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It’s a familiar scene that happens to most of us. You walk into your home one day and you get THAT feeling. Your living space feels a little drab, or maybe it’s just time for a change.
You’re ready to mix things up a bit, but then that little voice in your head reminds you that even a few home décor items can easily rack up a sizable bill.
Enter the world of “do it yourself” projects and ideas. Not only are these cool DIY projects generally more affordable than their mass produced alternatives, but they also reflect your personality.
Tailor your projects exactly to taste, and the result is a product that perfectly fits your home and your personal style.
To get you started, here are 14 easy DIY home projects and room décor ideas to get your creative juices flowing and to personalize your living space in a very affordable way.
1. Marbled Pillows
image via HGTV
Looking for accent pillows but can’t find any the right color for your room? Hoping for an organically shaped design? Make creatively marbled pillows in exactly the colors you want!
This project requires some pretty specific materials, but they can all be found at art supply stores. Once the medium is prepared, three colors of paint are splattered onto the liquid’s surface.
Lay fabric on top of the mixture, then peel it back, revealing an attractively marbled design. The fabric is then hung to dry, so make sure you have somewhere you’re willing to subject to paint drippings. Finally, the fabric is sewn and stuffed to create the pillows.
You can use whatever colors you want. Using three related colors is easiest, such as all blues. However, the result might be more subtle than more daring combinations.
The tutorial uses two related colors, dark blue and aqua, and then adds yellow for pop. You can find plenty of information online about color theory. You definitely want a combination of lights and darks, no matter what colors you use.
2. Wood Accent Wall
image via Cape 27
Texture is really fashionable in home décor right now, and people are constructing accent walls from a variety of materials. Here, an accent wall is created out of wood in contrast to the traditional drywall look of the other walls.
And believe it or not, you can pull this off for about $20!
Specifically, this project involves disassembling wood pallets and using the boards to create our accent piece. First, they’re dead cheap in comparison to new lumber.
But they’re also distressed, and that brings in its own unique textures and patterns. Be careful when sanding so you don’t lose all of that wonderful variation.
Pay attention to where the pallets are coming from in case their former life was a dirty one. A thorough cleaning is probably a good idea. Check out the project here.
3. Roman Shades
image via Made2Style
Roman shades are a type of window treatment made out of fabric which gracefully drapes when drawn. They can add a nice element to a room but they can also be very pricey…..unless you make them yourself!
You’ll need a set of traditional horizontal blinds to sacrifice for pieces, particularly the mechanism that allows you to raise and lower your window treatment. A cheap set is fine, so long as it can hold the weight of your cloth.
Start with a fabric of your choice. Of course, color and pattern are important, but also consider how heavy a fabric you want. Do you want it opaque, or would you prefer some light to filter through it?
After measuring your blinds, cut the fabric 2 inches wider and longer than your measurements. Fold over the edges and glue with fabric glue (or sew, if you have mad sewing machine skills) for neat hems.
Next, start taking apart the blinds, until you have only the top bar, two support cords, and a handful of slats. The slats are glued every eight inches to the fabric.
This allows the fabric to form loops as its being drawn up to the top of the window. The cords are then reattached to the bottom bar. See the steps here.
4. Painted Rug
image via Pudel-Design
Throw rugs are a wonderful alternative to new carpeting, adding a decorative punch without changing the entire room.
Another fringe benefit is that they can be temporary. If you get tired of it, you can always move it or discard it.
But they can also be expensive. Painting your own rug gives you a beautiful accessory at the fraction of the price, and it can be totally customized.
The design is completely up to you. This tutorial uses a pattern that was found online, printed out, and turned into a stencil.
If you’re graphically skilled, you might design your own pattern either by hand or on the computer. In any case, you’ll want to turn it into a stencil as you’ll be repeating the pattern throughout the rug.
Oh, and don’t forget….if you mix up a custom color, be sure to create enough for the entire rug. Trying to mix it multiple times never ends well and the results could be, let’s say, less then ideal! Check out this project here.
5. Fabric Headboard
image via All Things Thrifty
Fabric headboards can add a touch of anything from elegance to whimsy, depending on the fabric and your mood. This tutorial creates a headboard out of padded squares covered with a fabric of your choice.
With this headboard, the same fabric was used for every square, but that’s certainly not a requirement. Multiple fabrics can just as easily be mixed and matched for a more eclectic look.
The squares are assembled on a backer board, which is then hung on two wall screws. You’ll definitely need to know where the wall studs are to do this, as the board is much too heavy to simply be supported by drywall. A good ol’ stud finder from your local hardware or home improvement store should do the trick.
If you’re looking for more drama, consider painting the wall a contrasting color. Or instead, you can just as easily find fabric that contrasts with your current wall.
Having one wall different from the rest, however, definitely gives the room a visual punch and some pizzazz.
6. Party Pretty Folding Chairs
image via My Fabuless Life
You can dress up padded folding chairs in a method very similar to how you can create a fabric headboard, except with far less cutting. Basically, remove the existing seat cushions from the chair and then spray paint the metal frame of the chair to give it a fresh, new color.
While your paint is drying, you can take the old cushions and place new fabric over them (without even having to take the old fabric off) and fasten the fabric in place. Once your painted metal chairs are dry, re-attach the new seat cushions to the chair.
It takes less than half a yard of fabric and one spray paint can per chair, so it’s a very affordable way of sprucing up tired, boring chairs. See the steps here.
7. Copper Pipe Geometric Light Fixture
image via The Gathered Home
This fantastic geometric lighting fixture is far simpler than it looks. The best part is that while this project was inspired by a $2,111 light fixture, it only cost about $50 in the end!
The light itself is purchased off the shelf and then painted black so it vanishes as much as possible and allows the copper framework to take center stage. You may wish to paint it another color to better blend into your décor.
The geometric structure is made from 30 copper pipe tubes of equal length. Their exact size is determined by the overall size of the project, which depends on the size of the lighting unit.
When in doubt, go for overly large. Otherwise, your structure might not be able to enclose the light.
The trick is to create a series of connected triangles and wrap them into a spherical form. The creator admits it was a tricky project, but the result is a stunning light fixture which can be hung just about anywhere. See it here.
8. Vintage Book Planter
image via HGTV
This is a perfect project for bookworms hoping to bring a little green into their living spaces. The only drawback though is you have to sacrifice a book in order to build it!
First, the pages of the book are glued together by spreading glue along the edges and pressing it into the pages. Then, an X-Acto blade is used to cut a square depression out of the middle of the pages, making room for the plant.
You’ll want a succulent for this project, since they need very little water.
Line the hole with a plastic bag, then transfer your plant with enough soil to fill the void. This is definitely not your run-of-the-miller planter!
9. Re-covering a Pouf Footstool
image via Kristi Murphy
Poufs are all the rage right now: rectangular foam blocks covered in fabric for use as decorative footstools. Designer ones can cost hundreds of dollars, but you can also pick up cheap ones for much less.
The pouf used in this project came from IKEA, but they may not carry it any more. Places like Walmart offer some for less than $50.
The process is very straightforward. Measure the cube, cut and sew your material of choice into a new cover, and include a zipper to secure it on the pouf.
You’re going to want a durable fabric for this project, since people are going to be regularly putting their feet on it. You may want to use fabric from the home decor section of your fabric store, as those tend to be heavier and more resistant to wear and tear.
10. Decorative Backsplash
image via One Kings Lane
Transform your monochromatic tile back splash into something more eye-catching and exciting. After thoroughly cleaning the tile, edge what you want to color with painter’s tape. This will produce nice, crisp edges.
In this tutorial, the pattern is based on diagonals because it’s easy to lay out on the available square tiles.
Prime the area, then paint once the primer is dry. You’ll probably need two coats for thorough coverage. Finish it with a layer of polyurethane to protect it from moisture and scratches.
It’s entirely possible to do this project in a day. Just don’t rush the process. Each coat of paint needs time to dry, and an oil-based will need several hours.
Come across any paint that seeped under your painter’s tape? No problem! This project is forgiving in that an X-Acto knife can scrape the seepage right off the tiles.
11. Gemstone Soap
image via Fall For DIY
Liven up your bathroom with colorful, faceted blocks of soap that resemble natural crystals. They’re so pretty you might not be able to bring yourself to use them!
This project requires the creation of multiple silicone molds. However, they’re easy enough to make.
You just push silicone material into a container, then press a smaller container into it. The resulting depression is what will eventually hold the soap.
“Melt and pour” soap (which can be purchased from a variety of online vendors) is melted in the microwave, tinted with food coloring, and poured into molds. Once solidified, the colored soap is then cut into small pieces, mixed with other colors if desired, placed into another mold and then covered with more liquid soap.
The result is a bar of irregular colored striations, which you then cut at irregular angles to replicate the shape of naturally grown crystals. Check it out here.
12. Light Up Marquee
image via Happy Looks Good On You
Like those light up letters on the marquee of old theatres? You can bring that aesthetic into your home with these DIY marquee lights.
This project is pretty simple and lends itself well to an industrial type of style. First, you cut out your letters from chipboard with a jigsaw, then use poster board to form the edges.
Metallic paint gives the project a nice sheen hiding the true nature of your materials. Finally, string lights are inserted into holes that have been drilled at regular intervals. The full tutorial can be found here.
13. Ombre Chair
image via Design Sponge
This technique is shown on a chair, but it can just as easily be adapted to any number of pieces of plain wood furniture. It’s also a great way of upcycling – taking an old, worn out chair (or other item) and giving it a funky new life through a great paint job.
For best results, the chair should first be sanded. Finishes can keep paint from properly adhering, while peeling old paint will be unsightly under the new coats.
After primer is put down, the first color is applied to the top, the second color to the middle, and a third to the bottom. The trick is to work in very thin, controlled layers so that the colors gradually fade from one to the next. Check it out here.
14. Chalkboard Wall Calendar
image via Tatertots & Jello
Don’t you hate calendars that expect you to write in those ridiculous, teeny tiny boxes? We do too!
This tutorial lets you create a giant chalkboard calendar which offers all the space you could possibly want.
The secret is chalkboard paint, which is applied over any dark wall paint. Then chalk is rubbed into the dried surface in order to condition it. After that, you can apply and remove chalk from it just like a regular chalkboard.
Doing this to an entire wall gives you lots of space to doodle, make lists, and more. The focus here, however, is creating a vinyl grid in the wall’s center which can be used over and over each month as a calendar.
Home decoration doesn’t need to be expensive, and it can be a lot of fun. If you’re looking for a cool DIY project, give some of these a try, and let us know your favorites!