Five Dollar Decor - Bathroom

My most recent project, which I've been doing in little bits and pieces, has been redecorating our bathroom. Every time I go to the store, I keep an eye on clearance or thrifted items that might make our bathroom look a little more finished, and when I find one, I snap it up and put it in there.

I'd take pictures of the changes I've made, but I can't seem to find my camera anywhere, so for now we're just going to have to make do without.

A bathroom is really easy to transform with a few simple purchases. Start out, though, by clearing all the clutter and getting things really clean. Dirt is the easiest way to make a room look unfinished. Cleanliness is the easiest way to make it look new.

1. New Shower Curtain

When we moved in, there was a shower curtain already in the shower/tub. It was pretty hideous--torn, white plastic with blackened spots of mold and grime all over it. I picked up a new curtain at CVS (or maybe it was Walgreens) for $5 and had Mr. Scrimp put it up, because I'm pathetically short. I count it as one of the best five dollars I've ever spent on home decor.

Even if you buy a plain vinyl curtain, it can be decorated with paint or acrylic markers.

If your vinyl curtain is clean but the outer curtain needs to change (ours was actually pretty nice), you can also find those quite cheap at thrift stores. Alternatively, you can make one--find a clearance fabric you like, measure the distance from your curtain rod to the spot you'd like them to hit when they hang straight. Add three inches to the top and bottom for hemming, and that's the height of your curtains. Measure from one end of your shower to another and add an additional four to six inches for some fullness. Hem, and hang.

If you're willing to spend some extra money, you can find all sorts of really beautiful or interesting shower curtains online with a price range of anywhere from $10 to $50. The one pictured here, from Target, is $9.99.

2. New Bath Mat

I lucked out on this one. In the home goods clearance section at TJ Maxx, I found a woven cotton mat that matched our bathroom colors perfectly and had been marked down to $3. If you're willing to wait on sales or clearance, I think you can probably score a similar deal and keep this item under $5.

How you choose a bath mat or bathroom rug can totally define the look of your bathroom. If you get something that coordinates with the walls and floor, you'll keep a neutral, one-color sort of look going. Or, you can get something that contrasts and adds a really beautiful splash of color to an otherwise drab room. Find something that you'll be happy to see when you stumble into the bathroom in the morning.

I found the one pictured here at Amazon for $9.99 in about 30 seconds of looking. They're definitely out there, and cheap.

You could also consider repurposing a small rug that you currently have somewhere else.

3. Line Insides of Cabinets

 A few years ago, Martha Stewart had a bit on this. I can't find it now, of course, but other people have since taken up the torch.

This is one bathroom project still on my list that I haven't yet accomplished, but it's definitely happening. Find a pretty wallpaper, wrapping paper, or scrapbook paper and use it to line the inside of your medicine cabinet and other bathroom cabinets. Hopefully you don't have the kind of nosy guests who snoop around in your cabinets, but just in case you do, give them something pretty to look at--and if they don't, give yourself something pretty to look at.. especially if you live with someone who chronically leaves cabinets standing open.

There are a couple of ways to do this--sallyTV does it with foam core and rubber cement. Design*Sponge, whose final result is what you see pictured here, used spray adhesive and wallpaper.

If you have concerns about being able to remove your work, you could also try fabric with spray starch, or contact paper.

4. Storage

The best way to keep a bathroom clean and happy is to make sure that everything in there has a place to be. You can buy plastic adhesive hooks at major pharmacy chains for just a couple of dollars. I mentioned last Friday how easy and cheap it is to find clear plastic boxes (with lids) that are perfect for tucking into small spaces like the area under your bathroom sink, and hold all sorts of things.

Every time I'm out shopping clearance sales or thrift stores, I also keep my eyes open for small containers, tumblers, soap dishes, or what-have-you that will fit inside of our medicine cabinet so that all the things in there can stay nicely organized. I recently picked up a great ceramic tumbler to keep our toothbrushes in for a mere $1.50 (it had a chip in it, that we never even notice because I turned it towards the back).

5. Decorate

Obviously, this whole post has been about decoration to some degree. I mean something a little less practical here, though. Find something to put in your bathroom that is there simply because you like to look at it. This could be wall art, a small sculpture, a piece of ceramic, a potted plant--anything that is beautiful and that you just, well, like. After all, you spend a lot of time in your bathroom. Shouldn't you be looking at something pleasant while you're in there?

This doesn't have to cost you any money at all. You probably have plenty of things in your house that don't quite work where they are, or could stand to be moved around. Look around and see what you've got.

I picked up a medium-sized ceramic sculpture of a bird the other day for $2. I couldn't figure out where to put it, until I hit on putting it in our bathroom on the small table under our window. It serves absolutely no purpose, but it's there, being pretty, and making me smile whenever I see it. I call that a $2 well spent, and a bathroom well-decorated.


  1. My friend gave me a wall-hanging of a siamese cat staring at a butterfly--it's one of those paintings that looks like it was made in China. I loved it, but Steve wasn't too keen on it, so I put it in the bathroom. But see, my philosophy is, if you have something you want seen, put it in the bathroom. 'Cause most guests have to use that room at some point, and they have nothing better to do than look around at your walls and such when they do. :)

  2. Find a large selection of Bathroom Cabinetsfor all styles of bathroom with an outstanding design!!



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