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My Favorite Cheap Decorating Tools

Hi friends! Ready to learn some cheap decorating ideas? I love to decorate (and shop for decorations!) but I also have to stay in a budget, womp womp. So over the past several years I’ve amassed a decent collection of inexpensive, often multifunctional items that I can use (and re-use) in multiple areas of our house. You can too! Here are a few of my favorites:

Votives. Obviously votive holders are created to hold candles and I often use them accordingly, especially during dinner parties.

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Another way I’ve enjoyed using them, however is for mini-vases. This is a great way to use the last living flowers from a bouquet—simply snip off the few good buds that are left, and place them in the votive. Or you can stick some greenery (real or plastic!) in them for a fun décor idea.

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Candles. Of course candles smell great, but they also add a certain ambiance to a room. I rarely throw a dinner party without using pillar candles, and often keep a candle going in the bathroom (see, multifunctional!) and living room.

Flowers & greenery. Fresh flowers can turn an ordinary room into something special. That’s why every house in a magazine is filled with vases of fresh flowers. I’m really lucky—there’s rarely a week that goes by without them thanks to my sweet husband!

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Whether you order yourself a bouquet, or pick up some grocery store blooms and arrange them yourself, flowers are such a visual treat! I also use them during dinner parties to adorn plates.

Lately I’ve been drawn to the simplicity of herbs and green plants, and how they can transform a room. I love how this palm tree added a pop of green to our dining room (although it’s now dead…wah).

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Books. For me, books are the most functional décor available. Like I’ve shared before, I LOVE to read, so these babies are definitely multi-purpose. Of course we have a whole wall of books in our studio, which beats any wall art in my opinion. 🙂


I’ve also used vintage and antique books to create vignettes throughout our home. I change out our mantle décor frequently, and often including books. Bonus points if they have really pretty covers. 😉

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And of course, what’s a coffee table without a book, or stack of magazines?

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Cake stands. Well, yes, you can use them for cake (and I do sometimes!) but it’s pretty rare that we have a whole cake around here. So rather than leave these adorable stands in a dusty cupboard, I like to move them around the house and use them to hold seasonal décor or jewelry.

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If you want to keep the stands in the kitchen, they are also nice to use for holding a serving plate of food to add a little height variance.

Trays. Scott and I were shopping at a West Elm outlet one time, and I found this amazing golden tray for 50% off. I snatched it up and skipped over to him, eager to show him my treasure. Instead of an enthusiastic response, he tilted his head and said, “What are you going to do with that tray?” Indignant I hotly responded, “The better question is what wouldn’t I do with this tray?”

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Guess what. We got the tray. 😛 And now every time I move it around the house, to corral remotes or serve cocktails or display art, I make sure to give him a pointed look. 🙂

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And I have a few others around the house too. 🙂


So those are my most used multi-purpose décor. What about you guys? Any must haves for me to add to my list?

PS- In case you missed it there are TWO giveaways going on right now! Click here to enter to win $1,000 cash and here to enter to win an iPad mini. Good luck! 🙂

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Tania Griffis is an accomplished writer, blogger, and interior designer with a Journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma. She started her popular blog, Run to Radiance, in 2011, demonstrating her design expertise through the personal remodeling of six houses to millions of readers across the globe.

Tania also owns The Creative Wheelhouse, a respected ghostwriting agency for bloggers, further showcasing her talent for creating engaging and informative content.

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  1. Such a treat to scroll through these images 🙂 Lovely suggestions and I especially love and agree with the greenery/flowers. It is a must to make a home more homey! 🙂

  2. this post is packed with inspirational ideas – i love the pinecones on a cake platter (so clever) and you make stacked magazines look like art – so lovely and simple and my only worry is that you’re the only one that can pull this off so well….

  3. 1. i see that pride and prejudice quote & i love it.
    2. the pretty copies of pride and prejudice and wuthering heights? i need them please. i love to collect different copies of P&P.

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