Dress Your Bed on a Dime: Thrifty Shopping & Design Tips

updated Jul 17, 2020
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(Image credit: Bethany Nauert)

The bed is one of the most important spots in your home, and spending time making it look a bit more luxurious is a benefit to both your bedroom decor and your mental health. That said, buying beautiful sheets, comforters and pillows can add up and might feel like something you should skip when you are on a tight budget. But, your bed doesn’t have to be basic. Here are some thrifty shopping and design tricks to help you dress a bed on a dime.

Look for printed sheets and pillowcases when you thrift

I’ve always loved the retro patterns and floral prints that only an eagle-eyed vintage store shopper can find. Many thrift stores don’t often carry a lot of bedding, so you might have to take the time to dig in a little deeper, but you can sometimes stumble on some surprisingly cool designs that will be just the unique detail your bed needs. Or, you could find good quality secondhand plain sheets and pillow cases to experiment with the next suggestion.

Add a DIY detail

You don’t necessarily have to learn how to monogram to customize your bedding. There are a lot of creative small things you can do to make your bedding unique and luxurious. You can add ribbon or other trim to the edges and surfaces of sheets, blankets and pillow cases to give them a personal touch. Try your hand at simple embroidered motifs or stamped designs. Stitch on tassels or pompoms. No matter which style direction you take, you can add a lot without spending a lot.

→ Buy or DIY: 5 Fun Pillowcase Projects

(Image credit: Photos by Kelly Rucker)

Focus on the top layer while bulking up with basics

Sometimes when a bed feels a little naked and less than luxurious, it’s just too flat or skimpy. You can easily fix that by layering in more basic elements, some that you might already own. Use extra older or inexpensive filler pillows to prop up newer, fresher prettier pillows to add structure and better show off the attractive ones. Fold and layer less decorative blankets and comforters under the prettiest topper to give your bed some bulk.

→ Designer Decor Secrets: How to Pull Off the Art of Layering in Interiors

(Image credit: Tamara Gavin)

Let the headboard be the show

Sometimes a well-dressed bed is one of simplicity when you’ve got a statement-making headboard, which is often just a quick, affordable DIY away.

Shop sales with an eye to alter

If you know how to sew, shop bedding sales online and in stores with an eye to potentially alter them. For example: two or three different color twin size clearance sale bargain blankets could be cut up and restitched together to create a custom, color-blocked cover for your king size bed.

How have you dressed your bed without spending a lot of money? Share your secrets below!