Budget Decorating
(featured column)

How To Turn Yard Sale Finds into Home Decorating Masterpieces!

by Kathleen Wilson


The time of year is here for yard sales, and there is no better place for budget decorators to find the best treasures! The trick is in recognizing an item's potential. Here are some great ideas for turning low cost yard sale finds into great home decorating accessories for your home!  More...

1. Look Little  

Donít overlook the impact little items can make in your dťcor. Costume jewelry, craft beads, even hardware wire can be transformed into beautiful details for your home. Use earrings to pin together guest towels, wrap a chandelier with a crystal necklace, or use the wire to string on beads and twist around iron staircase railings.

2. Look Big  

An old 70ís waterbed might not seem like a good find, unless you just use the headboard, paint it white, and turn it into a cottage style display case for your china and glassware! Old laminate storage cabinets can be transformed into a gorgeous armoires by adding some molding, priming with Kilz, and adding the paint color and technique of your choice!

3. Look for Raw Materials  

You can find resources for fabric at yard sales in clothing, sheets, and quilts and blankets. Remember, a stained lace tablecloth can be cut down to make placemats or runners, and a beautiful ski sweater can be used to front a throw pillow. That silk dress you pick up for $3 might offer great fabric for covering storage boxes, photo matting, or edging towels. Used blankets can be washed and used to line quilts, or cut, rolled up and covered to make neck roll pillows.

4. Look Beyond 

Many items at garage sales may be used for different uses than originally intended, if you just keep your eyes open! You may find a beautiful serving bowl, but get it for $1 because of itís chipped edge! No worries, a gorgeous planter for the front porch! A small bookshelf that isnít sturdy enough for books could be painted and placed on the deck or the entry to hold plants or knick knacks. I even saw one person cut the toe out of an old leather boot, and use it as a splashguard at the downspout! If an item catches your eye because of color or interest, try to see how it could be used in a different way, and buy it for a song!

5. Learn Some Creative Paint Finishes

Most of the things you find at yard sales can be upgraded in an afternoon with an interesting paint finish. You can find many instructions on the internet. I really love www.PaintIdeas.com for some great inspiration. 

There you have it! Put a couple of bucks in your wallet, always remember to offer a lower price than marked, and donít be afraid to pick up something because you love it, even if you donít know what to do with it quite yet! (Keep reading my Budget Decorating column, youíll think of something!)

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Copyright © 2005 by Kathleen Wilson.  All rights reserved.

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