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31 Days of Decorating on a Shoestring Budget Day 22: Rugs

Hey guys!  Welcome back to my never-ending series of decorating on a shoestring budget. ;)

Day 22:  Rugs

Rugs are a decorating budget buzz-kill.  They can be crazy expensive and eat up a huge portion of your budget if you're not careful.  So what's a girl to do?

I've got a few tricks up my sleeve for getting a good rug without busting your budget.

First, consider getting an indoor/outdoor rug.  These are usually far less expensive than an indoor only rug.  They are also very kid-friendly because they hide stains and can be cleaned off easily with a little water and elbow grease.  I have an indoor/outdoor rug under my kitchen table and I love it!

damask rug, Chic on a Shoestring Decorating blog

It has probably had about 5  bottles worth of ketchup spilled and splattered all over it over the past couple of years and you really can't tell.

Damask rug, Chic on  a Shoestring Decorating blog

This rug was purchased at a few years back but they are no longer in business.  Places like Target and Lowes get a good selection of nice patterns and sizes of inexpensive indoor/outdoor rugs in the spring but you can get them on their websites all year long.

Another option to save money on an indoor rug is to have a carpet remnant bound to the size you need.  This is an especially good option if you need a really large rug.  Binding prices vary  regionally so call around your city to see who has the best price nearby.

If you have a carpet remnant already there are lots of videos and tutorials on binding it yourself.  I have never done it but this is your cheapest option and might be worth a shot if your budget is really tight and you have a remnant to work with.

Have you bound your own rug?  What was your experience??

Check out the rest of my 31 day series:


Flaunt it Friday 124!

Hey party people!  Wow... this is the last party before Halloween!  Make sure and get all of your Halloween links in... the party will be open through October 31.

Also, in case you have been living under a rock missed it, I'm doing a 31 day series of decorating on a shoestring budget.  As you can see, I'm a few days behind but will be doing the full 31 days. You can catch up here:

31 Days of Decorating on a Shoestring Budget Day 21, TJ Maxx

Hello there!  Today we're going to talk about something near and dear to my heart...

TJ Maxx.

It's my favorite store in the whole wide world.

I love HomeGoods too, which is owned by TJ Maxx and only sells home goods... hence the name. It is right up their with TJ Maxx but the closest one is 2 hours away so I don't have the same relationship with it that I do with TJ.  TJ is only about 10 minutes away from my house.  Almost dangerously close if you ask Mr. Chic. ;)

TJ and I are on a first name basis.  We are old pals, BFF's in fact.

When I talk to people about my friend TJ it seems like people either love him or hate him (how rude!).

The haters hate because they don't understand him.  When they visit him they want to run in, grab item, pay, leave. This is what I call "man-shopping".  TJ is not very friendly to man-shopping.

I realize that many women like man-shopping.  But, if you're on a shoestring budget, you are going to have to get out of your comfort zone to save some money on some great stuff.  You're going to have to shop like you mean it.  No man-shopping allowed.

To do your best with TJ you gotta dig. I realize man-shopping shoppers are not into digging.  But I promise, if you dig with TJ, you'll be glad you did.

Here are some moves you need to properly dig with TJ:

  • move stuff around so you can see what's on the back of the shelf
  • squat down and look in the back of the bottom shelf
  • stick your head under and lean in to the bottom shelf if needed
  • reach up high to the top shelf and scoot stuff around so you can see that great item hiding up there
  • move your eyes and make sure you see everything so you don't miss a thing.  

It's almost like exercising.  Just think, you'll be getting in your work-out while shopping... multi-tasking at it's best!  This is definitely my favorite type of work-out.  Sometimes I even wear work-out type clothes with TJ, like yoga pants and zip-up hoodies.  This makes it more official that it is, in fact, a work-out.  There is no lazy man-shopping allowed with TJ.

In my vast bargain shopping experience, TJ's is by far the best place to find great new, reasonably priced, decorative items for your home.  My latest greatest finds with TJ are several Pottery Barn-esque mercury glass pumpkins.  You can see them all here.

Catch up on my 31 day series...

31 Days of Decorating on a Shoestring Budget Day 20: Busted Stuff

Hey there,  thanks for stopping by my 31 day series of decorating on a shoestring budget.  Today we're going to talk about something that can save you money that you may not have considered.  Buying busted stuff.

Day 20: Busted Stuff

If you're creative an slightly handy you can get some crazy good deals on new items that are broken.  You fix them up or repurpose them and you've usually got a new and cheap addition to your home.

I'm going to share with you the best deal I've ever gotten on something broken.... you're going to love this...

First, I'll tell you that I really love the look of mirrored furniture.  Not a whole room full, but just one nice piece can add a pretty touch of sparkly elegance to your space.  There's just one problem with it, (besides being completely breakable, especially with small children around... not to mention the little fingerprints and smudges that will constantly need to be wiped off of it) it's CRAZY EXPENSIVE!

I had given up on getting any mirrored furniture because I don't really need any furniture... and did I mention it's crazy expensive.

I had come to terms with the fact that I was just going to have to look at pretty pictures of mirrored furniture until the trend passed along with my longing for one.

Flashback to a few months ago.

While having a very unsuccessful trip at Tuesday Mornings trying to shop for a client, I stumbled upon a little mirrored sidetable in the back corner.  I could tell it was a beauty and that it also had a clearance sticker on top.

The sticker said "Retails for $399, Tuesday Mornings price $149, Clearance Price $30".

Wait... WHAT?! 

$30!!!!!!  For real?????????????

What's the catch?

Just a little broken mirror.... actually 2, a skinny side piece and one of the drawers.


I literally stood there for 5 minutes looking at this thing thinking "how can I make this work... it is insanely cheap and awesome!" besides the busted pieces of course.

Look how pretty it is, even with the broken pieces (and missing knobs)...

Being in the garage is not doing it any favors reflecting all that dirty concrete floor.

Here's a side view...

Believe me, this table has good bones.

I knew there were some glass/mirror replacement companies in town so I thought, what the heck, how much could it be to replace some little mirrors... even if I put $50 into it it's still a steal of a price.

So, I bought it. 

I got it home and Mr. Chic thought I had lost my mind.  The conversation went something like this... 

Me:  "Why yes honey,  I did buy a broken mirrored, mirror covered side table.  

No, I did not forget we have small children.  

No babe, I don't think it looks like it's from that gaudy drug-dealing Al Pacino house in that old movie Scarface.  

Just trust me on this one, K babe."

Flash forward to now, it's sitting in my dining room...

mirrored furniture

Oops... it's still busted. 

It isn't done because it's on my to-do list with 18,000 other things and it's close to the bottom.  Wah-waah.

I found out that it will only cost about $15 to replace the 2 broken mirror panels.  

I need to just do it, huh.

Don't let my slackish-ness keep you from passing up a great deal on busted stuff!

31 Days of Decorating on a Shoestring Budget Day 19, Antique and Flea Markets

Hello there!  Today might possibly be one of the prettiest days we've had all fall.  It's 70 degrees, sunny and not windy.  The trees have turned and Mr. Chic and I went to an awesome antique/flea market (sans kids) this morning and had a great time.  I usually go alone so it was a treat to have him with me.  Plus, he carried around all my heavy bags, such a gentelman.

Day 19:  Antique & Flea Markets

I used to have a really low opinion of flea markets, thinking they only sold junk.  Some of them do.  But I've learned that all flea markets are not created equal.  Some are awesome.  A junker or thrifter's paradise of sorts.  

If you haven't been to one for a while you should definitely check one out again.  They can be a great source for decorating your home on  a shoestring budget.

Here's just a very small sampling of what we saw...

A sweet coffee table on casters, a bright green bench, a few globes and some fun red stools.

Gotta love old wooden crates.

Lots of old, salvaged pieces just waiting to be repurposed.

Lots of great and unique decorative items too!

The great thing about flea markets are that the prices are mostly negotiable.  Sellers will usually accept a reasonable offer.  Don't be scared to ask.  

This market had some great food vendors.  Today I had my first fresh apple cider slushie.  OMG... deelish!!  By the time I realized I should've taken a picture it was long gone!  

If you're wondering what wonderful finds I picked up today you're going to have to stick around until after my 31 day series.  You'll be glad you did!  :)  

Speaking of my 31 day series, I realize I'm a couple days behind but I plan on completing in a timely manner so please stick with me. 

Catch up on the series here...

DIY Network Featured Me!

Hi friends!  I am honored and super-duper excited that some of my Christmas decor is featured in a DIY Network online article.

If you'd like to check it out click here.  Mine are pics 14-15.

The article features ideas of how to create a rustic Christmas look.  There are some absolutely beautiful pictures of some rustic lodges that I'd never heard of before but now I'd love to visit! :)

Via DIY Network

Hope you enjoy!

31 Day Series of Decorating on a Shoestring Budget Day 18, Clearance!

Hey there!  Thanks for stopping by my 31 day series.  Let's get right down to it...

Day 18:  Clearance

If you've ever read my informative and lovely (wink, wink ;) blog you'll probably recall that I love a sweet deal.  They make my heart go pitter-patter.

One of my favorite sports (yes, I consider shopping a competitive sport) is waiting out a sale.  You know, finding something on the clearance rack and then waiting until it is marked down a little more, then a little more, until it hits that magic price you want to pay.

Maybe it's 20 bucks, maybe it's 75% off, whatever the magic number that is in your head... and if you score it for that magic number price... you, my friend- are a winner.

If you are decorating your house on a shoestring budget it will help you tremendously to get good at "the game".  I love to play "the game" at Hobby Lobby.  Every 2 months or so they mark a huge group of accessories down to 66% off.  This is the time to get the item that you do not want to miss and are willing to pay a little more for, because it will sell if you don't.   A few weeks later they mark down again to 80% off, this is when I do most of my shopping.

Finally, they end up marking down to 90% off.  I have never hit this sale at the right time, whenever I come across it the 90% off area is a small rack of cowboy boot shaped book-ends (most of them chipped or broken) or something equally hideous. (no offense to cowboy boots)

This time I happened across Hobby Lobby the day they started the 90% off sale... SUHWEET!!  They had a huge selection of non-cowboy-boot-shaped good stuff!

But I had my eye on something already... my game piece was a picture frame.  Umm... yes, a picture frame.

I know what you're thinking... a picture frame?  You can get a pretty decent picture frame at the dollar store.

But trust me, it's a really awesome custom picture frame.  It is a large (16 x 20), beautiful, thick, expensive looking wood frame that came from their framing department, a cancelled order most likely.  And I already have the perfect picture for it...

Anywho, the original price was $225!  (For an empty frame?!)  Don't get me wrong, it's a really nice frame but not worth $225 in my chic on a shoestring opinion.

It was marked  80% off, down to $45 when I found it.  I'm too cheap frugal for that much...  so the game begins.

I waited and waited and waited.  The stuff is 80% off for several weeks, each time I went back it was still there but still hadn't hit my "magic number" price of 90% off.

Finally, I walked in to the 90% off sale and literally squeeled with joy.  I headed to the frames to score my deal and it was gone! GONE!

Oh man... I let the game get me this time.  Game 1, Kate 0

Dang it!

I'm a sore loser... I started questioning my game strategy, maybe I should have bought it at 80% off, I really wanted it more than I thought I did!

Nah.  $45 was too much for an empty frame.

I put my game face back on and happily went through and picked up a few things 90% off.

In the check out lane I was lamenting to the cashier that I didn't get my frame... woe is me.  She was wrapping all my breakables so as I was waiting I started checking out the furniture shelves around me.

Suddenly the clouds parted and a ray of sun from the heavens shined down directly on my frame!! There it was across the room... it was leaning on a piece of furniture on a shelf near the door.  The cashier said that is where they stick stuff that people bring to the register but end up not buying it.  Whew... that was close!

I got my frame and won the game!!  And to make me the super grand champion...the frame rang up for even cheaper than I expected... $13.00!  95% off!!!  Woot  Woot!!!!

Here it is...

                          The photo doesn't really do it justice of how really nice it is...

It's about 4.5 inches thick!

I stuck an unstretched canvas family picture in it...

Flaunt it Friday 123!

Hey party people!  Thanks for coming over to my place to party week after week.  I always look forward to checking out all of the good stuff you link up.  Lately, blogger has not been allowing me to leave comments on other blogger blogs.  It is super annoying because it happens after I type up my nice little comment and hit post comment... then it disappears- Poof!  I have the box that keeps you logged in all the time unchecked as I heard that could fix the problem but no luck.  Any advice for me?  I hate to not be able to comment, I feel like such a loser party host.

Also, if you haven't stopped by for a while you'll have to catch up on my 31 day series of decorating on a shoestring budget.  I have blogged an amazing 17 days in a row... quite a feat for a lazy busy blogger like me!  You can click any link below to check them out.

Now, party time!! Woot! Woot!

31 Days to Decorating on a Shoestring Budget Day 17, Fake it

Hello, Hello!  Welcome back to 31 days of decorating on a shoestring budget.

Day 17:  Fake it

I like to say "faux it", it sounds much fancier.  So, how do you "faux it" in decorating? 

Well, there are lots of ways but today I'm going to talk about my most recent fake, er... faux.

For a long time I've had my eye on an antique or "primitive" wooden bread bowl.  I think they are such pretty and versatile centerpieces.


The problem is that these old and banged up beautifully rustic wooden bowls are super expensive!

I haven't found one I've liked for less than $125.  Booooooooo

This might seem to be a reasonable price to some being that it is an antique and all, but to me, not so much.

I know myself and I will get sick of it after a few years and stick it in a box in my basement.  But I dunno, maybe I wouldn't because I really like this.  But, I don't want to spend that kind of money on something like that.  So, I need to faux it.

Sometimes when you fake something you recreate it and build it yourself.  Unfortunately, I am not good at handcarving wood.  Big surprise there, right?

I decided that I really like the shape, the long and low profile makes it perfect for a dining table centerpiece (you can easily see over it) or to go on a long table, like my buffet.

Since I can't make one and I don't want to buy one right now I went on the lookout for something similar.

I found some totally cheapo and dorky looking fake wood bowls like this...

Product Image

Not exactly what I had in mind.

I looked around for quite some time until I finally found a handmade wooden tray type thing at a flea market for under $20 bucks.  Total score!

I love it!  

It doesn't really look like an antique bread bowl at all but it's the size and shape I was looking for and it does the job I wanted the bread bowl to do.

Right now I've got it on my dining room buffet filled with fake pumkins (fauxing it again!) They are all fake except the 2 little orange ones.  

Though not the antique bread bowl of my dreams, it'll do just fine faux sure.  (I couldn't help myself!)

Catch up on my series here:

31 Days to Decorating on a Shoestring Budget Day 16, Best Times to Buy

Hey there!  What's shakin'?  If you've stopped by lately you'll know that I'm right smack in the middle of a 31 day series of Decorating on a Shoestring Budget.  Check out the links below to catch up on all the posts:
Day 16:  The Best Times to Buy

If you really love to bargain shop you probably already have a good idea of when and where to find deals.  But did you know that at certain times of the year you can get better deals on certain items?  

Some of the sales at certain times of the year are obvious, like the best time to buy patio furniture is in September.  Well duh, it's the end of the season.  But other "best time to buy" times don't really seem to have any rhyme or reason to them.  For example; bedding and linens are cheapest in January, big appliances are cheapest September-November, flatware and china are cheapest in September,  vacuum cleaners are cheaper in April and May. 

The best times to buy things.

Click HERE to see a bigger version of the above chart, when the chart appears click on it to make it even bigger.  

The chart includes lots of bigger ticket items and several smaller items like vacuums and bedding.  If you're decorating on a shoestring budget you are probably interested in saving money in general, not just on decor type things.  I hope the chart above will help you save some money on some of those bigger things, then maybe you'll have a little more to spend on the little things. :)

PS: did not sponsor and is in no way affiliated with this post. 

31 Days of Decorating on a Shoestring Budget Day 15, Cabinet Hardware

Hello there!  We've officially made it through the first half of my 31 day series of decorating on a shoestring budget!  It's going so fast just like this month.  I can't believe Halloween is coming up in in just 2 weeks.  I also can't believe that I saw a few Christmas commercials on TV this weekend!?   (I don't watch much TV either!)  Seriously, we're 2 weeks away from Halloween and Target and Kmart have both started running their Christmas ads!!  Are they for real?!?  They have no shame! 

Oh well, back to my 31 day series.  Miss a day?  Here's where you catch up:

Day 15:  Changing Cabinet Hardware

Is your kitchen looking a little out of style but you can't spend a lot to fix it up?  One inexpensive change you can make that can have a pretty big impact it is to change your cabinet handles and/or knobs.

glazed kitchen cabinets

People seem to forget about this little detail that can really make such a difference for not a whole lot of cash.

We made the change a few months back and I'm so happy with the results.  Our cabinet pulls weren't out of style, they were completely fine, just a little boring... plain stainless steel knobs on everything.  I decided to put a more stylish cup pull on the drawers.  It would make a big difference for a small price.

Since I could easily match stainless steel knobs to new stainless steel cup pulls, I only had to buy new cup pulls for the drawers leaving the cabinet doors as is.  Consider doing this if your current hardware isn't too shabby.  This cut the cost by more that half because we have more cabinet doors than drawers.

I got mine from a wholesaler I work with but you can find some decent pulls at Target and even Wal-Mart.

I enlisted my favorite handy man Mr. Chic to do the labor for me because he's faster with the drill.  But really, this one is easy enough that someone who is a power tool rookie could handle it.

Here's a little picture of all the tools you need (which aren't very many).


  • Cordless drill
  • Proper size drill bit
  • New cabinet pulls (most come with the screws needed to attach them)
  • Measure Pro Cabinet Hardware Installation Kit (or something similar)
  • Marker or pen
  • Small screwdriver

We didn't end up using the grips, we thought we'd have to use them to hold on our measuring tool but it ended up fitting over the top of the drawer.

Let's get started...

First, remove the old knobs (Duh).  Use the smallest screwdriver you've got, the screw head will be inside the drawer.  Having a short little screwdriver helps avoid taking everything out of the drawer to get to the screw.

Once you've got the old knob off it's time to mark the drill holes for the new pulls.

Mr. Chic found this handy-dandy and inexpensive "Measure Pro Cabinet Hardware Installation Kit" at Menards and it made this job foolproof!  

Since the center of the drawer was already marked by the old cabinet knob it was really easy to find, the new pulls had a 3 inch span so we found it on our measuring tool and made the marks for the new holes.  Make sure you check your new pull measurement before you drill!

This little Measure Pro thing-ma-jig makes sure that your new holes will be placed properly.  It takes all of the guess work out of it, highly recommended!  And no, they did not sponsor this post!

Now that you've got your new holes marked, it's time to drill!

This will make some major saw dust in your drawers so you may want to take everything out, especially if the drawer has any eating utensils in it.  It's a good excuse to give your drawers a good wipe down.  Once I got into mine, the were really kind of grosser than I expected... lots and lots of crumbs!

Now that the holes are drilled and the drawers are wiped out it's time to add your new cup pulls!  Simply stick the new screws through the new holes and screw them by hand into the handle, make sure you tighten them up with a screwdriver once they are attached.

Here is a bad "before" shot that was taken from the real estate listing of the previous owners, the one I took was accidentally deleted by one of my little helpers. :)

This shot is from the previous owners before we moved in!

I'm so happy with the results, what a difference!

Kitchen cabinet cup pulls

Could your kitchen use some new cabinet handles or knobs?  It might make a bigger difference than you think!

31 Days of Decorating on a Shoestring Budget Day 14, Craigslist

Hi there!  Thanks for stopping by. :)

Did you miss the first 13 days of my series?  Find them here:

Today I'm going to urge those of you who are scared of Craigslist to give it a try.  Craigslist always kind of weirded me out because I'm one of those paranoid people that thinks all strangers have some kind of bad ulterior motive.  Or, that I'd buy something and it would smell like cigarettes and/or cat pee.  

There are some weirdos on craigslist but if you're just looking for furniture type things and not a date then you cut out probably 98% of the weirdos and then there's only a 2% chance that the furniture seller will be weird.  But just funny-weird, not psycho-weird.  Big difference.

If you're buying something from a stranger on Craigslist take someone with you to pick it up.  The good old buddy system... safety in numbers, right?  If in your conversations with the seller/buyer before meeting give you the heeby-jeebys then by all means, listen to your gut and back out of the sale.  Don't let people drop things off at your house, go pick it up or meet them in a busy parking lot somewhere to do the transaction.  

So, now that you're over your fears of Craigslist weirdos, start shopping.  It is a great place to find inexpensive furniture.  Your best bet is to check it everyday.  If you find a good deal, don't hesitate to contact the person right away.  The good stuff that is priced well sells pretty quick around here.  

In my area prices are all over the board.  Some people ask way too much and some sell junky stuff for $1 (why bother?)  Hopefully, you'll be able to know a good price when you see one in your area.

When buying on Craigslist you can ask a seller for additional pictures or if you can see the item in person before committing to buy if you're unsure.  Don't commit unless you're sure as it may cost the seller other sales.

Today I had my second Craigslist transaction.  I bought a desk that will go in one of our boys room (after a little TLC of course).  I took Mr. Chic with me to pick it up.  First, so he could protect me from any crazy people and mostly to use his big muscles to move the desk.

My seller did not take very detailed pictures of the desk but the price and size were right so after finding out the measurements I told her I would buy it.  In this situation I just said I'd take it because it was so cheap and looked good from the pics.

Both the chair and desk are in really great shape and do not smell like cigarette smoke or cat pee.  I got them both for $30 bucks.  Quite a deal for around here.  I plan on doing a little something to the desk so it will go with my boy's room but haven't decided quite yet.  I'm in love with the cool vintage chair and may keep it for myself!  The seller was very nice and not crazy.  She even gave me a bunch of design magazines. :)

So, if you're a Craigslist rookie needing some new budget friendly furniture consider Craigslist, there are deals to be found!

Have you ever bought anything on Craigslist?

31 Days of Decorating on a Shoestring Budget Day 13, Trade Services

Hi there!  How was your Saturday?  It rained like crazy here so we stayed inside and got some things done.  Mr. Chic painted my big boy's bedroom (Hooray, Mr. Chic!) a lovely gray.  I'll be sharing more about his room makeover after the 31 day series is over.  It's going to be industrial chic. (oooh, that sounds fancy... it will probably end up just industrial.)

Anyway, welcome back to my 31 day series of decorating your home on a shoestring budget. I'm so glad you're here!  You can catch up on previous posts here:

  • Day 1:  Take a risk
  • Day 2:  Do it yourself (DIY)
  • Day 3  Where to get cheap paint
  • Day 4:  Use coupons
  • Day 5:  Print your own art
  • Day 6:  Painting brand new stuff
  • Day 7:  Slipcovers
  • Day 8:  Window Treatments
  • Day 9:  The Dollar Store
  • Day 10: Nature
  • Day 11: Ebay
  • Day 12: Have a Garage Sale

  • Day 13:  Trade Services

    What does that even mean?

    Well, to decorate your home on a shoestring budget, you've gotta be creative and use what you've got to get the job done.  This can be done several different ways....

    Say you want to paint 3 year old Junior's room but Junior wants to "help" you.  You can't paint Junior's room when he is asleep in it and that's usually when you get most of your work done.  What's a mommy to do?  

    Call a friend and ask her to trade some babysitting time.  She takes Junior  for 2 or 3 hours one afternoon and  you can paint his whole room all by yourself.  It will be amazing how much you can get done when you're alone in your house. :)  

    The trade-off is you will babysit for her next week.  Worth it?  Definitely.


    Do you know how to sew?  Does one of your friends love to sew?  Do you like to paint or your friend really likes to paint?  Or stencil walls?  Or cook?  Or have a knack for decorating?  

    Trade skills with your friend!  Maybe your pal that's great at sewing will sew you some new curtains and pillows (you buy the fabric) if you paint her bedroom (she buys the paint).  Maybe your friend will cook you a few dinners for your sewing skills.  Maybe your friend will give you her nursery bedding for if you make her some freezer meals.  I am currently going to help my photographer with some decorating for a free family photo shoot.  

    Talk to your friends, see what they need and find out what they're good at if you don't know already.  In this economy most people are on a budget or trying to save a buck.  Help each other out and trade services, you'll be glad you did! :)  

    31 Days of Decorating on a Shoestring Budget Day 12: Have a Garage Sale

    TGIF lovely friends!   Welcome back to my 31 day series of decorating your home on a shoestring budget.  Today we're going to talk about an easy way to earn money to give your shoestring budget a little boost!

    Here in the Midwest garage sale season is winding down but there is still time!  If you live in the South you're good for a garage sale any time.  Today I'm going to share my best tips for having a successful garage sale.

    Cleaning and de-cluttering your home is a great way to prepare your home for a fresh new look.  Why not earn money while you're at it?!  I made $1200 this summer in one sale, here's how....

    I told you about my love/hate relationship with garage sales and why you really should have one despite the pain of it HERE I hate having a garage sale but love the money it earns and the junk it gets out of my house.

    My garage sale this year was huge!  I think I had one meeellion items!!  I unfortunately did not make one meeellion dollars.  But I made some tall cash for a garage sale making over twelve hundred dollars in only 15 hours of sale time.  Do the math... that's $80 bucks an hour.

    I'll take it!

    I didn't have many big ticket items, I sold a few $20 items but my biggest seller was baby/kid clothes.  I finally decided to part with the baby clothes this year.  It was very bittersweet going through both of my little guys clothes and I even got a little teary-eyed when I opened that bin of itty-bitty newborn stuff.  I saved a few special outfits and then, after I got over the feeling sad part it was more like a panicking "Holy cow! How am I gonna get through all these clothes and where the heck am I going to put them in this garage!?"  type of feeling.

    I unloaded one average size bin (about a 20 gallon bin) of baby clothes and it took up almost a whole 9 foot table!  

    So I need about fifteen 9 feet tables just for baby clothes....

    I have 3.  

    Plan B:  Make do with what you got... I didn't have that many tables and I didn't have that much hanging space but I did have plenty of bins. I decided to put the bins to work.  I put like sizes in labeled bins and let people dig through them.  I made sure to pin outfits together with safety pins so they wouldn't get separated.

    At first I felt bad about this not being a very neat way to do it but I realized even if I had everything nicely folded and displayed on a table it would be trashed in 5 minutes.  

    I planned on printing neat little labels for the bins but my printer ran out of ink.  (I refuse to buy more because I ordered some for a ridiculously cheap price online but I think it's coming from China because I ordered it weeks ago and it still isn't here. I don't have time to go to the store anyway, I'm preparing for a garage sale!)  I opted for a Sharpie and printer paper...


    Flaunt it Friday 122!

    Hey all!  Have you seen my 31 day series of decorating on a shoestring budget?  It's super-dee-duper so you should check it out if you've missed it...

    Now that you've caught up on the last 11 days, it's time to party!!

    31 Days of Decorating on a Shoestring Budget Day 11: Ebay

    Hello again!  Are you getting sick of me yet??  I hope not... I guess you probably wouldn't be here if you were.  Thanks for coming back.  :)

    Day 11: Ebay

    So what does Ebay have to do with decorating your house on a shoestring budget.  Well, it's an often overlooked great place to shop for inexpensive decor for your home.

    Some people disregard Ebay because they don't really know what it's all about.  They don't have time to sit around bidding on auctions, they don't think Ebay will have what they need, they think everything on Ebay is used, or that they will get ripped off.

    I'm here to tell you that it's worth your while to figure it out if you are interested in saving money.  Whenever I need want something that is from a more expensive decorator store I always check Ebay first.  They have tons of Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids items, both new and used.  They also have Restoration Hardware, West Elm, Crate & Barrel, IKEA and the list goes on.

    Here's some basic info for those of you that have the concerns about Ebay that I listed above...

    1.  New or Used:  Many of the items are brand new with tags or in original packaging.  Some are used but will be clearly described as used.  Some of the stuff is from an outlet but should be described in detail if it is irregular.  If it is used it will have a detailed description describing the condition, if it doesn't, ask questions or find another seller.

    2.  No time to bid on auctions:  Many Ebay auctions have a "Buy it Now" at a set price button, which means you purchase it immediately at the seller's set price.  Usually you can get a better price if you bid on auctions.  Also, you don't have to spend hours bidding on an auction.  When you bid you can put in your top price and the system will bid on your behalf until you win or your top price is hit.  Ebay will send an email alert if you have been outbid before the end of the auction.

    3.  How can I trust the seller:  Ebay has a great seller rating system that Ebay sellers take very seriously.  Anyone who buys something off Ebay can leave feedback for the seller and just a handful of negative feedback comments can be devastating to an Ebay seller's business.  Always check the seller's feedback before you bid... it should be about 97% positive or better.

    4.  Stay Safe when you pay:  Most Ebay sellers only accept Paypal and if you pay with it most transactions have free buyer protection.  It will say so as you're completing the Paypal transaction, if it doesn't find out why and reconsider your purchase.

    One of my best decor finds I scored on Ebay was our old Pottery Barn duvet, shams and roll pillow.  I got them brand new on Ebay at a deeply discounted price.  I sold them all several years later for more than I paid for them!

    Pottery Barn Fiona Bedding
    Our old Pottery Barn Bedding purchased cheap on Ebay.  Pic is in our old house with our old bed. :) 

    I most recently bought a used Canon Rebel XTI for both my blog and taking pics of the kiddos.  It came with a great lens, a lens filter, 2 memory cards, 2 extra batteries, a new camera bag, the original box, paperwork, and usb cord all for half of what just the camera would cost if it were new.  An incredible deal... the camera seriously looks new.

    So while the camera is not decor it is a blogging tool which ties into decorating your home (if you have a blog). :)
    Recently, Ebay launched "Ebay Daily Deals".  These deals are deeply discounted, namebrand products and always have free shipping.  (Hooray for free shipping!)  I just signed up because I am very intrigued by deep discounts and free shipping, especially since Christmas shopping is right around the corner.

    If you want to try it you can sign up here.

    So, if you haven't used Ebay before, you should check it out... there are lots deals to be found.

    Have you ever bought anything for your home on Ebay?

    Catch up on the rest of my 31 day series here:

    *Disclosure:  Ebay did NOT pay me to write this article.  However, the Ebay Daily Deals button is an affiliate link.  I only offer affilliate links for things I feel my readers would benefit from, all opinions are 100% mine!  

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