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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  • 1 of 21

    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.

  • 2 of 21

    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.

  • 3 of 21

    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!

  • 4 of 21

    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.

  • 5 of 21

    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.

  • 6 of 21

    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.

  • 7 of 21

    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.

  • 8 of 21

    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.

  • 9 of 21

    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. 

  • 10 of 21

    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.

  • 18 of 21

    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.

  • 20 of 21

    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 DIY Patio Furniture Ideas to Transform Your Outdoor Space

    DIY Patio Furniture Ideas to Transform Your Outdoor Space

    Like the rooms inside our homes, there are limitless ways to decorate a deck or patio, especially when you introduce homemade outdoor furniture. Putting a personal spin on your outside seating area is as easy as modifying a tree stump, upcycling a slab of concrete, or building with unused pallets. We found 13 easy-to-follow DIY patio furniture tutorials to inspire your backyard transformation.
    Begin Slideshow »
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