Guest Author - Donna Coogan
One of the easiest ways decorate on a budget is to do things yourself. Labor is the most expensive part of decorating, because you are paying for someone elseís skill and time. If you learn skills yourself, then youíll be able to tackle many projects on your own.
Here is some simple DIY skills to learn:
If you can learn some basic sewing skills to make your own window treatments or slipcovers then youíll be well on your way to saving yourself money. Just learning how to add embellishments like tassels or buttons to throw pillows will add charm to your decorating for mere pennies. If sewing seems a bit scary to you, look for easy no-sew alternatives like using adhesive tape to hem curtains. Visit your local sewing supply store for ideas.
Learning how to reupholster furniture involves more advanced sewing skills, but itís not out of reach for the new DIYer. Mostly you need to know basic sewing techniques and be able to measure your furniture accurately to create and follow a pattern. There are many books available that teach the newbie how to reupholster furniture. In order not to discourage yourself, start with a simple shape for your first piece. Once you can reupholster your own furniture, think of the instant savings youíll have by being able to change its look and feel anytime you want instead of buying all new pieces.
Basic carpentry skills will enable you to install crown molding, make built-in bookcases and even repair items in your home. Just being able to use a staple gun and a glue gun will enable you to make simple changes around your home in minutes. If youíre willing to learn more advanced skills using a power drill and scroll saw, you can enjoy making fancy headboards or window headers. If you're really adventurous, consider replacing your old carpet with a new wooden floor. It's actually easy to do with today's tongue and groove flooring techniques. You can quickly beautify your room with a new floor in just one or two weekends.
Paint is the fastest way to change the look and feel of a space. It can be used to make rooms feel larger or smaller, and to accent specific architectural details. However, if you learn some decorative or faux painting techniques, youíll be able to enhance your walls, cabinetry, ceilings and furniture with all sorts of interesting details that go beyond one or two coats of color. Home improvement stores provide special paints, materials and information on how to create techniques like faux granite, marble and much more.
Learning how to use stencils is another way to change the look of your space. By repeating the same stencil all over the ceiling you'll give your room a dramatic new look in an afternoon. Paint is also a quick alternative to change the look of worn wooden floors. Stencil a design around the border, create a checkerboard pattern or roll on geometric stripes.
If you learn simple tiling techniques, you'll open the door to all sorts of wonderful decorative looks for any area of your home. Reface your bathroom shower, tile your kitchen countertops, design a fabulous new backsplash for your stovetop, retile your entry, make a mosaic fireplace, etc. There are many gorgeous and inexpensive tile selections available at most home improvement stores.
To learn the do-it-yourself skills mentioned above, look for classes and workshops offered at community colleges, home improvement stores, arts and craft shops and specialty shops. Visit your local library for free videos or search the Internet for free tutorials that can provide you the information you need in minutes. If you are lucky enough to have a friend already skilled in one of these DIY techniques, you might make arrangements to have them teach you.
Lastly, donít give up if you make mistakes. Learning a new skill takes patience and practice. Itís okay if things donít work out the first time. Keep trying until you build your confidence and are satisfied with the results. Ultimately, thereís no need to spend lots of money on decorating when you can create the look you want with just some know-how and a few hours of your time.