How to Work With What You’ve Got

One of my favorite hobbies (much to my husband’s chagrin) is upcycling furniture. (I’m one of those people who sends my husband to the curb on trash day to pick up people’s discards so I can make them pretty!)

We’ve done several pieces over the last few years and it just feels good to put a new coat of paint on an old piece of furniture! When you work with what you’ve got, it saves countless dollars, plus you can customize it to your home decor. It’s one of my favorite parts of having financial savvy.

I recently had the privilege of guest posting for about one of these projects. You can click here to see a simple step by step instruction. There are some more pictures here of the details that went into it. {And I’m excited to have a post on a major site!}

31 days of financial savvy at : how to work with what you've got
Shelf 1: antique plates, $15 each (these are actually hanging over the shelf)
Shelf 2: candle from Target, $5
red bowl- I have no idea
“K” mug, from Anthropologie, was a gift
Shelf 3: blue tea pot, Goodwill, $3
frame and print, IKEA, $4.99 frame, prints were a set of 5 for $3
yellow elephant, antique store, $6
Shelf 1:
Tealight lantern from IKEA, $2.99 each
Shelf 2:
Airplane sweater box from Ross, $12.99
(this is actually a gift for my nephew, although I love it!)
Shelf 3: Framed photo (mine), frame from IKEA, $4.99
(Is anyone else thinking IKEA should have sponsored this post?)
framed cross (wedding gift)
antique book
Shelf 4:
brown china (from my grandma’s house, does anyone know the name of the pattern?)
antique phone ($15, local boutique)
Now the grand total for all the items on these shelves is around $95, give or take a few dollars. But I’ve been collecting these items since we were first married over 12 years ago. Take the time to collect items you love- no one wants to dust things they don’t love!


About Kelli Hays

Kelli Hays is a wife, mother, writer, and friend. She has been blogging since 2008 and loves sharing inspiration for the everyday woman!


  1. I really like this idea for a series! Thus far I’ve more taken the strategy of…let’s just not have furniture instead of upcycling furniture, because we intend to move and I don’t want to have a lot of stuff to move, but if we ever do settle down somewhere, I’ll definitely be keeping my eye on the curb! That bookshelf turned out great, and I really like the idea of keeping things that have meaning to you!


  1. […] really well, and it’s completely customized! {You can see some of these other projects here, here, and […]

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