Creative Way to Save Money

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Searching creative way to save money? We are only too happy to share with you an idea on a creative way to save money.

I love coming up with creative ways to save money at home. This home decorating idea is a way to save money fast. I spent no money on this project, stick around here and we will show you how to save money decorating your house over and over again.

Have you ever purchased something online, and then when it arrives you think, oh my... that is not what I thought I was purchasing. The color is off, the size is too big the size is too small, what was I thinking... it is just not what you thought it would be.

I can honestly tell you I purchase most everything online anymore. It started quite some time ago, about the time we were getting married. We live in a smaller community where the things I had in mind for our wedding were not readily available so I turned to the internet to make many purchases for our big day.

Let me tell you those were some interesting times. I had mix ups with deliveries, items too large and needing to be taken in, when items came they looked nothing like the online photos... the list went on and on as I am sure you can imagine or even experienced yourself. Talk about a lot of stress and being upset pretty often.

Despite issues when making online purchases, this has not deterred me from making more precious online purchases, sometimes you need to dig in and make it work with what arrives.

It began with convenience, and then became necessity like for most folks. When I shop online, I can add all of my ideas to my shopping cart that I see. One of these days I will share my process because it is quite a process when I am making a decorating decision for our home. I then go back and read reviews, begin eliminating from my cart until I have the one perfect thing I think will be it for our house.

When it came to these placemats, I can assure you there was not a lot of thought that went into their purchase though. I believe they were $1.49 per placemat, marked down after the holidays.

They were described as gold round placemats. When they arrived, they were round, but the gold color was not exactly the gold I had in mind. It was after Christmas and the gold I had in mind was more of the silver and gold variety. To say I was disappointed was an understatement. I thought to myself, what am I ever going to do with them?

I set them aside and they sat in the bottom drawer of our buffet for a few years. Yes, years... then this past week I had the most wonderful idea. I decided why not change those dreaded placemats so I can get some use out of them?

I removed all six placemats from their drawer of shame and went to my crafting supplies to see what I could come up with. I rummaged around wondering how I could change them. They I came across my gesso paint, and I thought hmmmm... I just be on to something here.

Since artists use gesso paint to cover their canvases, I wondered why can I not use this on my placemats? What did I have to lose? These placemats still had the tags on them, so I was willing to take a chance on $1.49 placemats.

I gathered up my gesso paint and stencil brush and got to work making new placemats for our dining room. I had been wanting a round placemat, feeling I wanted to stray from those rectangles for a while now... this allowed me the perfect opportunity to do so all while saving me money creatively. What a treat that is!

Once I had the first one completed, I began setting up stations around the dining room and kitchen putting them in front of fans to dry. The best thing about gesso paint? It does not make the fabric hard like most other paints do. The placemats are still flexible. Winner, winner chicken dinner! I imagine these placemats will indeed have many chicken dinners served on them.

Tip: Gesso paint will adhere to most anything. Oh, and if you get it on your clothing, it won't go anywhere so make sure you wear something old when painting with it. Somehow I must have reached across while the paint was wet and ruined another t-shirt. I need to really wear just working clothes when I do these fun projects.

You can see I dabbed, dabbed, dabbed the day away until I had all of them covered in their new forever color. Overall, I am pretty happy with these new to me placemats since they saved me money giving them a make over, and now they will be used on our table instead of sitting in a drawer collecting dust.

See what a little paint can do? You can change about anything in your home with paint. I always try to come up with something else instead of getting rid of items and buying new. I even thought about a stencil for the middle of these placemats, but decided neutral was the way to go so I can use them any time of year.

Not too bad for free, eh? Well, of course I paid for them initially, but now they are FREE! LOL, my husband always makes a comment when I tell him something was free. He asks did someone give it to you? Well no, but I did not buy anything new... always concerned with the semantics of what I say... not the fact I spent zero money on something for a new look... oh well, I guess that is a man for you.

I love the way they turned out. Who knew those bright gold placemats that went with nothing in our home would turn out going with everything in our home? I had high hopes they would, but have been ecstatic every time I photograph some of our food pics we share with you.

You may have noticed them in our food sharing photos, yep, same placemats! They are the perfect backdrop and I love the texture. Just a tid bit to share with you, I only painted one side. I plan to paint the other side a different color, that way I am saving even more money! Reversible placemats, double the fun and saving even more money in the process, I do not see where I could go wrong in this scenario.

It really helps in storage too when I can have one placemat (or six of them) instead of double the amount to store. I have not decided what color for the other side though? Suggestions? I am thinking I can tint my gesso paint which just opens up more possibilities! I love saving money, do you? I mean who doesn't, right?

Do you have something in your home that you have been thinking about getting rid of? Well, give it a makeover for a way to save money on decorating your house. We have an entire basement and attic I plan to work my way through. I am pretty excited about some of our ideas too.

Link to gesso paint below. Also, check out how much money I saved on my placemats. Not a lot, but I am still happy with using what I already had around the house... so easy, and I love anything easy on the purse strings too!

Suggested materials:
  • Placemats   (had on hand)
  • Gesso paint   (had on hand)
  • Stencil brush   (had on hand)
Vintage Style Gal
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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  3 questions
  • Cindy Cindy 7 days ago

    I would like to try this out , I think this project is great, but gesso paint ? There are so many types… what type did you use , basic, acrylic? Help !

  • Shelly Moore Shelly Moore 4 days ago

    I have placemats almost Exactly like these I got on clearance at Kroger Marketplace over a year ago and I Love them, problem is they're not a color I use in my dining room every day really. (Re decorating my dining room). Reading this I said Wow!!! I could gesso them on one side!!! White goes with Everything!!!. Lol!. May even hot glue some small white rope around the edge for a little extra! With limited storage space, two looks less space. Now I'm wondering what other things I can change colors on???? Lol!

  • Mary Njus Mary Njus Yesterday

    i always end up getting a stain on just one placemat. Would this cover up the stain? I could always paint a darker color or just put a pattern on it. I hate getting rid of them cause one got a little dirty. I gesso it’s worth a try. Lol Btw my suggestion for back color would be pink like in your napkin. How lovely this would be on your table. Or consider using holidays to dictate your colors. Fall on one side, Christmas/Hanukkah/ Kwanza/ winter on the other. I’m looking at my stack right now saying why didn’t I find this sooner lol. Thanks.

Join the conversation
  • William William on Aug 04, 2022

    Very nice. Some people would use spray paint or craft which can flake off over time.

    • Vintage Style Gal Vintage Style Gal 7 days ago

      Thank you William. I worked with an art teacher in the past and she introduced me to gesso paint. I had it on hand and thought it should work the way I had in mind.