Step-by-Step DIY Projects

Bring a little DIY style to your home's decor with any (or all!) of these nine projects, all with step-by-step instructions. Plus, there's nothing difficult here: every single project employs easy-to-find supplies and straightforward techniques you can use again and again.

Faux Mercury Glass

Get the look of mercury glass with this simple DIY technique. You will need:

  • Glass votive or vase
  • Spray bottle filled with water
  • Krylon Looking Glass Mirror Like spray paint
  • Newspaper or paper plate

Mercury Glass: Step 1

Wash glass votive or vase with soap and water; dry. Spray water on inside of glass.

Mercury Glass: Step 2

While still wet, lightly spray inside of glass with mirrorlike spray paint. Holding onto the outside of the glass, swirl the paint around the inside until the entire interior is coated.

Mercury Glass: Step 3

Place glass upside down on newspaper or a paper plate; let dry. Repeat process with water and paint four to five times or until satisfied with the effect.

Use vegetables as stamps to make artwork for your home. Learn how to use sweet potatoes, squash, and potatoes as stamps to create one-of-a-kind prints that are budget-friendly and unique.

DIY Stamped Artwork

Watch and learn how to make artwork from a suprising medium: vegetables!

Watercolor Napkins

Add a little wow to white dinner napkins with watercolor. You will need:

  • White fabric napkins
  • Fabric paint
  • Water
  • Flat paintbrush

Watercolor Napkins: Steps 1-3

  1. Combine fabric paint and water until the mixture achieves a watery consistency.
  2. Then paint stripes across the napkins using a flat paintbrush.
  3. The color should bleed slightly to achieve a watercolorlike appearance once the paint dries.

Project Note: For thinner stripes than those shown here, use a round paintbrush.

Add shimmer to your decor by learning how to gold leaf. This easy DIY technique can be used on many surfaces. See how it's done!

Gold Leafing

Metallics are hot right now. See the DIY trick to bring the look into your home.

Fabric Rosettes

Add this simple technique to your DIY skill set and you'll be ready to embellish everything from pillows to curtains. You will need:

  • Strips of fabric (we used sheets for both the rosettes and curtains pictured here)
  • Needle
  • Coordinating thread

Fabric Rosettes: Step 1

Note: We used 4-1/2-inch wide strips of fabric. Cut fabric strips into 12 inch lengths. Sew a 1/2 inch hem on one long side and sew a 1/2 inch hem on each of the short sides. Then hand-sew a loose running stitch along the raw edge (pictured).

Fabric Rosettes: Step 2

Pull one end of thread to gather fabric into a circle. These are loose, freestyle rosettes, so you don't need to create a tight circle.

Fabric Rosettes: Step 3

Stitch the center of the rose to hold its
shape. Place the rosettes onto curtain, pillow, or the object you are embellishing; stitch in place to secure.

Heart Art

Display your favorite photos with heartfelt flair with this unique presentation. You will need:

  • 4x6-inch blocks of medium-density fiberboard (MDF) or scrap wood (We used 24 blocks.)
  • Crafts paint in several colors
  • Foam paintbrush
  • Photos
  • Spray adhesive
  • Adhesive strips designed for hanging art on walls

Heart Art: Step 1

Gather materials and dilute crafts paint (4 tablespoons) with water (1 tablespoon) to create a wash.

Heart Art: Step 2

Use a foam paintbrush to apply the wash to the front and sides of one wood block. Repeat the process with other blocks and colors.

Heart Art: Step 3

When all the blocks are dry, mount the photos using spray adhesive. Gently press each photo onto the painted side of each block.

Lay out your pattern on the floor. We arranged 24 wood blocks into a heart shape. Use removable adhesive strips to attach the blocks to the wall.


Stenciled Pillow

Enliven a boring pillow with a stenciled motif. Find a favorite motif, or re-create this look with our free butterfly template.
You will need:

    • Seagrass or other fabric pillow cover

    • Fabric marker

    • Butterfly template (click here to               download)

Stenciled Pillow: Step 1

Print and cutout your desired template. If you're going to do a repeat, plan the design before you start stenciling.

Stenciled Pillow: Step 2

Place the pillow cover on flat surface. (If you are concerned about the marker bleeding through to the other side, place an old magazine inside the cover.) Position template on top of cover as desired, and trace around the template with a fabric marker. Remove the template and fill in body with marker. (If you're using our butterfly template, freehand draw the antennae.)

Wall Frames

Bring something a little different to your wall art with a mural-like background for plates, canvases, and more. Freehand-draw frames around objects, or try this technique that we used for the round white plate in this display. You will need:

  • Plaque from crafts store
  • Freezer paper
  • Black king-size Sharpie marker
  • Wooden plate
  • White paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Metallic silver fine-point Sharpie marker
  • Sawtooth hanger

Wall Frames: Step 1

Trace around plaque onto freezer paper. Fold the paper in half to check symmetry; cut out.

Wall Frames: Step 2

Position the pattern as desired on the
wall, and trace around it with a pencil.

Wall Frames: Step 3

Cover the pencil outline with a black king-size Sharpie marker.

Wall Frames: Step 4

Pencil another frame inside the existing one; mark over the pencil outline with the black Sharpie. Paint a wooden plate white; let dry. Draw a herringbone stripe on the plate with a metallic silver fine-point Sharpie, and mount it inside the wall frame using a sawtooth hanger.

Personalized Vase

Use this technique to transfer art to any wooden object. We used a vase and a child's drawing as the art. You will need:

  • Artwork
  • Scanner
  • Computer and image-editing software
  • Printer
  • Ink-jet decal paper
  • Scissors
  • Water
  • Shallow dish
  • Turpentine
  • Paintbrushes
  • Oil-base polyurethane

Personalized Vase: Step 1

If you're using a drawing or piece of child's art, scan the drawing into an image-editing program, then scale to desired size. Print the art onto ink-jet decal paper (avialable at crafts stores or online). Cut out the portion of the decal you want to transfer and soak in water unitl the backing begins to peel away and the paper starts to curl. In a well-ventilated space, coat the wood with turpentine.

Personalized Vase: Step 2

While the turpentine is still wet, slide the decal onto the surface. When you're satisfied with placement, peel the backing away to reveal the translucent decal. Let it dry for several hours until the decal paper turns white again (the parts of the decal where there isn't any color or design will turn white, while the color of the design you are transferring will remain).

Personalized Vase: Step 3

Paint the decal with a coat of oil-base polyurethane. The parts of the decal without any color or design will turn transparent again. Let the object dry completely.

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