Easy DIY Home Decor Projects for the Budget Minded Homemaker


craft supplies

Have Pottery Barn taste on a thrift store budget? (Don’t we all? I would love to have the budget for coffered ceilings, but will have to learn to love my builder grade popcorn ceilings for a while longer!) These are some easy DIY home decor projects that can have your house looking catalog worthy (like adding a few key pieces like a rug) at a fraction of the cost.

Painted Vases

painted vase
Painted vases are just one way to liven up your decor and on a budget.

Painted vases are a sweet way to add style to your home for pennies. Snag a few small, empty glass bottles out of your recycling bin.

  • Wash and dry them. Raid your paint supplies and find colors that match your décor and get to work.
  • Paint the outside of the jar with acrylic paint in two or three light coats. Once the paint is dry, add water and flowers!
  • Tie raffia near the top, or add a ribbon for an extra embellishment and give one to a neighbor to brighten their day.

Beachy Rope Style Candle Holders

Upgrade inexpensive candles.

Head to the nearest thrift store or dollar store and pick up a selection of various sized glass cylinder candle holders, some twine or rope and bags of candle sand.

  • Glue the end of the rope near the bottom of the holder, and wrap the rope around the perimeter, making several rotations, gluing as you go. Keep wrapping until the rope is about 1/3 of the way up the candleholder.
  • When you’ve finished wrapping, secure the end of the rope with glue.
  • For extra beach feel, attach shells, sand dollars or starfish.

Slip in a candle and imagine you’re at the shore. A collection of these would be lovely on a mantle or as a centerpiece!

Kitchen Message Board

Love the look of those chalkboard message boards in magazines? You can make your own for under $5 and in about 15 minutes. While you’re picking up supplies for the beach style candle holders, grab a few decorative silver serving trays and small easels.

Paint the flat part of the tray with chalkboard paint. After it dries, prepare the surface by covering the paint with chalk.

Wipe off with a damp cloth and write your family a message on your new board! Display on an easel in the corner of the kitchen, the living room, wherever you want it to be seen!

Growth Chart Ruler

Maybe your house has a growth wall or the back of a door where you mark off the growth of your kids. Instead of marking up the walls, make one of these amazing growth rulers for a fraction of a catalog’s cost, or even on Amazon (affiliate link). Head to a home improvement store and grab a 1” x 8” x 6” board. Stain the board in a light shade and let it dry. With a measuring tape and pencil, mark off measurement notations on the board so it resembles a giant ruler.

  • Draw the measuring lines in with a permanent marker. Hang the ruler in a hallway or child’s bedroom. Be sure to take into account any baseboards that are on the wall so your ruler lines up correctly!

Put out the Welcome Mat

I love the look of a personalized welcome mat, but don’t like the look of the price tag. When I found a plain, bristle door mat at the store, my DIY went into overdrive.

With a cereal box, a roll of painter’s tape and a can of spray paint, you’ll be ready to spring into action.

Lay the cereal box out flat, and trace your initial in an easy, block shape. Cut it out your initial and set aside. You’ll be using the negative of the stencil. Center the stencil on the mat. Using painter’s tape, mark off a frame around the mat as a decorative touch. Lightly spray paint the mat. Let the paint dry and remove the stencils. You’re ready to welcome friends and family in style!


Even with a small budget, you can still add personalized touches to your home. Don’t be afraid to experiment with things you already have, or pick up things at thrift stores that you can repurpose. Let your house reflect your style!

Photo credit flickr creative commons.

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