Sheltering-in-place . . . I’ve got time on my hands . . . There’s no better opportunity to look around my place and do a few frugal home DIY decor upgrades. After all, I’ll be staring at these four walls a lot until the Covid-19 pandemic fades into the sunset . . . Here’s a few of the projects I’ve completed so far:
My DIY Living Room Project
I felt that it was time to bring more teal into my life. Teal adds a splash of color to the neutral beige and tan colors that dominate my living room. Ever the frugalist, I looked for ways to add teal accents to my decor without spending much money. I was using teal curtains and throw pillows as the main color accents, but more was needed. A few frugal purchases from the dollar store and Walmart and a bit of DIY did the trick!
First, I purchased a few glass vases from my local Dollar Tree for the princely sum of $1.00 each. Inspired by DIY YouTube videos, the plan was to paint these vases to coordinate with my decor. I purchased inexpensive Apple Barrel craft matte acrylic paint at Walmart (only .50 cents each) along with a few cheap brushes (Dollar Tree, 2 for $1.00). As seen in the photo above, the painted vases became coffee table knick-knacks. The subtle textured finish seen on the vases is done by adding a few teaspoons of baking soda to the paint before painting.
But wait, there’s more!
I wanted to add a bit more texture and depth to the vases. Also I wanted to bring in more complimentary colors. So I started building up layers of very lightly applied acrylic paint mixed with baking soda (a 50/50 mix) to my Dollar Tree ($1.00 each) glass vases. This added both texture and layers of color. The results are shown below:
I now had a palette of southwestern colors (teal, tan, yellow and brown) in my decor that were introduced simply with a few inexpensive glass vases and acrylic paint colors. Plus, I had developed a new skill that can be used around the home while saving money. Cool!
Here is the technique for my textured vases (above) in detail: I’ll do two coats for the base using acrylic or chalk paint mixed with baking soda to add texture ( I do a rough mix of 50/50 baking soda and paint so that it dries rough and bumpy. You want lots of texture! That should dry fully. Next, I’ll add a layer of secondary color using a nearly dry brush so that the paint streaks and does not cover fully. You paint lightly so that the paint covers the raised texture only (it’ll take a bit of practice to master). Before it has a chance to dry fully I will add a fourth coat, lightly blending it randomly to create depth to the texture. It took me about 5 or 6 failed tries before the technique began to work. The key is to build up thin layers to accentuate the texture created with the baking soda. Also, use acrylic matte or chalk paint. Satin or glossy paint is too shiny and does not work well.
You can find a how-to guide for every DIY project imaginable in a YouTube video!
The flower arrangement is also carefully color-coordinated with my other decor accents. These dried and artificial flowers are purchased from Dollar Tree (all the flowers used here cost a total of $6.00). I got a quick lesson in flower arranging by watching YouTube videos!
My DIY Dining Room Project
I wanted to carry that glass vase DIY theme to my dining table as well. So, I purchased three more glass vases (1.00 each, Dollar Tree) and painted them in colors that coordinate both with my table cover and the overall color palette in my apartment. By adding baking soda to the acrylic paint colors used, subtle texture and depth were created. The hanging light fixture seen here was originally clear glass. I decided to give it a pop of color by painting it as well (acrylic paint mixed with baking soda for texture). It gives the glass fixture the look of an earthen ware clay pot that coordinates well with the painted glass vases.
A little bit of frugal creativity goes a long way! The price of one glass vase of similar size from home decor retailer Pottery Barn starts at $35.00. I paid less than that for eight glass vases, dried & artificial flowers, paint, and brushes. Also, I was not limited to the range of colors offered by any retailer. Plus, the DIY process is a good workout for our creative skills!
Try it yourself! Nowadays, one of the first questions I ask myself before any purchase is: Can I make that? Most often, someone already has and gives the DIY directions in a Youtube video. A few inexpensive craft items combined with a bit of knowledge gleaned from Youtube (and a bit of practice) can go a long way! -SplurgeFrugal!