12 "Zero Dollar" Home Decorating Hacks

Looking for ways to spruce up your home for little to no money at all? It's not as hard as you think! These smart decorating tricks show you how to transform your spaces using everyday items you probably already have on hand.

By Caylin Harris | Updated Jun 09, 2016 12:23 PM

Shop Your Home

Redecorating Ideas

Don't get stuck in a decorating rut. Just because you purchased furniture for a specific spot doesn’t mean it has to stay there forever. Instead, move pieces like side tables, bar carts, or even artwork from one room to another to create unexpected combinations that can quickly refresh a space. If you're having trouble, try to think about colors that complement one another, or how you can add texture to a room that might not already have it.

Related:  Trading Places—9 Reasons to Steal Furniture from Other Rooms

Zillow Digs home in Berkeley, CA

Make Custom Pillowcases

DIY Pillow

Repurpose fabric you already have around your house to make fun custom pillowcases. Sew together old sweaters, tea towels, or T-shirts, and you'll end up with bright pops of color and unique patterns that you wouldn’t find at your standard home store.

Related:  10 Simple Ingredients for a Very Comfortable Bed


When in Doubt, Paint!

Paint Furniture

If you have leftover paint from your last DIY project, consider using it to spruce up a piece of generic or old furniture. It's amazing how a bright color like yellow or blue can liven up an old dresser or coffee table and make it the perfect addition to your space. 

Related:  10 IKEA Favorites Made Better by a DIY Paint Job


Try an Inventive Headboard

DIY Headboard

Skip spending the big bucks on a new version and give an existing headboard a fresh look by wrapping it with a blanket or fabric. Or, create a headboard from scratch by repurposing an old door, or suspending a favorite blanket or sheet on the wall, or painting a faux headboard for a pop of color, to add that finishing touch to your bedroom. 

Related:  Sweet Dreams—15 Inventive Beds You Can Make Yourself


Experiment with Wall Art

DIY Wall Art

Update your photos and art regularly, and don't be afraid to try new things. You can frame anything that speaks to you, whether that's a calendar, typographic print, or quote. Wrap the photo mats you already own with different-color fabric, frame a favorite scarf, or repaint existing frames the same color to create a statement-making gallery wall—there are endless options for putting a spin on your wall art.

Related:  8 Things You Never Thought to Frame—But Should


Use Natural Elements

Repurposed Branches

Found objects can be really handy (and readily available) when it comes to adding texture to your home. Grasses, branches, pods, and flowers can be turned into wreaths, hooks, or decorative fillers for centerpieces or vases. 

Related:  9 Inventive Ways to Decorate with Tree Trunks, Branches, and Twigs


Recycle Bottles and Cans

Wine Bottle Crafts

Aluminum cans without wrappers or glass bottles in interesting shapes or colors make for amazing centerpieces or catchalls. Unify a mismatched bottle collection by adding paint to the inside—combined, they'll make a colorful style statement in any room.

Related:  10 Totally Unexpected Things to Remake as Planters


Personalize with Fabric Paint

DIY Table Runner

All it takes is a steady hand and a little fabric paint to elevate simple basics into personalized showstoppers. Try stenciling designs on a variety of fabric surfaces, including rugs, lampshades, chairs, and even pillowcases, to give your everyday decor pieces an easy update. 

Related:  Reinvent Your Furniture with 9 Colorful DIYs


Make Use of Boxes, Crates, and Baskets

Storage Boxes

It seems like there's always a surplus of baskets and bins lying around the house. Put them to good use as functional—and decorative—storage. Line up canvas bins in the laundry room to separate whites from colors, corral loose living room toys in woven baskets, or employ a wire basket in the bathroom to hold extra toilet paper in a more attractive way. 

Related:  13 Unexpected Uses for Baskets


Display Your Collections

Displaying Collections

Heirlooms like vintage milk glass, tools, or old postcards can add a personal touch of style to any mantel or bookshelf. Presenting items that you love will not only give your space a one-of-a-kind look, but it will also remind you of favorite memories, making your space feel even homier. 

Related:  Show-Offs! 9 Inventive Ways to Display a Collection


Spruce Up Sofas

Sofa Upgrades

It's not practical to purchase a new couch every time you get bored with your current model, but that doesn't mean you can't give it a mini makeover. Drape a favorite throw blanket over a sofa back for a quick-change pop of color, or swap out your throw pillows in exchange for those in a different room. A little mixing and matching is a surefire way to get a fresh look with almost no effort

Related:  Couch Surfing—Top 10 Tips for Choosing the Perfect Sofa


Convert a Curtain into a Tablecloth

DIY Table Cloth

Curtains are an easily changeable accent that can add a punch of pattern and color to any space. If you've switched yours out in favor of a newer look but aren't quite ready to part with the old window hangings, repurpose them into a tablecloth for the dining room. All it takes is a little strategic cutting and hemming. (If you're not a confident seamstress, you can use hemming tape instead!) This can also work in reverse—tablecloths can make great curtains! 

Related:  13 DIY Window Treatments to Dress Up Your Space


Design on a Budget

cheap home decorating ideas

Decorating is all about being creative, which includes making use of what you already got. Try these ideas to freshen up your house's decor without busting a budget. 


Don't Miss!


Clever project ideas and step-by-step tutorials delivered right to your inbox each and every Saturday morning—sign up today for the Weekend DIY Club newsletter!