Knowing These 11 Secrets Will Make Your Frugal Decorating Look Amazing

Rustic stacked stone mirror frame

11 Frugal DIY Upcycling Furniture Projects

Living thrifty and frugal doesn’t have to be ugly and boring. I’m not sure if I know how to decorate very frugal but lucky us, there are so many cute and cheap ways to decorate an apartment or a big house.

I know, I know, we see new interior design commercials and must-buy home decor ideas every day. Temptations, temptations….. what are we gonna do about it?

We don’t have money and space to buy all of those new trending decors, but we wants it….they are soooo precious.

Let me show you how you can (too) improve your house with these frugal decorating tips. So you can stop buying more stuff you don’t need.

Let’s change our motto to “Work with what you’ve got.”

All right, now let’s dig in and see how to decorate our house cheaply. ๐Ÿ˜‰

1. Rustic wall mounted wooden shelves

Rustic wall mounted wooden shelves

We love nature, and we like to walk on the beach with the dogs in the mornings. These walks clear my mind, and I can be so much better at my job. Sometimes after a nice big rain, we find a lot of driftwood on the beach.

That vertical piece on the picture is HEAVY. Putting it on the car to take it home was our workout for that morning.

And there it was, sitting on our driveway for months. We didn’t know what to do with it. We only knew we absolutely love it. Then I turned to my best friend (Pinterest) for rustic reclaimed wood home decor inspiration, and our idea was born.

2. Rustic wall mounted wooden lamp

Rustic wall mounted wooden lamp

Well, we felt like the rustic “let nature into our house” project wasn’t quite finished. We needed something vertical to the other side of the wall to complete the look.

I can totally see this cheap decorating trick for apartments too. Even though we finished our TV wall decoration with a big rustic lamp, you can do it in a small apartment. Probably you just have to find smaller driftwood on the beach to fit on your wall.

And this is how the whole wall looks like.

rustic driftwood repurposed home decor

3. Repurposed futon/ reading nook DIY

reading nook ideas for adults

If you read my other DIY posts you might know already we love to collect junk. Better said my husband likes it and I learned from him.

This futon has a long story. He was a bed for humans, for dogs, and an outdoor sofa in the old house.

Then we moved, and I couldn’t stand the futon anymore. BUT we kept it anyway. I spent many hours staring at him and kind of hating him…. until one day I figured it out!!!

I NEED A READING NOOK at the window whereย  I can enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning and admire the sunrise/ocean view. Amado took the futon apart repurposed all the wood and made a nook.

4. Collapsible murphy craft table

diy space saving ideas folding table

And the poor futon saga keeps going on. I needed a table for my sewing machine and my jewelry crafts.

Lucky me, Amado was super kind to use the leftover wood from the futon and make me a fold out table hidden in the little cabinet next to the reading nook.

This is my favorite table in the house. I can turn it in different angles if I want to see the ocean or the TV. We can use it as a serving table when we invite friends over, and end of the day just fold it and hide it back to the cabinet. Perfect for small apartments and tight places too.

5. Repurpose curtain and upholstery foam into a boho bean bag

pyramid bean bag pattern

So when you give in and buy the newest trendy farmhouse curtain use your old one to make a cute, cozy bean bag. I had these curtains with pom-poms and didn’t want to throw them away. Plus I had some cushions from the reading nook project, and we used them as a bean bag filling.

The whole project is from repurposed materials, and it was FREE!

6. Recycled sweater and blanket pillows

decorative pillow cases DIY

You see we live in Puerto Rico and I’m very attached to my sweaters and cardigans. BUT I never get to use them in the hot tropical weather.

They are super old anyway, and I have 2 options… I donate them or recycle them. I chose to repurpose my favorite ones and look at them a little longer.

Plus I was about to buy some decorative pillow cases. I made these pillow covers instead and saved the money. If you don’t want to sew you can watch this youtube video of how to make a no-sew pillow cover.

7. Repurposed pallet sofa bed for the living room

pallet sofa bed

The pallets are always a free source of wood, and you can use them for sooo many DIY home decor. Just look it up on Pinterest. People make a couch, shoe racks, bookshelves, outdoor bar out of them. (Just to name a few.)

You can get pallets from Walmart or your local stores, but if you live in a place where termites might be an issue I recommend to get treated ones.

I got 3 pallets from my work, and we decided to make a cozy living room lounge. We like it so much we pretty much live on it.

8. Repurposed computer desk and office DIY hacks

Repurposed computer desk and office DIY hacks

We had a chipped old ugly L shaped office computer desk. Probably you remember it had the holder for the computer tower too. Oooh and the keyboard tray.

It had 2 tables connected with a half moon piece. Therefore you get an L shaped corner office. It was very nice 20 years ago, but today in a limited office space I needed something smaller, but still functional.

Here is what I did.

    • I like silver, but this table was boring, so I decided to spray paint it red.
    • No longer wanted the L shape and decided to get rid of the half moon middle piece.
    • Turned one of the tables on its side and now I got a shelf for my printer and space for my file cabinet.
    • I used the keyboard tray to wall mount a folder holder.
    • I hated the glass desktop and decided to place a white plastic board under it. The glass gave a beautiful light blue look to that.
    • Finish the cozy office look I sew some red boho floor pillows form an old blanket.

9. Rustic stacked stone mirror frame

Rustic stacked stone mirror frame

I got these stone tiles for a couple of dollars in Home Depot and decided to make a funky rock frame around our boring mirrors in the bathroom.

Don’t worry it is finished. I went for this “broken” look in purpose.

It just happened I turned around, and I see the bathtub is naked. Luckily I had left over tiles and finished the bathtub too.

Rustic stacked stone bathtub



10. Beach themed picture from repurposed towels

upcycled towel home decorating ideas

Are you like me who keeps all the favorite beach towels forever? Because they remind you of the best vacations, you ever took?

I made these pictures from my all time favorite beach towel. It was old, ugly, had holes here and there, but I couldn’t throw it away. So I put it to good use and made cute beach themed pictures out of it.

I used an old clock and repurposed a bamboo placemat with some shells.

Well, that’s it for today. I’m sure I will find many more pictures of all the DIY home decor we have done, and I will update this post. Until then check out my DIY tutorials.

Have fun with your DIY upcycling furniture projects and get some ideas from here to repurpose as much old stuff as you can.

Don’t forget to PIN it and come back anytime to get inspired.ย 

Upcycling furniture project ideas for the frugal homemakers. DIY home decor is part of living thrifty and frugal. You'll find amazing but simple DIY ideas how to personalize your apartment on a budget.


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  1. Jenn Summers

    I absolutely love the mirror! I want to change mine up too! Love diy home decor. โค๏ธ

    • Andrea

      Right, Jenn? I found this stacked stone idea on Pinterest and followed my own design to get the “broken” look. People decorate with stones everywhere. Bathroom, living room, fireplace etc. Since we like nature and earthy interior designs I might use these stones for future DIY home decor projects. Stay tuned!

    • Andrea

      Thank you Erin! I hope you’ll make one unique reading nook for yourself soon and enjoy a cup of coffee.

  2. Tiana

    Cool ideas. Iโ€™m not naturally a crafty person so Iโ€™m always looking for creative ideas for my home!

    • Andrea

      Tiana, I’m glad you liked these cheap recycled decorating ideas. Most of them are easy to create. The nook and foldable table took a little more planning and doing, but it wasn’t impossible at all. I hope you’ll make some cool home decoration soon.

  3. Erin

    Super cute ideas! The best frugal tip is looking at Craigslist under the free section. Depending on your area you could redecorate your entire house for FREE! Love your tree wall, need to try this ๐Ÿ˜Šโค๏ธ

    • Andrea

      Thank you for the tip Erin! I wasn’t thinking about Craigslist at all. I will try it. There is nothing better than decorating for free. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  4. Eva

    Love your ideas! Reading futon looks AMAZING and very inviting ๐Ÿ™‚ Wish I had a window like that in my flat…And those sweater pillows, so creative – will definitely try this one.

    • Andrea

      Thank you, Eva! Even if you don’t have a window you still can build a nice, cozy reading nook in a corner. I think I forgot to mention I used the part of the sweater with the zipper. That way I can take it off and wash the pillow cover.

  5. Skyler

    I love the mirror! I never would have thought of that and it really adds a “pop” to the room. The recycled sweaters are a neat idea too. It reminds me of when my uncle passed away and my aunt had several of his shirts made into pillows for her grandkids so they had something to remember him by.

    • Andrea

      Oh, isn’t your aunt so sweet? That is a very nice idea. I feel the same way when I recycle something. It brings back good memories and I get to keep them a little longer.

  6. Cindy

    Iโ€™m so impressed with your fun projects! They give your home such a distinctive cozy look.

    • Andrea

      Thank you Cindy! They might not be the newest interior design trend, but I sure love them and enjoy them every day. ๐Ÿ˜‰


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