Moving can be a strain on a budget, and decorating a new home just might not be in the cards. Or perhaps you are craving a change from the same walls and accessories but can’t justify buying all-new decor. Well, decorating your home doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are 10 ways to decorate your home without spending a dime:

1. Take a Fresh Look

Before you bemoan your vow not to ditch everything and start from scratch, take a look around your home. Why do you own your furniture and accessories in the first place? What attracted you to them, and what don’t you like now? Would you enjoy the arm chair collecting dust in the corner of your bedroom more if it became part of a reading nook in the living room? Maybe the portrait of a dog painted by Uncle Joe that’s been collecting dust in the closet would be kitschy funny in the guest bathroom. Then try re-arranging to see if your opinions change. The first step is to take stock and see what you love, what you hate, and why.

2. Repair

Did you notice a few items were in disrepair during your assessment? It’s hard to like your decor when it feels broken and sloppy. Rather than tossing, investigate ways to repair broken or damaged items. Can you glue the creaky dining room chairs? Tighten the latch on the hutch for easier access and closure? Repaint those tacky gold picture frames? Reupholster or recover the loveseat with the hole in it? What can you fix and what is beyond repair?

3. Repurpose

So maybe the creaky dining room chairs are past the point of no return. Don’t toss them out just yet! Why not use them to create an awesome French Style Bench? How about hanging grandma’s old quilt on the wall behind your bed in lieu of a headboard? Get creative and find ways to repurpose your broken or unwanted home decor items. Got lots of books and not enough shelf space? Try stacking them for use as the legs of a table, as a display for a vase, or toss a cushion on top to make stools that highlight your bibliophile style.

4. Recycle

Before you take out the recycling, see if there is anything you can use to spruce up your decor. Can you turn an old mason jar into a cool hanging lampshade? Why not turn glossy magazines into a beautiful, waterproof vase, a stunning art bowl, or even a unique wall clock? Decoupage a tired old lampshade with newspaper for a great new look!

5. Swap It Out

Gather up everything you simply can’t stand and then invite your friends to do the same at a swap party. New swapping apps like Yerdle or Swapit make exchanging your old for new-to-you a fun, point scoring game!

6. Forage

My first apartment in New York City was almost entirely decorated with furniture I found on the street, and I was often complimented on my eclectic mismatched dining room chairs and unique artwork. Don’t be squeamish about items left on the curb. Most things are able to be cleaned and repaired, and saving them from the landfill gets you big green points!

Aside from furniture left out on the street, a trip to the nearest park or beach can provide a ton of decor inspiration! Gather grapevines for a wreath to hang on your wall or door. Use wooden sticks, driftwood or branches to hang curtains, to hang clothes in a closet, make shelves or shelf brackets, or slice and add to walls for a unique and eye catching wood mosaic. Use seashells to make everything from chandeliers to miniature hanging planters! Hang dried flowers twigs or pinecones on the wall or display them in bowls or vases.

7. Create

Since you’re already feeling creative after your foraging expedition, get inspired to create your own decor with a visit to your nearest home improvement store. Many often give away old wallpaper books, carpet samples, and paint swatches for free.  What can you do with these samples? How about making a hallway runner, a doormat? You can refinish just about anything with wallpaper samples! How about making some great new drink coasters? Use paint swatches to cover walls, make wall art, cut out butterfly specimen art, or make a colorful chandelier. You can find free images and art online to print and hang on your wall. Get inspired and creative!

8. Grow

Nothing improves the look and feel of a room better than a little growing green! Get double bang for your buck by regrowing your kitchen scraps. Not only will they perk up your pad, but you’ll have fresh new produce for free!

9. Look Online

Many websites like Craigslist and Freecycle list local items people are giving away for free. You can find some great treasures for the cost of swinging by to pick up.

10. Display

Don’t leave that bag of brightly colored oranges in the fridge! Display them in a big bowl on your table for a welcome pop of color. Pick a bouquet of wildflowers and display them in your favorite glass or vase. Line a shelf with your pet rocks or your vintage matchbook assortment. It’s amazing how a little glimpse of nature or a much-loved collection can perk up a room!

Got more ideas for free home decor? Share them below!

Image source: Blovely/Creative Commons