20 Weekend Projects Under $20
These 20 improvements may not cost a lot, but they'll make a big difference in how your home functions. Try one or more of these projects this weekend to make your home look and feel its best.
Everything In This Slideshow
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Easy Roman Shade
With a few DIY supplies, you can make this easy Roman shade in minutes. See how!
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Make a Message Center
An inexpensive glass panel can be pressed into service as a message center wherever it's needed. To make a design like this, paint the back of a glass panel to complement your kitchen and frame it. Use dry-erase markers to write notes and reminders.
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Brighten a Bookcase
Give a bookcase an exciting backdrop by applying contact paper, scrapbook paper, or fabric to its back. If you don't want to commit to a particular design or color scheme, measure the piece's back panel and mount the background material on poster board, cut to the size of each shelf.
Update with Paint
Breathe new life into an old piece of furniture with a fresh coat of paint. For wood pieces, remove dirt or wax buildup with a household cleaner and rinse. Sand rough areas and wipe away dust. Apply two coats of stain-blocking primer and allow it to dry between coats. Roll or brush on two coats of latex paint in the direction of the wood grain, and use a brush to finish the surface with smooth strokes.
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You might not be able to install new trimwork in your home for $20, but you can make improvements to what you already have. Replace mismatched, missing, or damaged moldings, end caps, quarter rounds, or baseboard. Curved areas might require a special piece or trim made of an alternate material.
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Create a Charging Station
Construct a mini charging station for your family's devices with this simple, inexpensive hack. Cut small slits in a basic ledge shelf to enable cords to run behind and inside the hollow shelf before being plugged in below. Mount the station to the wall to keep countertops clutter-free.
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Mend Your Walkway
Cracks and gaps in sidewalks and walkways can quickly expand throughout the year. Not only will a patch job make your pathway look nice, it'll also make it safer for visitors and passersby. Fix your sidewalk with a patching compound specifically made for cement.
Creative Walkway Design Ideas
See how to curb appeal with a creative walkway designed to complement your exterior.
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Get Stylish Underfoot
Try your hand at a fun paint technique and update tired flooring with a custom rug. Using a vinyl floor remnant and paint, you can create a fun, personalized focal point. Varying the stripe widths creates a cool, casual look.
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Add a Cheap Backsplash
Turn a large vintage map into a distinctive backdrop that makes a statement. This map of Paris is a fun addition to an otherwise-neutral kitchen.
Tip: If you're a renter or have boring ceramic tiles in your kitchen, use peel-and-stick decals to add less-permanent flair in a flash.
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Replace a plastic switchplate with a wood, metal, or ceramic cover to make a visual statement. Some switchplates are even textured to blend in with marble, tile, or stone surfaces. Do this for light switches, electrical outlets, and phone and cable jacks.
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Elevate a Closet
Coax function from a messy closet with thoughtful accessories designed to elevate organization. Categorize hanging garments by type, day of the week, or family member with colorful tags. Slim, slip-free hangers look uniform and maximize space.
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Recaulk the Bathroom
If the caulk in your bathroom is looking dingy, discolored, or cracked, it's time to remove it and start fresh. Whether it's around your sink, bathtub, or shower, old caulk can grow mildew and cause damage by leaking water -- especially between the tub and bathroom floor. Remove the old caulk, clean the space well, and replace it with a new layer. A good caulk seal will last up to 10 years.
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Add a Divider
Drawer and cabinet dividers are a must when it comes to keeping kitchen tools in their respective places. Secure a wire rack inside a cabinet to provide sturdy storage for cookie sheets, muffin tins, and cooling racks. Some units match your kitchen cabinetry design for a completely integrated and customized look.
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Step Up Storage
Plastic bins are a versatile and inexpensive way to restore order in almost every in-home trouble spot. Using clear bins for storage in a pantry or for a closet gift-wrap station, for example, is an easy way to take inventory and identify items at a glance. Use labels to ensure everything stays tidy and easy to access.
How to Shop for Storage Containers
Buy the right container for the job, and organization become a cinch. Use these tips to learn how to choose and use containers to elevate your storage game.
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Designate a Drop Spot
Enhance the style and storage of your entryway with a designated place for important drop-zone items. Create a mini hang-up station for house keys and outgoing mail on the back of a cabinet door. Use magnetic strips, Peg-Board, or an old ceiling tin and add hooks to store items in one convenient location near the door.
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Update House Numbers
All it takes is a screwdriver and few minutes to give your front door a personality-filled facelift. Change out poorly operating door hardware or make house numbers more readable for a pretty, practical update on the cheap.
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Put Towels and Robes Within Reach
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Streamline Under the Sink
Ease cleanup and eliminate the clutter of freestanding bottles with an over-the-door wire organizer. This slim solution maximizes undersink space while keeping kitchen essentials within easy reach.
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Add Hanging Storage
Free up valuable floor space in your basement, garage, or entryway with hanging storage. Seasonal items, such as bikes and sleds, are difficult to store and take up lots of space. Add hooks to an unused wall or ceiling area and discover space you didn't know you had.