Reinvent your stuff: 21 fun DIY projects
Create great new uses for things you already own
With a few style tricks, give an old, scuffed, and tarnished desk a colorful reboot.
More: Reinvent an old desk
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Celebrate a mismatched but beloved collection by arranging them in an asymmetrical wavelike pattern on a plain white wall.
- 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.
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.