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