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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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

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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Summer Front Porch Decor

Hello from Iowa, America’s heartland!

As we get ready to celebrate our country’s birthday in just a few short weeks, I thought I should dig out some patriotic decor and spruce up the front porch. Luckily, Target has metal stars in red, white, and blue in their dollar section currently and since I am there several days a week I was lucky enough to have an early pick and I was able to snag all three colors. These stars were the initial inspiration for my summer porch refresh, and the rest of it came together pretty quickly. I have a few photos pictured below that will hopefully bring you inspiration for your own outdoor decor.

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This little lemonade setup was the first part of the porch that I decorated, and I mostly just grabbed things from my house that I thought could withstand the Iowa weather. The lemonade sign is recently from Hobby Lobby, which is having their final closeout prices on their spring items (there are some good deals!!).

Next, it was time to add the pop of patriotic colors…

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If you remember from my spring porch setup, this old bi-fold door was used to hang pots of succulents and I kept it in place for the metal stars I found at the Target dollar section.

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I kept the ‘hello’ sign, the black star, and the welcome mat from my Spring decor, and moved the water pump and wash tub to the right side of the door and added a few plants. Adam keeps saying that this is the year we will get a ‘real’ front door, and I’m holding him to it, so stay tuned for that!

Here are a few pictures of it all together!

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I may add a few plants to the steps/walkway to the door, however I don’t want to make it too narrow either, so it will just depend on what I am able to find. Personally, I feel as though outdoor spaces can get a cluttered feeling rather easily, so I try to keep it as simple as possible for that reason.

Well I better get back at it, as always thank you for stopping by the blog today, it really means a lot to us! I hope you were able to find some inspiration for your own home, and feel free to share your own photos and connect with us either here or on Instagram. See you soon!

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Spring Front Porch

Happy Spring to all of you!

It’s been a little while since I have had time to get on here and share what we are up to, which consists of a long list of projects that seems to grow by the hour! I feel like the winter was so long, that when spring finally arrived we ran out and attempted to do all of the things. We may have taken on a bit too much all at once, but that just means we have more fun projects to post in the upcoming weeks.

For today, I’m sharing my front porch setup for spring. We still have tricky weather here in Iowa, so unfortunately no live plants are included in my decorating this go around, but hopefully I can add some soon. I’m all about budget friendly decorating, and today’s post includes just one purchase, a $10 rug. So let’s get to it!

We will start with the left side of the door…

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Recently, I picked up these ultra heavy duty closet doors (that look like shutters) for free on Facebook Marketplace. I knew I wanted to used them on the front porch, since their weight would help withstand the wind/storms of the Spring weather here in the Midwest. I went through my garden supplies and found these steel buckets from a few years back (they are originally from Lowe’s), and filled them with dirt and faux succulents. Real plants would be ideal, but since we had a freeze warning (and snow!) as little as a week ago, I had to hold off for now.

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Next, we have this vintage water pump and wash tub I picked up at a flea market a couple years back. Simple!

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A neighbor was cleaning out their home and had an old red metal star they gifted to me, which I simply spray painted black and hung on the door. This white door is not our permanent front door, just one we used to secure the house during construction. Somehow we have lived here three years without replacing it, but Adam assures me this is the year the official front door will be installed! Until then, we have this plain one to deal with. And in this photo you can see my ‘home sweet home’ rug from Target.

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On to the right side of the door, which includes more faux plants, and a very old milk jug that is epic heavy. I also included my ‘hello’ metal sign from JDH Iron Designs, I used a few command strips and stuck it right to the stone.

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Alright, here is the full photo of the entire front porch! I am enjoying the little pop of red from the water pump, and the simplicity of the rest of it. I hope this post has brought you some inspiration for your own front porch and as always, thank you for stopping by today!

Happy decorating!

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Spring Dining Room Decor

It’s March, and I am determined it’s time to decorate for spring, regardless of the fact it remains very cold here in Iowa. Today I want to share with you my quick and easy dining room decor that I refreshed for the new season.

This is quite possibly the last time I decorate this table, as it is on the project list to be sold and replaced with a barn wood farm table, much like this one pictured below (photo from a client’s home).

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Hopefully by mid summer we will have the table built and replaced, but as always it is hard to find time to do things for yourself. At least we won’t have snow removal getting in the way of our projects by then!

Well I could talk for hours about plans for my dining room, but let’s get back to the current task at hand….decorating for spring! Traditionally, I have never done a whole lot for spring, and as a result I only have one tote designated to spring decor (I have like 8 for Christmas!). Regardless, I dug that tote out a few days ago and got to it.

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I picked up these pastel eggs from Target, either last year or the year before, and I have really enjoyed them. They add just a hint of color and are so versatile to use. And since I don’t plan on changing anything up before Easter, they are going to serve dual purpose as the Easter decor!

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Here is a closeup of the table, which I kept very simple, and all of these items I had on hand except for the small glass plant mister which was at the Target dollar spot, score! If we zoom out a bit you can see the rest of my dining room below.

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My buffet and large rusty metal pig are permanent fixtures of the dining room, and I change up the buffet decor for the different seasons. As you can see I used some faux greens and DIY candlesticks (if you missed that tutorial click here). Also, I have had some eucalyptus and faux flowers in the window boxes for a couple months now, but I will most likely leave those as is until we are closer to summer.

And there you have it, my simple refresh of my dining room for spring. I would love to refresh my front porch as well, but my winter decor is currently frozen to the concrete so that will have to wait for another day and another post…hopefully sometime soon!

Well I am off to tackle some spring cleaning, I must harness this motivation while it lasts! Thanks for stopping by the blog today, see you soon!

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Hanging Cast Iron Cookware

Hi friends!

Today I have a quick post for all the cast iron cookware lovers out there. We love using this cookware at our home but find it impossible to have enough room to store all of the heavy/bulky pieces. My husband has wanted to hang up a pot rack over the island for years, but I didn’t want all the heavy cookware to block the view of the rest of the living area. Finally, during one of the 800 snow days this month, we came to an agreement on how to hang and store our cast iron pots and pans.

Our pantry was the obvious location, due to it’s proximity to the stove and vast amount of unused space. We also needed the pans out of reach of our 1 year old, so hanging them on the wall seemed to be the best choice. Adam found a barn wood 2x4 in the garage and fastened it to the wall in the pantry, and then added the gas pipe and fittings. For those of you that don’t happen to have a ton of gas pipe sitting around in your garage, you can buy them from any hardware store. We used 1/2in size, but you could use larger if desired. The only downside to working with gas pipe (besides the grease) is all the adhesive and stickers that have to be removed. If you follow us on Instagram, you saw my struggles with this the other night on stories.

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Here is a close up photo of the gas pipe hardware. I had some old shower curtain hooks from a previous residence that I used to hang up the pots and pans, but I’m sure you could find something more aesthetically pleasing on Amazon. In the future I plan to hang up another identical rack below this one, and use it for hang baskets for potatoes and veggies from the garden (to get them off of the kitchen counters).

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Here is the view from outside our pantry.

While this was a quick and easy project, it really has been a game changer for kitchen storage. For those of you who use cast iron cookware, you know its bulky and some sizes can be hard to fit in drawers and cabinets. This storage solution took five skillets and one large stock pot out of our cupboards, freeing up space for further organization.

I hope this post brought some inspiration to your own kitchen organization! Thanks for stopping by the blog today!

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Vintage Inspired Book Sets

Hello! It’s below zero today in Iowa, and I am not planning on leaving my house for any reason, (except Starbucks of course) so I am using this day to catch up on DIY projects, book orders, and various other items I have lined up for you guys!

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I recently started making vintage inspired book sets as cute personalized gifts for family members and friends. Well, it turns out there was a bit of a demand for these, so I recently created an Etsy shop to streamline that process. However, if you are local feel free to contact me via email/phone/etc to avoid shipping costs!

I believe these are so popular in part because of how neutral they are, fitting in to virtually any home’s existing decor, which could be especially beneficial as a house warming or wedding gift. Here are a few examples:

Aren’t they cute?? I love how each set tells a different ‘story’.

Well, I had better get back to my to-do list while I have the chance. Stay warm out there!

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DIY Candlesticks

Hello! I hope January is treating you well, wherever you are located. Iowa is gearing up for a major winter storm, and while the snow is pretty, it generates some long days and nights of snow removal. If you find yourself snowed in, I have a super easy winter craft to share with you today, and if you are fortunate enough to have great weather then pin this post for a rainy day!

Candlesticks are new to my personal decor, although I have seen people use them for years and always admired their versatility. I had planned on purchasing some the next time I saw a good deal (I never pay full price for anything) but recently I went to a thrift store and saw they had old staircase spindles for $2 a piece, so I picked up a few and decided to try making my own. I think they turned out really well, and I wanted to share how I made them since it was SO easy! Let’s get to it!

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Here are the staircase spindles straight from the thrift store, very budget friendly at $2 a piece!

The first step is to wipe them down of any dust or grease, I used a bleach wipe but you could use anything you have on hand.

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Next, I used some white chalk paint that I had on hand to paint the spindles, using two coats. Make sure to take a brush and wipe out any excess paint within the details/grooves in the woodwork.

Then, grab a piece of sandpaper and sand down/distress to your taste.

Clean off the spindles using a lint free cloth, and apply a VERY thin layer of wax to seal, wipe off excess with another lint free cloth.

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After these dry completely, preferably overnight, cut them to desired sizes. I was able to get 5 different sized candlesticks out of these three spindles.

Now for the fun part! Decorate!

I had fun styling these candlesticks with greenery and even put them in a birdcage that I had on hand. Next fall I plan to use them to hold pumpkins, and maybe even ornaments next Christmas. These are such a versatile piece of decor, I can’t believe I didn’t have any until now, but better late than never!.