Budget & Saving


Reuse and Renew: Green DIY Projects

April 16, 2014 : Carrie Waller – Guest Contributor

Ed note: If you’re feeling like you need to freshen up your look or home decor, but don’t want to spend a lot of money, then we have some great news for you. Carrie Waller of Dream Green DIY is sharing some amazing tricks for turning basic into beautiful.

You could use any excuse—from post-holiday season recovery, to New Year’s budgets—but really, living a frugal lifestyle is a daily to-do that requires focus and a fair amount of ingenuity. When it comes to frugal home décor and fashion though, nothing quite gets you off on the right foot more than a little do-it-yourself repurposing.


There’s no denying the draw of that coveted label, but there’s something to be said for making it yourself, too. Instead of immediately forking over the cash, try mimicking the look of high-end pieces using your own two hands first. Even if the initial attempt is a bust, the meager investment allows you room for a second go around.

Here, for example, I took a pair of plain white tennis shoes (that cost just $5 at Walmart), and painted on gold polka dots as a nod to Kate Spade kicks, available at the department store for a whopping $75. It took only an hour or so out of my Saturday, and I have already managed to fool many a style-savvy girl—proof that making it really can fake it!


Filled floor to ceiling (literally) with low-cost furniture options, you’re bound to find pieces at IKEA that fit your budget and style. But if buying off-the-shelf furniture is a little too “cookie cutter” for you, try giving it your own spin.

One of the most popular of my own furniture projects has been a simple IKEA desk hack, specifically with a pair of desks hailing from the “As Is” section for less than $5 a pop. All it took to give the legs—and ultimately the entire piece of furniture—a big dose of “wow” factor was a can of gold spray paint. The cost of my DIY update? Free, thanks to a collection of spray paint already stored in the garage.


Gold isn’t the only trick in my arsenal of do-it-yourself solutions, though. Another of my favorite ways to save money around the house is with thrifty treasures given new life. Like the pair of jewelry holders in my bathroom—each was made using $3 thrift store frames, filled with pegboard (for my necklaces) and window screening (for my earrings). Simple, cheap and totally in line with my ultimate goal to live a “green” lifestyle each and every day.

Since money still doesn’t grow on trees, you can find a way to make those precious bills stretch simply by thinking creatively and by having the confidence in your own ability to DIY!

Carrie Waller – Guest Contributor

Carrie Waller – Guest Contributor

Dream Green DIY

Carrie is a freelance writer, designer and stylist living in Lynchburg, Virginia. For a real-time rehash of her DIY home renovation projects, visit her blog at www.dreamgreendiy.com.

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