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

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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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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Entryway Table Refresh

Hi there! I’m writing to you from a cold and rainy day here in Iowa, but it’s just for one day so I can handle it. If you follow me on Instagram, you know I have been stalking my plants to see when they will come out of the ground and they have made some progress the last couple of days! There is finally hard evidence we are at the end of this epic long winter, and all this anticipation just makes it that much more enjoyable. It’s seriously like Christmas for me, I cannot wait until the weather permits me to be outside full time.

In celebration of all things spring, its time to refresh the entryway saw horse table. I’m not sure why I dread styling this table, maybe because it is such a focal point to the interior of my home and I always want it to be perfect. Or it could be that I just need more things in the epic huge entryway so it doesn’t seem like it’s the only thing to look at. EITHER WAY, I tackled it yesterday and wanted to share it with you all.

As you know, I usually divide this long table into sections, which I highly recommend if you are trying to style a large piece. My husband Adam always pokes fun at me moving things around 100x until I get them right, but if I start small and build on it then this usually eliminates at least 50% of the rearranging. Anyway, here’s the first section I completed, which is the left side of the table.

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I went back and forth on using books in front of the large spool, a lot, but here’s the version without them. These are all things I gathered up around my house and took out of my decor stash. I am a firm believer that you don’t need to buy new things and spend a ton of money to decorate your home, just collect over time and reuse the same items.

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Here we have the right side of the table. I am a huge fan of this vintage birdcage and try to incorporate it into every season’s decor. Check out my post on the DIY clothespins here, if you want to make some of your own.

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And here is a photo of the entire table! I moved the copper lanterns down below for this photo, but they are glass and not conducive to being played with by a 1 year old, so they had to be moved out of reach. I am happy with how this table turned out and now I need the weather to cooperate so I can give some spring vibes to the front porch.

Soon. Very soon.

Until then, I want to thank you for stopping by the blog today and I hope you were able to gleam some inspiration for your own homes. I’m off to finish my list before nap time is over!

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The Easiest Decor DIY Ever!

Hi there! I’m writing to you from sunny Iowa, and while 40 degrees might not be warm where you are from, it’s certainly a welcomed sight in this region! Today I have a super easy and quick DIY ready for you, perfect for filling in those small spaces in your home.

You will need:

  1. Twine

  2. Clothespins

  3. Scissors

That’s it!

Let’s get to it!

I picked up these clothespins and twine from Lowes

I picked up these clothespins and twine from Lowes

Now that you have everything gathered up, take the scissors and cut a 2 to 3 foot section of twine and begin to wrap it around a clothespin, with no particular pattern. I like to choose varying lengths of twine and make some clothespins ‘fatter’ than others, so they all appear different when piled up together. Repeat this process as many times as you desire, and you can either hot glue the ends or simply tuck them in.

These little twine clothespins are great fillers for any decor, since they are neutral and not specific to a season. Here are a couple photos of how I used them just today.

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This project was also very budget friendly, I think the grand total was around $7. For those looking for clothespins, I found them in the cabinet organization section at Lowes (don’t ask me why they keep them there, I never understand how that place is organized).

Well, I am headed back outside now that all of my winter decorations are officially unfrozen from the front porch….it’s time to clean that area up!

As always, thanks for stopping by the blog today!

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The Kitchen Reveal You Don't Want To Miss!

Sometimes there are home improvement projects that linger, for years. This would be one of those projects. Our kitchen was 95% finished for the last two years, all but for some 6 or 8 back splash tiles and decor. Well, since this winter is approximately 15 months long, we had time to finally get a few things done around here and this project was one of them!

A little background info:

the home we currently live in was designed on a piece of notebook paper by my husband. We eventually had to have an architect develop the house plans off of our drawing (because let’s face it, we know nothing about truss systems for roof structures) but the floor plan stayed the same. Now we had previously built additions to homes, and remodeled existing structures, but building the entire home from scratch was a new endeavor. Oh, and did I mention we had never designed a kitchen… (yikes!).

So off we went with our notebook paper drawing to meet a local cabinet maker and have him help us come up with something. He told us what worked logistically for wiring and plumbing, and showed us some basic layouts he had in production. I knew I wanted something different and unique and by the time we left our first meeting I am pretty certain he thought I was nuts.

Fast forward to that next summer, and we were laying tile and painting the walls in preparation for the cabinet maker to bring and assemble the cabinets. I don’t have many pictures from this point in time (maybe because we were literally building our home during the night and working during the day), but this photo below shows you the basic outline of our cabinet system (excuse the contractor lighting and pizza box).

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The next step was to add counter tops and appliances, which then made this kitchen functional. We were on a time crunch, so finishing touches and decorating took the back burner. We just needed our kitchen to pass the final building inspection and we could worry about the rest later.

Originally, I was interested in concrete counter tops but my husband talked me out of it. We cook A LOT at our house, and he was afraid that we needed a stronger material that could take a beating without showing any signs of wear. I am happy to report that after three years of constant use, these quartz counter tops have held up perfectly and have zero imperfections.

We did add a stainless steel back splash behind the stove area pretty early on, and then gradually finished the rest of that wall with subway tile, as you can see pictured below.

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One of the first comments people usually make when they see our kitchen for the first time is that our cabinets look ‘beat up’. Well, I think this is where our custom cabinet maker thought I was nuts, but I wasn’t going to budge on the distressed look. The material is knotty alder, and we chose all of the wood that had the greatest amount of natural knots and ‘imperfections’. Then, combined with black glaze and iron knobs and pulls, this kitchen has the appearance that the cabinets are older or re-purposed, when in fact they are brand new. I know this is a unique look, and it’s not for everyone, but it really came together in the end and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.

Ok, fast forward a couple of years to present time, and the last of the subway tile was installed over the kitchen sink. During the notebook paper design phase, I had pictured a window for this space but it was not feasible since the garage was on the other side of the wall. I still decided to put a window in this space, but just had to be a bit more creative.

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I found an old farmhouse window at a salvage barn for $5, and I immediately knew it would work for this space. All of the glass was removed, which was perfect since it would make cleaning a breeze. This window frame is very light, and thus I was able to install it easily with command strips. Plus, I didn’t really want to drill into the fresh tile! (yikes!) And while I love our sink, I would have preferred a copper farm sink but that just wasn’t in the budget for this house (maybe next time!).

Here are a couple more photos/angles of our kitchen:

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Well I could go on and on about this kitchen, it really is the focal part of our home and I am so excited that it is finished. This was a huge lingering project that I can finally cross off of our list, all thanks to our epic long winter this year. If you have any other questions about the materials or process, feel free to leave a comment here or catch me on Instagram. As always, thanks for stopping by the blog today! We really appreciate your support!

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