The Best Tips for Fall Decorating On a Budget – An Exhaustive Compilation

best-tips-fall-decorating-on-budget-exhaustiveI’m coming at you today with the BEST fall budget friendly decorating tips. Are you excited!? Are you pumped!? Me too!! No one has a limitless budget–and everyone is looking for great deals and bargains galore. I was standing in the middle of dollar general the other day when I realized that I share shopping guides with y’all all the time but I never ever share some of my best shopping tips! That’s a real bummer. So below is the culmination of years of personal budget shopping research compiled into one place just for you. This is a hardcore budget shopping guide so grab a snack and get ready to save big bucks!

WHERE TO SHOP

Thrift Stores – It’s the last place you might think to look but I’ve found some amazing finds for literally pennies on fall dinnerware, glassware, flatware, cookie jars, figurines, faux floral, baskets, candle holders, candles, art, and picture frames. And bonus: it’s a sustainable way to shop. If you don’t already have a thrift store you visit frequently(you should because your missing out on great deals) visit the nearest Salvation Army which is located in almost every town. The next place I would look is a non-profit resale store.

Facebook Market Place –  You’re probably already on Facebook at this moment–hopefully that’s one of the ways you found this blog post–and Facebook Market Place is an excellent way to find great deals on someone else’s cast-offs. You would be amazed at all the stuff people are selling on there for next to nothing. The sky is the limit and you can be really specific about what you’re looking for by setting alerts for certain categories so you’ll get first dibs on an item you’ve been looking for.

Garage Sales – this is kind of a crap-shoot but the best way to go about this without wasting tons of time is to check the paper and craigslist a week before you’re planning on hunting. Sort through the posts and hone in on the houses that are selling the fall decor you’re looking for and get there early. Bonus: Garage sale shopping is an excellent excuse for early morning donuts.

Estate Sales – This is a real goldmine for seasonal decor and household items. Again, do your research a week in advanced online and in the paper to hone in on the houses that have what you’re looking for. Don’t expect to find treasures here at penny prices but do be respectful when asking about bulk pricing. Respect that these items belonged to a person who was once alive and that their family may attach sentimental value to them. Usually though, I’ve had great luck finding dinnerware and faux floral.

Dollar Tree – I love Dollar Tree. They have some really amazing deals and the stores are usually very very clean and the staff is always super friendly. My fall finds here are: dish towels, pot holders, dish drying mats, pillar candles, taper candles, glass taper holders($1 each), candleholders, matching dish sets/glass ware, charger plates, faux floral, seasonal disposable party supplies, small hanging signs, and wall hangings. Don’t forget BALLOONS! Dollar tree has the best balloon section for cheap! They are $1 each!

Dollar General – In Texas Dollar Generals can kind of be a hot mess, but if you live in Nashville were they are headquartered Dollar Generals are AWESOME! They have what they call super stores and they are like small Walmarts with grocery and three times the amount of stuff. If you are lucky enough to live in the Nashville area I’m probably already preaching to the choir. Nashvillians know! Dollar Generals in Dallas are still great and I buy the same sort of things from them as I do Dollar Tree with a few exceptions. My fall picks here are: floor rugs, dish towels, pot holders, dish drying mats, faux floral(I think dollar general has great faux floral), jar candles, metal yards signs & figurines, front door signs, wreaths, table runners, placemats, tabletop decor, serving platters, coffee cups, and string lights.

Hobby Lobby – God’s craft store is the best craft store! Right now all their fall decor–including floral–is 40% off. It’s a great place to shop and use the always available 40% off coupon. If something your looking for is not on sale then wait for it to go on sale–because it will. They have the best floral, ribbons, and votive/pillar candles, candle holders, and a wide range decor items, and their craft section can’t be beat. I can’t live without Hobby Lobby. They are the best.

Michael’s Craft Store – Like Hobby Lobby but less of a selection and the prices are a little higher. Definitely use coupons and shop sales here. Also sign up for their emails because they have crazy flash sales all the time and that’s where you can get some really good deals.

 

FREE STUFF

Nature has a bounty of things for free that you can use to decorate your home. I gather branches, acorns, and fallen leaves from the park near my house. I gather pine cones from the tree across the street. I’ve gathered wild flowers and sunflowers from the field up the road. Sometimes, when I see a tree service trimming trees in a neighborhood I stop and ask if I can have a few small branches. If you had a fruit tree in your yard you could use the fallen fruit like apples and pears. See wild grapevine on the side of the highway or climbing a tree in your neighbors pasture? Stop and take some home with you or call your neighbor and ask if you can cut a few vines to take home. If you own your house you could buy a packet of wildflower seeds and plant them to use as cut flowers in vases around your house. Be creative! Decor from nature can be anything you want it to be.

 

DIY

DIY is your budget keeper friend. You don’t even have to stretch your brain too far for ideas–search Pinterest. Use search terms such as: DIY Fall Pillar Candles, DIY Fall Wreath, DIY Fall Pine Cones, DIY Fall, etc. I’ve compiled a short list below to jump start you with easy and budget friendly DIY projects.

  • Candles are your friend. Tie a string, yarn, or twine around each one with a few twigs or a cute tag for a festive fall look.
  • The Dollar Tree has great plate chargers for $1 a piece. You can leave them the color they come in or spray paint them any color you like to match your fall table-scape.
  • Use leaves and pinecones as filler. Place a few small leaves in the bottom of a mason jar and place a pillar candle inside. Tie some twine around the lid. Festive and easy.
  • Buy faux pumpkins from the dollar tree and spray paint them white so they transition through every month until Christmas. Use as vase filler, in bowls, or strewn across a mantel or TV stand for a festive touch.
  • Buy the $1 glass taper candle holders from the Dollar Tree and spray paint any color that suites your decor color scheme. You can do this for any candle holders you find at the thrift stores as well. It’s a great way to turn transform something from ugly to elegant–stick with white or gold for a universal look you can use year round.
  • Ribbon and burlap are your friends. You can transform any jar, vase, candleholder, basket, front door, or table-scape with ribbon or burlap fabric. Hobby Lobby has the best prices and selection for fall ribbon and fabric. Bonus: use their 40% off coupon which you can download and print from their website or get from their app.
  • Spray paint pinecones you’ve gathered and make a fall wreath. Use your 40% off coupon at Hobby Lobby to buy a cheap grapevine wreath to glue them too. Bonus: find a ugly wreath at a thrift store and remove all the floral using its wreath for your new pinecone wreath.
  • Find baskets and spray paint them to match your fall decor. Add ribbon and faux floral to make them more festive.

 

MORE TIPS & TRICKS

  • Tuesday Morning, Home Goods, At Home, Walmart, and the Target dollar bin, are always great places to check for really good deals. You just have to make sure you don’t get sucked in. All stores mix in their higher end stuff with the dollar bin stuff so be savvy and if it looks like its worth $1 but they want $5, skip it.
  • Repurpose items you already own in your home like chalkboards, plates, candles, glassware, etc.
  • Shop post season sales. 
  • Free printables! The internet is full of free fall printables so take advantage!
  • Spray paint is your friend. If you find something you love the shape/size/contours of but hate the color, spray paint it.
  • Michael’s Craft Store has really great fall scented 32oz jar candles for $6. You can use their coupons too and save an extra 40% sometimes 50% off. That’s $3 per candle. they make great teachers gifts too with a little ribbon and cute name tag added.
  • Walmart has a great selection of inexpensive fall wax melts, wax warmers, and candles. They also carry a line of candles and fragrances from Better Homes & Gardens and Yankee Candle that are inexpensive and a really great deal!
  • The cinnamon broom. I think a lot of people remember their moms hanging up a cinnamon broom during the fall and winter months as kids–I know I do. It’s a two-for-one that smells great but also is a decor piece that adds to your home.
  • Buy faux florals, candles, vases, faux pumpkins, ribbon, etc in neural colors so it translates from September all the way to Christmas. You’ll get more bang for your buck and some of your items such a cream or white colored candles, metal(or metal colored) candle holders, plate chargers, can work with your Christmas and New Years decor too.
  • Sign up for email and text alerts so you always have coupons to shop your favorite stores and jump on sales as soon as they happen.
  • Mix faux and real(or live) pumpkins/gourds and floral. It adds more life to the space and also saves money year to year.
  • Price matching! Stores like Target will price match an item if the price lowers within fourteen days of purchase. Seasonal stuff tends to go on sale frequently during the fall season so watch your emails and alerts and take advantage!
  • Be a part of store’s reward program. Even my local thrift store has a rewards punch card that gives $5 off a purchase. Every penny counts!
  • Check for coupons. Always check for coupons. Search Google or the stores website/app.
  • Reuse what you have year after year. This one seems so simple but I know there can be a lot of internal pressure to ‘keep up with the jones’. Don’t believe that lie you’re telling yourself! Stick to what you love and make it work for you year after year.
  • Hone in on a color scheme & decor style. This is kind of similar to the point above but deciding on a color scheme and decor style keeps you from buying lots of decor that feels bitty and non-cohesive. Buying only a few pieces that coordinate can pull a room together easily and keep you from wasting your money and time.

And finally, I believe you should make room in your budget to splurge on one thing you really want. Items I’d recommend splurging on are ones that can be used throughout the entire holiday season and year after year such as; neutral colored(or colors matching your non-seasonal home decor) cozy throws and blankets, a quality front door wreath, a quality faux floral garland, a glass or ceramic vase to hold fall floral, serving dishes such as a giant platter, that fall throw pillow you’ve been eyeing for weeks and weeks.

Whew! I hope that helps y’all and gives you tons of ideas and inspirations on how you can decorate your home to the nines while still maintaining your budget! I’m sure there are so many tricks and tips I don’t know but that you do! Please share them with me in the comments below and I’ll add them to this post. The more tips and tricks the merrier, right? I hope you’re having a great day and thanks for spending time with me today. I really appreciate y’all caring about my little ol’ life and hanging out with me. Have a great day!

oxox

Maegan

 

Pinterest Fail: Spray Painting a Filing Cabinet

There’s a good reason I only took one photo of this sad, pathetic project. Pinterest usually doesn’t lead me astray but every once in a while I hit a dud. While this project sounds great in theory, it’s actually a huge wallet buster and dare I even mention the fumigation.

Here is the standard tutorial I followed:

File down rust, clean with soap and water, remove hardware, spray with standard rust oleum base coat, spray with color coat, let dry, reassemble and your done.

Firstly, I couldn’t remove the hardware. This is a newer filing cabinet I found at Salvation Army and I didn’t have the right sized tool. The painting started out fine until I got halfway through applying the base coat. I used an entire can of spray paint and the results where patchy and unattractive. I blew it off thinking it’s base coat, no one will know and now the color coat should go on evenly. Wrong!

The picture above is halfway through a can of the green spray paint and only the sides you can see have been painted. It’s stripy and patchy and barely covers the white base coat. It looks like I’ve never spray painted anything a day in my life. Try as I might, no matter how I held the can or the distance with which I sprayed that’s the result I kept getting. Sam helped me move the cabinet several times trying to account for the wind to no avail.

After thirty minutes I had a headache from the fumes even though I took breaks and tried my best not to breath it in. After an hour and a half I gave up. I don’t know how anyone got their cabinets to look even without going through 2-3 cans of spray paint. I have two filing cabinets to paint so I could go ahead and double the amount spray paint and time invested.

The reason so many tutorials suggest spray paint is because acrylic paint bonds better to metal. The problem is most acrylic paints made for metal come as spray paint. Spray paint limits your color selection and it’s noxious. There was the slightest breeze yesterday and half my spray paint blew away before it ever touched the metal. That’s a huge waste of money.

After some brain storming I remembered I had a similar color of sample paint in a bucket in the garage so on an impulse I brushed a little on and oh my what a difference! I think the perfect balance here is to slap on a can of spray paint base coat for adhesion and then roll or brush on the top color coat. It takes way less paint, way less time, and the coverage is even.

When I get them both done I’ll post them here so you can see the finished result. I hope you found this helpful!

Take Away: Painting a filing cabinet is still a great idea, I just wouldn’t use spray paint.

Maegan

Nashville Shopping Guide: Vintage Home Goods

I had the immense pleasure of doing some superb thrifting and antiquing while visiting my parents in Nashville during Christmas last year. I was so impressed by the amount of antiques and vintage goods in such pristine condition and in such volume. It was incredible! I’ve put together a guide of the best of the best! So without further ado, this is my Nashville vintage home goods shopping guide!

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The first place we shopped was Music Valley Antiques who won Best of Nashville 2018 (BON2018) for best Antiques Store. By far and large I totally agree. Stephanie who owns Music Valley Antiques is the sweetest woman who has a great eye for antiques and excellent taste in vendors. Music Valley Antiques has a good assortment of types of vintage booths and there is something for everyone. Her store is filled with an eclectic assortment of decor, furniture, kitchenware, art, collectibles, clothing, jewelry, and accessories, vintage children’s toys and more. If I’d had a bigger car I would have bought more! This is a must stop if you’re in Nashville. Takeaway: Best vintage store in Nashville. Stephanie is gracious and wonderful to work with and the prices can’t be beat. Some vendors were willing to haggle over prices. Everything is neat and orderly. You won’t leave empty handed!

download (1)We stopped at the Salvation Army in Madison where I found the pineapple trinket dish. I could tell the Christmas rush had cleared this place out–Christmas had just been days earlier–but it still had a really great selection and my mom said she would go back and shop there regularly. They had a great selection of furniture and a couch that I’d had a truck to haul it I would have bought. Takeaway: they had a great selection of furniture and glassware.

oIt was raining the day we popped into a unique specialty vintage store called Old Made Good. This was such a fun specialty vintage store. She has an incredible assortment of vintage clothing and home goods. I wished we’d had more time to shop because her shop was amazing. Her store was filled with home wares, art, furniture, clothing, jewelry and accessories. She has so many good things! She also sells her own needlepoint and vintage paint by number art she re-imagines with her own quip-y sayings. This another can’t miss store that has been mentioned in several publications like this one(link)and this(link) one. This another one you can’t miss. Takeaway: incredible mid century furniture and art. Boho vibes going on here too. Bonus: her serious vintage clothing selection was to die for.

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I found the 70’s blue bowl at Robinson’s Flea Market. It was not as tidy or as big as Music Valley Antiques but it did have a few great booths–particularly with mid century home goods and kitchen wares and an adorable booth full of mid century children’s toys and books. Takeaway: come here expecting to dig. Mainly home goods, art, and some furniture.

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Mom and I traveled to Goodlettsville to shop the antique district there. Every single shop on our list was closed except one–Goodlettsville Antique Mall. This was by far the largest antique mall I have ever been in my whole life. It took us four hours just to see every stall–and we didn’t dally. They carry vintage, shabby chic, mid century, and primitive antiques and vintage wares. They have it all here. It was absolutely massive. Takeaway: you could furnish your entire house. Prices are a bit higher here and we weren’t able to haggle prices. Wear good walking shoes and plan on making a day of it. 

I had a hard time getting everything I bought in the car. It was a huge success as far as my finds. Everything I bought I absolutely love. So, yes! I hope you find this shopping guide helpful. As I’m able to go back to Nashville I will update this guide with more fabulous places. I also hope that you go out and visit these great retailers and support them with your business. I promise everywhere I mentioned in this post will not disappoint and when you visit tell them you heard about them through me! It always elates business owners to know that their business is being recommended through word of mouth!

Maegan