20 DIY Projects for $20 or Less

Get your craft on -- quickly and cheaply -- this weekend with inspiration from these inexpensive decor projects. You'll be amazed at all the fun decor you can create for $20 or less.

Everything In This Slideshow

  • Postmarked with Love

    Dress up a flea market frame with a coat of white paint. Use teal and blue paints, in a large sweeping motion, to cover the backing, leaving just a corner white. Add a warm shade like pink or orange for interest. Stencil a postmark stamp onto one corner, then add a gold cursive note for a pretty (and affordable!) piece of artwork.

  • It's a Wrap

    Add pops of color to a twisted twig wreath from a crafts store. Wrap medium-weight yarn tightly around twigs within the wreath, securing the ends with a clear-drying glue. Disperse colors throughout for a chic yet casual look.

  • Golden Glow

    Add a bit of sparkle and sheen to your home decor by dressing up white basics. Mask off sections of a plain vase with tape. Use metallic leaf, glitter, or paint to fill in the marked section. Let dry, peel, and display!

  • You've Got Mail

    Create pretty curb appeal that's business on the outside and a party on the inside. Tape off the exterior of a mailbox with painters tape, and spray-paint the inside a peppy hue. Stencil or freehand a fun message or phrase on the lid, and fill in with paint.

  • Expensive Taste

    Make a cheap white frame look instantly expensive with one simple trick. Discover how to paint and apply hardware for a stylish upgrade.

  • Pendant Light Box

    Impress even yourself with this do-it-yourself light fixture. Cut and nail square dowels together to form a box-shape base. Cover with lacelike decorative paper that allows light to gently filter through. Hang the pendant by slipping dowels through a mini hanging light fixture.

  • Dip-Dyed Clipboards

    Create color-coordinated clipboards with 1/8-inch plywood plaques, available at crafts stores. Dip the ends of the boards into a dye solution that you've tested on crafts sticks. Let dry and seal with polyurethane spray, then attach a clothespin to the top to hold notes.

  • Boring to Bold Tablecloth

    Update plain-white table linens to fit your style with pretty fabric paints. Wash a cotton tablecloth and hang it while damp. Dip a large paintbrush in a small amount of diluted paint. Apply paint in large sweeping motions onto the damp fabric. Work with small amounts of a variety of colors of diluted paint, blending them as you work and rinsing the brush as needed.

  • DIY Wall Vases

    Gather plywood, U-bolt hardware, plastic vials, a drill, hanging wire, a wire cutter, and flowers or plants to create this lovely wall display. Assemble the hardware on the boards, place vases, and finish with your favorite blooms -- or go for faux flowers for less maintenance. 

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    Cast Concrete Candle

    Create this lovely centerpiece with two sizes of plastic pails, concrete mix, white pigment, a glass cylinder, recycled glass, and a candle. Use the pails to create a mold for the concrete-pigment combination, and follow instructions for drying. Once dry, assemble, place, and admire.

  • 11 of 21

    Jar Pendant Trio

    Brighten your bedside with a series of pendant lights made from canning jars. Purchase socket lights that plug into a standard outlet -- so you don't have to worry about electrical work -- or opt for a triple pendant cord set if you're replacing an old ceiling fixture. Simply cut a hole in the lid of the jar, fit the bulb's socket, and hang.

  • 12 of 21

    Cut and Cute

    Create the perfect DIY wall art with a basic map. Cut the map into equal pieces and highlight one continent -- perhaps the one you live on or the one you would most like to travel to -- with gold leaf. Frame, mount, and enjoy.

  • 13 of 21

    Wood Slice Menu

    Surprise guests with a simple and unique menu board. This wood slice gets a party makeover with a quick sanding and layer of chalkboard paint. Display a recipe with a white chalk marker, which creates a smoother, heavier line than regular chalk.

  • 14 of 21

    Glittery Front Door Display

    Add sparkle to your entry by coating faux leaves with glitter. Here's how to make this sparkling leaf craft for a welcoming front entry.

  • 15 of 21

    Renewed Illumination

    It's a cinch to refinish an old lampshade! Simply wrap wood veneer edging strips (white birch featured here), piece by piece, over an old shade, hot-gluing at regular intervals to hold in place. Overlap the ends as you go, and hide the vertical seam with a piece of veneer. Stain to your color preference.

  • 16 of 21

    Marble Magic

    Give terra-cotta pots a luxe look with fun marbleized colors. To achieve this marble treatment, pour water into a shallow pan. Drizzle a variety of nail polish colors on top of the water, one at a time. Work quickly to roll a primed terra-cotta pot across the surface of the polish-water mixture; let dry.

  • 17 of 21

    Wordy Silhouette

    Spare paper scraps and photographs lying around? Put them to use with a pastel palette for this dainty piece of artwork. Create a lovely layered silhouette with a mixture of a profile wood veneer, watercolor painting, cut pictures, and hand-lettering. Hang with paper pieces of a similar color palette for a collected look.

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    Floral Stitches

    Embroider fanciful florals on a plain tablecloth to perk up your dining nook. Mark a few wavy lines with an air-soluble pen. Add simple leaf and flower shapes, then use an embroidery hoop to cover the pen lines with a running stitch of embroidery floss. Embellish just a corner or around the edges, or go bold with a large design.

  • 19 of 21

    Stenciled Welcome Mat

    Give an ordinary welcome mat an eye-catching kilim makeover with stencils and paint. Fill in your stenciled design with a combination of pretty exterior paint colors.

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    Mighty Macrame

    Rediscover the '70s craft of macrame with this fresh take on a hanging basket. Use cotton cording and embroidery hoops to make the baskets. A cross knot forms the base of the baskets, followed by a series of square knots. Tie cord around embroidery hoops to secure the baskets, then hang from an S-hook.

  • Next Slideshow 28 Weekend Home Decorating Projects

    28 Weekend Home Decorating Projects

    Want to give your home a mini makeover in a weekend? Check out these simple decorating projects for inspiration.
    Begin Slideshow »

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