Frugal Family

The Homemade Home

Some homes can be real money gobblers. We save and save to afford them in the first place. And, the costs don’t end there. We move in, paint the walls, lay new flooring, tidy or redesign the garden. Sometimes we have to hire people to do professional jobs, other times we have to make do by ourselves.

From the price of getting the place looking right, to the cost of maintenance. There may not be any way around it, but there are ways to lessen the blow. Getting homemade at home is a sure way to cut your living costs. Not to mention that it allows you to get your house how you want it. Since moving into our new home, we have done most of the improvements ourselves. We have lived here now for 7 months and nearly every single day at least some of the time has been spent improving the property and its garden. There is a huge sense of pride knowing how hard you’ve worked, especially when you start to see it all come together. If you’re interested in turning your hand to home improvement, here are a few things to consider.

My kitchen curtains. Classic 1960's flower power. £3.50 charity shop. I have a blue table cloth to match.
My kitchen curtains. Classic 1960’s flower power. £3.50 charity shop. I have a blue table cloth to match.


No home can function without furniture. Well, it can, but it wouldn’t be very comfortable! Without the addition of furniture, your four walls just become an empty box. When you’re starting out, though, furniture is a significant expense. There’s so much to get! That’s why it’s worth turning your DIY skills to furniture making first. There’s no need to skimp on quality, either. Buying good quality materials is still going to save you a lot of money. Find out what you need, and make sure to buy the best materials possible. They may not be the cheapest option, but you’ll be able to rest easy that your furniture will last. Make sure, too, to use proper adhesives when joining. A company like this Henkel distributor offer adhesive options that you can rely on. Make sure, too, to learn what you need to do before you get started. If you’ve never made furniture, research can tell you everything you need to know.

If you don’t fancy having a go at building your own furniture, why not visit some local charity shops or re-use barns in your local area. Keep your eyes peeled on Facebook, Gumtree or Freecycle for free items that you can have a go at upcycling or restoring yourself. It’s great fun, you can learn a new hobby and if you enjoy it so much it may even become a little business venture!


Once your furniture is ready to go, it’s time to turn your attention to decor. This may not be as necessary, but it’s the best way to add personality to your home. You can have a lot of fun with this. Make blankets and cushions to include in every room. You can match them to the decor in each space to ensure they work well. You could also get crafty by painting pictures for the walls. Why not go all out and make curtains? There’s no limit to what you can do. You don’t have to wait to find the perfect piece for each room. You can make it instead!

My home is very much a 1930’s -1970’s inspired home, mainly focusing on the 1930’s. Many of our items are original pieces that we have collected over the years. Our fireplace, armchairs, hanging paintings and even a complete Kitchenette are all lucky finds. I have also learnt to crochet and created a few throws and blankets for the house. YouTube has some fab videos to get you started and once you learn the basic’s, it can become very addictive!

Whipping up an Aunt Ruby’s pudding on the #vintage kitchenette. #1940s #retro #cooking #baking

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Find your style, play with it, tweak it and see what works for you. What I love most about having a handmade home is looking around and seeing items that are made by myself, or unique to my home. I don’t like having generic Ikea furniture that (it seems) nearly everyone else owns. I love having a story to tell about my items and people love asking about them too.


As I briefly mentioned above, it’s also worth mentioning the value of upcycling in your home. This is the perfect way to incorporate everyday items into your décor. Old jars, for example, are fantastic for storage. They can also make excellent vases- one of my favourites is an old coffee jar that now displays my cut flowers. I’ve done nothing to it, other than remove the label. If you have any wooden pallets, think about how you could incorporate those (we used some to make our own large compost heap for the garden) Or, you might want to use them as a base for house plants. Don’t be tempted to grow veg in them though, as some pallets have been treated with chemicals that can leach out into the soil and into your veg. Check the serial numbers (google can help you with this) if you really want to do so.

How about making some cushions from old t-shirts? Using this method will save you loads of money. Plus, you’ll have some truly unique pieces for your home! I have recently seen some fab cushion covers made from old men’s shirts. These make lovely keepsakes and the kids will enjoy cuddling into them at night.

I’m currently making a rag rug for our home from old bedding. I’m simply cutting the bedding into strips and circular crocheting with a big hook. Again, YouTube is amazing for tutorials and it’s a new skill that can be picked up very easily. Start saving your old bedding, t-shirts and curtains for this (or ask your family and friends for donations) and you’ll be surprised at how quickly your own rag rug can be made!

My rag rug made from scraps. Great fun and a new skill to learn.
My rag rug made from scraps. Great fun and a new skill to learn.


Hazel Newhouse

Hazel is a mum to 3 daughters and a son, she lives in Bedfordshire with her husband, kids and pets. Hazel has written for various publications, and regularly works alongside popular parenting and gardening brands.

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