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It is so satisfying to find a really good deal! I often browse through favorite stores, many of which have been listed in previous posts in this series, keeping my eyes peeled for the “perfect” item for our home. Often though, the perfect item I’m looking for proves to be a bit elusive. Or, as is often the case, that perfect item is out of my budget, and the next-best item beside it pales in comparison. I’ve learned that instead of settling for something that’s not quite right, to revisit my project and my home and see if I already have something that works for that space.

Recently I undertook redesigning our mantle space. For several months I had been eyeing a fun piece of artwork at a nearby shop. I loved the piece, but the price was high for what it was, and I never seemed to have the extra to purchase it. I was eager to decorate that space, and finally decided to use New Song Women’s famous “Use What You Have” principle. I put that artwork out of my mind, and turned to my collection of décor to make the space work.

First, I found an antique mirror that my great-aunt passed on to me a number of years ago. The dated gold finish was easily refreshed with Rust-oleum’s hammered gray spray paint. Then I went through my vase collection and picked out several clear glass containers. I found a couple of old milk bottles, an antique water canteen, an antique serving bowl, a fish bowl and some bottles that I had scrubbed the labels off years ago. I arranged those with a new plant, some bottles that I had scrubbed the labels off years ago. I arranged those with a new plant, some small succulents, and some flower cuttings from my yard, and “Ta-da!” … the mantle was finally decorated!

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I spent a few dollars on spray paint and less than $10 on new plants, and got great joy from using the mirror and glassware I already had. Sometimes when the “perfect” thing is out of reach, we can find a different “perfect” solution with what we have!

While my home is about 90% decorated by used, clearance, and homemade items, I do keep a bin or two of unused décor items I’m not ready to part ways with just yet. If I’m looking for something to finish off a look and nothing from those bins fits the bill, I like to shop used next. I like to find quality made items and I don’t like paying much for them. I’ll share with you some great deals I have found for $10 or under and some places for finding those deals.

One of my favorite places in Spring Hill is called Helping hands. Helping Hands is much like Goodwill. You will have to pick through stuff to find the gems, but they are definitely there if you are willing to look. They are a great option for finding not only décor, but also some practical items for the home like cooking dishes, mugs, lamps, and even a dinosaur or two.

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My kiddos have been intrigued by nutcrackers at Christmas time. Because I refuse to pay full price for holiday décor, we have gone without a nutcracker. However upon my latest visit to Helping Hands, I found this 2’ tall nutcracker for $3. Score! It could use a fresh coat of paint, but with my spray paint stash in the garage I’m sure I have a color that will give it a fresh new look. My oldest daughter takes after her momma and likes finding deals too. She found a cute brass horse for her horse themed bedroom for $1!

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Think about flea markets and antique shops too! Not everything there is old or used. Some things may just be vintage inspired. Red Bird Antiques in Columbia has some fun stuff, new and old. Even if vintage isn’t your thing, flea markets and antique shops are great places to find well-made pieces.

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If you don’t have the patience to dig through a mess of items, you may have a bit of trouble staying under $10. If you have a tiny budget, you may not have much of a choice but to dig. Personally my favorite pieces are ones that are a result of a little digging and searching.


 By Abbie O’Neal & Jeannie Print

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