Monday, November 30, 2009


Short post today!  I'm in the middle of a cleaning frenzy and the rest of my Christmas decorations are still scattered all over my house so I don't have a cool project for today.  I do have some pretty pictures of paperwhites, though.  Hopefully they will inspire you to grow your own.  You need to start now if you want 'em blooming before Christmas.

Target has paperwhite bulbs that come in pretty containers from about $9.99-$14.99 and higher.  If you already have pretty containers you can just buy the bulbs I think they're pretty cheap at places like Lowe's and Home Depot.  I planted some last year and they looked great and smelled amazing.  I'm going to get mine today!  All pictures are linked to their sources.  The third picture is linked to a how-to at

 ***I just got back from Target and the kit I got had 3 bulbs in it and an oblong galvanized metal planter*** for $5.99!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Transformed Costco Wreath

I am covered in glitter and I have sustained minor burns from a glue gun, but I think the result is worth it.  Here is my transformed $15.00 live greenery wreath that I picked up from Costco:

This project was pretty cheap because I didn't have to go out and buy ornaments for it.  All the small ornaments were from the centerpieces at my rehearsal dinner (3 years ago...thanks Miss Sherri) and the larger ornaments were bought last year at 75% off...about $5 total.  This wreath could get pretty pricey if you didn't have some spare ornaments hanging around, but it would be very easy to do on a much smaller scale.  My wreath is 28".  I've seen smaller ones that are very cute and use only ornaments on a coat hanger and no greenery.

I started last night by hot gluing the metal tops to the glass balls.  Apparently if you don't do this they will just pop off.  I strung my ornaments onto floral wire and the result looked like this:

Obviously that's not enought to encircle the wreath.  You have to lay them on the wreath and spread 'em out. 

Once you have them where you want them wrap pieces of doubled up floral wire around the wreath to attach the strand of ornaments.  I probably had to attach it in about 10 different places before I coud hold it up and not have the ornaments sag.    Overall, I'm very satsfied with the look of the wreath especially when I consider that the one at PB is about 80 bucks and smaller. 

Here's the link where I found this idea.  That wreath uses a coat hanger and just ornaments.  Bending a coat hanger didn't sound like fun to me.  The floral wire was very easy to work with.
 Back to Funky Junk!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Christmas Mess

This is the current state of my living room:

Yikes.  I have until December 10th to get everything the way I want it.  I think I can do it.  Currently I'm working on making my Costco wreath look like it didn't come from Costco.  Hopefully I'll have a cheap wreath project to show off tomorrow.  This is my inspiration:

We'll see how it turns out!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Y'all have a good turkey day.  I'll be back Saturday with all my Christmas decorating adventures!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pretty Pomegranates

I don't use a ton of red in my Christmas decorations, but if I did this is how I would do it.  I love this look.  Some of these seem like they could be pretty easy to recreate with some fresh greenery.  All the pics are linked to their sources!

I've seen pomegranates for about $2.50 each at most grocery stores, but I saw them for $1.29 each at Trader Joe's this weekend!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Craigslist Find

I realize this only applies to my Raleigh readers, but I just had to share.  I hope it will inspire a Craigslist search whereever you are.  This chair is only $30 on Raleigh Craigslist right now:

I'd go pick this thing up if I had somewhere to put it.  Reminds me of these....

The Look for Less: Pottery Barn Birch Candles

Pottery Barn has been carrying these for a few Christmases now, and I still haven't gotten tired of them.  This is the first year I've bought any though.  They range from $15-$69(!) at PB, but since they've been so popular other retailers have started carrying copies that start at $9.99.   Target has three different sizes 4", 6", and 8".  I bought one of the 6" candles for $12.99 and was planning on buying a couple more from Target until I stumbled into Kohl's on my hunt for a wreath stand .  Kohl's birch candles start at $12.99, but almost all of their Christmas decor is alreay 50% off.  I got a 4" candle for $7.79.  The 6" candles are $8.99.  I"ll definitely go back and  get a few more.

I think these look just as good as the ones from PB. The taller one is from Target and the shorter one is from Kohl's.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Look for Less: Pottery Barn Faux Snow Vase Filler

PB Faux Snow
This is the first of a few posts in which I will be targeting Pottery Barn's Christmas decorations. As much as I love that store and appreciate the quality of their products, the prices on some of them make me want to go spend a couple hours stopping customers from being ripped off. I can imagine myself being dragged out of the store still yelling at people to put down the over-priced item that they could find so much cheaper somewhere else. If it weren't for my concern for the safety of my unborn child I would consider doing it.

Let's start with the faux snow vase filler. The pictures don't do this stuff justice. The displays I've seen in store that use this are much prettier than the ones they have online. You should go check them out. A box of the faux snow is $12.00 (and I'm pretty sure that it used to cost $19). Two years ago I decided that I would track down cheaper faux snow. I paid $2.99 at Michael's for a bag. This year I was walking down one of Wal-Mart's Christmas aisles and saw that they have it for (I think) $1.99. In both stores it was in the aisle that had the little Christmas village stuff. Please, please don't spend $12 for fake snow and if you happen to see any one else doing it...stop them.

It may not come in the pretty clear plastic box that the snow at Pottery Barn comes in...but it's the same stuff.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Found: $14.99 Wreath Stand

I found a wreath stand at Kohl's! I would have never thought to go look for one there if it hadn't come up when I was searching for a wreath stand online. I'm so glad they had it in the store. I really didn't want to pay shipping and I wanted to make sure that it would be nice and sturdy. This one is heavy and should hold a pretty good sized wreath. $14.99....take that Pottery Barn and Target!

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Look for Less: Vintage Botanical Lithographs

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Bellacor Leaf Botanicals

Collecting Botanical Prints from Country Living
When I started looking for art to put on our walls I knew I wanted something that looked authentically old, but not too formal or anitque-y. Because we have a ton of wall space I didn't want anything that would be too expensive to do as a grouping. The cost of six to eight prints can really add up even when you're shopping at Home Goods. I started searching for old botany books that I could take pages out of, but those proved hard to find. I ended up getting my prints from a vendor at the NC State Fair Grounds flea market. He's there every weekend in one of the permanent buildings and sells old prints like botanicals and old maps (I would love to buy one of the maps). The ones that I bought were $5 each. They are chromolithrographs from a 1916 botany book. The frames I used were $5 from Michael's. The quality of the frames is not great, but from a distance you can't tell that they're cheap. The grouping above our TV cost a grand total of $80. I think that's pretty good considering how much wall space it covers. I did a similar grouping in our kitchen that has mainly fruit prints, plates and a clock.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Beautiful Books

Pictures like this make me wish I had some built-in shelving units. The books are so pretty and arranged no nicely. I've tried to use books as decoration on our little book cases and ladder shelving unit by using books I've gotten from Goodwill or thrift stores. The books in the Real Simple picture are so cute and colorful, but all of my books are beat-up paper backs with lime green "used" stickers on them. And while I'm very proud that I've read them they would not make for a pretty display in my living room. Hardback books at thrift stores are usually about $1.00 each. All you have to do is take a peak behind the glossy jacket and see what's underneath. It's usually easy to find colors that would look nice in any room. Here are a couple places I've used them:

The titles of some of the books I've bought are pretty funny, but they're usually in a place where you can't read them, hence the book You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in Conversation.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Currently Looking For: Wreath Stand

Pottery Barn Wreath Stand
Christmas is coming! Last year I didn't put up a single Christmas decoration because we went out of town. This year I'm planning on decorating the weekend after Thanksgiving to get the most out of all the things I bought after Christmas last year (I'll post on that later). The one thing I would still really like for this year that I didn't pick up last year is a wreath stand. The one pictured above is $44, but there's one at Target for $24.99. I'm trying to find one cheaper than that. I've had no luck so far, but the hunt is still on.

Smith & Hawken for Target Wreath Holder

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Look for Less: Restoration Hardware Key Art

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Key Art
These are 18.5x18.5 and retail for $199. I saw some old keys at the flea market at the NC state fair grounds and did a similar piece of wall art with a shadow box I got from Michael's. If you go to the right guy you can get a handful of keys for $5 and if you go to Michael's at the right time or have a coupon you can get a shadow box for about $25 or less. Here's what mine looks like:

I tacked on the thicker ones in the center with thread and just hot glued the flat ones.

Monday, November 16, 2009

I Love Target, But....

it is not always the cheaper option! These little tea light votives sell for $9.99 at Target and $4.95 at Crate and Barrel. They would be so cute for Christmas decorating.

Trix Candleholder at Crate & Barrel

You can't buy the Target version online, but the next time you're there go look in the candle aisle. My mind was blown.

Thanks to this Terrarrium I'm No Longer a Plant Serial Killer

A few months ago Real Simple did a piece about modern terrariums and how easy they make keeping houseplants. I've never been able to keep a plant alive for more than a few weeks so I was excited to see how they worked. The article had great pictures of beautiful terrariums that were all $70 and over. This is the one I really liked and became determined to find a cheaper version of:

The No-Fuss Garden

The terrarium and saucer in the picture is $79 from Smith & Hawken. As pretty as it is there was no way I was going to spend 80 bucks. I searched and searched and searched. This find took a little longer than most, but I finally found a cloche at Home Goods for $9.99. I put the plant on a ceramic saucer and the whole thing cost about $25. Here's what mine looks like:

The chances of finding another cloche at a Home Goods any time soon is pretty slim since their inventory is constantly changing. Before I found the cloche for $9.99 I was using a glass dome from Pottery Barn. It wasn't ten bucks, but it wasn't 80 either. They have them for $19 and $29 with their cake stands (I used a gift card). It wasn't tall enough for the space I wanted to use it in, but it was still pretty and now it looks good in my kitchen.
Pottery Barn Glass Dome


Let me start off by saying that I am in no way claiming to be a designer or decorator. Most of the things in my home are inspired by magazines, catalogs, and TV shows...inspired is actually too fancy of a word for how I decorate. I basically rip-off ideas that I like and I try to do it for as little money as possible. When I say "little money" I mean very small amounts of money. I refuse to pay full retail for anything and the "Real Steals" feature in Real Simple magazine makes me laugh out loud. Most of the accessories and displays in our house are well under $100, but ripped off from original ideas that would have cost three or four times as much.

My husband and I have been in our new home for almost a year and a half now. We live in a three story town home that I have slowly decorated with flea market and thrift store finds and discounted specials at stores like Michael's, Marshall's, Home Goods and Target. I currently have one of the three floors 98% completely decorated. My aim is to share the deals that I've found to prove that decorating a home does not have to be expensive. Decorating may take a little more time on a budget, but knowing that I'm not overpaying for anything is well worth it. Even though my taste might not be the same as yours I hope that it'll be clear that deals can be found not matter what your decorating style.