May 02, 2012

Guest Post: Design, Dining & Diapers (Tips for Decorating on a Budget)

Hi new friends! I am so honored to be here today at Tattered and Inked. Kelsey has such a wonderful blog and I'm really excited to be a part of it for the day.

I'm Taryn from Design, Dining + Diapers! I live in the Pacific Northwest with my husband, 13 month old baby girl and our spunky Golden Retriever. When I'm not busy being a mom or part-time freelancer, you can find me blogging about DIY home decor, crafts, sewing projects, and allergy friendly foods!

When my husband and I got married and started decorating our first home together I would swoon over Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel, Restoration Hardware and die a little inside when I would look at the price tags. How was I ever going to be able to decorate our house? For a while my husband would give me a monthly decorating budget and I would sometimes save for months just to buy one piece. But today, its all different. I still swoon over those catalogs but instead of paying those prices I come up with my own inexpensive alternatives.
Today, I'm sharing my tips on how to achieve chic and classy decor for a fraction of the cost.

1. Look In Your Recycle Bins

Let's start with the basics. There is no better way to decorate than for FREE! So before you even head to the store, head to your recycle bin. Instead of throwing out jars, bottles, cardboard, paper etc, stop and think what you could make with them.

Example 1: Here are basic food jars that I rescued out of our recycle. With just a little bit of ribbon and burlap scraps I turned them into this:

I used these as a centerpiece for my daughter's  party and now they currently live on my windowsill in my kitchen. They would also work on a mantle or at an outdoor party.

book page wreath

Example 2: Here is a book page wreath I made from recycled materials and few things from my craft supply. I used cardboard from an old box to create the base of the wreath and then folded old book pages to create the medallions. 100% FREE and I just added a new accessory to my home!

2. Find Your Nearest Dollar Store

Let me start out by warning you that not all dollar stores are the same. There are ones that are better than others and some you don't want to waste your time with. I am a loyal customer to my local Dollar Tree. I find that they have the biggest selection and highest quality products in their stores. Every time I walk into the Dollar Tree I am filled with inspiration and guess what.. everyone cost $1!

DIY candle display, christmas

Example 1: Here is a centerpiece I made for the holidays this year made completely from dollar store finds. The cylinder vases, chocolate wafer cookies, and pine cones were all from the dollar store. And good thing I'm gluten-free or else these would have been devoured!

Edible Valentine's Day Decor

Example 2: This year for Valentine's Day I picked up a few styrofoam spheres and festive candy at the dollar store and created these decorative spheres. I placed them in a milk glass pedestal bowl I purchased for $2. Simple festive centerpiece for such a few dollars! So simple any one can do it!

3. Go Thrifting

Second hand finds are one of my favorites for a few reasons.
 1) Old pieces have so much character and history to them
2) you will be amazed at what people discard as trash!
I have found several great home decor pieces that are practically brand new or are still in great shape and only cost pennies. Check out your local Goodwill, search Craigslist for garage sales or even check their FREE section and shop antique stores.

Take these chairs as a prime example.

Example 1: I picked these chairs up at the Goodwill for $1.30! Yes, for both chairs. They were on an extra discount that day and I hit a major score! With just a little bit of paint and new upholstery I turned them into new chairs for my family room. That's less than your daily latte!

DIY chair makeover

Well, I hope you learned something new today or were motivated to get a jump start on some new projects. Just remember, the amount of time it takes you to shop online for your newest home decor accessory, you could have been making something completely custom just for you for 1/4 the price!

I want to thank Kelsey for having me over today. It was fun hanging out with all of you.
To see more of my projects you can visit me on my blog, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest! Please come by and say hi, I love meeting new friends and I would love to see what you've been working on too!



  1. Taryn- you are Amazing girl! I Love those chairs!!! And those simple center pieces?! Who would have guessed dollar store find! Nice job on everything, I am heading over to your place right this min. -love what I see! Thanks for sharing!! Jen

  2. Great ideas! Thanks for sharing!


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