July 22, 2014

Decorating a Mantle on a Yard Sale Budget

Mar21
One of the joys of living frugally is the creative aspect that you can tap into for just a few dollars.
With my walls painted a dramatic green,
I desired to go with the shabby chic look. Since I
have been stuck with the same mantle decor for awhile,
I decided to shop my house (and yard sales) in a quest for some white pieces,
and get it ready for spring.
Because I have made a conscious decision to avoid any impulse purchases, my home decor is always a work in process.
It varies greatly from yard sale season to yard sale season, and honestly, that is part of the fun.
Since I collect anything having to do with teacups, tea parties or hospitality, the white tea pot shown above was a sheer joy for a mere $.50.
I found a few bunches of white flowers at another yard sale for another $.50, and together, that’s one delightful dollar .

I am on a perpetual hunt for white pieces, since I am going to re-do one of my hutches and display all the milk ware glass/white pieces that I find.
This is where patience is a virtue.
This above water pitcher was $1 – love those finds.
And see the frame above?
I had one little open space left on the mantle,
and couldn’t think of what to with it,
so I improvised with a $.25 brass frame.
And I re-purposed it, instead of throwing it out.
(from my post “When Brass and Spray Paint meet”)
I got crafty a few months ago with the
intentions of hanging this plate on the wall.
But when I shopped my house, I found this to be the perfect spot.
It started as this wonderful handmade gift from a friend,
but was in the box for Goodwill after a dishwasher disaster.
The labels came off (bottom left corner) from the heating process.
So I spray painted it white,
took a regular piece of scrapbook paper,
rounded the corners,
and then spread a bit of Modge Podge on top to glue it down.

It was still a bit plain,
so I cut one of the yard sale flowers branches,
glued it down in the middle and attached a bit of my daughter’s hair ribbon.
LOVE.IT.HERE (for now :).
It makes me feel all Martha Stewardish.
I am currently on the hunt for ugly plates ($0.25)
to spray paint.
They will adorn this $1 yard sale mirror.
So let those creative juices go wild this yard sale season.
To think that I can create a marvelous mantle arrangement for $10 (even though it doesn’t meet all the designer tips for layering), and then change it around as I find things to improve upon….
is a good thing.
I’ve learned to appreciate the process.
********************************

In case you missed these other ideas:
*Shopping the house with a little spray paint
*When spray paint and brass meet


Comments

  1. Could you just come over for a few months?

    Talk about bedlam! 10 kids?!?!

    [Reply]

  2. Law Wife says:

    Beautiful mantle! I love the tea pot and pitcher. :)

    [Reply]

  3. You’re the bomb a Jen!

    [Reply]

  4. AnNicole @ OurSuburbanCottage says:

    Great job! Good for you to hold out for BARGAINS you love. That’s definitely the most gratifying way to do it.

    [Reply]

  5. Laurel @ Ducks in a Row says:

    Love all the plates – love that you just spray paint them. They are awesome.

    [Reply]

  6. I love this! Green is my favorite color, I have several walls painted a similar color to yours. I just adore my pops of white against it.

    [Reply]

  7. HouseMama says:

    Thank you so much for encouraging and inspiring me to do a better job in the kitchen and around the house on less money. God Bless!

    [Reply]

  8. I love what you have done with all of your finds!

    [Reply]

  9. Danielle says:

    Love the white items against the green wall…looks great.x

    [Reply]

  10. I love it! It looks so fresh and crisp.

    [Reply]

  11. Imperfect says:

    Love it. It’s all so pretty. I need to do a mantle makeover – It still has all the dark pieces I used through fall and winter. It’s time for a little spring!

    [Reply]

  12. I’m going to have to get myself some spray paint! Garage sales should start popping up soon! Hopefully you will write a post about “tips for garage sale shopping!” Hint hint!!

    [Reply]

  13. Sandy Toes says:

    What fun! I love “white” anything…it all looks great~ Don’t you just love spray paint!

    Do you think we can paint our toenails for summer using a spray can????
    sandy toe

    [Reply]

  14. LOVE your teapot – can’t believe you got it for $.50. Your mantle looks great!

    [Reply]

  15. Wheeeee!!!!! It all looks great, girl! Love it! You are one creative, thrify gal. Two of my favorite things.

    I have a little creamer and sugar bowl that match your teapot. Very cute.

    Love you!
    Kimba

    [Reply]

  16. That Girl says:

    I LOVE that plate with the green splash of color. perfect!!

    [Reply]

  17. Dawn@Embracing the Ordinary Life says:

    Those are some cute ideas!

    [Reply]

  18. I love it! The green and white just make such a statement! Thanks for the tips. The patience part is where I fall short. I’m working on that.

    [Reply]

  19. Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality says:

    Yes, yes, & yes, Jen! Love that white & the yardsale finds. I don't think I've seen your green wall before. I love that color!

    [Reply]

  20. Loving all of the garage sale finds! I can’t wait for the garage sale season to start here in the Midwest :)

    [Reply]

  21. I love everything. White with pops of green is one of my favorite color combinations. Looks great!

    [Reply]

  22. Misti of Studio M Designs says:

    Hey Jen~ Your mantel looks fabulous! So bright and cheery. I tried to spray paint some plates white a few weeks ago, but it was too cold in my basement and the paint when crazy. So I am off to sand them and start over. I really want them on the wall soon! Thanks for sharing you pretties.
    ~Misti

    [Reply]

  23. Lovely!

    I’ve been looking high and low at our Goodwill stores and I just haven’t been lucky. I think I’ll take your tip and find some random plates and spray paint them.

    [Reply]

  24. I love all the white pieces you are using….it looks great!

    [Reply]

  25. sunshine says:

    Everything looks lovely! I wish I could get out to yard sales! Maybe someday… hehe
    Laura

    [Reply]

  26. Parisienne Farmgirl says:

    This looks wonderful! Gotta love spray paint and hate brass don’t ‘cha?

    [Reply]

  27. Old Centennial Farmhouse says:

    I love it all and am just learning to love the white stuff…and that’s going to be a point for me this yard sale season…and I love your work with the spray paint can! Any tips for us that have no experience with spray paint? I’m off to get a can of robin’s egg blue!
    XOXO
    Joni

    [Reply]

  28. writing4612 says:

    It’s looking good!

    [Reply]

  29. Domestically Sassy! says:

    There’s just something about a great Treasure…that’s really cheap!

    [Reply]

  30. Jen, this is a GREAT post! Super job! Looks wonderful! I had a great thrift store trip yesterday and for less than $6 got 6 nifty things. I am in the process of putting them to use and then plan to do a post. I have four things down, two to go! stay tuned . . . :) Kelly

    [Reply]

  31. the BLAH BLAH BLAHger says:

    I’m DYING to get my spray paint on!!!

    [Reply]

  32. Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality says:

    That’s great, Jen! I’m glad you jumped in the party, this IS springy, girlfriend.

    [Reply]

  33. Miss(es) Canadian Pie says:

    I love love love white decor items. They just POP so much. Your mantel is a dream. Just so wonderful. Aren’t you so amazed sometimes what people get rid of in yard sales and charge so little for? I love it!

    [Reply]

  34. It looks so great! I love all the white pieces. I can’t wait to see your white iron piece.

    [Reply]

  35. HeathahLee says:

    I love all those white pieces! I just went to Old Time Pottery and found a couple of little white dishes to go on my wall. They were $1 each, and they fit perfectly. Nothing like finding exactly what you’re looking for, and cheap, too! : )

    [Reply]

  36. i love it! i made my first “white” purchase at a thrift store this weekend. it was a ceramic tea pitcher i believe. now i am on the hunt!!

    [Reply]

  37. Jen, that’s a beautiful mantle. Love the color combinations.

    On a different note, I saw that you and I are both speaking at NCHE this year. We will have to meet up!

    [Reply]

  38. I love white dishes and collect as many as I can! I do need some white pitchers so I’ll be on the garage sale hunt too!

    [Reply]

  39. Manuela@Pleasures of Homemaking says:

    I love the white against the green of your walls – so pretty!

    Manuela

    [Reply]

  40. cityfarmer says:

    lookin’ might-y fine

    Don’t ya just love the white stuff???

    It’s g.sale season…coming right up!

    [Reply]

  41. Scooterblu's Whimsy~Rhonda says:

    Great “mantle~scape!” Love the white pottery pieces! ~hugs, Rhonda :)

    [Reply]

  42. Wow. It looks lovely. You certainly have a gift.

    [Reply]

  43. Kim @ Forever Wherever says:

    Wow! You really are like Martha!! Love the cheap plate painted white!!! It looks wonderful and your wall color is very pretty! Two thumbs up on your $10 decorating girl!
    ~Kim

    [Reply]

  44. I love how clean and pretty and fresh it looks! Jen

    [Reply]

  45. Hoosier Homemade says:

    Very pretty! I love the white vase.
    Thanks for sharing!
    ~Liz

    [Reply]

  46. Brianna @ Heart(h) Management says:

    Nuh uh. Wow! I’m so impressed! That is absolutely beautiful!

    [Reply]

  47. Sandy at God Speaks Today says:

    What creative ideas. I’m doing spray paint in my basement, but with black. Our basement is sort of a Panera Bread decor, and I have all these oak frames, clocks, mirrors, etc from…well, when I was into oak. Spray paint has transformed them beautifully.

    Blessings,
    Sandy

    [Reply]

  48. Beautiful! Great job. I just love yard sales.

    [Reply]

  49. Your fireplace mantle is gorgeous!!! Way 2 go girl. :-)

    [Reply]

  50. Smelling Coffee says:

    Beautiful whites!

    [Reply]

  51. great, inexpensive ideas!!!
    your mantle looks wonderful. Thanks for sharing your great ideas!

    [Reply]

  52. Good job Jen! I am SO happy that it is yard sale season. SO happy. Have a blessed week ahead! ox

    [Reply]

  53. You are a whiz with the spray paint. Everything looks absolutely beautiful! I wish I had a mantle to decorate- I would totally do that! ;)

    [Reply]

  54. Life'sJourney says:

    I was spring party hopping and am so glad I found your blog!! I love how the plate turned out.. it inspires me to be “marthastewart-ish”… I will be stopping by often!! Thanks
    ~Rachel :)

    [Reply]

  55. Linda/"Mom" says:

    * Couldn't agree with you more, and you did it soooo beautifully!!! WHERE oh WHERE does everybody get to go to garage sales n' flea markets & get INCREDIBLE, LOVELY bargains like your pitcher?!?!?! I am SOOO envious!!! IF there were to be a FLEA MARKET HERE, I suspect it would only HAVE fleas, darn it!!! Grins n' thanks, Linda *

    [Reply]

  56. A Hint of Home says:

    I love the mantle with all the white. It looks so fresh for spring.

    [Reply]

  57. I love thrifty decorating, and yours is lovely! thanks for sharing… Cass

    [Reply]

  58. Very cute pictures! I love them all!

    [Reply]

  59. What GREAT finds and what wonderful things you have made out of them! Very creative and practical….but beautiful! Love it all! I have got to start going to garage sales. BTW, I was looking around my house and garage for Spring things and came acroos a box of things that hadn’t sold at MY garage sale last year and was SO happy they didn’t! I am now using them all!!!!!!!!!! Hugs, Pinky

    [Reply]

  60. FOR THE SAKE OF TIME says:

    Well done! You make ” a lot” out of “a little”. A little time and….a little money! Thank you for sharing.

    [Reply]

  61. Susan (Between Naps on the Porch) says:

    Oh, I am sooo loving all the white! And I love what you’ve done…wish I had your luck at finding such beautiful pieces so reasonably! Great job salvaging the plate and dressing it up! This was a wonderful Met Monday post! Susan

    [Reply]

Share Your Thoughts

*