We all want our homes to reflect ourselves and that means we need decor that we love!
But you don’t have to blow a bunch of money at Home Goods or hobby Lobby to decorate. In fact, I’ve found that when I buy a bunch of decor pieces at these stores, those items often become clutter tucked away in a closet.
A great alternative is to decorate with what you already have. I call it shopping the house!
When you use decor that you already have, you save lots of money, and you create decor that truly reflects your personality because you put your own spin on it!
My home decor style may be different from yours, but there are similar elements that we can both use to decorate our homes by using what we already have.
How to Decorate With What you Already Have
1. Use old books and book pages.
Most everyone has books around their houses. Do you have some with pretty covers? Put them on display.
I like to stack books and add an item to the top like a candle, bowl, seashell, or small figurine. They are great for adding height and for adding color to your space.
If you don’t like the color of your books’ bindings, you can simply turn them around and let the pages show. I learned this trick from watching Fixer Upper. Another way to fix ugly bindings is to cover the books with some sort of paper.
I like to use brown craft paper* from the Dollar Tree, but if you are wanting a specific look or color scheme, you could use scrapbook paper or wrapping paper as well.
You may have books that are falling apart or you don’t want anymore. Instead of throwing them away, use the pages.
A few years ago, The Nester did a series where she shared several different ways to decorate with book pages. Her paper garland on her buffet is my favorite!
I used paper to make a wreath which was time consuming, but cute.
Recently, I cut out a book page to fit the size of a small frame and simply stenciled our initial on it. I like the little pop of red it adds to our corner shelf.
When I decorated my son’s nautical bedroom, I glued book pages to a canvas and then painted a sailboat over the top.
2. Decorate with outdoor elements.
A few weeks ago I found a dried up branch on the sidewalk while I was out for my morning walk. I carried the branch home because I thought it looked just right for a wreath.
When I got home, I cut the twigs and stuffed them into a small grapevine wreath that I hung on the wall.
I also like to cut live, green branches from bushes and trees in our yard and stick them in vases. The greenery brightens up the room and adds a little life to our home.
3. Use old scrap fabric.
If you are like me, you have scrap fabric left over from previous projects. Or you may have old sheets, curtains, or thin blankets that you no longer use.
My fuse box cover was made from some left over fabric that I had from a previous project.
Recently, I made some throw pillows for our bedroom out of an old curtain that I was about to get rid of.
When I made the the pennant above my son’s crib, I used scrap pieces from my fabric stash.
4. Put your printer to work!
There are endless possibilities of free printables on the internet. You can find just about anything you want by searching on Pinterest.
I made a couple of my own in Picmonkey and just printed them from home. Last month I decided to add more blue to our small entryway, so I created this “Home Sweet Home” printable.
Above the printable is a frame with scrapbook paper and a 3×5 card that I cut out and wrote the words “Choose Joy”. So simple!
5. A little paint can go a long way.
Do you have leftover paint from previous projects? Put it to use!
I have painted several items in our house, but here are a couple of examples.
For my son’s nautical themed nursery, I painted a small piece of wood and then traced the outline of a whale and painted it blue. You can see it in the picture above with the sailboat.
Another paint transformation was a sign that a family member had given us when we were first married. It was originally stained wood, but I wanted a brighter feel to it, so I simply painted a thin layer of white paint along with a red anchor. Then I attached some twine to it.
I love the transformation!
6. Use every day belongings as decor pieces.
When decorating the walls in our kitchen, I simply put up some decorative kitchen utensils: a strainer, bundt pan, and an antique shredder. I don’t use the shredder, but I do use the strainer and bundt pan. They are functional and decorative.
My necklaces and jewelry also act as decor in our bedroom. A simple cast iron key rack* holds my necklaces and kitchen platters hold my bracelets and rings.
An antique sugar bowl with a broken handle displays my earrings.
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