Save money and add charm with these DIY home decorating projects

The DIY trend in home improvement is not going anywhere anytime soon. From those eager to save some money to those wanting to dig deep into a creative hobby, DIY aims to please on many levels.

Even if you’ve got some money set aside for decor upgrades, or if your previous attempts at DIY have been lackluster, you might be surprised to learn that it doesn’t take that much — or any — money and energy to change up the look of your space. Here are some ways to spruce up your home quickly and easily.

[DIY or Don’t? What to Consider Before Taking on Your Own Home Improvement Projects]

Rearrange Furniture

Sure, it’s the same old chair you’ve had in your living room for ages. But move it to another spot in the house and it could seem like a brand-new piece of furniture.

“We tend to anchor furniture to a particular space, neglecting the idea that its character can transform with a fresh setting,” says Artem Kropovinsky, interior designer and founder of Arsight, an interior design studio in New York. To further rejuvenate the look of old furniture, he recommends reupholstering, perhaps choosing fabric in a unique pattern or bold color.

Simply moving a rug from one room to another can add a new vibrancy to your living space — even if it’s been there all along. “It’s about rediscovering the charm in the pieces you already possess,” Kropovinsky says.

[What’s Your Home Decorating Style? How to Find It and Use It]

Repurpose Broken Items

Accidents happen, and things break. But unless the object is completely shattered, there could be a second chance among the ruins.

Emily Auffrey, a home decor content creator on Instagram, recalls the time she broke the base of a lamp. Rather than toss it in the trash, she upcycled the wicker lampshade into a planter.

“I love creating, so a broken item is a fun challenge for me,” Auffrey says.

Find Alternative Uses for Objects

So much of interior design stems from letting your imagination run wild — and that includes thinking beyond what an object was initially designed to do.

Veteran DIYer and U.S. News & World Report real estate writer Kristi Waterworth repurposed vintage wooden soda bottle crates as spice racks in her kitchen. The openings that once held glass bottles now hold her spice containers. “One (crate) is from the old bottler in my hometown, so it was kind of neat to find it,” she says.

A self-proclaimed “plant parent,” Auffrey tends to look at objects in terms of gardening. For example, a mortar and pestle becomes a plant pot, and even an old boat can be transformed into a garden. “I feel like giving things a second life is such a fun challenge, and it gives it character and a story to share with guests when they come over,” she says, adding that the fun for her is enhancing something with her personal touch.

Waterworth is also an avid gardener and has turned old washtubs into outdoor planters. “You just set the drain to the open position and put some gravel in the bottom and soil on top of that,” she explains.

Leverage Leftover Wallpaper

If you’ve got wallpaper in your home, chances are you’ve got rolls tucked away in a closet or a drawer. Kropovinsky calls them “treasure troves for imaginative decor.”

Kropovinsky suggests cutting wallpaper to line the backs of bookcases or the insides of drawers and cupboards. You can cut them and put them in frames for instant wall decor. “Such minute changes may seem inconsequential individually, but together, they amplify the essence of the room,” he explains.

Mimi Meacham, owner and principal designer of Marian Louise Design in Houston, Texas, recommends refurbishing old books by covering them in wallpaper to add a decorative element to a shelf or bookcase.

[Read: Creative Uses for Wallpaper]

Even Pro Designers Channel DIY Energy

DIY decor projects are not only for frugal-minded homeowners. Savvy interior designers know that buying new isn’t always the answer.

“I love to repurpose home goods and decor,” says Meacham. “It’s like a personal challenge — the longer you can use a piece and in different creative ways, the better.”

For example, if you’ve got an heirloom quilt that you can’t bear to part with but don’t want to use as an actual quilt, Meacham says you can transform it into “funky and unique” throw pillows instead.

Could your “new” home decor be lurking in a closet or even in another room? Before you head out on a shopping trip, consider taking a second look at what you currently own. You never know what might have a second life in livening up your space.

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Save Money and Add Charm with These DIY Home Decorating Projects originally appeared on

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