Bookworm Bounty</h2> <p>I recently browsed my decor inspiration board on Pinterest and discovered that many of my living room ideas incorporated the same element &mdash; bookshelves! You don't need built-ins to get this studious look, plus it's functional and perfect if you love reading. I love the idea of scouting out tall, <a href="http://weheartit.com/entry/4556733">mismatched shelves</a> at thrift stores for a unique look.</p> <h2>5. Beautiful Boxes</h2> <p>You can also use boxy fruit crates to create custom <a href="http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/how-to-make-shelves-out-of-fru-56604">temporary shelving</a>! I envision countless possibilities for this easy DIY project. My favorite of the bunch is a makeshift entry area with a couple hooks and fruit crates to <a href="http://media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/bb/8f/61/bb8f61ca91d65bcf81c1853b6ff83995.jpg">wrangle shoes, boots</a>, and anything else you have around. And since they're not bolted down, you can change your configuration as often as you change your mind.</p> <h2>6. Great Divide</h2> <p>If you live in a free-form space, you might want to create some separation using room dividers that simulate walls. This basement redo utilizes an <a href="http://www.younghouselove.com/2009/12/tackling-the-basement-done/">old pair of shutters</a> painted in glossy green to create space. You can also use a pair of curtains to do the same trick by <a href="http://www.pbteen.com/stylehouse/tips-tricks/break-it-up.html">hanging them</a> on steel wire cables in the area you want to section off. This trick is great for studio apartments, creating the illusion of a 1-bedroom at a fraction of the price it costs to rent one.</p> <h2>7. Big Impact</h2> <p>If you'd rather hang some artwork, check out engineer prints for black and white poster-sized art on the cheap. This <a href="http://www.writingchapterthree.com/2014/08/5-personalized-poster-sized-art.html">step-by-step tutorial</a> shows you how to take one of your own photos, add text, and get it printed for under $5. From there, you can purchase poster frames for $10 or less at stores like WalMart and Target. Consider grouping several large prints for bigger impact or browsing online for <a href="http://caravanshoppe.com/2013/04/17/braver-stronger-smarter/">free designs</a> to print.</p> <h2>8. Warm and Cozy</h2> <p>My favorite apartment trick for an instant homey feeling? A <a href="http://www.oneplusonedesign.ca/soapbox/featured-on-designsponge/">faux fireplace</a>. I found one on Craigslist way back when, and it moved with me to five different apartments! A fake fireplace adds an amazing architectural focal point to your room, as well as a great place to focus your decorating efforts &mdash; especially for the holidays. And it's like any other piece of furniture that can be easily picked up and moved.</p> <h2>9. Clever Lights</h2> <p>Purchase a light kit from your home improvement store and a drum shade for a simple, DIY hanging light fixture. It requires very little installation and can be removed in a flash. You can get quite creative with the basic idea. For example, this blogger used a <a href="http://www.domestically-speaking.com/2012/04/trash-can-pendant-light.html">wicker trash can</a> as a basic, ingenious pendant. This trick is particularly great if you need light over, say, your dining room table and don't want to go with more floor lamps.</p> <h2>10. Green Thumb</h2> <p>Plants can totally transform the feel of a space and even <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-cheap-plants-for-improving-indoor-air-quality">improve air quality</a>. My mother-in-law has a beautiful collection of plants in her dining room, including a Rubber Tree, Jade plant, and some assorted ferns. Head to your local garden center and consult with the folks there to find a few plants that will bring the outdoors in and cozy up your apartment fast. Plus, many house plants can live for years and years with proper care.</p> <p><em>How do you dress up a drab apartment? 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/10-cheap-ways-to-make-your-apartment-awesome-without-losing-your-deposit">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/20-cheap-and-easy-diy-kitchen-improvements">20 Cheap and Easy DIY Kitchen Improvements</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/8-creative-ways-to-upcycle-used-baby-furniture">8 Creative Ways to Upcycle Used Baby Furniture</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/10-cool-diy-home-improvements-for-20-or-less">10 Cool DIY Home Improvements for $20 or Less</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/17-cheap-ways-to-dress-up-your-garden">17 Cheap Ways to Dress Up Your Garden</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/7-ways-to-decorate-an-apartment-without-losing-your-deposit">7 Ways to Decorate an Apartment Without Losing Your Deposit</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Home apartment cheap decor decorating Tue, 02 Sep 2014 11:00:06 +0000 Ashley Marcin 1199024 at http://www.wisebread.com