When living the cheapskate lifestyle, being able to Do It Yourself will save you truck loads. Can’t afford to decorate your house? Make your own art. Photoshopped home pictures, magazine covers, postcards, and pressed flowers can all be framed and hung on walls or displayed on shelves. You can make collages, display collections or come up with endless other homemade decorations; you’re limited only by the extent of your own creativity. Shop at thrift stores and garage sales for picture frames (even old frames can be repurposed with a quick sanding and some paint/stain), then create a piece to fit inside. When it comes to art, the bolder the better. Buy a large canvas and splatter it haphazardly with colorful paints for an original piece of abstract expressionism. Tell your friends it’s an original Pollock, they’ll never know the difference. Finally, you can use air purifying house plants to both beautify and deodorize your home.
DIY AROUND THE HOUSE
Keeping with the DIY theme, you can also make your own drapes, cleaners, and beauty products. Regarding the former, you don’t have to be a master seamstress to create your own curtains. A simple search on Pinetrest will yield 101 different ways to make 1001 different drape verities. It can be as simple as throwing a blanket over a curtain rod.
When it comes to homemade cleaners, it all depends on what you are cleaning.
To make a glass cleaner for windows and mirrors, mix two cups of water with 1⁄2 cup white cider or vinegar, 1⁄4 cup rubbing alcohol, and two drops of essential orange oil. For rust stains on porcelain and enamel, mix half of a lemon with 1⁄2 cup of borax (a laundry booster that can be found in the detergent aisle). One half cup of sudsy ammonia mixed with a gallon of water can be used to clean greasy grills and oven hoods. If you have marble, granite, or natural stone countertops, rub them down with a few drops of mild, non-citrus, dishwashing liquid mixed with two cups of warm water. White vinegar or lemon juice with table salt works well on brass, while a simple solution of baking soda and water can be used as an all-purpose cleaner/deodorizer.
As well as cleaners, you can also make your own beauty products at home. Cosmetics, makeup, and skin care products can all be made using simple household ingredients. Rub your face with honey at night and a mixture of baking soda and water in the morning to keep your skin looking young and fresh. Crush and mix two tablespoons of zinc oxide, one tablespoon of arrowroot powder, one teaspoon of gold mica dust, one half teaspoon of natural clay powder, and one tablespoon of finely ground cocoa powder to create a natural, homemade foundation. Bronzers/blush, eye liners/shadows, and mascara can also be created using similar homemade recipes. Making your own beauty products will not only save you money, but you can also experiment with the ingredients and ratios to find a concoction that works best for you and your skin.
Another great way to save money while being artistic is to make your own gifts. Design a hand-drawn monogram mug, make some teacup candles, or create a few personalized Polaroid magnets. Search Google or YouTube and you’ll find hundreds of creative ideas and video tutorials tutorials. Whether it’s a front door wreath or a friendship bracelet, your gift will be appreciated because it comes from the one place that counts . . . your heart.