decorating http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/635/all en-US 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-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-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</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/secret-lawn-tonic-recipe-from-golf-course-groundskeeper">Secret Lawn Tonic Recipe From Golf Course Groundskeeper - Updated</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/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/52-uses-for-rubber-bands">52 Uses for Rubber Bands</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-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/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-2 views-row-even"> <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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/18-amazing-diy-decorating-projects-that-are-easier-than-you-think">18 Amazing DIY Decorating Projects That Are Easier Than You Think</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-home-diy-projects-you-can-do-in-one-day">10 Home DIY Projects You Can Do in One Day</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-old-furniture-shine-with-these-simple-refinishing-tricks">Make Old Furniture Shine With These Simple Refinishing Tricks</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-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/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-2 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-3 views-row-odd"> <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-4 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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ideas-for-cheap-festive-fall-decor">12 Ideas for Cheap, Festive, Fall Decor</a></span> </div> </li> </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.moneycrashers.com/diy-home-decorating-ideas-budget/">8 DIY Home Decorating Ideas on a Budget</a> &mdash; To save money when redecorating your home, change the couch covers instead of the whole couch. [Money Crashers]</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/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-2 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-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/30-awesome-decorating-hacks-anyone-can-do">30 Awesome Decorating Hacks Anyone Can Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-most-dangerous-things-hiding-in-your-home-right-now">The 5 Most Dangerous Things Hiding in Your Home Right Now</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/17-ways-to-use-old-newspaper">17 Ways to Use Old Newspaper</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/getting-by-without-a-job-part-4-get-free-stuff">Getting by without a job, part 4--get free 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/reusing-your-christmas-cards">Reusing Your Christmas Cards</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-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/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/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/how-to-find-the-best-stuff-at-homegoods">How to Find the Best Stuff at HomeGoods</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-your-own-curtains">How to Make Your Own Curtains</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-home-decorating-ideas-for-under-5">15 Home Decorating Ideas for Under $5</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-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/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/7-things-the-craziest-christmas-fanatics-do">7 Things the Craziest Christmas Fanatics Do</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/6-reasons-january-is-the-right-time-to-start-planning-for-christmas">6 Reasons January Is the Right Time to Start Planning for Christmas</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-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> </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-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/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/10-home-diy-projects-you-can-do-in-one-day">10 Home DIY Projects You Can Do in One Day</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-make-an-easter-basket-for-a-grown-man">How to Make an Easter Basket for a Grown Man</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-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/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-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/eight-natural-ways-to-make-water-more-flavorful">Eight Natural Ways to Make Water More Flavorful</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-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-4 views-row-even"> <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-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <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> </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 But is it ART? http://www.wisebread.com/but-is-it-art <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/twistingbogle.jpg" alt="copyright John Swinton" title="Twisting Bogle" width="184" height="225" /></p> <p>What would you say if I told you that I filled my entire living room with completely original works of art for less than $300? We're not talking kid's stuff - no crayon drawings, no attempts at self-expression. Art by real and struggling artists, both schooled and self-taught?</p> <p>You'd tell me that I am truly a brilliant shopper, right?</p> <p>Thank you. </p> <p>The other day, my mum and I were wandering through Costco Homestore, after having returned something (a couch - bless Costco and their liberal returns policy). We were gazing at the wide range of home accessories - vases, mermaid sculptures, large mirrors, and finally, row upon row of "art." Paintings, mostly, or reproductions of paintings. Whether or not we recognized the artist or the painting (yes, there were the usual ubiquitous Van Gogh sunflowers) seemed irrelevant. The art, to put a technical term on it, was <em>meh</em>.</p> <p>Mum commented, "I know everyone wants to find a nice big piece of art to hang in their home, to make it feel original. But it feels like you would really take a risk buying art at Costco - Lord knows how many other people are buying the same painting to make their home feel 'original'."</p> <p>"Mum," I said, "That's why I buy all of mine on eBay."</p> <p>My mother doesn't touch computers, so she sort of nodded in a condescending way, and continued looking at insipid copies of watercolor masterpieces, shaking her head in dismay.</p> <p>So I didn't convert her then and there. But I mean it when I say that eBay can be the greatest place to find original art.</p> <p>Like many public sites, where content is generated by users, you have to do some wading to find the good stuff. If I try to find a date on craigslist (and I have done so in the past), I have to spend some time sifting through the "hi howr u my nam john luk 4 good time call me hahahaha lol" before I find the literate guy with all his teeth. Such is a case with buying art on eBay. In fact, when I do a query for eBay art, I go to the Art section, then select Paintings, then Original, and THEN go do a boolean string in the search box to weed out the stuff I'm not interested in, such as "nude," and perhaps "queer," which for some reason are rarely of high quality and all seem to be drawn by the same guy with a set of charcoal pencils. </p> <p>Not that I don't like nudes, and I've bought a few, but there are some truly unfortunate renderings of the naked body out there, and I try to avoid assaulting my eyes with truly amateur, and immature, work. I might also remove terms like "Picasso," "contemporary," and "Jesus" and then sort the results by distance or price. You'll still end up with a shocking number of fraudulent-seeming options, but you can sort of scroll through and ignore. Also, there are a lot of dumb people selling on eBay who thing that "original" means "handmade." So you'll still find lots of repros of DaVinci. </p> <p>Even after I do my search, I still have to skip forward to roughly page 17 of the results before I find something <a href="http://cgi.ebay.com/THE-A-TEAM-MR-T-POP-ART-CANVAS-PAINTING-ORIGINAL-ART_W0QQitemZ270082929497QQihZ017QQcategoryZ75295QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem" target="_blank">that I like</a>. </p> <p>The thing is, there are lots of really good artists who start selling on eBay because it's simply easier than trying to go out and work with a gallery. Or maybe their work is too "out there" or not prolific enough for some galleries. Whatever. It's a winning situation for you, because YOU can get great art for a steal, and the artist gets exposure and positive feedback, both crucial to eBay success.</p> <p>My favorite artist, hands down, is a guy named <a href="http://myworld.ebay.com/pieboy" target="_blank">John Swinton</a>. John is a Canadian who sells his original creations, and I've bought three of them, two watercolor/mixed media on paper, and one portrait in oils. Not only do I love his work, but it is frequently commented on by people visiting my home. The fantastic thing about John, in addition to be a fast and reasonable shipper, is that he is truly selling original work. No repros from mainland China. His prices start low, and if you're lucky, you can get out with a painting + shipping for under $30. You won't find THAT at Costco.</p> <p>Some other great finds on eBay include scrolls of Chinese and Korean calligraphy (read the fine print to make sure that they are original and not posters) and antique botanical prints from European science manuals. I've completely decorated my townhouse with eBay art, and it's all incredibly unique. AND, it's cheaper that the grand "art" found at Costco or Target, so how can you beat that?</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/but-is-it-art">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/holiday-gift-giving-for-the-truly-broke">14 Gift Ideas for the Truly Broke</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/ultimate-gift-guide-thoughtful-ideas-for-every-list-and-every-budget">Ultimate Gift Guide: Thoughtful Ideas for Every List and Every Budget</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/discount-designer-clothing-17-places-to-get-name-brands-for-less">Discount Designer Clothing: 17 Places to Get Name Brands for Less</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-ways-to-display-your-art">How to Cheaply Display Your Art</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-gifts-for-your-boss">10 Gifts for Your Boss</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping art Art and Leisure decorating eBay gifts online shopping original painting print Fri, 26 Jan 2007 18:32:46 +0000 Andrea Karim 223 at http://www.wisebread.com