So, the recession is here and it looks like it has settled in for a nice and comfy stay. The impact it has had on our budgets and spare cash is showing, and most of us are starting to feel the sting of it right now. And one side effect of all these rising costs is that we end up spending a lot more time at home than we used to.
From entertaining to exercising, the home is where it's at. It is cheaper to stay in than it is to go out. But…it can also have one not so wonderful side effect – you start to notice all the little problems and issues and things that need to be done. The peeling paint, the lack of rugs, the list can go on and the cost can be a bit scary.
Instead of forking out thousands on an interior designer or new furniture and a paint job, you can ease the eyesores with a few clever tricks that won’t cost you very much at all. And, with your own personal creative touch, they can utterly transform your home.
Ever heard of Feng Shui? It is the Eastern Art of Placement – where you put specific objects affects the energy of your home. I know quite a few people who swear by it and if you are interested in alternative uses of space, light, and objects, then this could be right up your alley. The site Feel Good Home Design and Feng Shui has a fantastic feature with seven inexpensive ways to revitalise your home.
Read through the piece, even if you are not converted to the concept of Feng Shui, as many of the ideas can be used just to blast some fresh air through your home. Like the idea of rearranging your furniture and your stuff. Just changing where the couches sit can make a huge difference.
Another fabulous idea that came my way this very morning was to transform an old bicycle into a garden feature. Yes, seriously! The idea appeals to me immensely and is so very clever. All you need is an old bike, a Dremel Hobby 7700 multi-tool (or equivalent), engraving cutters, a wood drill, a large wooden box or planter, soil, and spring flowering plants.
Cut the tracing paper to fit one side of the wooden box, draw a basket weave pattern on the tracing paper, tape the paper in position and trace the pattern down. Fix an engraving cutter into the Dremel Hobby 7700 multi-tool and carve the pattern, then add detail to the carving with the multi-tool and engraving cutter.
Attach the basket to the bicycle by drilling two holes on either side of the panier and attach with strong metal clips. Then create a cut flower display inside the box using roses or trailing ivy. Simple and ever so lovely. And the more the bike rusts, the better it will look.
Take old clothes and make household items with them. There are plenty of patterns out there for you to transform torn and tatty jeans into things that will amaze you. Check out this fantastic post on Blisstree – how to make anything from a pocket fridge magnet to a quilt.
Using these ideas you can change your entire house and redecorate it without spending more than the cost of some thread. Now, that is seriously thrifty AND you will definitely get some comments from visitors.
If you don’t have a ton of old jeans but you do happen to have plenty of t-shirts (or similar fabric items) then why not recycle and reuse those in a variety of ingenious ways? They can be stripped down to make very effective cleaning rags, or turned into pillows, or even into dresses for the kids. Although please do make sure you can find a good pattern for the latter or your child will hate you forever.
I recently dug out a pile of old pillowcases that had lost their joie de vivre and their partners. Instead of throwing them out, I dyed them again and turned them into dresses. You can use a specific pillowcase dress pattern like this one, or you can knit/crochet a top and stitch that to a pillowcase that has been cropped. These make absolutely lovely dresses and recycle old items.
So, there are some sweet and thrifty ideas for transforming your home on a budget. There are zillions and squillions more genius ideas out there so take a look and see what takes your fancy. And have fun!