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Frugal & Fun Country Decorating
By Monica Resinger

Country decorating can be fun, creative and frugal because the items that 
work in country decor are either handmade like quilts, rugs, wood items, and 
art, or natural items like dried flowers, branches and flowers.  Many of 
these type of items you can make or find at little or no cost.  

Quilts, for example, can be handmade by you with fabric scraps or worn out 
clothing.  If you don't know how to make quilts, you could check out a book 
the library and learn how.  You may even be able to find one at a yard sale 
or thrift store, if you're lucky.  If you can't find or make quilts, check 
thrift stores for beautiful crocheted afghans; I have seen many and these would 
equally as beautiful in your country decor.  Just be sure to find colors that 
match your scheme.  You can drape quilts or afghans over your sofa, or hang 
on a quilt rack.  I have even seen them hung on a wall, like art.  

Throw rugs are a wonderful way to vary your decor.  If you want a change, 
just switch rugs or add one in a new area.  Rugs can be braided or crocheted 
scraps of worn out clothing or fabric.  If you don't know either method, 
there are books out on the subject and you could also do a search on the 
for instructions.  I have found many throw rugs at thrift stores and yard 
sales.  Whenever the price is right and I like the look of a rug, I'll buy it 
so I 
can make a fresh look when needed.  

Wood items are abundant at thrift stores and are very reasonable.  There is a 
huge variety too; I have seen wood fish, shelves, mini rocking chairs, 
coasters, placques, bowls, boxes, figurines, letter holders, spice racks, 
and a lot more.  Sometimes I'll find a scratched wood item that I like and I'll 
still buy it because I'll take it home & fix it up with paint.  These can be 
decoratively painted, or just touched up.  You can also learn how to make your 
own wood items by taking a class or studying a book.  

Usually folk art is very simple, so it is possible to make your own!  Look 
around at other folk art to get ideas for your own original design, then go to 
the craft store & get artist paper (like 140 lb. watercolor paper), lightly 
sketch your design, then paint.  If you really believe that you aren't able to 
this, then again, check thrift stores!  I see charming prints and original 
art for very reasonable prices.  Another inexpensive option would be to frame 
calendar pages.  Look for pretty frames at the Dollar Store.

The nice thing about natural items is that they are free.  Hopefully you have 
your own yard where you can gather pine cones, branches, flowers, and leaves. 
 If not, maybe you have a relative or neighbor that will let you takes some 
naturals from their yard.  Branches and fresh flowers can be placed in pretty 
vases (check thrift stores!) or canning jars, pine cones look beautiful in big 
wooden bowls, as do leaves.  The possiblilities are endless; just use your 
imagination for containers and combinations.  

You don't need a lot of money to create a charming home!  Have some fun and 
start hunting for or creating the things that would make your home special.  

For more fun & frugal tips check out The Homemaker's Journal Frugal e-book 
package that includes 7 e-books that are all packed full of money saving tips, 
hints and tricks: 1- The Big E-book of Frugal Tips, 2-  Fantastic Frugal 
Grocery Tips, 3- Homemade Household Cleaners, 4- Journal Jar (Wonderful 
Gift Idea), 5- Frugal Creative Christmas Ideas!, 6- Turn your Recyclables Into 
Crafts! and 7- The Leftover Recipe E-Book. Click here for details:
Get Monica's FREE weekly e-zine for homemakers!  To subscribe, just send a 
blank e-mail to:  [EMAIL PROTECTED]

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