Reinvent your stuff: 21 fun DIY projects

Create great new uses for things you already own

Reinvented desk from the curb

Photo by Thomas J. Story; written by Miranda Jones

DIY decorating projects

Reinvent a desk

With a few style tricks, give an old, scuffed, and tarnished desk a colorful reboot.

More: Reinvent an old desk

Picture frame becomes memory box

Rob D. Brodman

Make a memory box table

Turn a deep photo frame and similar-sized side table into a venue for celebrating treasured keepsakes.

More: How to make this memory box table

Driftwood becomes coat rack

Rob D. Brodman

Driftwood becomes coat rack

Turn a scavenged piece of driftwood found shore-side into an organic modern entryway rack.

Get our step-by-step instructions

Make a message center

Rob D. Brodman

Art frame becomes message board

With a little creativity, turn an old artwork frame and drawer organizer into a family message center.

Get the full story

Books become art

Thomas J. Story; Styled by Miranda Jones

Books become art

Make your literature work for your aesthetic. Try taking the sleeves off hard cover books and arranging the spines by color.

Get 21 more ideas for shelves

DIY outdoor chandelier

Rob D. Brodman

Wire basket and mason jars become outdoor chandelier

Romantic outdoor lighting: With a wire basket, a few jars, and some tea lights and adornment, add a little handmade glow to your garden.

See how to make this outdoor chandelier

good wraps paper bags

Thomas J. Story

Paper bags, fabric remnants, and magazine pages become gift wrap

Before you recycle it, reuse it! Fabric scraps, magazine ads, and even brown paper bags can look beautiful as gift wrapping.

Get more recycled gift wrap ideas

creative headboard

Thomas J. Story

Mirrors become headboard

Arrange small light weight mirrors grid-style for a glamorous regency-style look in the bedroom.


Get 11 more decorating tips from Sheri Sheridan

Flower shop vases

Thomas J. Story

Trophies and mason jars become vases

Have a few blooms from your garden and no traditional clear glass vase handy? Consider other unique vessels from around the house.

Get more flower shop secrets

Edgy veggie plants

Linda Lamb Peters

Scrap metal becomes planter box

Turn salvaged materials into veggie garden containers with industrial-modern style.

See how we did it

Scrap wood becomes fence shadow box

Jennifer Cheung

Scrap wood becomes fence shadow box

Make display frames out of wood remnants and celebrate small plants as living art.

Get more ideas from this nursery

Table with greens

Thomas J. Story

Champagne flute vases

Any drinking glass can become a botanical vessel. 

Champagne flutes and evergreen sprigs form a centerpiece when interspersed with forest green tea lights in clear votive holders.

Prunings from some junipers stay fresh for a month or more in water. Other short-needled conifers for this use include Arizona cypress Atlas cedar Douglas fir and noble fir.

Calendar images become wall art

Calendar images become wall art

At month’s end, clip away dates from your calendar art and frame it. Repeat every month for a collection.

Get the materials

Closet becomes office

Thomas J. Story

Closet becomes office

No room for workspace? Convert a closet into a home office―complete with hide-the-clutter doors.

How to do it: Empty a closet and remove the closet pole. Move a desk, or thin table into the space, allowing enough room to close the doors. Use a dining chair as a desk chair.

Willing to invest? Install a custom built desk surface and floating shelves. 

CD jewel cases become grid of frames

Rob D. Brodman

Turn CD cases into frames

Castoff CD cases are the perfect size for creating a quilt-like grid collection of landscape photos.

From the book Photocraft: Cool Things to Do with the Pictures You Love: Scan or crop your images to the size of a CD case (5 3/8 in. wide by 4 5/8 in. high) then print on good photopaper and trim. We recommend using standard (not slim) cases. Discard plastic inserts.

Back each photo with cardboard or foam board and snap the cases shut. Attach them to the wall with 3-inch strips of sticky-back hood-and-loop fasteners (such as Velcro). 

Wrapping paper becomes placemat

Rob D. Brodman

Wrapping paper becomes placemat

Often think wrapping paper is too beautiful to recycle? It’s easy to turn the prints into placemats (or desk blotters!) with a copy shop laminating machine.

How-to: At a copy shop, use a paper cutter to trim paper to 10 ½ by 16 ½ inches for each placemat. Laminate each piece, leaving 1/2 inch or more of plastic laminate on each side. Using a paper cutter, trim each side of the placemat, keeping ¼ inch of plastic laminate as a border. With an edge trimmer or scissors, round each corner. 

Drawer organizer becomes bento-box guest tray

Photo by Thomas J. Story

Turn a drawer organizer into a bento-box guest tray  

Tuck a drawer organizer into a storage tote with some thoughtful amenities to make your houseguests feel like royalty. (Be forewarned: They’ll be eager for a return invite.)

How-to: Slip a drawer organizer into a fabric-covered box or other storage tote and stock it with a few travel-size essentials in coordinating materials and hues. Tie a washcloth with colorful string; wrap a bar of soap with wide ribbon; use letter stamps and a label sticker to personalize a scented candle.

Fireplace becomes candle sanctuary

Thomas J. Story

Fireplace becomes candle sanctuary

Turn your wood burning fireplace into a decor statement―and trade air-polluting wood smoke for a little ambiance. 

Get more reusable ideas from this home

Vintage cafeteria tray becomes collection display

Thomas J. Story

Vintage cafeteria tray becomes collection display

A collection of found objects become a museum-quality vignette in a tray nostalgic of elementary school years.

Plates become wall art

Jeffery Cross

Plates become wall art

Celebrate a mismatched but beloved collection by arranging them in an asymmetrical wavelike pattern on a plain white wall.

Tips:

  • The blank canvas of the white wall allows the dishes to pop without competing for attention, but a colored wall works too, as long as the hues are complementary.
  • Try the same technique with themed collections such as vintage postcards or old 45 rpm records. 

Industrial light fixture becomes chic pot

Thomas J. Story

Industrial light fixture becomes chic pot

Unwanted light fixtures (and other vessels) can become plant vessels with a contemporary edge.

Be sure your object can sit upright (flat bottom). Because there’s no drainage hole, we recommend using plants that don’t demand much water.

No such containers around your house? Try salvage yards for your own vessel to repurpose.

Printed from:
http://www.sunset.com/home/weekend-projects/20-low-cost-home-decorating-projects-00400000043583/