From Shabby To Chic In Under $20

March 20, 2012

I’m moving into a new apartment at the end of the month, and I’m beyond excited to have decorative reign over my new place. The only hitch is that I am insanely frugal… I hate to spend money. I’m talking “fear-of-double-digits” kind of frugal. Good thing, though, that I also have love of crafting!

Here are two quick tutorials on how to re-purpose old decor, save some money, and give yourself a little eye candy.


Chalkboard Frame

A chalkboard frame is an adorable way to display reminders, to-do, calendars, and more.

All you need is:
– An old frame (I got mine at Goodwill for $6.99)
– Chalkboard paint (I used the spray on version – $4.95)
– Colored paint of your choice (I used a Moss Green satin finish spray paint – $3.95)
Total spent: $15.89

Step One: Clean Your Frame

Take apart your frame and clean the glass and frame thoroughly, you want a nice surface for the paint to stick.

Step Two: Paint, paint paint!

Waiting for this beauty to dry

With the glass and the frame separate, follow the directions on the paint you purchased for the appropriate process. Make sure to spray the back side of the frame too, in case you see any of the back side, or through any ornate detailing. Allow to dry, again, according to your paint’s directions.





Cover every square inch with a solid coat of chalk

Step Three: Prep Your Chalkboard

Prep your surface for best writing quality and to prevent the first thing you ever write from being permanently visible. To do so, rub the entire surface of the chalkboard with the side of a piece of chalk, completely covering the entire area, and erase.

Step Four: Put ‘er Back Together!

You’re done! Put your frame back together, and hang your masterpiece in your beautiful home.



Faux-Porcelain Owl

I love the elegant and chic decor pieces you see at places like Anthropologie, but can never get myself to drop the cash.

All you need:
– Animal figurine/toy (Mine was from Goodwill for $0.49)
– Glossy white spray paint ($3.49)
Total spent: $3.98


Before: Dirty, tacky owl sculpture

Step one: Clean your critter.

Again, you want a good surface for your paint, so clean your figurine!






Spray paint from all angles

Step Two: Paint!

Depending on the shape of you’re figure, you can do this in either one or two steps. You need to spray from all angles so that every inch of your figure is coated. Luckily, my owl had holes in the bottom that I strung a coat hanger through. This way could hold him upside down and spray all over. Follow the instructions on your specific paint, and if you cant rig an upside-down angle, spray them from one angle, let it completely dry, and spray from the other angle.


Step Three: DONE!

Let your chic little dude dry, and you have an expensive-looking, modern decor piece. Enjoy!

There you go! Two great crafts for under $20. Not only have you saved money, but you’ve recycled otherwise potential garbage. Plus, you’ll have enough paint left over to continue crafting! So find more figurines, frames, vases, and more, and get creative!