9 Step-by-Step DIY Projects for Making Stylish Home Accessories


Some DIY creations prompt people to ask, "Did you make that yourself?" Then there are the ones no one would ever guess are homemade. Master the latter with these step-by-step projects, ranging from an artwork-adorned vase to painted cloth napkins. The best part? There's nothing difficult here. Every single project employs easy-to-find supplies and straightforward techniques you can use again and again.

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Faux Mercury Glass


Mimic 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 Spray Paint
  • Newspaper or paper plate
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Mercury Glass: Step 1


Wash your glass votive or vase with soap and water. Dry, then spritz water on the inside of the glass.

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Mercury Glass: Step 2


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

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Mercury Glass: Step 3


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

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DIY Stamped Artwork

Watch and learn how to make artwork with a suprising instrument: a potato!

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Watercolor Napkins

Place Setting

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

  • White cloth napkins
  • Fabric paint
  • Water
  • Flat paintbrush
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Watercolor Napkins: Steps 1-2


Combine fabric paint and water until the mixture achieves a watery consistency.

Paint stripes across the napkins using a flat paintbrush. 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.

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Gold Leafing

Metallics are an easy way to add eye-catching detail to your decor. Learn the DIY trick for bringing the look into your home.

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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 bed sheets for both the rosettes and curtains pictured here)
  • Needle
  • Coordinating thread
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Fabric Rosettes: Step 1


Cut fabric strips into 12-inch lengths. (Note: We used 4-½-inch wide strips.) Sew a ½-inch hem on one long side, then sew a ½-inch hem on each of the short sides. Hand-sew a loose running stitch along the raw edge (pictured).

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Fabric Rosettes: Step 2


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

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Fabric Rosettes: Step 3


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

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Heart Art

Photo Block Collage

Display your favorite photos with this heartfelt arrangement. 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
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Heart Art: Step 1


Dilute crafts paint (4 tablespoons) with water (1 tablespoon) to create a wash.

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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.

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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.

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Stenciled Pillow


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

  • Seagrass or other fabric pillow cover
  • Fabric marker
  • Butterfly template
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Stenciled Pillow: Step 1

Butterfly art

Print and cut out your desired template. If you're going to create a repeat, plan the design layout before you start stenciling.

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Stenciled Pillow: Step 2

Butterfly art

Place the pillow cover on flat surface. (If you're concerned about the marker bleeding through to the other side, place an old magazine inside the pillow 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 the antennae.)

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Wall Frames


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

  • Plaque from crafts store
  • Freezer paper
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Black king-size Sharpie marker
  • Wooden plate
  • White paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Metallic silver fine-point Sharpie marker
  • Sawtooth hanger
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Wall Frames: Step 1


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

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Wall Frames: Step 2


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

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Wall Frames: Step 3


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

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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.

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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
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Personalized Vase: Step 1


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

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Personalized Vase: Step 2


While the turpentine is still wet, slide the decal onto the surface. When you're satisfied with its 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).

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Personalized Vase: Step 3


Cover 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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