Repurposing : The #1 Budget Friendly Decorating Hack

I often get asked about decorating in general, and the cost associated with it. It’s no secret I am an epic bargain hunter, and I think that’s why repurposing old items is my favorite budget friendly decorating hack. The possibilities are only limited by your search terms on Pinterest!

Don’t like an old cabinet or buffet taking up space in your garage? Add some new paint and hardware and turn it into a decor display cabinet or changing table in a nursery. Looking for inexpensive ‘new to you’ furniture? Check out your local thrift store or salvage yard, and then spruce it up a bit.

Today I have a few examples of repurposed items currently on display in my home, and I will share the cost of the items and the updates that I did to them. Feel free to pin any images for later reference!

First up, my medicine cabinet turned decor cabinet! I found this beauty at a local thrift store, and I believe the price was only $10 (it was even on sale!). I completely updated it for only $5, and it now sits as a permanent fixture on my entryway wall, and I simply change out the decor for different seasons. For details on how I updated the cabinet, click here.

Total cost: $15

Medicine Cabinet, original condition

Medicine Cabinet, original condition

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Next, I have an old shutter style hinge door on my front porch that I simply use hooks to hang different decor on depending on the season. This item was FREE, on a local facebook marketplace group. All I did was clean it up and bit and do a small amount of sanding. Here are a couple examples of how I have used it so far, and the photo on the left is how it looks currently.

Total cost: $0

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I’m not afraid to get a little dirty and bust out the chalk paint when necessary, and this comes in handy when an item needs a fresh look. A perfect example is a set of 3 spindles I picked up at a salvage store, and I was determined to make them look like candlesticks. I had Adam cut them at different heights, for a total of 5 candlesticks made from the 3 spindles. At $2 a piece, my cost was $6 total. A little chalk paint and sanding later, I have 5 pretty versatile pieces of decor and you will see them in my home during every season. For the full tutorial, click here.

Total cost: $6

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Lastly, I have a deep love for decorating with old farm items. These might look like junk to the untrained eye, but the history in each piece is what calls my heart to them. For example, this chicken feeder from a local flea market sits on my dining room table almost year round, filled with various seasonal decor. I sometimes find myself wondering how many chickens ate from this trough over the years and what other stories this item holds, not to mention it makes a great centerpiece because it doesn’t obstruct views of people sitting at the table!

Total Cost $10

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I hope today I could show you that having a vast assortment of decor and/or decorating your home for each season doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, I get such enjoyment searching for that bargain and then bringing new life to old items. How do you decorate with repurposed items in your home? I would love to hear all about it!

I hope October is treating you well, wherever you are!

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Laundry Room Makeover

I am always looking for inexpensive ways to update and/or decorate our home, and my laundry room was recently at the top of my list of spaces that needed serious help. I had seen several designers recently posting about using wallpaper to update a space, and my first reaction was not a positive one. I mean, wallpaper?!? Who has time for that??

Well as it turns out, I had time for it, and so do you! Wallpaper has come SUCH a long way from the days where I remembered my grandparents mixing paste and matching patterns, only to have it dry and shrink just enough that it no longer lined up perfectly. I was curious how this “new” version worked, so I ordered a roll from Target’s website, which has dozens of options.

Today’s version of wallpaper has no mess, simply peel and stick. Make a mistake and need to remove it? Just peel it off the wall, no damage to the paint/wall, and you can re-use the piece! This feature in particular makes a wallpaper project budget friendly, I did this entire laundry room makeover with only one roll, which was $30. Don’t worry about matching patterns either, the print I chose has a tiny pattern line on it so you can easily tell where the next piece should line up.

So I went for it and ordered the wallpaper….

Before I show you how it turned out, let’s take a look at some ‘before’ photos!

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This laundry room functioned just fine how it originally was, but I wanted a space that was more inviting and had a ‘fresh’ look. I first shopped the garage for some shelving materials, then picked up a vintage window for the space above the sink, and finally picked out the wallpaper that would tie it all together Somehow, I roped Adam into helping me.

Neither one of us had ever worked with wallpaper, and thus we had no idea how to install it. I envisioned unrolling it and sticking it to the wall (why make it more difficult than it needs to be, am i right?), however Adam had other ideas.

He approached the situation as thought it were flooring, and found the center of the wall and the center of the wallpaper pattern and started there. As a result, the first piece took about 45 min to place, but the rest of it went much faster.

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After the wallpaper was applied, we placed a small white trim around the top edges to give it more of a polished look. Then all that was left was to mount the shelf and hang the window, and suddenly the laundry room had been transformed! Here are a couple photos…

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This budget friendly update has made quite a difference, and I am really happy how it turned out. This was a learning experience, but it really was quite easy, so if you are looking to freshen up a space consider using wallpaper!

That’s all I have for today, I am headed back outside to enjoy this second Summer that Iowa has given us this week! I will be back soon with our latest outdoor client project, as soon as I load and edit the photos :)

As always, thank you for stopping by the blog today! We really appreciate it!

-Rachael

Fall Front Porch Decor Guide

Ok, we made it to September, which means Fall decor is in full swing!

I have the pumpkin bread in the oven, harvest candles burning, and a huge bale of straw on the front porch. It’s just not officially Fall until a bale of straw is on the front porch!

Our porch is west-facing, and has quite a bit of afternoon sun & heat throughout September. For this reason, I have initially decorated with only faux items as any live flowers or pumpkins would be scorched by the elements. I imagine around the beginning of October I will be able to add some Fall mums and pumpkins to the mix. For now, I will share what I have done so far so you can hopefully find some inspiration for your own porch!

As I mentioned above, a bale of straw is a must! I picked up one at a local farm and fleet store for $5. If you wanted a super simple front porch setup, and didn’t have time to round up other decor, a simple stack of three bales of straw would work perfectly!

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Here I have my bale of straw sitting on end, matched up with some other items I shopped from my garage!

Next up, I grabbed some trimmed dead grasses and stuck them in a rusted metal milk jug that usually resides on my porch year round. I also had a few faux pumpkins and put them in a crock along with a fold out sign. The vertical barn beam is the front pillar to our house (neat, right?!).

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If you have been following along for a bit, you might remember the thrift-ed set of white shutter-style closet doors that I picked up this spring, and how I used them on the porch to hang buckets of succulents. Well, that set of closet doors remains in place, only this time with a few Fall items….as pictured below!

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We are still in the process of getting a black door, but for now I have to work with what I have! I found the door hanger in the holiday section of a local craft store, and I am extra excited about the fact that it doesn’t make any noise when it blows in the wind!

My last important piece of porch decor is this metal sunflower, which is one of my all time favorite outdoor items. Around November I will have to retire this guy until next Summer, but for now he stay’s put!

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Well friends, that’s all I have going on for the front porch this time around! As I mentioned above, I will be adding some live flowers and pumpkins as the days get cooler, and I will be sure to post an update. Until then, happy decorating for Fall and thank you for stopping by the blog today!

-Rachael

Fall Decor Preview

I love Summer, and believe me I am not rushing it along, but September is by far my favorite month of the year and we are just days away from being there. Often as hot as August, the weather in September is much more manageable with cooler nights and less humidity. It’s the best of both Summer and Fall, all wrapped into one!

My home always shows my excitement for Fall decor, and this year will be no different! I definitely have more Fall/Autumn items than any other season, which requires some creative storage but also quite a bit of time for setup. Each year I do everything differently, and that’s all part of the fun! We have an event here the first weekend in September, so my goal is to have everything decorated by then. Fall decor takes a bit of work, but is so versatile and lasts all the way through Thanksgiving. I will just add a few pumpkins/gourds in October and boom! Done!

I have a few areas of my home already set up for Fall, and today I am sharing them to hopefully bring you some inspiration when it’s time to decorate your own home. I will note that I don’t change anything out for Halloween, but that is just my own preference. This year I am really feeling inspired by the neutral tones and I tried to incorporate them as much as possible on my front entryway table. Here are a few photos.

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I tried to keep this area fairly simple, as it is highly trafficked by the 1 year old and items are pulled down constantly to be played with. I haven’t really embraced neutral white or brown decor for Fall in the past, but I am experimenting and incorporating it this year. Decorating is an ever evolving hobby!

Next up is my dining room buffet!

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I brought in a bit more color to this nook of the home, as this buffet sits right next to the dining room table and that will undoubtedly have some bright displays when I am done with it.

I have recently discovered a company that takes antique pieces and re-purposes them into candles, and I had to have one. This bucket candle is filled with ‘Fall Harvest’ and it’s fitting in just perfectly with my Fall decor!

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That’s all the Fall decor I have ready to go as of today! I hope some of this can inspire you for your own decorating this season, and as always feel free to share your photos with us either here or on Instagram.

Thanks for stopping by the blog today! We really appreciate it!

Happy Decorating!

-Rachael

The Boathouse Project

We are in Summer’s home stretch, and the Iowa heat and humidity have certainly been oppressive at times! That, combined with a tornado, made this outdoor client project particularly challenging, so we were really excited to finish it last week. Here are some of the pictures and details of “The Boathouse”.

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The details:

-14ft by 26 ft building

-364 sq feet

-10ft 2x4 walls with active dormer

-200 amp electrical service

-8/12 pitch roof with asphalt shingles

We have had several comments that this building looks like it could be a tiny home, and plumbing aside it really could be! The poured concrete walls and polished floors make this building bug and critter free…not just your typical back yard shed! Here’s a peek inside at all the lofted space.

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The 10 foot walls provide a lot of extra space for storage racks or shelving in the future. And the 9 ft tall garage door helps with backing in a large boat full of lake accessories. For the below picture, keep in mind that Adam is 6ft 4in tall!

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We have a couple more outdoor client projects lined up for the late Summer/early Fall, however they are not as labor intensive as this was. It’s always exciting to see a project come together, and this one was no exception! For now, we are on to the next as we need to squeeze out every last day of Summer that we can…( Maybe someday I could have something similar to this boathouse as my very own she shed! A girl can dream! haha).

Unitl next time friends!

Rachael & Adam

The Final Summer Porch Refresh!

If you have been following along you might be aware that sweet corn season officially started this week here in Iowa, and I might be just a teeny bit excited about that! In fact, I had to incorporate the first delivery of corn into my final Summer porch refresh of the year. That’s correct, the next time I redo this space it will be with pumpkins!

But for now, I had to take down the 4th of July decor and I wanted to incorporate a few farming pieces to set up for the future harvest season. As a collector of all things random and old, I happened to have everything I needed stored in the garage (which has kind of unintentionally become my decor locker, just don’t tell Adam). This John Deere seed planter from an old tractor is a great example…

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The fresh ears of corn in this photo are from our local CSA/farm share program that is delivered weekly throughout the spring and summer. For more information about farm shares, you can see my full post here.

Here are a couple more photos of this newly refreshed space!

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For the other side of the door I snagged some of the decorative grass from my front landscaping that is currently out of control, and stuffed it into an old rusty milk can that i picked up at a garage sale a couple years back. The black metal ‘hello’ sign will stay for now, but I might take it down for the winter months, as it gets pretty cold here and I don’t want it damaged or warped in any way.

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Here’s a front shot of the whole front porch, which is one of my more favorite area’s to decorate at my home. Now, if only I can light a fire under Adam and have him replace the construction door that’s been there for 4 years next month! It’s the little things….

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That’s all I have for you today, thank you for stopping by the blog and I hope I have been able to inspire you on your own decorating adventure! As always, feel free to share your projects and questions either here or over on Instagram.

Happy Summer!

Rachael

Collaboration with Glyn-Mawr Winery

Today is the day! I can finally reveal my latest project, and I am so very excited!

Recently, I had a local business reach out and request some of my personalized book sets for their winery and tasting room that has a small merchandise area stocked with items from nearby artisans. Prior to this meeting I had never been to Glyn-Mawr Winery or their tasting room/storefront ‘the local’, but I quickly fell in love with their farmhouse and country style decor (and might have picked up something for my laundry room remodel). I snapped a few quick photos, and you will see what I’m talking about!

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Here are a couple examples of the book sets I made for their shop…

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The entire town has a 4th of July antique festival, full of vendors and food trucks and the like, and if you are local to eastern Iowa it’s definitely worth the drive. Weather permitting, I will be there myself tomorrow, so feel free to stop by and say hello!

Thank you for stopping by the blog today, and have a safe 4th of July!

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DIY - Bug Repellent Mason Jar Lanterns

Hi friends! Today I have a really easy DIY for the outdoors! Gnats and mosquitoes can really put a damper on outside activities, and bug spray works great for an individual person but I wanted to find a solution for a larger area such as driveway/garage.

I did a bit of research and trial and error, and the results are these cute little mason jar lanterns. They are super easy to make, and extremely budget friendly. I have tested them out myself and can personally say they do actually work, and last quite a long time.

Step by step instructions are below, or feel free to click on any picture to pin this post for later!

First, gather your materials!

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You will need:

-A mason jar of any size, complete with lid

-Rope wick

-Liquid bug repellent

I grabbed a few different jars that I had laying around, and then went to Target for the rest of the materials. They are currently having a decent sale on their patio/outdoor items so I was able to pick up the rope wick (came in a package of two) and the liquid bug repellent for under $10 total. I chose the ‘clean burn’ version of the liquid repellent, which has less smoke/flame but maintains the same effectiveness of the standard version. You could use any bug repellent/torch fuel that is designed to be burned in this manner.

Next, its time for assembly!

I had Adam use a drill bit to puncture a hole in the mason jar lid, and fed the rope wick through the opening. You could probably use a hole punch too, but I just didn’t have one on hand. Then I filled the jar about 1/4 of the way and trimmed the wick so it was just a couple inches tall. It took a few minutes for the wick to soak up enough of the liquid to ignite, but once it did I snapped this picture…

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I really like that there is no smoke/soot coming from this ‘clean burning’ torch fuel, as that was one of my biggest hesitations to ever investing in the traditional ‘tiki torches’.

Last step…Enjoy!

I made a few different lanterns with a few different sizes and colors of mason jars, and set them out on the front porch when we were out there the other night. Not only did they look cute, but they served a great purpose too!

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Quick safety note, these jars do get warm after being lit for a long period of time, so be sure to let them cool before handling them. Also, I like to put them in a metal tray or on concrete (or anything non-flammable) just in case they were to be tipped over.

That’s all I have for you today! I hope you are enjoying those long summer evenings and if you are having a biting insect problem like we were, you might give these lanterns a whirl! As always, thanks for stopping by the blog today!

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