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Favorite Frugal Decorating Tip

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I love the idea of using sheets and even thrift-shop clothing items to decorate with.  Saw a great article on this type of thing.  

The decorator had used a plaid theme.  The plaids didn't match, but were the same basic tones (red, green, white, a little bit of blue).  She made curtains of one plaid, pillows of two other plaids, and accessorized by gluing plaid fabrics on things like the waste basket, lamp shades, etc.  

Table runner, placemats etc. were bought at a dollar store.

The whole effect was very pleasing (and not as "busy-looking" as one might expect) made for a cozy reading corner or den.

I have a great idea for fabric from the thrift stores! Look at long prom dresses...especially ones with a lot of fabric or bows to them. Check them well, for spots, but a lot of these are in satin,lace,etc. Think of the wonderful pillows, chair covers, placemats, napkins, etc. that you could make from this! This is just another way of thinking "out of the box" and being able to think of a new use for a lot of fabric, at a very resonable price!

I shop at thrift stores to find items for my home, but my favorite decorating tip is to look for fabrics at the thrift stores in places you wouldn't think of.  I will use a beautiful(but out of style) skirt to make a pair of curtains or a pillow, or a tablecloth for a small round table (with a contrasting fabric for the top).  I've made pillows from shirts, it actually adds designer detail to have buttons running down the front, and a button up pillow allows you to wash the cover if there is a spill.  I always go to the thrift store before I hit the fabric stores for large pieces of fabric for curtains or tableclothes.  I constantly find beautiful sheets or blankets, or even actual curtains that I redesign to make my own desired curtains.  I have also used curtains to make slipcovers for couches, chairs, and dining room chairs.  The heavy curtains make great durable fabric for slip covers.  And you can use grippy shelf liner or rug holder under your slip cover to keep it from sliding around.  I always try to look at the item as a piece of fabric instead of a shirt or a skirt.  I just love the idea of redesign since it saves money, is creative and recycles.

I have done a lot with bed sheets.  I am a big Ralph Lauren fan and really like his sheets, etc...  

One pattern in particular finally became available at places like Marshalls, TJ Maxx, and even RL Outlet stores.  I bought six King-size flat sheets in this pattern.  I now have drapes for 3 windows, a duvet cover, and even a couple of pillow covers made of this fabric.  

What would have normally amounted to many $100's in regular full retail prices, I was able to get about 6 flat sheets for less than $100.  A little imagination and a friend who could sew made my room look great!  

Also, I have a few really nice white linen tableclothes that I found in antique shops that were VERY cheap....  Not a thing wrong with the fabric, so now when I entertain, I really can make things look very nice!

It really pays to shop around and consider how to turn a simple object into something really spectacular.

My daughter wanted a princess room, so I did a search and found a great site that had patterns for do it yourself wall murals, and articles with ideas on ways to make your own accessories like picture frames, chalkboards, etc.

The room looks great and we spent less than $100 redoing it because we coordinated the mural and accessories with bedding she already had.

The url to the princess room is and you can go from there to see the other articles.


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