Decorating on a Budget

| 4/28/2010 10:53:58 AM

As a soon-to-be college graduate with no extra income to spend on beautiful decorations, I’ve started looking for ways to decorate my digs in ways I can afford—and that means for free.

I take a ton of pictures and like to display them around my room. Instead of dropping cash for new frames for every picture, I’ve started framing them my own way.

Any time I see brightly colored or patterned paper (or even chipboard), I save it. From gift bags to flyers, it’s not hard to find and can serve as a perfect backing for your favorite photos.

Leave an inch (or two, or three) of space on each side of the paper after mounting a picture to it with a little glue. Cut it out, and you’ve got a decorative, makeshift matting effect for your photos. With a bright, fun background to your favorite photos, a frame isn’t even necessary. For a more edgy feel, only back one corner of the photo with paper or cut paper backings into different, asymmetrical shapes. Hang them up alone or in groupings to display your memories in a unique (and free!) way. 

Paper framed photo
An old greeting card serves as the background to a high school photo of my best friend and me. No frame necessary! Photo Courtesy Amanda Thompson.

I also love little decorative boxes. I keep earrings in them, coins in them, and some, I admit, sit empty in my room just because I think they look nice. And I can never seem to have enough.