Inexpensive Ways to Increase Home Value

Have you ever looked at a home and wondered how they make it look so good?! There are many ways to increase home value, that are inexpensive and simple. It always amazes me how fixing the smallest things can increase the value of your home.

Even if you don’t plan to sell your home, small home improvements will increase the value of your home and if one day you do decide to sell, you’ll have less work to do to get it ready.

Not sure where to get started? Check out these tips!

Increase home value by ripping out old shrubbery.

Say goodbye to ugly landscaping and hello to increasing your home value. Ripping out old shrubbery helps your house look not-so-ugly. While you are ripping up the shrubs remember to lay down some new mulch in the beds. Mulch is very expensive (especially in the spring when Lowe’s and Home Depot run their yearly sale) and can really make the outside of a house pop!

I always lay down some weed blocker fabric in the beds to keep the weeds at bay. It’s inexpensive invisible when covered by a layer of mulch or stones.

Improve curb appeal by removing clutter from the outside of your home.

When you drive past a home that has a lot of clutter on the outside, it makes you wonder about the inside. Remove the clutter and increase the value of your home. We do a yard clean up several times a year and everyone works for a few hours getting rid of sticks, dead plants, and random things that have migrated into our yard. It’s amazing how much better it looks after only a few hours of work.

Increase home value by adding a fresh coat of paint.

It’s sad to see how quickly walls become dirty and gross at my house. However, a quick coat of paint can guarantee an increase in home value. Check out my $60 total room makeover from several years ago.

Painting is a home improvement you can do yourself in a day and is very inexpensive. If you want to really make your room pop, clean and/ or paint the trim. It’s amazing how incredible a room looks with fresh white trim.

If you don’t want to paint, try washing the walls with warm soapy water and a sponge. A little elbow grease can go a long way. The same goes for cleaning your baseboards. This is a job kids love to do (especially bored children on summer break!)

Improve first impressions by minimizing the clutter inside.

If you are trying to sell your home, having less on the inside always seems to do the trick. Start getting rid of items you no longer need and keep the inside looking tidier. This is a great way to start your journey to minimalism. Every time we’ve sold a home we’ve done a major declutter. I always wish we did it while we were living there rather than when we are moving, because I enjoy my home so much better with less stuff!

Not only will your house look better, you will be able to find the things you really do need!

Increase home value by updating the bathroom.

An old (and dingy) bathroom can decrease the value of your home, especially if other homes in your neighborhood have been renovated. A total bathroom remodel is expensive but you can make some inexpensive changes that have a big impact.  If the overall bathroom is ugly, you may have to spend some money updating the floors or painting. However, there are small things you can do to make your bathroom look awesome. Try adding a rug, scrubbing the walls, or even adding a few hand towels.

If you want to make a bigger impact, consider changes the vanity mirrors or lighting, or replacing the faucets with an updated style. We purchased a bathroom faucet on Amazon for around $50 and installed it ourselves. Just removing the fifty year-old faucets made a big difference.

Another home improvement we made in our bathroom was to install peel and stick vinyl plank tile over the existing fifty year-old floor. The results were amazing and it cost under $100.

If you want to invest a little more money into your bathroom consider having your tiles or tub painted or reglazed. If the tile is in good shape, painting or reglazing the tile is about 1/10 of the price of replacing it. We recently painted the tile in two of our bathrooms and have been pleased with the new look.

All these bathroom improvements will increase your home value and are significantly cheaper than a complete bathroom renovation. We renovated our bathroom for under $200 when we moved into our most recent home.

Improve rooms and closets by adding organization features.

One of my favorite ways to increase the value of a home is more organizational space. People love storage! Adding something like a closet to your home is cheap. You can also buy closet organizers or closet systems to help you get that space you’re looking for. When all else fails, adding shelves is a great idea to help you get those features.

One of my favorite organizing tools is the inexpensive over the door shoe organizer. We’ve used it for Barbies, toddler clothing, sewing supplies, underwear, socks, and my favorite use – winter/ summer gear.

The nice thing about this storage container is that you can fold it up and pack it away if you aren’t using it.

Increase home value by updating the flooring.

Hardwood flooring has always been popular. If you have an older home, you may have hardwood flooring underneath. If you don’t want hardwood flooring, you can still update the flooring in your home in an inexpensive manner.

If your carpet old, stained or outdated? Add a throw rug on top of it to take the attention off the carpet. If replacing the flooring is not in the budget, have the carpets cleaned at least once a year. This really makes a difference if you have pets. Most carpet cleaning companies run specials all the time, so it’s easy to find a good deal on having your carpets cleaned.

One flooring style that is very popular now is vinyl planks. It’s significantly cheaper than hardwood (although more expensive than carpet) and very durable. There are even peel and stick vinyl planks that you can grout to look just like porcelain tile or hardwood. If you really need to replace floors but have a small budget, vinyl planks might be a good option.

groutable vinyl tile

These vinyl planks were installed right over the existing tile flooring. 

Before you tackle a huge home renovation project, think about what small projects you can do around your house that will make a big difference. Most of these projects increase home value and can be completed in a day (or a weekend). The impact is big, however the cost and time commitment is small.

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

3 Ways to Mend Holes in Blue Jeans

When I go shopping for clothes it always amazes me how expensive blue jeans are that have holes in them.  If I want holes in my blue jeans all I need to do is let my boys wear them for a few days.  They are always getting holes in their jeans, especially in the knee area.

One way to deal with holes in jeans is to just cut them off above the knee and turn them into shorts.  However, a boy can only have so many pairs of jean shorts.  With it still being winter, shorts aren’t practical right now.  So, what’s a mom to do?

Mend the jeans!

3 Easy Sew Tutorials for How to Mend Holes in Blue Jeans from The Happy Housewife

Today I am going to share 3 ways that you can mend a pair of blue jeans that have holes in them.  Even if you are thinking, “I don’t know how to sew,” I would encourage you to scroll down and check out these ideas because not all of them require the use of a sewing machine.

1.  Iron-On Patches

You can easily purchase iron-on patches for blue jeans which can be cut to size. However, you can also make your own.

a.  Measure the size of your hole.  Cut a piece of blue jean fabric that is at least 1/2 inch larger than the hole.  (Old blue jeans that are beyond repair are an excellent source of patch fabric.) For example, this hole was less than 1 inch square so I made the patch 1 1/2 inches square.

b.  Cut a piece of Heat n Bond that is just slightly larger than the patch.  Use Heat n Bond Ultrahold (Available at Amazon or craft stores.) for this project as it is heavy duty and requires no sewing.

c.  Iron the Heat n Bond to the patch for 2 seconds. Once cool, pull away the paper backing and trim any excess Heat n Bond.

Please note that if you use an iron-on patch you may find that the corners may peel with repeated use or washing.  Therefore, I recommend this method on small holes only.  Optionally, you can hand sew the patch on before ironing it to the jeans.  Just pin the patch over the hole, then use a needle and thread to stitch it down, and then follow the next step.  

Place the patch over the hole, right side up, and iron for 4-6 seconds.  Allow to cool and then test to be sure the patch adhered to the jeans.

2.  Hand Sewing

Hand sewing a hole or rip in a pair of jeans is something I recommend only if the tear isn’t very wide.  The use of a blind stitch makes the hole disappear and the stitches “invisible”.

a.  Begin by cutting away some of the threads around the hole.  Don’t cut the actual fabric, just the frayed parts.

b. The stitch needed to sew an invisible seam is a vertical blind stitch.  Start 1/2 inch from the right edge of the hole and insert your needle from the inside of the jeans up through the top.

c.  You will make stitches that are vertical and that go across the hole from top to bottom.  Make several small stitches and gradually make them bigger until they are the height of the hole.  After a few stitches pull the thread taught and your stitches will become invisible.

Once you pass the hole go past it to the left 1/2 inch, gradually making your stitches smaller.  Remember to pull the thread in order to make your stitches invisible.  Tie off your thread and cut close to the jeans.

3.  Sewing Patches (2 Methods)

Method 1:

This method of sewing on a patch requires the fabric to be folded under and stitched on using a straight stitch on a sewing machine.

a.  Cut a piece of blue jean fabric (or fabric of your choice) larger than the hole.  Iron the edges to the wrong side 1/4 inch all around.

b.  Using a seam ripper, open the INNER seam of the jeans approximately 4 inches above and below the hole.  This will be much easier than trying to sew the patch on with the jeans as is.  Pin the patch in place.

c.  Using a straight stitch, sew the patch to the jeans using a 1/8 inch seam allowance.  Take care to keep the jeans out of the way underneath where you are stitching. Backstitch at the end.  Stitch the side of the jeans back together (Turn the jeans inside out first.).

Method 2:

This method of sewing on a patch uses a satin stitch on a sewing machine.

a.  Cut a piece of blue jean fabric (or fabric of your choice) larger than the hole (The patches pictured above were 3 inches by 3 3/4 inches).  Round off the corners with a pair of scissors.

b.  Using a seam ripper, open the INNER seam of the jeans approximately 4 inches above and below the hole.  This will be much easier than trying to sew the patch on with the jeans as is.  Pin the patch over the hole, centered on the jeans.  (I covered both knees so that they would be matching.)

c.  Using a tight satin stitch (Zig-zag stitch set to a wide width and a narrow length), sew around the entire patch.  Backstitch at the end.  Stitch the side of the jeans back together (Turn the jeans inside out first.).

Side note:  If using a fabric other than blue jean material to make patches, I recommend a sturdy fabric such as corduroy or twill.  If you use a decorative cotton fabric just be aware that children who make a hole in a pair of blue jeans are likely to make a hole in your decorative patch, too.  🙂

Bonus Idea:  Get Creative

I saw an idea similar to this next one on this site, but I made some changes so a sewing machine isn’t necessary.

a.  Cut any stray threads away from the hole and use Fray Check (Available on Amazon or at your local craft store.) to seal the edges.  Cut a piece of red felt or fleece that is slightly larger than the hole (mouth).  Cut a piece of white felt or fleece that is as wide as the hole and longer (teeth).  Also cut 2 white circles (eyes).

Here are my measurements.
Hole-2 inches wide by 3/4 of an inch high
Circles-2 at 3/4 of an inch
Red Square- 2 1/2 inches
White for Teeth-1 1/2 inches high by 2 inches wide

b.  Cut the white piece of felt or fleece to look like teeth and use Fabri-Tac (Available at Amazon or your local craft store) to adhere it to the red square (Do not use Fabri-Tac on the actual pointy parts of the teeth.).  Use Fabri-Tac to adhere the white circles above the hole and to adhere the “mouth” to the inside of the hole.  Allow the Fabri-Tac to dry.

c.  Using a needle and embroidery floss, stitch the mouth and eyes in place.  This will provide extra durability.

If the jeans are beyond repair, you can recycle them and make a jean purse. Minimal sewing required!

DIY blue jean purse tutorial. Don't throw away those ripped jeans, recycle them and make a cute purse!

Mending jeans has proven to be a great way to save money for our family.  Have you ever mended a pair of blue jeans?  What method did you use?

The is a post from Jackie of Blessings Overflowing.

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Best Budget Friendly Gifts for Gardeners

I’m a big believer in getting people gifts they will use and enjoy. If you have a gardener on your Christmas gift list we’ve compiled some of our favorite gardening gifts that we use and love.

All of these gifts are affordable (under $30) and most of them are available on Amazon with free Amazon prime shipping!

top 10 budget friendly gardening gifts

Circular Hoe Hand Garden Weeding Tool

I learned about this tool a few months ago. Drag at ground level to cut weeds at the roots. Bottom is sharp and sides are dull, so you can use it near important plants and only cut weeds.

circular garden hoe for gardeners

Newspaper Pot Maker for DIY Biodegradable Seedling Starter Pots

This is a great gift for your aspiring young gardener. Make pots for your seedlings with newspaper using this small tool. (Makes a great stocking stuffer!)

newspaper pot molder for seedlings

Seeding Square: Seed Spacer to Optimize and Organize Your Vegetable Garden

Do you have a small space gardener on your Christmas list? This seedling square is the perfect gift! The template gives the perfect amount of space to all seeds and seedlings when planting a vegetable garden – based off of Square Foot Gardening spacing techniques.

seedling square- gardening template for small space gardening

Stainless Steel Cape Cod Hand Weeder

This hand weeder has a stainless steel blade and neck. The classic design of cape cod weeder makes weeding by hand easy. 

Gardening Gloves 

I love these gloves because they are breathable (hello- Florida!) and they have touch screen tips so you can answer your phone or change your playlist while you are working without taking them off!

gardening gloves that are breathable and allow you to use your touch screen phone

Indoor / Outdoor Thermometer and Hygrometer

This thermometer is so pretty I might buy one for myself. I love that it shows the humidity too, although in Florida it will probably read 90% most days of the year!

indoor outdoor metal thermometer hygrometer

Foldable Garden Seat

I never understood why people used these until I started doing yard work! Good grief, my back hurts after a day in the yard. This seat includes two tool pouches so you can keep your gardening tools handy while you are working. Folds up small for storage!

foldable gardening seat so you don't have backaches after working in the yard

Gardeners Hand Scrub

This homemade gift idea is perfect for the gardener on your list. Give them this hand scrub which works well on dirt and will help their hands stay soft and clean.

The Organic Gardener’s Handbook of Natural Pest and Disease Control

This is a great reference book for any gardener. One year we had some over achieving bugs ruin our small backyard garden. I was hesitant to use pesticides because we had small children. This book will provide natural solutions for those pesky pests and keep a garden healthy and pesticide free.

natural gardening handbook

Spin Bin Composter 

This composter is a little more expensive than the other items on the gardener gift list, but if they need a composter that is easy on the back this is definitely a great gift! (If you want a less expensive option you can always give them a DIY compost bin for around $20)

spin bin composter easy on your back

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Join me for the Frustration to Functional Closet Challenge!

Want a sneak peek into my closet? I shared all my closet challenges in this Facebook Live

Have I told you about my friend Kelly? I met Kelly many years ago at a blog conference and I always thought she looked amazing. (She’s super smart too- but I digress)

Kelly is one of those people who always looks good, no matter what she is wearing. I always assumed that Kelly had oodles of money and access to the latest fashion, so I was surprised when one day I complimented her on her outfit and she told me it was from Old Navy and she bought most of the pieces on sale.

The bottom line is that Kelly knows how to dress for her body type, and she knows how to put together outfits so that she always looks amazing. And she does it using math and science, so it takes the guess work out of figuring out what to wear.

This is a before and after of one of one person who took her course. Isn’t it crazy that changing the type of clothes you wear (based on your body type) can make you look like you’ve lost weight?

Lose weight by changing how you dress.

Here’s another example.

what clothes make you look thinner

My sister actually signed up earlier this year and has learned so much about how to dress for her body type! I saw her this summer and she looked amazing and thinner even though she hadn’t lost any weight.

If you are tired of standing in your closet and wondering what to wear you’ll want to join Kelly’s FREE challenge that launches this week. During this 14 day challenge Kelly is going to help you create a functional wardrobe out of the clothes you already have in your closet. Since cleaning out my closet was high on my priority list (it’s such a mess!) I’m excited to join her challenge and I’d love for you to join along with me.

In this free challenge Kelly will give us:

  • Four information-packed lessons complete with videos and worksheets
  • “From Frustration to Functional” wardrobe planner
  • Weekly LIVE video sessions with Kelly (where she will answer your specific questions in real time)
  • Facebook accountability group
  • and more fun surprises

I’m excited to participate in this free challenge and I hope you will consider joining me! If nothing else you’ll end up with a clean and organized closet, and probably a few newly discovered outfits in your closet.

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.