20 DIY Projects for $20 or Less
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.