7 home decor projects for under $20 each

Do you crave a Pinterest-worthy home, yet lack the budget to fill your cart at Michael’s or Home Depot?
Worry not, as a beautifully decorated home can be achieved withou a maxed out Visa card!
You may need to put in a bit of time and effort, but in the end you’ll have a better looking home. Here are seven ways to upgrade the look of your home’s interior for less than $20.

Paint it

You may think of DIY painting as solely for wooden furniture, but there are so many other materials that can benefit from a coat of fresh paint.

Doorknobs. If you cringe at your outdated shiny bronze doorknobs, you can update the look with a can of spray paint. Check out these bloggers who used a single $6.76 can of oil rubbed bronze spray paint to update their 18 interior doorknobs! (Note, I did the same project a few years ago to coordinate the hardware in my 102-year-old house, and it’s held up beautifully.)

Upholstered furniture. Many people across the blogosphere have found success with painting upholstered furniture. It may sound like a one-way ticket to a stiff and uncomfortable seating situation, but apparently such is not the case. This woman painted a $20 velvet couch and created an extremely expensive looking piece that she swears is as soft as butter.

Lighting. Whether it’s an oxidized porch light, a slightly rusted bathroom light or simply an outdated metal choice, a can of spray paint can bring it back to life.

Wooden furniture. Painting is the easiest way to update a thrifted dresser, a framed mirror or even an entire dining room table. You can bring a high quality yet dated looking piece up to your decor standards with nothing more than a humble can of paint. Don’t forget to check out your local Habitat ReStore store when sourcing paint for your next project!

Rearrange it

If you’re craving a new look, sometimes all it takes is new placement of your furnishings. Find inspiration in magazines, library decor books and on Pinterest; and then hustle up some extra muscle for the big day. Common decorating mistake? Pushing all your furniture against the walls. Instead bring your furniture closer in for a cozy conversation area.

Look beyond the fabric store

Wanting new curtains or upholstery, but sticker shock keeps you from updating your look? Start looking at all fabric items as potential material for your next project. Whether it’s flat sheets transformed into curtains or a $3 tote bag turned into a lampshade, you can probably find what you need without the high cost of traditional fabric. A great source for on-trend patterns is the clearance section of big box stores like Target for on-trend fabric tablecloths. They make great curtains!

Clean and declutter

This one’s not so fun, but you know that your home looks better when it’s clean, fresh and organized. Pretend that you’re putting your house up for sale and follow these frugal staging tips to treat yourself as well as you would a potential buyer.

Start shopping second hand

If the thought of used stuff gives you the heebie-jeebies, then it’s time to give it a second chance. Although some decor items do need to be painted or fixed up, many do not. My home is decorated with secondhand finds that mostly set me back just a couple of bucks. Unsure where to start? Check out thrift shops and garage sales in affluent neighborhoods, as they will often yield the highest quality items.

Frame it

You don’t have to spend a ton of money for artwork. Mismatched and outdated frames can easily get an updated look for nothing more than the cost of some spray paint. I’m a fan of classic black frames, but white or even a bold bright color can create a cohesive look from a hodge-podge group of frames. Unsure what to frame? Look in thrift shops and used book stores for illustrated classics and botanical prints that can bring instant sophistication to any room. A $10 budget might bring you an entire room of art.


Cover it

Fabric for reupholstering furniture can easily set you back more than the cost of some brand new furniture. (Hello, Ikea!) Luckily, there’s a not-so-secret trick for cheap fabric, which is to use canvas drop cloths, also known as painter’s tarps. How cheap? $10.98 for a 6-foot X 9-foot piece from Home Depot! Decor bloggers and interior designers love this option, and there are countless projects across the blogosphere and apparently even Pottery Barn was in on the look.


If you’re craving a beautifully decorated home, but forgot to be born into the Rockefeller family, you still have options. Some of the most interesting and beautiful homes have been crafted using not much more than curbside finds and a honed eye. Necessity is the mother of invention, and there’s no place where this rings more true than in the home. For about the price of an extra-large pizza, you can bring beauty into your home.

Read more: Cheap customizable furniture is the wave of the future

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