Do-it-yourself (DIY) projects allow you to get creative, save money, and make your home uniquely yours. From upcycling old furniture to crafting handmade gifts, DIY projects are a fun and fulfilling way to spend your free time. We’ve rounded up 20 wonderfully inventive DIY projects to spark your imagination and upgrade your living space. Let’s get started!
Give Your Furniture a Makeover
Old furniture often ends up in the trash when a simple makeover is all it needs to feel brand new. These DIY furniture makeover ideas will inspire you to give neglected pieces a second life.
Upcycle a Dresser into a Bathroom Vanity
Is your bathroom lacking storage space? Convert an old dresser into a bathroom vanity to hold all your toiletries and create a charming focal point.
To do this, thoroughly clean and sand the dresser then prime, paint or stain it your desired color. Add new knobs or handles in a finish that matches your bathroom hardware. Install a countertop on top – try a budget-friendly option like butcher block, repurposed wood or laminate. Finally, switch out the original drawer pulls for soft-close glides and add a vessel sink with a faucet. Customize the storage with woven baskets or trays to organize your supplies.
With a simple dresser makeover, you can build a bathroom vanity on a budget that looks like it came right out of a magazine.
Repurpose a Bookshelf into a Bathroom Étagère
Short on storage space in your bathroom? Look no further than an old bookshelf. With a fresh coat of paint and some waterproofing, a bookshelf can be repurposed into a charming étagère for displaying towels, toiletries and decorative objects.
Start by thoroughly cleaning the shelf and removing any loose varnish or paint with sandpaper. Prime, paint or stain the wood a light, airy color suited for a humid bathroom environment. Seal the shelf with a waterproof finish like polyurethane to protect the wood from moisture damage. Consider replacing the original backing with a moisture-resistant material such as acrylic or plastic. Install brackets or a French cleat system to mount the shelf securely on the wall. Fill it with neatly folded towels, jars of cotton balls and Q-tips, trays of soaps and lotions, small decorative accents and more to create an organized, eye-catching display.
Repurposing a bookshelf into a bathroom étagère is a simple, budget-friendly way to add both form and function to your space.
Upcycle a Cabinet into a Bar Cart
A bar cart is a fun way to store and display your favorite spirits while adding a dash of style. But buying a bar cart can get pricey. For a budget option, upcycle an old cabinet or dresser into your own custom bar on wheels.
Look for a small cabinet or dresser made of solid wood. Sand, prime, paint or stain it in a bold color to give it a lively look. Replace the original hardware with sleek brass handles and knobs. Add caster wheels to the bottom for easy mobility. Use the interior to organize bar tools, cocktail mixes, spirits and glassware. Display some bottles and bar accents on top.
With some simple DIY tricks, you can convert a neglected cabinet or dresser into a fully-functioning, one-of-a-kind bar cart.
Make Unique Decor and Wall Art
Want to give your home an artistic touch? Crafting DIY wall art and decor is an affordable way to fill your space with personality. Get inspired by these imaginative decor project ideas.
Craft Concrete Planters
Add modern, industrial edge to your space with handmade concrete planters. Making your own only requires a few simple materials – concrete mix, cardboard boxes or plastic containers, a mixing container and water.
Start by coating the interior of your planter molds thoroughly with non-stick cooking spray so you can easily remove the concrete later. Mix the concrete according to package directions, pour it into your molds, and allow it to fully cure for 1-2 days. Once hardened, remove the concrete vessels from the molds and paint or seal them with an eco-friendly sealer.
With homemade concrete planters in any shape and size, you can display your plants in trendy, budget-friendly style.
Make Giant Scrabble Tile Wall Art
For a playful art piece, create oversized Scrabble tiles and arrange them into words or phrases on your wall. Start with wood cut-outs primed white. Use a ruler and pencil to mark a grid pattern on each tile, then paint the grids black. Use acrylic craft paint in a variety of colors to fill in the letter squares.
Once the paint dries, seal each tile with polyurethane. Print out letter templates online or freehand them. Trace the letters onto the tiles and paint them black. Use industrial strength velcro strips with adhesive backing to mount the finished tiles on the wall in fun arrangements. Switch up your message whenever inspiration strikes!
With a bag of craft paint and some wood, you can spell out meaningful words for next-to-nothing.
Upcycle Old Maps into Framed Wall Art
Vintage maps make beautiful, budget-friendly wall art when framed. Raid secondhand stores for old atlases and maps. Choose pages with interesting illustrations, typography or historical significance to you. Remove the pages from their bindings, press them flat, and allow them to fully dry to prevent rippling.
Cut pieces of matboard slightly larger than your map pages. Center each page on the matboard, holding it in place with double sided tape or archival scrapbook adhesive. Insert the art and mat into a basic frame from a home improvement store, custom-cut to size. Group framed maps together in an artistic gallery arrangement for a worldly, well-traveled look.
With just the cost of the frame, you can upcycle geographic ephemera into one-of-a-kind art.
Craft Clever Home Organizing Solutions
Disorganization can make your home feel cluttered and chaotic. Luckily, you can craft customized storage solutions with common household items for an organized space that functions efficiently. These ingenious ideas will inspire you to get crafty with organization.
Make a Charging Station from Plumbing Parts
Keep phones, tablets and other devices organized and powered up with a custom charging station made from basic hardware store finds.
You’ll need a 1-1/2″ diameter wood dowel, a matching wood base, and pipe clamps or clips. Drill holes in the dowel wide enough for each device’s cord. Screw the dowel at each end into the circular wood base. Arrange your cords through the dowel and use the clamps to hold them securely in place.
With this easy DIY device dock, you’ll never have to hunt for the right charging cable again. Customize it to fit all your electronics in one central spot.
Craft a Coffee Pod Holder from Wire Mesh
Never have that moment of panic again when you realize you’re out of coffee pods for your morning brew. A wire mesh coffee pod holder ensures you’ll always know when you’re running low.
Cut the wire mesh to your desired size and shape, leaving a border to fold over and cover the sharp edges. Affix finished edges with cable crimps or clips for safety and security. Install small cup hooks along the inside rim so you can hang it from a cabinet door or inside your pantry.
With this see-through storage solution, keeping tabs on your coffee pod inventory is a breeze. Adapt this concept to corral tea bags, spices or other small supplies.
Upcycle Cans into Chic Pencil Holders
Turn aluminum cans into chic open pencil cups in just minutes. Thoroughly clean and remove the labels from cans – soup, beans, tomatoes or other similarly-sized options work well.
Spray paint the exterior of the cans in the color palette of your choice – try glossy primary colors for a pop art look. Use a craft knife to carefully cut a slit down the side to insert your pens, pencils, paint brushes and other slender supplies. Arrange them on your desk or craft table to keep essentials within arm’s reach.
With a quick DIY makeover, basic cans transform into unique organizers for your home office.
Build and Repurpose Furniture
Ready to roll up your sleeves and build something with your own two hands? These furniture DIYs let you upcycle found items or construct pieces from scratch.
Make a Bench from Salvaged Barn Wood
Reclaimed wood from old barns, fencing or construction debris can be repurposed into a charming, rustic bench for indoor or outdoor use. Start by collecting reclaimed boards and laying them out on the ground until you find an arrangement you like. Use a circular saw to cut the boards to consistent lengths.
Sand each board to remove splinters, dirt or rough edges. Apply wood conditioner, followed by stain or sealer if desired. Using wood glue and galvanized nails, attach the boards lengthwise to two equal-length 2x4s. Add another 2×4 across the center for support. Install caster wheels on the bottom if you want your bench movable.
With time, a bit of elbow grease, and reclaimed lumber, you can build a sturdy DIY bench full of character.
Construct an Indoor Herb Garden from a Ladder
Maximize vertical space and bring the garden indoors by planting an herb garden on a repurposed ladder. Look for an old wooden ladder with charm and character at a yard sale or antique market. Lay it horizontally and fill the rungs with pots of your favorite cooking herbs like basil, thyme, rosemary and oregano.
Hang the ladder on sturdy hooks on a wall in your kitchen so your herbs are handy when cooking. To water, simply remove the pots and place them in your sink. Then pop them back into the ladder. As an added bonus, the ladder will smell amazing!
This unique wall-mounted herb ladder makes efficient use of space while infusing your cooking area with fresh flavors and greenery.
Upcycle a Dresser into a Craft Storage Cart
Bring order to craft clutter by converting an old dresser into rolling storage for art supplies, fabric, sewing notions and more. Look for a sturdy wooden dresser with drawers and hardware intact at a yard sale or thrift shop. Give it a fresh coat of cheery paint in a color suited for your craft room. Replace the old hardware with cute ceramic knobs.
Remove the dresser top and install caster wheels on the bottom of the legs so you can easily roll it around. Use chalkboard paint to label the drawers for optimal organization. Fill each drawer with craft supplies and close when finished so they stay dust-free.
With this budget-friendly upcycled dresser on wheels, you can neatly stow craft supplies and have them at your fingertips for any project.
Make Decor from Recycled Materials
Don’t throw something away – transform it into beautiful home decor instead! Breathing new life into found objects through DIY crafting is better for the environment and your wallet. These eco-friendly projects will unlock your inner green artist.
Fashion Wind Chimes from Reclaimed Cutlery
Put old silverware destined for the recycling bin to better use by transforming it into musical wind chimes. Collect various discarded spoons, forks and knives made of metal. Use wire, string, or fishing line to hang the utensils from a central point, alternating shapes and sizes.
Space them closely enough that they gently clink together when blown by the breeze. Add beads, shells or glass fragments between the pieces for visual interest. Hang your upcycled wind chime outdoors from a tree branch or porch overhang. Let the tines dance and create soothing sounds on breezy days.
Make Photo Magnets from Bottle Caps
Transform leftover bottle caps from your recycling bin into cute photo magnets for your fridge or metal locker. Thoroughly clean and dry the caps. Print out tiny photos and cut them to fit snugly inside each cap. Mod Podge also works to adhere paperphotos. Top with a strong magnet glued to the exterior.
Once dry, add a coat of clear glue or acrylic sealer to protect your photos from moisture and wear. Arrange your custom magnets on your fridge or metal surfaces to display cherished snapshots, silly selfies or inspiring quotes.
Craft a Light Fixture from Recycled Plastic Bottles
Plastic bottles can be upcycled from trash to treasure by transforming them intohanging pendant lights. Clean and thoroughly dry used soda, water or otherclear plastic bottles. For wide bottles like soda, slice off the rounded shoulders so they hang straight. Leave bottles like vinegar or oil in their original shape.
Remove all labels. Place a string of battery powered fairy lights into each bottle, securing at the neck with the on/off switch reachable. Hang the illuminated bottles at staggered heights from a wire mounted to the ceiling. The light refracts beautifully through the plastic for an earthy, luminous effect.
Make Thoughtful Handmade Gifts
DIY gifts made from the heart mean so much more than mass-produced ones from the store. Tap into your creativity to craft personalized presents for loved ones using materials you already have at home.
Sew a Memory Quilt from Old Clothing
Transform sentimental garments into a cozy, custom quilt to treasure for years. Collect old t-shirts, dresses, ties and other clothing with special memories attached. Cut them into square swatches. Arrange and sew the fabric pieces together into a patchwork quilt top using a zigzag stitch.
Sew batting and quilt backing to the pieced top, then stitch through all layers to secure. Bind edges with coordinating fabric strips. When finished, snuggle with your memory quilt and recall all the meaningful stories behind each swatch of fabric.
Assemble a Custom Home Spa Kit
Pamper a stressed-out loved one with a relaxing DIY spa kit personalized just for them. Start with a pretty basket or gift box. Choose calming scented soaps, bath bombs, candles, essential oils, loofahs, scented body lotion and other pampering treats tailored to their taste.
Include cozy items like a soft robe, slippers and eye mask. Finish by tucking in small decorative touches like fresh flowers or pretty jars of dried lavender and rose petals tied with ribbon. Arrange it all attractively for an indulgent, thoughtful gift.
Craft Mini terrarium
An adorable mini terrarium is a simple nature-inspired gift that adds life to any desk or shelf. Reuse a glass jar or container cleaned thoroughly. Add a 2-3 in. layer of activated charcoal on the bottom to absorb odor and excess moisture. Top with 2-3 inches of an indoor potting mix blend.
Nestle in small succulents, air plants or a delicate fern. Top with pebbles or moss. Seal the lid and gift your mini garden to instantly brighten any living or work space. Include a sweet handmade label so they’ll think of you when they care for their tiny plants!
Create Fun Furniture Makeovers for Kids
Let kids customize their space through hands-on DIY projects that stimulate their creativity. Furniture makeovers are a budget-friendly way to transform ordinary pieces into playful decor perfect for a kid’s room.
Make Over a Dresser into a Reading Nook
Carve out a cozy little reading sanctuary in your child’s bedroom by giving an old dresser new life as a book nook. Look for a short dresser your child can comfortably sit inside when cleared out. Add cushions or pillows to make it comfy. Let your kid go wild decorating the interior with their favorite characters, colors and patterns.
Stock it with a reading lamp and all their favorite books, stuffed animals and blankets to create a special hideaway just for them. Your child will love having their own private reading retreat.
Decorate a Bookcase into a Dollhouse
Turn an old bookcase into a life-sized dollhouse for imaginative play. Have your child help decorate the shelves with paint, wallpaper, fabric or contact paper. Add lighting and rugs to make it cozy. Let them arrange furniture, dolls and accessories inside to create customized rooms and bring their dollhouse vision to life.
Displaying their dollhouse creation will make them beam with pride at having designed a beautiful play space all their own.
Upcycle a Cabinet into a Puppet Theater
Spark hours of creative, screen-free fun by transforming an old cabinet or entertainment center into a DIY puppet theater. Cut or draw a half circle window out of the center cabinet doors. Attach curtains around the stage window. Let your kids decorate the exterior with paint, their drawings, or decorative details.
Make sock puppets together to put on a show. They’ll love having an interactive handmade play set to inspire unlimited stories and character creation.
Create Outdoor Living Spaces
Don’t confine DIY projects to just indoor spaces – roll up your sleeves and tackle some outside DIY makeovers too. These innovative ideas will motivate you to turn your yard into a relaxing oasis.
Make a Backyard Movie Theater
Transform your yard into an outdoor cinema under the stars with this fun family DIY. Hang a large white sheet on the exterior wall or fence in your backyard. At night, aim a digital projector towards the sheet to project movies, photos, games and more in jumbo size.
Make popcorn and spread out comfy lawn chairs or blankets so the whole family can snuggle up and enjoy a magical movie night outdoors. When the weather gets cooler, bring the outdoor theater inside by projecting onto any large, blank wall.
Upcycle Pallets into Garden Pathway
Line your garden with an eco-friendly pathway using free recycled wooden pallets from any home improvement or garden store. Pull up grass between planting beds and use a shovel to level the dirt. Set pallets down in a stepping stone pattern and secure them by hammering rebar stakes through openings in the slats.
Fill gaps between boards with pea gravel for weed control and drainage. Your feet will stay dry when watering and weeding your garden, giving you a functional surface that also looks charming and rustic.
Craft Backyard Games from Wooden Pallets
Entertain family and friends in your yard by repurposing wooden shipping pallets into fun DIY lawn games. Make a cornhole game by attaching pallets together at an angle for the target boards.