decorating http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/635/all en-US 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-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/10-tricks-to-avoid-workout-burnout">10 Tricks to Avoid Workout Burnout</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/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-3 views-row-odd"> <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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-get-a-good-workout-even-with-kids-around">10 Ways to Get a Good Workout... Even With Kids Around</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-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-festive-frugal-ways-to-spruce-up-your-home-for-the-holidays">6 Festive, Frugal Ways to Spruce Up Your Home for the Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/effective-ebay-listing-0">Effective eBay Listing</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-easy-holiday-lighting-hacks">10 Easy Holiday Lighting Hacks</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/clear-out-that-clutter-15-places-to-sell-your-stuff">Clear Out That Clutter: 15 Places to Sell Your Stuff</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-make-amazon-pay-you">7 Ways to Make Amazon Pay YOU!</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/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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-cool-diy-home-improvements-for-50-or-less">15 Cool DIY Home Improvements for $50 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/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-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-cheap-ways-to-make-your-apartment-awesome-without-losing-your-deposit">10 Cheap Ways to Make Your Apartment Awesome (Without Losing Your Deposit)</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-diy-backyard-home-improvements-that-save-you-big">8 DIY Backyard Home Improvements That Save You Big</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-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-clever-ways-to-improve-your-home-gym">10 Clever Ways to Improve Your Home Gym</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/6-festive-frugal-ways-to-spruce-up-your-home-for-the-holidays">6 Festive, Frugal Ways to Spruce Up Your Home for the Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-cheap-and-ingenious-ways-to-upgrade-your-furniture">15 Cheap and Ingenious Ways to Upgrade Your 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/12-cheap-ways-to-make-your-office-look-awesome">12 Cheap Ways to Make Your Office Look Awesome</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-great-uses-for-old-ties">10 Great Uses for Old Ties</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> 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/how-to-find-the-best-stuff-at-homegoods">How to Find the Best Stuff at HomeGoods</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/19-fun-cheap-projects-to-try-this-weekend">19 Fun, Cheap Projects to Try This Weekend</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-smart-household-uses-for-rope">10 Smart Household Uses for Rope</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-clever-ways-to-improve-your-home-gym">10 Clever Ways to Improve Your Home Gym</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-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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/flashback-friday-wise-breads-88-best-food-hacks-ever">Flashback Friday: Wise Bread&#039;s 88 Best Food Hacks Ever</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/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-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-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/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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</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/14-effective-grease-and-oil-stain-removal-tips">14 Effective Grease and Oil Stain Removal Tips</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/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/build-your-own-furniture-9-helpful-tips-for-non-carpenters">Build Your Own Furniture: 9 Helpful Tips For Non-Carpenters</a></span> </div> </li> </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 15 Cheap and Ingenious Ways to Upgrade Your Furniture http://www.wisebread.com/15-cheap-and-ingenious-ways-to-upgrade-your-furniture <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-cheap-and-ingenious-ways-to-upgrade-your-furniture" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/home-152163649.jpg" alt="woman sitting" title="woman sitting" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Don't have the money to buy a new sectional for the living room? Still making it work with hand-me-downs from your parents? Don't worry if you can't spend the big bucks on updating your furniture yet &mdash; there are plenty of fast and easy ways to refresh your home on the cheap. Use these thrifty finds and innovative solutions to make the most of what you already have. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-places-to-find-cheap-good-looking-new-furniture?ref=seealso">Where to Find Cheap, Good-Looking New Furniture</a>)</p> <h2>1. Add Trim to Curtains</h2> <p>Plain white IKEA curtains (or equivalents from other stores) are cheap and go with everything, but don't always pack the most stylish punch. Update that $20 pair of curtains by adding a few yards of trim &mdash; be it pom-pom trim, craft store ribbon, or a strip of colorful fabric. You don't even need to know how to sew &mdash; attach the trim using <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000XZTXV4/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000XZTXV4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">iron-on hem tape</a> or easy-to-apply <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00178MNFO/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B00178MNFO&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">fabric glue</a>.</p> <h2>2. Create Cushion Covers Out of Napkins</h2> <p>One of the easiest ways to update an old couch is to add accent pillows in a fun and trendy print. And one of the easiest ways to make new cushion covers is to make them out of cloth napkins! They are cheap, brightly colored, and already cut into squares! You can sew them of course, but iron-on hem tape is again your friend. Here's a great tutorial for creating your own <a href="http://www.centsationalgirl.com/tag/no-sew-pillows/">no-sew napkin pillow covers</a>.</p> <h2>3. Refresh Wood With Mayonnaise</h2> <p>I love finding old wood furniture at thrift shops or estate sales, but often the wood is dry and stained with water marks. One easy, old-fashioned, cheap, and non-toxic way to refresh wood is to <a href="http://howaboutorange.blogspot.com/2013/11/experiment-mayonnaise-to-treat-water.html">rub in some mayonnaise</a>! Yes, mayonnaise! Simply apply the mayonnaise in a thin layer, and let it sit for a couple of hours before wiping it off. The oil in the mayo helps to cover the water marks and brings out the depth in the wood. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-unexpected-home-uses-for-mayonnaise?ref=seealso">Surprising Home Uses for Mayonnaise</a>)</p> <h2>4. Skim-Coat Countertops With Concrete</h2> <p>Those old laminate countertops might be worn out and dated, but new countertops aren't cheap. A great interim solution is to skim-coat your laminate countertops with a concrete product manufactured for this specific purpose. The materials are cheap, and the method is surprisingly easy. This tutorial on how to <a href="http://littlegreennotebook.blogspot.com/2013/07/diy-concrete-countertops.html">skim-coat your laminate countertops with concrete</a> is a great place to start.</p> <h2>5. Paint With Chalkboard Paint</h2> <p><a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-10368321?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.homedepot.com%2Fp%2FRust-Oleum-Specialty-30-oz-Flat-Black-Chalkboard-Paint-206540%2F100141287&amp;cjsku=100141287">Chalkboard paint</a> is enjoying a renaissance in home decor these days. It's not surprising; chalkboard paint is cheap and even comes in spray-on versions. If you've got an old table that numerous generations of kids have destroyed, why not paint the top with chalkboard paint and let the next generation go nuts with the chalk? Lately I've even seen dressers, chairs, and walls painted with chalkboard paint!</p> <h2>6. Spray Paint Almost Anything</h2> <p>Spray paint is a great way to revitalize old pieces of furniture that you're about ready to toss. What have you got to lose? These <a href="http://kellysmoonlight.blogspot.ca/2012/08/paint-your-wagon-or-at-least-your.html">folding chairs</a> look amazing with fresh coats of colorful spray paint, and these brassy <a href="http://www.livelovediy.com/2012/08/update-old-doorknobs-with-spray-paint.html">builder-grade doorknobs</a> now look way more upscale with a coat of bronze paint. Small pieces of furniture like stools and chairs, and accessories like lamps and vases, are perfect for spray paint. I love the look of a wood table paired with spray-painted <a href="http://www.houzz.com/photos/147706/Brian-Patrick-Flynn---other-metro">mismatched thrift store chairs</a> &mdash; just make sure all the chairs are painted the same color for a cohesive look! (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/40-ways-to-use-spray-paint-for-cheap-and-easy-decorating?ref=seealso">40 Ways to Use Spray Paint</a>)</p> <h2>7. Change the Legs</h2> <p>For a fun and modern update to an old couch, try removing the skirt and painting the sofa legs a bright color. The same goes for an old coffee table or outdated dining chairs. Or switch out the legs altogether with something more updated (here are a few <a href="http://www.brit.co/diy-legs/">great ideas</a>). Slim tapered legs are much more trendy now than the fat blocks that were popular 10 years ago and are <a href="http://theblissfulbee.com/ikea-hack-replacing-legs-on-an-ikea-couch/">easy to swap out</a>.</p> <h2>8. Paper It</h2> <p>Another easy way to update old furniture is by applying patterned paper. A roll of wallpaper goes a long way when used to <a href="http://www.houzz.com/photos/388090/Bruce-Avenue-Residence-Lower-Level-Family-Room-4-eclectic-family-room-minneapolis">cover the back of a bookcase</a> or an old hutch. For an even thriftier update (albeit not as durable), use wrapping paper. Contact paper now comes in lots of beautiful patterns and can even mimic the look of natural stone. Stick marble contact paper on top of a laminate <a href="http://6thstreetdesignschool.blogspot.com/2013/10/marble-contact-paper.html">nightstand</a> or use it to <a href="http://www.stylemepretty.com/living/2013/07/22/diy-ikea-side-table-hack/">gussy up a cheap Ikea side table</a>. Or, as in this project, use stone-patterned vinyl wallpaper to <a href="http://www.fromtherightbank.com/2014/01/reveal-of-the-wet-bar-or-my-boldest-project-to-date/">cover your cabinetry</a> for a unique and luxe look. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/off-the-wall-21-clever-uses-for-leftover-wallpaper?ref=seealso">Clever Uses for Leftover Wallpaper</a>)</p> <h2>9. Paint or Stain It</h2> <p>If you're just sick of the honey oak finish on your hand-me-down wood furniture, the best thing to do <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-old-furniture-shine-with-these-simple-refinishing-tricks">may be to paint or to refinish it</a>.</p> <h2>10. Reupholster It</h2> <p>Sure, reupholstering your grandfather's wingback chair might be a bit out of your reach, but chances are there are plenty of simple upholstery projects that you are more than capable of taking on. Recovering the <a href="http://www.hgtv.com/dining-rooms/how-to-recover-a-dining-room-chair/index.html">seats on your dining chairs</a> with a fun fabric is easy and can make a huge difference, and all you need is some fabric and a manual staple gun. Turn a cheap or thrifted <a href="http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/ikea-lack-coffee-table-to-upholstered-ottoman-ikea-hackers-196943">coffee table into a plush ottoman</a>. Find a cheap stool and upholster the top with a fuzzy (real or faux) <a href="http://littlegreennotebook.blogspot.com/2013/01/reader-diy-mongolian-lamb-stool.html">sheepskin</a>, making it perfect for a vanity or foyer. Once you start, you'll be looking at everything in your home as a potential upholstery job!</p> <h2>11. Swap Hardware</h2> <p>Like jewelry, adding a little bling in the form of new hardware to your old furniture is one way to update its look. Sometimes you don't even need to add new hardware &mdash; just shine up old brass pulls and knobs with a little salt and elbow grease. An old dresser or built-in cabinetry can look new if you add modern hardware, and a couple of fun knobs can really dress up plain closet doors.</p> <h2>12. Cover It With Mirrors</h2> <p>Don't like the finish of your old furniture? Try covering it with inexpensive <a href="http://www.homedepot.com/p/Unbranded-24-in-x-48-in-x-118-in-Acrylic-Mirror-AM2448S/202509287">acrylic mirror material</a>, which you can have cut to size at the hardware store. For example, <a href="http://nnekasaran.blogspot.com/2013/08/diy-mirrored-dresser-tutorial.html">cover a cheap dresser with mirrors</a> for a high-end, glamorous look. Or cut a piece of mirror to fit the top of a worn-out coffee table.</p> <h2>13. Add Molding</h2> <p>An old set of bookshelves can be spruced up by adding some chunky molding to the bottom and top and then painted. By doing this, you can make them look <a href="http://www.younghouselove.com/2014/02/top-o-the-built-in-to-ya/">like built-ins</a>, especially if you create a whole <a href="http://www.centsationalgirl.com/2011/11/from-billys-to-built-ins/">wall of bookcases</a> trimmed out with molding.</p> <h2>14. Stencil It</h2> <p>Stencils nowadays come in all sorts of trendy patterns. Apply paint with a sponge roller for a quick and easy update, like this <a href="http://www.bhg.com/decorating/makeovers/furniture/diy-furniture-makeovers/#page=6">stenciled table top</a> that looks like bone inlay.</p> <h2>15. Cover It With Fabric</h2> <p>A fun way to <a href="http://www.centsationalgirl.com/2013/05/design-crush-furniture-with-fabric-texture/">update a dresser</a> is to cover it with grasscloth or linen fabric, with nailhead trim to complement the texture of the fabric. You can also use fabric as the backing for a bookcase, or in this case, a <a href="http://littlegreennotebook.blogspot.com/2014/01/my-cleaning-closet-overhaul.html">cleaning closet</a>.</p> <p><em>Do you have any old furniture that would benefit from a little innovative updating? What's your plan?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/camilla-cheung">Camilla Cheung</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-cheap-and-ingenious-ways-to-upgrade-your-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/turn-one-room-into-two-with-these-10-simple-tricks">Turn One Room Into Two With These 10 Simple 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/build-a-bed-for-cheap-and-look-good-doing-it">Build a Bed for Cheap (and Look Good Doing It)</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/19-fun-cheap-projects-to-try-this-weekend">19 Fun, Cheap Projects to Try This Weekend</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/40-ways-to-use-spray-paint-for-cheap-and-easy-decorating">40 Ways to Use Spray Paint for Cheap and Easy Decorating</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-clever-ways-to-improve-your-home-gym">10 Clever Ways to Improve Your Home Gym</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home decorating DIY furniture Thu, 27 Mar 2014 10:24:15 +0000 Camilla Cheung 1133228 at http://www.wisebread.com 30 Awesome Decorating Hacks Anyone Can Do http://www.wisebread.com/30-awesome-decorating-hacks-anyone-can-do <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/30-awesome-decorating-hacks-anyone-can-do" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/home-92838416.jpg" alt="sofa" title="sofa" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>You don't need to spend a lot or be an expert at DIY or crafting to bring some ingenious decorating solutions into your living space. If you're in need of some easy, budget-friendly decor tips, then look no further. Try out some of these tricks to spruce up your place with minimal to no skills necessary. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-cheap-home-decorating-projects-that-look-amazing?ref=seealso">Cheap Home Decorating Projects That Look Great</a>)</p> <h2>1. Gallery-Worthy Wall Art</h2> <p>Create your own stunning watercolor art with a new app called&nbsp;<a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/waterlogue/id764925064?mt=8">Waterlogue</a>. This $3 app converts your smartphone photos into watercolor replications, which you can print yourself on frame-worthy paper. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-diy-ideas-for-creating-inexpensive-art?ref=seealso">Inexpensive DIY Art</a>)</p> <h2>2. Command Hook Curtain Holdbacks</h2> <p>If you want something to hold your curtains open, but don't want to drill into your walls, use <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000VSCUZY/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B000VSCUZY&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">large metal Command hooks</a> turned sideways on the sides of your windows to act as holdbacks. I have to admit my husband thought of this one for our baby's nursery, and it works like a charm. You can also use them to anchor curtain ties as well.</p> <h2>3. Easy Lamp Shade Redesign</h2> <p>If you have a boring old shade and want a sophisticated touch, try a super simple way to add a strip of color. Use a paint pen or permanent marker in your desired hue to simply <a href="http://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/new-uses-for-old-things/sharpie-update-lampshade-00000000034288/index.html">color in the shade's seamed edges</a>.</p> <h2>4. Simple Furniture Overlays</h2> <p>Gussy up a piece of furniture by using some ornamental overlays as accent trim. These inexpensive, lightweight decorative panels can be applied to furniture and glass surfaces with glue or other simple adhesives. Check out <a href="http://www.myoverlays.com">O'verlays</a> for kits (some even customized for Ikea furniture) and inspiration.</p> <h2>5. Covered Book Decor</h2> <p>Add some style and a pop of color to the books on your shelves by using some decorative paper to <a href="http://www.paper-source.com/cgi-bin/paper/howto/ideas/paper_book_covers.html">make beautiful book covers</a>. You can also use fabric and fabric glue to make book jackets too, which can brighten up shelves and tabletops. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-cheap-and-attractive-ideas-for-bookshelves?ref=seealso">Cheap and Attractive Ideas for Bookshelves</a>)</p> <h2>6. Bed Scarves</h2> <p>Bed scarves aren't just for fancy beds in hotels and magazines. These slim pieces of fabric at the foot of a bed not only add style, but also help protect where people tend to sit or set down items. Make your own bed scarf with a rectangular piece of beautiful fabric, or find an affordable blanket to fold and drape in place.</p> <h2>7. Line Your Shelf Backs</h2> <p>Add some flair to open shelving by lining the backs of the shelves in chic designs. You can line the backs with decorative contact paper, wallpaper, paint, or my favorite option, <a href="http://theblissfulbee.com/diy-fabric-inserts-for-shelving/">fabric wrapped cardboard inserts</a>, so that you can easily switch out designs from time to time.</p> <h2>8. Nail Head Designs</h2> <p>Pick up a pack of gold or silver decorative nail heads at any craft store or hardware store to instantly glam up your furniture. Simply trace out your design and insert the nails with a rubber mallet or hammer to make all kinds of great <a href="http://www.hgtv.com/living-rooms/add-nail-head-trim-to-furniture/index.html">nail head trimmed pieces</a>, such as decorative tables, chairs, and headboards.</p> <h2>9. Plant Stand Tables</h2> <p>Not only are plant stands cheaper than your typical end table, but they also come in a variety of unique designs. Retailers, like <a href="http://www.overstock.com/search?keywords=plant+stand&amp;SearchType=Header">Overstock</a>, <a href="http://www.wayfair.com/Plant-Stands-and-Tables-C414607.html">Wayfair</a>, and garden centers, always have low-priced stands, which you can use as accent tables in a hallway, in an entryway, or next to a comfy chair.</p> <h2>10. Wine Rack Towel Storage</h2> <p>Convert a small <a href="http://www.bhg.com/bathroom/storage/storage-solutions/the-art-of-displaying-towels/">wine rack into a towel holder</a> in the bathroom for some decorative function. Just roll towels up and they fit perfectly in the rack. For a space saver, attach a hanging wine rack to the wall to create a beautiful row of stacked, rolled towels.</p> <h2>11. No-Sew Pillows</h2> <p>Pillows are a great way to add real designer appeal on a budget. Using just an iron, adhesive seam tape, and a yard or two of some good-looking fabric, you can easily make some low-cost, <a href="http://www.bhg.com/crafts/easy/2-hour-projects/no-sew-pillows/#page=1">no-sew pillows</a>.</p> <h2>12. Gold Leaf</h2> <p>What better way to make something look more luxe than to use a <a href="http://www.krylon.com/products/leafing-pens/">gold leaf adhesive pen</a> or gold leaf kit you can find at a craft store? Try coating a picture frame, filling in a mirror border, or decorating plain old jars and pottery to give ordinary items a rich look.</p> <h2>13. Shower Curtain Drapes</h2> <p>You can save a bundle and skip buying expensive curtains by using some nice-looking fabric shower curtains as drapes. Shower curtains can easily be hung grommet-style on curtain rods, and heavier weight options act as great blackout drapes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-curtains?ref=seealso">Easy DIY Curtains</a>)</p> <h2>14. Painted Stools</h2> <p>Rather than spending a small fortune on designer stools, just buy some plain old wooden bar stools at any discount home store for about $20 each. Using a quick coat of your favorite spray paint or applying stencils and patterns, you can easily transform your plain finds into glamorous little side tables or cool seating. (See Also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/40-ways-to-use-spray-paint-for-cheap-and-easy-decorating?ref=seealso">40 Ways to Use Spray Paint for Cheap and Easy Decorating</a>)</p> <h2>15. Placemat Tabletop</h2> <p>If your end tables or night tables are scratched or watermarked, an easy fix is finding an attractive placemat to use on top. Cut mats to size or use as is for an instant tabletop update. Double stick tape works great for keeping your new tabletop in place.</p> <h2>16. Decorative Hanging</h2> <p>Spruce up your bathroom, entryway, or mudroom by screwing cool knobs, finials, or hooks to the wall to <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/274298/fun-and-easy-decorating-ideas#214029">hold your towels</a>, keys, or bags. You can find vintage options at flea markets, or score cool finds at <a href="http://www.knobsnknockers.com/">Knobs 'N Knockers</a> and <a href="http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/category/hardware/home-hardware.jsp?cm_sp=TOPNAV-_-HOME-_-HOME-HARDWARE&amp;cm_re=TOPNAV-_-HOME-_-HOME-HARDWARE">Anthropology</a>.</p> <h2>17. Multi-Functional Consoles</h2> <p>Forget about buying a big, expensive buffet, and just use an affordable console or sofa table in your dining room or living room instead. Consoles are usually about the same height as a tall buffet and can be dressed up or down with a tablecloth or runner, or they can be repainted. Check out places like <a href="http://www.walmart.com/c/kp/console-tables">Walmart</a>, <a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-10926682?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lowes.com%2Fpd_432278-46868-92326_0__%3FproductId%3D4462511&amp;cjsku=432278-46868-92326">Lowe's</a>, and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Sofa-Tables-Living-Room-Furniture/b/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;node=3733651&amp;pf_rd_i=1057794&amp;pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&amp;pf_rd_p=1398418942&amp;pf_rd_r=1Y811A6R2D7934QBYYVE&amp;pf_rd_s=merchandised-search-leftnav&amp;pf_rd_t=101&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">Amazon</a>&nbsp;for some attractive options under $125.</p> <h2>18. Plates and Chargers</h2> <p>Hang a collection of beautiful plates or chargers on your wall for a great look. <a href="http://www.pier1.com/on/demandware.store/Sites-pier1_us-Site/default/Search-Show?q=chargers">Pier 1</a> always has great chargers for affordable prices, while flea markets and even <a href="http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/00270445/">plates from IKEA</a> can yield some nice options. To keep your finds safely attached to the wall, use special <a href="http://www.jdoqocy.com/click-2822544-10368321?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.homedepot.com%2Fp%2FOOK-5-in-7-in-30-lb-Steel-Deluxe-Plate-Hanger-50470%2F100017472&amp;cjsku=100017472">plate hangers</a>, found at most hardware or home stores.</p> <h2>19. Sea Glass Filler</h2> <p>Sea glass, also known as beach glass, which has been pounded by waves and sand, makes beautiful filler in large glass bowls. Use it around a candle in a hurricane lamp, below a bar of soap in a dish, or as a centerpiece layered with shells and sand on a dining table.</p> <h2>20. Washi Tape Accents</h2> <p>Decorative Japanese paper tape, known as <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007Y85NY4/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B007Y85NY4&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">washi tape</a>, comes in all types of patterns, colors, and sizes. Use it for a super easy and stylish update to decorate vases, coasters, serving trays, lampshades, and even wooden chairs around your place.</p> <h2>21. Eye-Catching Candles</h2> <p>Using decorative pushpins, velvet ribbon, or sheer tissue, learn how to easily <a href="http://www.michaels.com/on/demandware.store/Sites-Michaels-Site/default/Product-Show?pid=27649a&amp;start=4&amp;cgid=projects-homedecor-candles">spiff up plain pillar candles</a>, which you can find for cheap at major discount stores. Such candles make awesome accents on a table, on a mantle, or grouped together in a bathroom.</p> <h2>22. Creative Crown Molding Uses</h2> <p>Make your shelves look stylish and organized by using individual crown-molding divider blocks as bookends. Blocks can be purchased for a few bucks at any home store, and you can paint them to your liking. Or, put in a little extra work to make some <a href="http://www.bhg.com/decorating/budget-decorating/cheap/style-tips-for-bargain-decor/?sssdmh=dm17.547526&amp;esrc=nwdc090711&amp;email=411853218#page=8">miniature ledges</a> using the blocks and a small piece of plywood.</p> <h2>23. Easy Centerpieces</h2> <p>For easy and economical centerpieces, use stuff you already have around the house. Fill a white bowl with lemons, or mix a combo of vibrant fruits, like red apples with green limes, in a glass container. Repurposing nice-looking wine, champagne, or juice bottles to hold candles or flower stems makes for another great centerpiece option. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-common-kitchen-cast-offs-you-can-repurpose-into-cool-new-things?ref=seealso">15 Kitchen Cast-Offs You Can Repurpose Into Cool New Things</a>)</p> <h2>24. Mason Jar Displays</h2> <p>Super cheap mason jars make great decor in a variety of ways. You can use a grouping on a table or shelf with fresh flowers for a shabby chic look, or on the bathroom counter to hold cotton balls and other essentials. In the kitchen, try filling some mason jars with colorful dried beans or candy to keep on the counter as both storage and decoration.</p> <h2>25. Sticker Art</h2> <p>If you need some small, framed wall decor, head to an art or craft store and browse the rows of fabulous sticker collections found in the stationery section. I chose a series of seashells, which I applied to a nice piece of stationery paper and inserted in a cheap, but attractive, white frame for a beautiful little work of art in the bathroom.</p> <h2>26. Chalkboard Paint Decor</h2> <p>A simple coat of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0006BAEI6/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B0006BAEI6&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20">chalkboard paint</a> can be both functional and decorative. Paint a pantry door and use as a place for shopping lists and keeping inventory, coat a small piece of wood and hang near the phone for messages, or paint pots to label flowers and herbs.</p> <h2>27. Classy Napkin Rings</h2> <p>Keep your table looking fantastic on a budget by using some cheap napkin rings you can easily make yourself. Simply divide up the cardboard insert from a paper towel roll and wrap each ring with some silk or velvet ribbon. Or, make <a href="http://www.brightsettings.com/BrightIdeas/diy-toilet-paper-roll-napkin-rings/">fabric napkin rings</a> by gluing fabric to your rings.</p> <h2>28. Cool Accent Dishes</h2> <p>Gluing two shells together to make an easy <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/274298/fun-and-easy-decorating-ideas#234462">seashell dish</a> saves money and looks great. Use your new dish to hold a luxurious bar of soap or special jewelry items.</p> <h2>29. Duct Tape Storage</h2> <p>Gather up your shoeboxes, plastic containers, and shipping boxes to make some <a href="http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;field-keywords=duck%20tape&amp;linkCode=ur2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;url=search-alias%3Daps">duct tape decorative storage</a>. Duck tape comes in many colors and designs these days, and you just need to tape your way around your container to make for display-worthy, shelf or floor storage.</p> <h2>30. Clever Picture Mats</h2> <p>Picture mats can add some serious cost to your framing options. For an attractive and inexpensive solution, you can easily make your own mats using <a href="http://www.simplyfrugal.ca/diy-project-turn-a-cereal-box-into-a-fabric-covered-picture-mat/">fabric covered cereal box cutouts</a>. Pick out some cool fabrics and the framing becomes part of the art on display.</p> <p><em>What are some of your favorite decor hacks? Dress up the comments thread with your suggestions!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kelly-medeiros">Kelly Medeiros</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-awesome-decorating-hacks-anyone-can-do">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/6-surprising-ways-a-houseplant-can-save-you-money">6 Surprising Ways a Houseplant Can Save You Money</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-clever-ways-to-improve-your-home-gym">10 Clever Ways to Improve Your Home Gym</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-cheap-and-ingenious-ways-to-upgrade-your-furniture">15 Cheap and Ingenious Ways to Upgrade Your 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/12-cheap-ways-to-make-your-office-look-awesome">12 Cheap Ways to Make Your Office Look Awesome</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/cheap-home-furnishings">Cheap Home Furnishing Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home decor decorating diy decorating Wed, 26 Mar 2014 10:36:16 +0000 Kelly Medeiros 1132804 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Home Decorating Ideas on a Budget http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-home-decorating-ideas-on-a-budget <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-home-decorating-ideas-on-a-budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5913216176_bdacd69361_z-1.jpg" alt="Home Decorating Ideas on a Budget" title="Home Decorating Ideas on a Budget" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some fantastic articles on home decorating ideas on a budget, personal finance advice for college students, and summertime tax moves.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.mydomaine.com/cheap-decorating-ideas/">Decorating Tips for Anyone on a Shoestring Budget</a> &mdash; To save money when redecorating your home, consider painting an accent wall instead of painting all of your walls. [MyDomaine]</p> <p><a href="http://kiplinger.com/columns/drt/archive/personal-finance-advice-for-college-students.html?si=1">Personal Finance Advice for College Students</a> &mdash; College students should take a pass on credit cards. [Kiplinger]</p> <p><a href="http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/5-summertime-tax-moves.html">5 Summertime Tax Moves</a> &mdash; This summer, take the time to evaluate your investments. [Bargaineering]</p> <p><a href="http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2012/08/best-ways-to-make-extra-money-teach.html">Best Ways to Make Extra Money: Teach</a> &mdash; Want to make extra money? Consider becoming a tutor. [Free Money Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Negotiating-Salary-New-Job-18785160">5 Quick Tips For Negotiating A Salary For A New Job</a> &mdash; When negotiating a salary for a new job, don't be the person who brings up salary first. [SavvySugar]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.stretcher.com/stories/12/12aug20g.cfm#.UDfC40ryO1M">Finding Cheap Airfares</a> &mdash; Being flexible is key to finding cheap airfares. [The Dollar Stretcher]</p> <p><a href="http://www.moneytalksnews.com/2012/08/24/5-little-known-ways-car-dealers-rip-you-off/">6 Little-Known Ways Car Dealers Rip You Off</a> &mdash; Did you know car dealers may be ripping you off by inflating your interest rate? [Money Talks News]</p> <p><a href="http://www.creditsesame.com/blog/quick-and-easy-ways-to-get-more-out-of-your-employer-right-now/">Quick and Easy Ways to Get More Out of Your Employer, Right Now</a> &mdash; Get more out of your employer by taking advantage of your employer benefits package. [Credit Sesame]</p> <p><a href="http://money.msn.com/frugal-living/post.aspx?post=787d0a53-601c-4c1a-a820-d21c81e3de8b&amp;ref=bfv">Why you should personalize your budget</a> &mdash; The main reason to personalize your budget: one size doesn't fit all when it comes to budgeting. [MSN Money]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/the-perfect-dorm-gifts">The Perfect Dorm Gifts For a New College Student</a> &mdash; Do you know someone who is headed to college? Get them a laundry basket filled with cleaning supplies. [Parenting Squad]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-home-decorating-ideas-on-a-budget">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-air-fresheners">The 5 Best Air Fresheners</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-home-furnishings">Cheap Home Furnishing Ideas</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/4-common-household-leaks-you-can-fix-without-a-plumber">4 Common Household Leaks You Can Fix Without a Plumber</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-clever-ways-to-improve-your-home-gym">10 Clever Ways to Improve Your Home Gym</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-cheap-and-ingenious-ways-to-upgrade-your-furniture">15 Cheap and Ingenious Ways to Upgrade Your Furniture</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home best money tips budget decorating home Mon, 27 Aug 2012 10:00:41 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 952372 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Pretty Projects for Pine Cones http://www.wisebread.com/5-pretty-projects-for-pine-cones <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-pretty-projects-for-pine-cones" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/pinecone.jpg" alt="Pine cone" title="Pine cone" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>This is my first year at a home with pine-cone-bearing trees. I was pleasantly surprised to find that they are the giant, picture-perfect kind that are often featured on Christmas cards (as compared to some varieties that look more like something my dog left in the front yard), and I&rsquo;m eager to see how I can incorporate them into my frugal seasonal décor. Here are some of the best project ideas that I&rsquo;ve discovered thus far.</p> <p>To find cones, start with the conifers in your yard. By this time of year, many of the good cones may have been covered in snow, crushed by cars in the driveway, or raked up or mowed over in preparation for a winter yard.&nbsp;You can also ask people in your community if they know of anyone who may have some to spare. (Note: Always ask before taking cones from other&rsquo;s yards or from government-owned property like parks and recreation areas.) As a last resort, pine cones can be purchased from craft stores, farmers markets, and floral shops.</p> <p><img style="width: 351px; height: 308px;" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u148/pine%20cone%20wreath.jpg" /></p> <h2><b>Pine Cone Wreaths</b></h2> <p>My good friend Myscha thought of this one before I did, and I&rsquo;m grateful for her tips!&nbsp;This natural-looking <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-homemade-christmas-wreath-ideas-with-style">pine cone wreath</a> project can be a great way to use up a large amount of cones in varying sizes and shapes.&nbsp;(And they don&rsquo;t have to be used solely during the holidays.&nbsp;With a brown-and-orange color scheme, they would be appropriate to hang anytime during the fall months.)</p> <p><img style="width: 368px; height: 276px;" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u148/basket%20pinecone.JPG" /></p> <h2>Basket of Cones</h2> <p>Simple, elegant, and just right for the design impaired (like me), throwing a few handfuls of your best-looking cones into the right basket can do wonders for an empty corner table or the top of your hearth.&nbsp;For added flair, consider topping off the bunch with a few additional natural elements (cranberries, dried orange twists, or cinnamon sticks). If you can arrange flowers, this should be an easy task!</p> <h2>Glitter Cones</h2> <p>Fun to do and dazzling to display, the glitter cone project is a popular DIY on many websites, including <a href="http://www.marthastewart.com/article/beautiful-glitter-ornaments">Martha Stewart's</a>. She recommends hand-painting each cone with craft glue and strategically dumping the glitter on with a spoon, but you may find a spray enamel (used in a well-ventilated area, of course) to be easier and faster for doing large batches of cones. If you find a product that incorporates the glue and the glitter in one (like <a href="http://www.elmers.com/product/detail/E642">Elmer&rsquo;s Glitter Glue Pens</a>), you may have more control over the where the glitter ends up. These look pretty turned into ornaments for a tree or mantle.</p> <p><img style="width: 316px; height: 210px;" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u148/bird%20feeder.jpg" /></p> <h2>Bird Feeder</h2> <p>This is a simple project for bored kids to do on a winter day. Spread smooth peanut butter all over the pinecone (using a grilling brush might make it easier), then sprinkle bird seed all over the surface of the cone. The seed will stick, making it a perfect way to deliver the yummy treat to birds &mdash; not squirrels! Hang it from a tree off the side of your house high enough to be out of reach for curious dogs or cats.</p> <p><img style="width: 326px; height: 244px;" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u148/pine%20cone%20potpourri.jpg" /></p> <h2>Air Freshener</h2> <p>This pretty project is essentially a homemade potpourri using cones as the natural ingredient. The <a href="http://familycrafts.about.com/od/pineconecrafts/a/PineConeAirFreshener.htm">full tutorial</a> for making it gives you step-by-step directions as well as a photo.&nbsp;Christmas lights add an extra-special touch, and the project can be done with any size glass jar for an accent that will go well with every room in your home.</p> <h3>Some Additional Tips for Working with Pine Cones</h3> <p>From <a href="http://familycrafts.about.com/od/pineconecrafts/qt/Pineconehints.htm">About.com&rsquo;s Family Craft site</a>:</p> <ul> <li>Bake the cones for about an hour at 200&deg;F on a foil-lined pan to kill any bugs or mites that might be living inside.</li> <li>To make cones close up after baking, plunge them in ice-cold water. (They will reopen once dry.)</li> </ul> <p>Depending on the type of cone, they may be sharp or have spiky edges. Use care when handling, and if children are working with the pine cones, they may want to use rubber kitchen gloves or child-sized garden gloves for protection.</p> <p>Pine cones are a natural, affordable way to bring the beauty of nature indoors. Even though they are usually associated with the winter holiday season, they can be incorporated into the overall look and feel of your home any time of year. Just make adjustments to the color and tone as you see fit.</p> <p><em>How have you used pine cones to make your house a home?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-pretty-projects-for-pine-cones">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-ways-to-recycle-and-reuse-old-t-shirts">15 Ways to Recycle and Reuse Old T-shirts</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-awesome-practically-free-upcycled-craft-projects">18 Awesome, Practically Free Upcycled Craft Projects</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-cute-ways-to-upcycle-shoeboxes">12 Cute Ways to Upcycle Shoeboxes</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/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/17-ways-to-use-old-newspaper">17 Ways to Use Old Newspaper</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Green Living budget home projects crafts decorating pine cones Thu, 16 Dec 2010 14:00:21 +0000 Linsey Knerl 389947 at http://www.wisebread.com Keeping Santa Sane: Budget Holiday Decorating http://www.wisebread.com/keeping-santa-sane-budget-holiday-decorating <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/keeping-santa-sane-budget-holiday-decorating" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/santa_sane.jpg" alt="Santa&#039;s mugshot" title="Santa&#039;s mugshot" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="240" height="177" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I started this article desperately wanting to coin a new term that combined the words &quot;recession&quot; and &quot;holiday.&quot; Much like &quot;staycation&quot; implies a slightly downshifted and saner vacation, I think we need a word that describes a smarter approach to holiday spending and the crazy expectations that give rise to it. Alas, my linguistic skills have failed me; I&rsquo;ll leave it up to the readers to coin a term that fits the concept best. Meanwhile, how can we get a head start on our holiday festivities and not get caught up in the preholiday madness? Below are some tips for holiday decorating on a budget; they just might help curb the high price of decking the halls and leave a bit more green in your wallet:</p> <h2>Wrapping and Bows</h2> <p>The wrapping and presentation of gifts can be a great chance to challenge your own creativity and engage your kids. Newsprint, road maps, old wallpaper scraps, or rolls of standard brown shipping paper can each be personalized and embellished for a custom gift-wrap look. Swing by your local newspaper &mdash; often they just toss out remaining rolls of paper if the roll won&rsquo;t complete an entire printing. You can sometimes get yards of the stuff for free. I use brown shipping paper and unroll just the right amount for each gift. Then, using a ruler or T-square, I create graphic grid patterns and designs with markers or colored pencil. If you&rsquo;re a stamper or scrapbooker, this is a perfect canvas for leftover supplies and some holiday inspiration. It&rsquo;s customized, durable, reusable, and far less expensive than the big rolls of the glossy holiday-specific stuff.</p> <p>Bows don&rsquo;t need to be satin or silk &mdash; go for a totally organic look by using pinecones as the &quot;bow&quot; on plain brown paper and fasten with raffia or colored twine. Shells, small twigs, sprigs of pine, or family photos can also be used to replace the standard bow.</p> <h2>Gift Tags</h2> <p>I took a few calligraphy classes in college, but with a computer and printer, that skill is no longer a prerequisite for cool gift tags. Use your printer to make customized tags, then embellish with drawn or collaged holiday scenes. Fasten your tags with self-adhesive photo corners or frame them in small vintage frames from a thrift store. Dissect some old holiday cards for colorful and abstract folded gift tags that really pop on plain brown paper or newsprint.</p> <h2>Ornaments</h2> <p>Many of us have heirloom holiday ornaments for the tree, but if you&rsquo;re buying new, the prices can be outlandish. One quick online search put the average price for a dozen glass bulbs at $14. Try a new approach to trimming the tree &mdash; one that uses less cash for decorating and leaves more for merriment.</p> <p>First, choose a color palette for your tree. One or two consistent and repeating colors can help unify all the various ornaments you&rsquo;ll make and give the tree a more intentional look. Next, work with your family to craft ornaments from things around the yard and in the house &mdash; mist natural pinecones lightly with spray paint in your tree&rsquo;s color palette, or weave small twigs together to create stars or snowflake shapes using yarn that fits the color scheme. Wallet-sized school photos can be framed with Popsicle sticks and hung with twine to make a family of ornaments. Those old slotted clothespins can be painted to look like toy soldiers, animals, or other characters.</p> <h2>Garland</h2> <p>Popcorn is a classic here, but let&rsquo;s think outside the popcorn box. Evergreen boughs can be tied together and laced with dried fruit or dried flowers for a natural garland. Old wooden spools, beads from broken necklaces, even small glass ornaments can all be strung together for a unique handmade look. Anything that has a hole to loop through or a surface to weave through can become material for garland. Remember, with any natural tree, safety comes first. Always use properly sized tree stands, keep your tree moist, and use low-heat lights.</p> <p>If there&rsquo;s one thing this recession is teaching us, it&rsquo;s how to do more with less. Challenge yourself and your kids to create memories while you work on projects together. You never know what creative impulse or burst of artistic pride will define this holiday as one of your kids&rsquo; best. Now, back to that elusive new term for our frugal holiday&hellip;any ideas yet?</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/keeping-santa-sane-budget-holiday-decorating">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-home-furnishings">Cheap Home Furnishing Ideas</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/6-festive-frugal-ways-to-spruce-up-your-home-for-the-holidays">6 Festive, Frugal Ways to Spruce Up Your Home for the Holidays</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-curtains">How to Make Your Own Curtains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-frugal-christmas-decorating-hacks">14 Frugal Christmas Decorating Hacks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-cheap-and-ingenious-ways-to-upgrade-your-furniture">15 Cheap and Ingenious Ways to Upgrade Your Furniture</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home budget decorating decorating holiday decorations Holidays home decor wrapping paper Mon, 15 Nov 2010 12:00:12 +0000 Kentin Waits 295324 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Festive, Frugal Ways to Spruce Up Your Home for the Holidays http://www.wisebread.com/6-festive-frugal-ways-to-spruce-up-your-home-for-the-holidays <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-festive-frugal-ways-to-spruce-up-your-home-for-the-holidays" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/robot_santa.jpg" alt="robot santa" title="robot santa" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="240" height="180" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Commit this to memory: There <em>is</em> such a thing as too much.</p> <p>Ever been to someone&rsquo;s home at holiday time, and it looked as if the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Gaudy got blitzed on eggnog and vomited yuletide cheer all over the place? Singing wreaths on every door. Electric candles in all the windows. Blinking boughs of holly strung across the ceiling. And that&rsquo;s just the basement.</p> <p>People tend lose their minds as soon as the red-and-green rubber tubs come out of storage. My parents, for instance, place a five-foot-tall, animatronic, talking Santa Claus in the middle of their living room &mdash; like he&rsquo;s part of the family. No matter where you go, the guy stares you down with his beady, black eyes, watching and waiting, I&rsquo;m convinced, to make his move. It&rsquo;s beyond creepy.</p> <p>That&rsquo;s exactly what happens when you don&rsquo;t use discretion when decorating for the holidays &mdash; you scare the bejesus out of your loved ones and they refuse to visit. Then it&rsquo;s just you and your soulless robot-elf friend stuffing your faces with fruitcake and watching <em>It&rsquo;s a Wonderful Life</em> for the umpteenth time. Oh, the irony.</p> <p>There is a solution, however, and it&rsquo;s simple: Don&rsquo;t go overboard. Keep it classy. Set a budget.</p> <p>Believe it or not, you can decorate for Halloween, Christmas, Hanukkah &mdash; whatever you&rsquo;re celebrating &mdash; without alienating your family and drawing the ire of your neighbors. The best part is you can do it in fresh, fun ways without going broke. Here&rsquo;s how.</p> <h2>Take Inventory</h2> <p>Twice a year &mdash; in the spring and fall &mdash; I clean out my closet. The rule is, if I haven&rsquo;t worn an item in more than a year, it gets donated to charity. I institute a similar rule with holiday decorations. If I didn&rsquo;t use an item last year &mdash; and I don't plan to use it this year &mdash; it must go. There&rsquo;s no point in keeping things that you&rsquo;re not going to use. They take up space, create clutter, and will eventually make you a candidate for an A&amp;E documentary. Take a moment to love the item, cherish it, and say your goodbyes. Then put it in a bag with all the other past-its-prime junk and exchange it for a sweet tax-deductible receipt. If you&rsquo;re still feeling bad about tossing it out, remember that one person&rsquo;s trash is another person&rsquo;s treasure. You&rsquo;re not throwing it away, but rather providing happiness to a stranger. Yeah, go with that.</p> <h2>Use Good Judgment</h2> <p>When you get dressed in the morning, do you put on every accessory you own? No. Why? Because you&rsquo;d look stupid. Now transfer that logic to your home and ask yourself, would I put up every decoration I own? No, you wouldn&rsquo;t, for a similar reason &mdash; your house will look a hot merry mess. Thus, after you&rsquo;ve chosen the items that will go to charity, do another inspection. Are there items in your stash that you definitely want to display? Likewise, are there items that could be stowed away until next year? Sure there are. Put out the decorations that you can&rsquo;t live without and store the others until next year. Your visitors will appreciate it. Heck, they might even stay for dessert.</p> <h2>Survey the Room</h2> <p>Before you start plastering every inch of your home with holiday paraphernalia, stand in each room for a couple minutes and devise your plan. Choose a few items from your inventory and place them around. Remember that you don&rsquo;t have to overdo it; a little goes a long way. Plus, an even distribution of decorations will create balance from space to space. Also, try not to remove year-round décor to accommodate holiday swag. If you&rsquo;re relegating cherished family photos to the hall closet from October to December, you&rsquo;ve got too much stuff.</p> <h2>Make Your Own</h2> <p>Instead of buying new items, consider DIY decorations. Personally, I like to have one-of-a-kind pieces, and original art is the best way to accomplish this. You can pick up a bundle of magazines at holiday time that will teach you how to make all sorts of neat stuff. Blank canvases are inexpensive too, and they&rsquo;re perfect for creating lasting family memories, especially when you involve the brood. Pick up some paint, brushes, and smocks and let the kids use their imaginations to make holiday-perfect wall hangings that will fill a void in your home for years to come &mdash; especially after they&rsquo;ve left the nest.</p> <h2>Get Thrifty</h2> <p>Before you head to the nearest discount department store to stock up, try your local thrift shop. Remember when I said that one person&rsquo;s trash is another&rsquo;s treasure? Well, that applies to you too. You never know what hidden gem you&rsquo;ll uncover at a Goodwill or Salvation Army. To save even more money, find out when deeper discounts are offered. Some shops have days &mdash; generally during the week &mdash; where specially marked merchandise is on super-sale.</p> <h2>Hit Up the Sales</h2> <p>An experienced shopper knows never to pay retail, and holiday decorations are no exception. Every year I head to Target for its annual unloading of all things seasonal, because prices plummet the day after Christmas. But, beware: Dec. 26 is for amateurs only. In fact, I don&rsquo;t go until Jan. 3 or later &mdash; for several reasons.</p> <p>The first is that stores are a mob scene right after Christmas. Everybody is returning unwanted gifts and trying to get new items on discount. I avoid this situation at all costs. A measly 25 percent off is not worth the headache. The second reason is that directly after Christmas the items aren&rsquo;t discounted heavily. You might find up to 50 percent off, but if you wait until after New Year&rsquo;s, you can scoop up bargains at up to 90 percent off &mdash; and that&rsquo;s major money saved.</p> <p>But I know what you&rsquo;re thinking &mdash; by then, all the good stuff will be gone. Perhaps. And that&rsquo;s not necessarily a bad thing, which brings me to reason number three of why I wait until Jan. 3 to stock up for next year. By waiting until most of the heap is picked through, I lessen the chance that I&rsquo;m going to buy on impulse. How can I? There&rsquo;s not much left. I&rsquo;m smarter about my purchases at that point and able to make informed decisions on whether I really <em>need</em> an item or not. Your goal should be twofold &mdash; to save cash and to replenish your supplies of wrapping paper, tape, ribbons, cards, etc. That's it. Stock up and walk out. You do <em>not</em> need that animatronic, talking Santa Claus. Trust me.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p>Mikey Rox is an award-winning writer/journalist and the founder of Paper Rox Scissors, a copywriting and creative consulting company in New York City. His work has appeared on CNN.com, LifeStylerMag.com, BrokeAssStuart.com and Recessionwire.com, among many others. He can be reached at <a href="mailto:mikey@paperroxscissors.com">mikey@paperroxscissors.com</a>. Read more by Mikey:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.mycouponfairy.com/articles/health-and-wellness/8-ways-to-stretch-your-wallet-instead-of-your-waistline">8 Ways to Stretch Your Wallet Instead of Your Waistline</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.queerlywed.com/four-nontraditional-wedding-gift-ideasfor-the-couple-who-has-everything/">Four Nontraditional Wedding Gift Ideas for the Couple Who Has Everything</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.lifestylermag.com/social/cheap-date-ideas">8 Great Dates Across America For Under $20</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <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/6-festive-frugal-ways-to-spruce-up-your-home-for-the-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-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/14-frugal-christmas-decorating-hacks">14 Frugal Christmas Decorating Hacks</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/carving-pumpkins-and-14-other-cool-ways-to-make-cash-from-fall-holidays">Carving Pumpkins and 14 Other Cool Ways to Make Cash From Fall Holidays</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/11-holiday-pet-dangers-to-avoid">11 Holiday Pet Dangers to Avoid</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/keeping-santa-sane-budget-holiday-decorating">Keeping Santa Sane: Budget Holiday Decorating</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-home-furnishings">Cheap Home Furnishing Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Home Christmas decorating Holidays Fri, 05 Nov 2010 13:00:11 +0000 Mikey Rox 280535 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Reasons to Use Your Outdoor Furniture -– Inside http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-to-use-your-outdoor-furniture-inside <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-reasons-to-use-your-outdoor-furniture-inside" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/photo(10).JPG" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I purchased a lovely outdoor furniture set this year &mdash; the first I had ever owned. It was a delicate white faux wicker with green cushions and would have looked stunning on my future patio. The problem was that the patio never got built, the wind this year was awful, and we soon moved to a place that made it even more impractical to use. Our solution? Bring it inside. It turned out to be the best decorating decision we ever made!</p> <p>What was supposed to be a temporary arrangement (using our new outdoor furniture in our living room until newer furniture could be bought) soon became the answer to all of our previously troubling decorating issues. Here are the five reasons we will continue to use the outdoors inside, and why we may never go back to traditional furniture.</p> <h3>1. Kids ruin things, and outdoor furniture is virtually indestructible. </h3> <p>My youngest three kids are all boys. At ages 6, 4, and 2, nothing is safe from their reenactments of the fight scenes in <em>The Pirates of the Caribbean</em> and their desire to have their palms forever covered in peanut butter. For these reasons, I love my outdoor furniture. It wipes clean without any special upholstery equipment, and since it was designed to withstand rain showers and the occasional mud fight, it can handle an unexpectedly leaky diaper like a champ. In a few words: My stuff will look new after many months of wear and tear, and I won&rsquo;t have to scream, forbid fun, or suffer from extremely high blood pressure to ensure it. The same cannot be said for my plush loveseat and sofa. (They smell just like the life they sadly lived for the past few years.)</p> <h3>2. $500 is usually all you need. </h3> <p>Did the idea that I could get a loveseat, two chairs, and a glass coffee table for under $450 appeal to me the most? Undoubtedly. With the amount I would expect to pay for just the traditional living room sofa, I could get a brand-spanking new set of furniture and have it look fresh out of the box. If you&rsquo;re thinking ahead for next year, you can score a set on super sale at most any retailer once they start pulling out the fall displays. (July or August is when most will start dropping in price.) Even if you go very high-end, you can time it right, and get a more lavish set for up to 12 people to comfortably hang out for no more than five $100 bills. That&rsquo;s pretty sweet, if you ask me.</p> <h3>3. The look is timeless. </h3> <p>If you play your cards right, you can pull off a complimentary look for most any time period. My white wicker, for example, went nicely with the sandy brown walls in my home. Even if the decor had been pink with blue polka dots, however, I could have switched out the cushions and updated with each change in styles. Outdoor furniture is basic, clean, and ready to rock your choice of interior design &mdash; no experience needed.</p> <h3>4. You really can DIY. </h3> <p>The other night, my husband and I found ourselves having a hard time hearing the movie we were watching. We could have turned up the volume and risked waking up our youngest, most-fickle son. Instead, we picked up our light-weight but sturdy outdoor furniture and moved it closer to the tube. No sweat, no fuss, and we could put it right back when we were done. The ability to move the furniture by myself is also a plus when I want to vacuum well, or when we have a vicious game of <em>The Bigs 2</em> going on the Wii. Even my son can move the furniture when he needs to.</p> <p>Another advantage is that the furniture came in a box that I could easily fit into my van. I paid no outrageous delivery fees, and I could set it up myself with a screwdriver and a bit of patience. If you&rsquo;re single or unwilling to rely on others to get your furniture home from the store, I can&rsquo;t say enough about using outdoor furniture.</p> <h3>5. You can still always use it outside. </h3> <p>Unlike typical indoor furniture, which has a shelf life that may vary by how hard you use it, outdoor furniture can live for a very long time. If you find that you eventually want to go ultra chic and invest in that leather sofa and recliner set, you can &mdash; without the guilt of feeling like you&rsquo;re betraying your perfectly good existing set. Outdoor furniture can always be placed outside again.</p> <p>If you don&rsquo;t personally have room for it, it can be donated to a nursing home. You may also find that the set itself may make a nice &ldquo;starter set&rdquo; for a college dorm room or newlywed&rsquo;s apartment. The possibilities truly are endless, and usually don&rsquo;t require that you set anything out on the curb.</p> <p>Outdoor furniture is a growing, exciting market. With new variations that include eco-friendly, recycled materials and designer coverings, you will almost certainly be able to maintain all your dignity when substituting traditional furnishings with this more affordable alternative.</p> <p><em>*Note - A keen reader <a href="http://lifehacker.com/5377430/reduce-wear-and-tear-by-using-outdoor-furniture-inside">over at Lifehacker</a>, brought up a good point about flammability standards.&nbsp; Generally speaking, outdoor furniture is not always labeled and sold as indoor furniture.&nbsp; For this reason, it may not have to pass some of the same flammability tests that your normal furniture will.&nbsp; If you're usure as to whether it does, check the tags and labels on all components (it will usually tell you.)&nbsp; Many sets are made for either indoor or outdoor use, and should not be a problem.&nbsp; Consumers who will be using their furniture near open flame or while smoking should probably be checking their furniture carefully, regardless.&nbsp; (Futons, office furniture, dining chairs, and the mattresses inside fold-out couches are not generally subject to some of the same standards as &quot;indoor furniture.&quot;&nbsp; The same goes for slipcovers, ottomans, throw pillows and throws -- some of these can also be highly flammable.) &nbsp;If in doubt, check it out -- before you buy.&nbsp; (And if you store your outdoor furniture indoors over the cold season anyway, be careful of how you store it.)</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-to-use-your-outdoor-furniture-inside">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-gifts-you-can-make-today">25 Gifts You Can Make Today</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/20-awesome-uses-for-milk-crates">20 Awesome Uses for Milk Crates</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/make-your-own-coupons-20-great-free-gift-ideas">20 Great, Free Gift Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-an-easter-basket-for-a-grown-man">How to Make an Easter Basket for a Grown Man</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/make-your-hobby-pay-its-way">Make Your Hobby Pay Its Way</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> DIY Lifestyle decorating outdoor furniture Thu, 08 Oct 2009 16:00:02 +0000 Linsey Knerl 3679 at http://www.wisebread.com Help for the Decoratively Hopeless (or the Cheap): Myscha Theriault on BTR http://www.wisebread.com/help-for-the-decoratively-hopeless-or-the-cheap-myscha-theriault-on-btr <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/help-for-the-decoratively-hopeless-or-the-cheap-myscha-theriault-on-btr" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/myscha.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="200" height="266" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">Yes, it&rsquo;s time for another weekly Blog Talk Radio Show tonight, and this one&rsquo;s featuring our very own <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/myscha-theriault">Myscha Theriault</a>.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>We discuss kitchens on a dime (or $100, in my case) and how to use your food as festive d&eacute;cor for any mood.<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">Myscha&rsquo;s one of those bloggers that you wish lived right down the street from you.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Sure, you could share a nice glass of wine and one of her <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/whats-cooking-make-ahead-bread-mixes">do-ahead breads</a>, but secretly, you just want her to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/gourmet-kitchens-on-a-shoestring">&ldquo;eyeball&rdquo; your kitchen</a> and tell you what to do.<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">We get close to the experience of a professional walk-through with tonight&rsquo;s &ldquo;Kitchens<span style="">&nbsp; </span>on The Cheap&rdquo; episode of <a href="http://www.blogtalkradio.com/stations/elevenmomsradio/WiseBread">Living Large on a Small Budget</a>.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>If you can&rsquo;t make the 8pm CST live airing, it&rsquo;s available for download beginning an hour after it airs.<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">What do we cover?<span style="">&nbsp; </span>So much in so little a time:<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <ul type="disc" style="margin-top: 0in;"> <li style="" class="MsoNormal">How decorative containers can hold stuff and make your kitchen look &ldquo;professional&rdquo;</li> <li style="" class="MsoNormal">Things like old garden gates and rebar make excellent pot rack materials</li> <li style="" class="MsoNormal">You can make that kitchen island you&rsquo;ve always wanted &ndash; with stuff someone else might likely throw away<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></li> </ul> <p class="MsoNormal">Even if you&rsquo;re kitchen is nothing more than a corner of a studio apartment, there&rsquo;s something in tonight&rsquo;s interview for you!<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Check us out on <a href="http://www.blogtalkradio.com/stations/elevenmomsradio/WiseBread">Blog Talk Radio</a> (and tell your friends!)</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Here are some of Myscha's other fabulous decorating posts:</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/spa-bathrooms-on-the-cheap">Spa Bathrooms on the Cheap</a></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-decorating-three-simple-hacks-for-style-on-a-dime">Cheap Decorating:&nbsp; Three Simple Hacks for Style on a Dime</a></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/getting-it-done-at-dollar-tree">Getting it Done at Dollar Tree</a></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/help-for-the-decoratively-hopeless-or-the-cheap-myscha-theriault-on-btr">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/3-cheap-and-easy-formulas-for-homemade-windshield-de-icer-plus-bonus-tips">3 Cheap and Easy Formulas for Homemade Windshield De-Icer (Plus Bonus Tips)</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/almost-2000-uses-for-a-can-of-wd-40-1">Almost 2000 uses for a can of WD-40</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-reasons-to-use-your-outdoor-furniture-inside">5 Reasons to Use Your Outdoor Furniture -– Inside</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/pick-up-one-of-these-frugal-hobbies-this-weekend">Pick Up One of These Frugal Hobbies This Weekend</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living DIY Announcements cheap kitchens decorating myscha theriault Thu, 23 Apr 2009 00:29:21 +0000 Linsey Knerl 3076 at http://www.wisebread.com