When it comes to DIY home projects, inexpensive does not have to equal inconsequential. For less than $100, you can create custom light fixtures, build accent walls, update your floors, or design one-of-a-kind decor. Budget home projects can make a big difference, as proven by this bunch of crafty bloggers.View Slideshow
See how a crash course in home improvement, painting, and power tools helps college women give their sorority house a one-day makeover.
How-to coaches from Be Jane, Inc. help the women of Gamma Phi Beta Sorority at Iowa State University transform their house in about 12 hours. The library and meeting room were prepped the night before by removing furniture and masking floors and woodwork.
The first room the crews tackle is the library. The library lacked a focal point and needed extra storage.
The Be Jane, Inc. coaches show the women how to take advantage of the home's architecture by turning the niche into the room's focal point. They add floating shelves and install new ceiling fans to turn the room into an ideal place for both studying and chatting.
The next six slides show the steps the women took to transform their library.
Be Jane, Inc. recommends dividing the crew into work teams and giving the teams specific tasks. Make sure each team has the instructions, tools, and materials needed to complete the assigned projects. Here, the demolition crew removes the shelves from the niche.
Next, the crew patches holes and sands drawers.
Tip: Don't wear lip gloss while sanding; the dust sticks.
The crew glues a plywood panel over the mirror in the niche to create a smooth surface for painting.
After a few coats of paint, the niche becomes the library's focal point. The built-in drawers also received a facelift. Crew members painted the drawers and added new cabinet hardware for an updated look.
Tip: Mistakes are bound to happen. But don't panic, there are fixes for almost every home-improvement mistake. The women had to fill, sand, and paint incorrectly spaced holes for hardware.
In the library, they add floating shelves to replace the storage lost in the niche makeover. The team uses a hammer drill to penetrate the plaster walls. They also add detail to the room with curtain hardware. When the curtain-rod brackets won't extend past the exposed pipes, they create mounting blocks from scrap wood and paint it to match the walls.
A second crew tackles the meeting room. Their challenge is to de-clutter the room without losing storage. Be Jane, Inc. shows the ladies how to blend fun and function in one space.
First, the women prepare to paint the room by covering the floor with a protective sheet of plastic. Be Jane, Inc. advises masking every surface, especially the floors, not receiving a coat of paint.
Tip: Use carpet mask, a thick cling film with an adhesive back, to shield the floor.
When painting use ladders to reach the tops of walls or ceilings. Prevent injuries by making sure the ladder is stable and close enough to the wall for easy access.
Tip: Add a capful of vanilla extract to your paint to cut odor.
The women use a tape measure to determine where to place the new message boards. Once the space is marked, painters will add sections of magnetic paint, which will become the photo and calendar boards.
Tip: Use magnetic primer to paint your own magnetic board right on a wall. Top the dark primer with your choice of latex paint.
The power miter saw comes in handy for cutting molding to frame the calendar and photo displays.
The finished message center is now organized with magnetic calendars and photo frames that stick to the walls.
Before, storage units were placed all around the meeting room. Consolidating storage to one side of the room opens up the area.
A full wall of storage keeps the meeting room tidy by giving the women a place to keep important items.