Some days I stand in the middle of this hallway with the sun on my face and the wind at my back and I am amazing.
I am so amazing I would make your head spin.
There are all those days when I’m simply—so close.
That’s kind of how it’s been going with my 30 Days of FREE.
So I thought I would round up all the 16 days we’ve had so far and put them into one post.
Are you ready?
Are you set?
Want to decorate your house for FREE?
Me, too. 🙂
DAY 1: FREE SPRING MANTEL
Here’s a fun idea to create a free spring mantel.
I took empty mason jars and staggered them on the mantel.
The more the merrier.
I think I have about 10 jars. And then? I went out to the yard and cut a few branches off a tree. I filled the mason jars with water and staggered the cut branches in them at different heights. Make sure to fluff all that free.
DAY 2: TWIG VASE
Let’s start by shopping the yard.
Take a moment to step outside and look around for twigs. Bring a basket and search the ground. Look high and low for twigs. You are looking for twigs that are at least 8 inches long and have a little personality. Find about 20-25 twigs and bring them inside. If it’s wet where you are you may want to let the twigs dry out.
Here’s a fun project to create from all those twigs. Clip the twigs to extend about 4 inches above the edge of the vase. Start with one twig and glue in place. Continue gluing until the vase is covered. Fill with fresh flowers and decorate.
DAY 3: MIX AND MATCH YOUR PILLOWS
Walk over to your couch or love seat or upholstered chair and take off all the pillows. Take off all the pillows that you own and put them in a giant pile on the floor. Kind of like a giant pillow family reunion. And then? I want you to look at them with a new eye. Are there patterns? Did the pillow from the living room go with the pillow from the chair in your guest room? Did the pillow from that chair in the hallway want to be friends with the pillow from the dining room chair?
Decorating with pillows is as easy as 1, 2, 3, 4.
Pattern. Texture. Solids. Statement piece.
1. Pattern: small or large, some sort of pattern to add visual interest
2. Texture: a little texture to mix it up
3. Solids: a solid gives the eye a place to rest
4. Statement: A bold pillow that creates a conversation.
DAY 4: REDECORATE THE COFFEE TABLE
Start by clearing everything you have off the coffee table. Keep what you love and donate the rest.
(total aside: Are you noticing a trend here. Yes. You got it. You figured it out. Most of these challenges are about shopping our house.)
(total additional aside: You are brilliant.)
Shop your house for items in these three categories:
1. Something green—either faux (there’s no shame in that game) or you can shop your yard, too.
2. Something metal
3. Something tall (or some way to add height)
4. Something with texture
DAY 5: DECORATE WITH TOWELS
Shop your linen closet.
Find two or three or four of the cutest towels you have. They don’t even have to match (just between us not-matching is sometimes even better).
Fold them in half.
Then fold them in thirds one over the other.
That’s how my mother-in-law folds her towels and I learned from the best. Find a stool or basket or other small piece of furniture and place it against the wall of your bathroom.
Then place the stack of towels on top.
DAY 6: SHOP THE REFRIGERATOR
Next time you take out a decorating magazine and flip through the pages and then close your eyes and sigh and wonder why your house doesn’t look like it vacations in the south of France.
Forget about France. Look at the counters in the kitchen or the coffee table in the living room or the sideboard in the dining room. Chances are that you will spot some type of fruit or vegetable.
Why do they do that?
Is it because every photographed house has hungry people ready to grab an apple at a moment’s notice?
They add fruit or vegetables because it brings an element of freshness to the space—a freshness you can bring to your house for FREE.
All you have to do is shop the refrigerator. You probably have oranges or apples or cumquats or artichokes or peaches or carrots or tangerines just waiting to decorate. Take a bowl and put them in it. Place it on your sideboard or counter or hutch or side table.
Just in case a magazine wants to stop by and photograph.
DAY 7: DECORATE WITH BRANCHES
Birds are singing.
Trees are full of leaves.
There are branches outside. Here’s a simple idea I created using a few branches and jute twine.
Take a grate (like these) or an empty picture frame or even a piece of wood.
Cut some branches from the yard. Wrap the ends of them with jute twine and then tie them onto the grate or frame. If you are using a piece of wood, use a nail or hook to anchor them.
Then let the branches dry in place.
DAY 8: MAKE YOUR LINEN CLOSET SMELL LIKE SPRING
I know this isn’t exactly decorating, but it’s something I started doing lately and I wanted to share.
Sometimes I open up my linen closet and it smells a little stale.
Like the towels need to take a shower.
Here’s an easy solution.
Shop your laundry supplies. Find the dryer sheets and tuck a few away in your linen closet. I put mine between a few sheets and tucked a few on the bottom of the shelves. It’s amazing how much difference a few dryer sheets can make.
And those towels?
They smell so much better.
DAY 9: DECORATING WITH DISHES
Open up your kitchen cabinets. Don’t be shy.
All of them.
Don’t forget the ones on the top that have stuff in them that you totally forgot about.
Take out those stacks of dishes that have been waiting around since 1976 for another centennial to come around.
Take them out.
Rinse them off until they are super shiny.
Let them dry.
Hang them on a wall, display them in a kitchen hutch, stack them up under a cloche, place them in the back of a bookcase or even set the dining room table for company.
DAY 10: CREATE A VALANCE FROM A DISHCLOTH
Today is all about shopping our kitchen drawers.
See that valence over the sink?
Guess what I made it from?
I know, right? Isn’t it so cute? And it adds a little pattern to the kitchen.
I simply took pushpins and used them to hang up the dishtowels in the window.
Shop your own drawers or fabric stash for some material and decorate your windows for FREE.
DAY 11: PAINT SOMETHING WITH PAINT YOU ALREADY HAVE
See that hutch?
It’s one of my favorite yard sale finds EVER in the history of ever.
I didn’t have enough paint to paint the entire piece, so I painted it with four different types of grays that I had leftover in my garage.
Look around the house.
Do you have something that needs a new look?
Why not paint it with leftover paint you have?
It’s a whole new look for a space for FREE.
DAY 12: DECORATE WITH BOOKS
Have a table that needs a little accessory?
Take a few books and turn them this way and that. Place something on top—a magnifying glass, a tiny picture frame, a bowl of fruit or any other small accessory.
Instant side table display.
Decorate a flat basket with them. Add small boxes and other accessories to fill out the basket.
Use them in a creative coffee table display. Books are a great way to add height to your display. Just add or take away from the stack until they are the right height.
DAY 13: DECORATE WITH BOOK PAGES
Start with a book that has a few pages to spare.
Start creating. Here, I’ve taken a page from a book and simply tacked it onto an old cabinet door. You could do the same thing in your home with a piece of wood or frame. If the frame doesn’t have a back—why not punch a hole in the top of the book page with a hole punch and tie it onto the frame.
Or make a wreath for your wall from book pages. Cut out leaves from book pages and glue them onto a cardboard circle and hang up. Crinkle the leaves slightly to create a dimensional effect.
DAY 14: HANG A WREATH FROM A RIBBONS
Most of us have a wreath in our stash.
The one hiding in the attic or closet or cabinet in our house.
Why not take out that wreath and dust it off?
Wipe it down and make it fresh. And then hang it from a ribbon.
If you have an old belt buckle or oversized round ring or even a cast-off piece from an old jewelry set in your junk drawer, wrap the ribbon through that and then through the wreath and glue in place so your wreath hangs perfectly.
DAY 15: REARRANGE YOUR FURNITURE
I had the hardest time with this room.
I couldn’t get it right. I moved the desk to one side and then the other. I just couldn’t get perspective.
When we added this rug to the space, we pulled out all the furniture (except the desk because it’s too heavy). Seeing the room empty helped give me new ideas on where things should go and now?
I love the new arrangement.
One of my best tips for decorating your house for FREE is to empty a room.
Let it breath.
And then shop the rest of your house. You probably have the perfect table for a space just waiting in another room.
DAY 16: MAKE YOUR OWN PAPER FEATHERS
Today we are shopping the scrapbook paper closet.
Find a piece of scrapbook paper in a pretty pattern that you love and let’s make feathers out of it.
Cut a feather shape out of the paper (you can find tons of templates online).
Next, cut the edges on a diagonal.
Crimp the edges to create the feather look and your feather is ready to decorate.
Make a wreath from the feathers.
Or a feather garland.
Or frame one or two feathers as art.
Or decorate your side table with a stack of books with a feather on top.
That was a lot.
And we still have 14 days to go of fun.
I hope today’s post inspired you.
I hope you find a new way to look at something or rearrange something or repurpose something that you already have.
And create the home that you love.
Without ever spending a dime. 🙂
PS Want more ideas? See the rest of the 30 days here.