Decorate Your Home on a Budget

Is your house in need of a makeover? These easy DIY decorating ideas will deliver the look you want for a fraction of the cost.

  • Jonny Valiant

    Clever Carpet

    Brush your child's toy blocks with fabric paint and stamp onto a canvas drop cloth to create a one-of-a-kind runner for your hallway.

    What You'll Need
    Canvas drop cloth, scissors, iron, fabric glue, 2 arch-shaped blocks (Edushape EduColor Blocks, $20 for set of 30; amazon.com), pencil, paper, kraft paper, fabric paint, foam paintbrush, rug pad

    Make It
    1. Cut drop cloth to desired size and iron out any wrinkles. Fold unfinished edges, creating about a 1' hem. Crease with the iron and secure with fabric glue; let dry.

    2. On a piece of paper, place 2 arch-shaped blocks so that they form a square with a circle inside, then trace around them and cut out. Repeat to make as many paper squares as will fit across your runner widthwise.

    3. Protect your work surface with kraft paper. Lay the paper squares across the runner and adjust spacing as needed. Remove one of the paper squares and set aside. Use a foam paintbrush to cover the first block with fabric paint and firmly press onto drop cloth where the paper square previously was. Coat the second block with a second paint color and press down onto the drop cloth to complete the square shape. Continue to remove paper squares and stamp square shapes in their place, alternating the direction of the blocks and the paint colors as desired, until the row is completed. Repeat until all rows are stamped.

    4. Once it's dry, place runner on the floor with a rug pad underneath.

  • Jonny Valiant

    Frame Work

    Transform old photo frames into decorative accents for any room by wrapping them in swatches of fabric.

    What You'll Need Frame, fabric, spray adhesive, X-Acto knife, hot-glue gun

    Make It
    1. Remove the back, mat, and glass from frame; set aside. Lay frame on fabric and measure and cut a piece that's a few inches larger than the size of the frame.

    2. Apply spray adhesive to the front of frame, then press it face down onto cut fabric. Adjust to ensure fabric is taut.

    3. Working with one side at a time, apply spray adhesive to inside edge of frame, pull fabric back, and press it down. Trim excess fabric with X-Acto knife, then hot-glue fabric flaps down at corners.

    4. Replace the glass, photo, mat, and back of frame to display.

  • Jonny Valiant

    Ramped-Up Lamp

    Brighten a snoozy lamp by embellishing the shade with a simple ribbon weave.

    What You'll Need
    Lamp shade, 2 colors of ribbon, clear tape, 2 clothespins, scissors, hot-glue gun

    Make It
    1. Tape the end of a length of ribbon to the inside of the shade at the top, and tape the end of a second length of ribbon to the inside at the bottom. Each piece should be at least twice as long as the circumference of the shade.

    2. Bring both lengths of ribbon toward the center of the shade, cross them, then bring each length back to top and bottom; use a clothespin to keep each in place, then tape the ribbons to the inside edge about 1 ?" from the starting point. Repeat until shade is covered completely, then trim excess ribbon.

    3. Hot-glue ribbon along the inside edges to conceal the tape.

  • Jonny Valiant

    Punchy Pillows

    These no-sew fabric covers will instantly add a playful look to your family room.

    What You'll Need
    Throw pillow, measuring tape, fabric ($4 to $10 per yard; ikea.com), scissors, iron, fusible web, ribbon, adhesive-back, Velcro

    Make It
    1. Measure and cut a piece of fabric that is the same width and 6 inches more than twice the length of pillow.

    2. To create a finished hem, fold all four edges in and crease with an iron. Sandwich fusible web in between and press with iron for 30 seconds or per package directions.

    3. Use fusible web to attach ribbon.

    4. Add adhesive-back Velcro strips to the short sides of the fabric (one on the front of the belt and the other on the back), then fasten around pillow.

  • Jonny Valiant

    Bold Bookcase

    Bring shelves to life by covering the back with pretty patterned Con-Tact paper.

  • Jonny Valiant

    Painted Play Table

    Make your kids' furniture shine by applying high-gloss latex paint to the top or bottom half to create a "dipped" look.

    What You'll Need
    Kids' table-and-stool set, high-gloss interior latex paint, ScotchBlue painters' tape, paintbrush

    Make It
    1. Choose to paint either top half or bottom half of a piece of furniture. Use painter?s tape to section off desired paint area on each item. Carefully press down edges and remove any air bubbles.

    2. Apply two coats of paint, letting paint dry completely between coats. Once dry, remove and discard tape.

    Originally published in the March 2013 issue of Parents magazine.