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16 Budget-Friendly Home Decor Hacks

16 Budget-Friendly Home Decor Hacks

How many times do you secretly love sending your guests’ jaws to the floor as they admire your creative brilliance – and your professional home fashion sense? Playing it off like it was just “something you came up with on the spot.” A lot, right? Shhh, I do too. Makes me feel good to be the envy of friends and family who stop by for a visit. And, it makes me proud of myself – and I, ultimately, was glad I took the leap and just got down to it.

You know hacks, we know hacks. They make life easier. Sometimes, something so simple can end up changing the way you do things, which has an ever-lasting effect.

Especially when you’re decorating a property for rent, and want to make it as inviting and homely for your tenants as possible. But want to do it on the cheap, without letting them know. Home decor DIY hacks are awesome for “covering up the warts” (or flaunting them, if that’s what you’re going for) of old stuff that would’ve been thrown out into new items that make your home exciting (and actually fun) to be in.

Whatever you’re designing, it’s crucial to pick out exciting decor that spruces up any room you desire. No matter the room. A lot of the creative ideas you’re about to sift through put action into your home or rental unit. Doing away with the boring “matching sets” of some items… And are ideas I’m personally going to try out myself!

1. Paint, Paint, Paint

Some sweet-looking kitchen furniture, for a matching set, can be way outside your budget. Which is a shame… Because there are some really cool ones out there.

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Nevermore! Now, to save tens (or hundreds) of dollars – simply head to your favourite thrift or second-hand store, pick out cheap chairs (that satisfy you)… and a bucket of paint of your favourite colour. And get to work! Voila. A beautiful set of mix-matched chairs that spruces up your home. Who doesn’t love colour?

2. Hide Wires

Tired of having wires and cables run along your home? One thing you can do is buy small plastic “boards” shaped like fences. Then line them against your wall, and fit your cables behind them. Cute design and perfect function. Win win.

3. Tape Your Walls

Do you have kids who are at the age of “I’m a masterpiece artist!” Give your walls their artistic touch without the messy scribbling by letting them design their hearts out using neon masking tape. It pulls off easy and leaves no messy residue. All kinds of shapes can be made!

4. Candle Holders

Have a few Votive candles but no candle-holder for them? Flip over a wine glass on its rim and put the candle smack-dab in the middle.

5. “Tacky Art”

Grab a blank canvas and stick thumbtacks in it for literally endless designs. Use your imagination!

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6. Pack Up Your Towels

This sweet idea comes courtesy of WooHome. Grab an old suitcase nobody’s using anymore and hammer the inside of it to your bathroom wall. Now you have a “cupboard” for all your towels.

7. Hanging End Table

Grab a thick piece of wood, any kind of wood you enjoy. Then, simply use it as the base for a swing. Hang it up in a corner as a nifty little end table!

8. Swing, Swing, Swing

Have a wooden chair with broken legs, or which just doesn’t serve a purpose anymore? Give it a purpose by turning it into an outdoor swing with nothing more than lots of rope.

9. DIY Braided Rug

Tired of buying ten different rugs in a year? A Beautiful Mess lists a budget-friendly way to make your own braided rug that lasts for ages.

10. Plants and Ladders!

Some shelves are massive things that take up a lot of space. And can be expensive. Even if you find one that’s budget-friendly, chances are it doesn’t match the look you’re going for. That’s why old, rusty ladders that no longer serve their purpose are an absolute haven!

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Here’s why: Grab a wooden ladder you’re not using anymore, hammer in some two-by-fours (or whatever board is wide enough to hold your potted plants). And rest your favourite potted friends on the shelves. Presto!

11. Paint Your Cutting Board

Sick of looking at a thick, plain cutting board? Head to the stores and pick out non-toxic craft paint in your favourite colours and get to work! For best results, use 3 coats around each edge to make it pop even more. Just be sure not to use light-coloured paint. Overtime they’ll turn yellow. Unless that’s what you’re going for.

12. Put Your Pennies To Use

This tip comes courtesy of Lushome. In this article they show you 25 different creative ways to put your pennies to use. I mean, really. Who doesn’t have a thousand pounds of pennies that stores don’t take anymore?

One idea that punched me in the face was the “Penny Vase”. Simply grab a blank vase (bought for cheap at your favourite thrift shop)or a vase that’s too ugly to put on show in your home. And superglue each and every individual penny you have to the vase. Easy!

Check out Lushome for some really jaw-dropping ideas of what you can do with those pennies.

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13. Ribbon Chandelier

Chandeliers are classy. Here’s how you make your own using good ol’ fashioned ribbon! Wrap ribbon around a 12-inch wreath form. Using three colours of ribbon – cut lengths of 16 inches. Create a pattern by knotting the cut pieces of ribbon around the wreath at midpoints. You can attach it (using string) to another chandelier or hang it anywhere in the house!

14. Turn a Dinner Plate Charger Into A Mirror

  • Put adhesive on the back of your mirror.
  • Gently press the mirror to the center of the charger.
  • Let the adhesive dry.
  • Flip the charger/mirror over and hot-glue a sawtooth hanger on the back.
  • Hang up your new mirror!

15. Hold More Salt & Pepper!

Find any fifth of vodka, bourbon, or whatever you happen to find. Jack Daniels’ bottles work. Just make sure it’s a bottle of fifth. Bleach them, rinse them out, run them through the dishwasher. Voila! New containers for your salt and pepper.

16. Tape Your Hangers

Rather than going out and buying new, whacky, and fun hangers that cost about 2 or 3 bucks a pop (around here, anyway), why not grab some cheap, colourful masking tape and go to town? Seriously! Be done with the plain stainless steel hangers that look so sad, old, and tired in your closet. Grab some masking tape and just let loose.

Final Thoughts

There is no reason, no reason at all you should settle with what you have. What good is being alive at this point in life if you aren’t out there. Trying new things. Spicying things up a bit. Starting with your home! Far for me to suggest you try and shake things up, but nobody ever died from letting their freak flag fly. Just a wee bit.

I hope these hacks have helped you.

Featured photo credit: Kmart – Online Shopping Australia via kmart.com.au

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Last Updated on August 20, 2019

How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

How to Control Your Thoughts and Be the Master of Your Mind

Your mind is the most powerful tool you have for the creation of good in your life, but if not used correctly, can also be the most destructive force in your life.

Your mind, more specifically, your thoughts, affect your perception and therefore, your interpretation of reality. (And here’s Why Your Perception Is Your Reality.)

I have heard that the average person thinks around 70,000 thoughts a day. That’s a lot, especially if they are unproductive, self-abusive and just a general waste of energy.

You can let your thoughts run amok, but why would you? It is your mind, your thoughts; isn’t it time to take your power back? Isn’t it time to take control?

Choose to be the person who is actively, consciously thinking your thoughts. Become the master of your mind.

When you change your thoughts, you will change your feelings as well, and you will also eliminate the triggers that set off those feelings. Both of these outcomes provide you with a greater level of peace in your mind.

I currently have few thoughts that are not of my own choosing or a response from my reprogramming. I am the master of my mind, so now my mind is quite peaceful. Yours can be too!

Who Is Thinking My Thoughts?

Before you can become the master of your mind, you must recognize that you are currently at the mercy of several unwanted “squatters” living in your mind, and they are in charge of your thoughts. If you want to be the boss of them, you must know who they are and what their motivation is, and then you can take charge and evict them.

Here are four of the “squatters” in your head that create the most unhealthy and unproductive thoughts:

1. The Inner Critic

This is your constant abuser who is often a conglomeration of:

  • Other people’s words; many times your parents.
  • Thoughts you have created based on your own or other peoples expectations.
  • Comparing yourself to other people, including those in the media.
  • The things you told yourself as a result of painful experiences such as betrayal and rejection. Your interpretation creates your self-doubt and self-blame, which are most likely undeserved in cases of rejection and betrayal.

The Inner Critic is motivated by pain, low self-esteem, lack of self-acceptance and lack of self-love.

Why else would this person abuse you? And since this person is actually you– why else would you abuse yourself? Why would you let anyone treat you this badly?

2. The Worrier

This person lives in the future; in the world of “what ifs.”

The Worrier is motivated by fear which is often irrational and with no basis for it. Occasionally, this person is motivated by fear that what happened in the past will happen again.

3. The Reactor or Trouble-Maker

This is the one that triggers anger, frustration and pain. These triggers stem from unhealed wounds of the past. Any experience that is even closely related to a past wound will set him off.

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This person can be set off by words or feelings, and can even be set off by sounds and smells.

The Reactor has no real motivation and has poor impulse control and is run by past programming that no longer serves you, if it ever did.

4. The Sleep Depriver

This can be a combination of any number of different squatters including the inner planner, the rehasher, and the ruminator, along with the inner critic and the worrier.

The Sleep Depriver’s motivation can be:

  • As a reaction to silence, which he fights against
  • Taking care of the business you neglected during the day
  • Self-doubt, low self-esteem, insecurity and generalized anxiety
  • As listed above for the inner critic and worrier

How can you control these squatters?

How to Master Your Mind

You are the thinker and the observer of your thoughts. You must pay attention to your thoughts so you can identify “who” is running the show; this will determine which technique you will want to use.

Begin each day with the intention of paying attention to your thoughts and catching yourself when you are thinking undesirable thoughts.

There are two ways to control your thoughts:

  • Technique A – Interrupt and replace them
  • Technique B – Eliminate them altogether

This second option is what is known as peace of mind!

The technique of interrupting and replacing is a means of reprogramming your subconscious mind. Eventually, the replacement thoughts will become the “go to” thoughts in the applicable situations.

Use Technique A with the Inner Critic and Worrier; and Technique B with the Reactor and Sleep Depriver.

For the Inner Critic

When you catch yourself thinking something negative about yourself (calling yourself names, disrespecting yourself, or berating yourself), interrupt it.

You can yell (in your mind), “Stop! No!” or, “Enough! I’m in control now.” Then, whatever your negative thought was about yourself, replace it with an opposite or counter thought or an affirmation that begins with “I am.”

For example, if your thought is, “I’m such a loser,” you can replace it with, “I am a Divine Creation of the Universal Spirit. I am a perfect spiritual being learning to master the human experience. I am a being of energy, light, and matter. I am magnificent, brilliant, and beautiful. I love and approve of myself just as I am.”

You can also have a dialogue with yourself with the intention of discrediting the ‘voice’ that created the thought, if you know whose voice it is:

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“Just because so-and-so said I was a loser doesn’t make it true. It was his or her opinion, not a statement of fact. Or maybe they were joking and I took it seriously because I’m insecure.”

If you recognize that you have recurring self-critical thoughts, you can write out or pre-plan your counter thoughts or affirmation so you can be ready. This is the first squatter you should evict, forcefully, if necessary:

  • They rile up the Worrier.
  • The names you call yourself become triggers when called those names by others, so he also maintains the presence of the Reactor.
  • They are often present when you try to fall asleep so he perpetuates the Sleep Depriver.
  • They are a bully and is verbally and emotionally abusive.
  • They are the destroyer of self-esteem. They convince you that you’re not worthy. They’re a liar! In the interest of your self-worth, get them out!

Eliminate your worst critic and you will also diminish the presence of the other three squatters.

Replace them with your new best friends who support, encourage, and enhance your life. This is a presence you want in your mind.

For the Worrier

Prolonged anxiety is mentally, emotionally and physically unhealthy. It can have long-term health implications.

Fear initiates the fight or flight response, creates worry in the mind and creates anxiety in the body.

You should be able to recognize a “worry thought” immediately by how you feel. The physiological signs that the fight or flight response of fear has kicked in are:

  • Increased heart rate, blood pressure, or surge of adrenaline
  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
  • Muscles tense

Use the above stated method to interrupt any thought of worry and then replace it. But this time you will replace your thoughts of worry with thoughts of gratitude for the outcome you wish for.

If you believe in a higher power, this is the time to engage with it. Here is an example:

Instead of worrying about my loved ones traveling in bad weather, I say the following (I call it a prayer):

“Thank you great spirit for watching over _______. Thank you for watching over his/her car and keeping it safe, road-worthy, and free of maintenance issues without warning. Thank you for surrounding him/her with only safe, conscientious, and alert drivers. And thank you for keeping him/her safe, conscientious, and alert.”

Smile when you think about it or say it aloud, and phrase it in the present tense; both of these will help you feel it and possibly even start to believe it.

If you can visualize what you are praying for, the visualization will enhance the feeling so you will increase the impact in your vibrational field.

Now take a calming breath, slowly in through your nose, and slowly out through the mouth. Take as many as you like!

Replacing fearful thoughts with gratitude will decrease reactionary behavior, taking the steam out of the Reactor.

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For example:

If your child gets lost in the mall, the typical parental reaction that follows the fearful thoughts when finding them is to yell at them.

“I told you never to leave my sight.” This reaction just adds to the child’s fear level from being lost in the first place. Plus, it also teaches them that mom and/or dad will get mad when he or she makes a mistake, which may make them lie to you or not tell you things in the future.

Change those fearful thoughts when they happen:

“Thank You (your choice of Higher Power) for watching over my child and keeping him safe. Thank you for helping me find him soon.”

Then, when you see your child after this thought process, your only reaction will be gratitude, and that seems like a better alternative for all people involved.

For the Trouble-Maker, Reactor or Over-Reactor

Permanently eliminating this squatter will take a bit more attention and reflection after the fact to identify and heal the causes of the triggers; but until then, you can prevent the Reactor from getting out of control by initiating conscious breathing as soon as you recognize his presence.

The Reactor’s thoughts or feelings activate the fight or flight response just like with the Worrier. The physiological signs of his presence will be the same. With a little attention, you should be able to tell the difference between anxiety, anger, frustration, or pain:

  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure; surge of adrenaline
  • Shallow breathing or breathlessness
  • Muscles tension

I’m sure you’ve heard the suggestion to count to ten when you get angry—well, you can make those ten seconds much more productive if you are breathing consciously during that time.

Conscious breathing is as simple as it sounds; just be conscious of your breathing. Pay attention to the air going in and coming out.

Breathe in through your nose:

  • Feel the air entering your nostrils.
  • Feel your lungs filling and expanding.
  • Focus on your belly rising.

Breathe out through your nose:

  • Feel your lungs emptying.
  • Focus on your belly falling.
  • Feel the air exiting your nostrils.

Do this for as long as you like. Leave the situation if you want. This gives the adrenaline time to normalize.

Now you can address the situation with a calmer, more rational perspective and avoid damaging behavior.

One of the troubles this squatter causes is that it adds to the sleep depriver’s issues. By evicting, or at least controlling the Reactor, you will decrease reactionary behavior, which will decrease the need for the rehashing and ruminating that may keep you from falling asleep.

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Master your mind and stop the Reactor from bringing stress to you and your relationships!

For the Sleep Depriver

(They’re made up of the Inner Planner, the Rehasher and the Ruminator, along with the Inner Critic and the Worrier.)

I was plagued with a very common problem: not being able to turn off my mind at bedtime. This inability prevented me from falling asleep and thus, getting a restful and restorative night’s sleep.

Here’s how I mastered my mind and evicted the Sleep Depriver and all his cronies.

  1. I started by focusing on my breathing—paying attention to the rise and fall of my belly—but that didn’t keep the thoughts out for long. (Actually, I now start with checking my at-rest mouth position to keep me from clenching.)
  2. Then I came up with replacement strategy that eliminated uncontrolled thinking—imagining the word in while breathing in and thinking the word out when breathing out. I would (and do) elongate the word to match the length of my breath.

When I catch myself thinking, I shift back to in, out. With this technique, I am still thinking, sort of, but the wheels are no longer spinning out of control. I am in control of my mind and I choose quiet.

From the first time I tried this method I started to yawn after only a few cycles and am usually asleep within ten minutes.

For really difficult nights, I add an increase of attention by holding my eyes in a looking-up position (Closed, of course!). Sometimes I try to look toward my third eye but that really hurts my eyes.

If you have trouble falling asleep because you can’t shut off your mind, I strongly recommend you try this technique. I still use it every night. You can start sleeping better tonight!

You can also use this technique any time you want to:

  • Fall back to sleep if you wake up too soon.
  • Shut down your thinking.
  • Calm your feelings.
  • Simply focus on the present moment. 

The Bottom Line

Your mind is a tool, and like any other tool, it can be used for constructive purposes or for destructive purposes.

You can allow your mind to be occupied by unwanted, undesirable and destructive tenants, or you can choose desirable tenants like peace, gratitude, compassion, love, and joy.

Your mind can become your best friend, your biggest supporter, and someone you can count on to be there and encourage you. The choice is yours!

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Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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