Easy One-Day Projects for Upgrading Your Space

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stacked white photo ledges with frames on wall
Photo: Carson Downing

Try our done-in-a-day DIY decorating projects that deliver big-time personality without a lot of effort. There's an easy upgrade for almost every room in your home.

01 of 26

Try a Pegboard

desk with white pegboard on wall with shelves
Edmund Barr

Create a DIY pegboard panel to fit your space and storage needs. Simply drill holes into plywood in a grid pattern and use dowels to support shelves, rods, and hangable items. Paint the panel to match the walls or make it stand out as wall art with a bright color.

02 of 26

Make Stamped Canvas Art

living room close-up of pictures on shelves picture ledge
Jason Donnelly

Forget the home decor store; you can make easy DIY artwork from items found at home or at your local hardware store. This modern stamped canvas is both simple to make and delightfully easy on the budget. Pick up a canvas and a drywall mud masher, and you're all set! We used moody gray paint leftover from other home projects to make it even more budget-friendly.

03 of 26

Craft a Living Wall

hanging wood wall planters
Jason Donnelly

Use old or discounted cutting boards to create a unique living wall in your home. This decor project is an inventive way to display your favorite succulents or air plants and doesn't require much work at all. Simply attach D-ring hangers to your boards to create an entire wall of plants perfect for a sunny room.

04 of 26

Build Picture Ledges

stacked white photo ledges with frames on wall
Carson Downing

For an art arrangement that doesn't involve a lot of planning, turn to DIY photo ledges. This inexpensive project made with a 1x4 board makes it super easy to change out photos and art when the mood strikes. Paint it to match your style or wall.

05 of 26

Use Removable Wallpaper

wall covered with removeable wallpaper
Courtesy of Walmart

Add pattern to your walls without visual overload using removable wallpaper. Choose one accent wall in a room to cover with wallpaper that shares at least one color with your other walls. Look for affordable peel-and-stick wallpaper—it's easy to apply without the need for paste and can be removed quickly when you're ready for a new look. If you're repainting the walls, too, do those first and paper last.

Removable Wallpaper, $35, Walmart

06 of 26

Build a Wall-Mounted Nightstand

nightstand wall-mount shelf with phone charger hole
Jason Donnelly

To utilize the area adjacent to your bed, consider building a wall-mounted nightstand. This solution frees up floor space so you can slide a basket or bin underneath to hold slippers, books, or blankets. Our smart design features a phone caddy with a hole to thread a charger cord through.

07 of 26

Install a Wood Accent Wall

sitting area with plywood wall and decor
Jacob Fox

For a modern twist on a wood accent wall, we installed large plywood panels (2 x 4-foot boards) in a classic running bond pattern. We let the wood grain do the talking here—no paint needed! You can play with the plywood panel sizes, too, to customize the look you want.

08 of 26

Make Over a Dresser

diy built dresser light blue drawers home decor
Brie Passano

For years, crafty homeowners have been transforming affordable IKEA furniture basics into custom chairs, cabinets, and bed frames. And the classic Malm, a six-drawer dresser, is no exception. Make over the iconic IKEA dresser with stained wood panels, a coat of paint, and your favorite hardware.

09 of 26

Make a Plant Stand

square and rectangular modern planters on stoop
Carson Downing

This modern plant stand is just what your front porch needs to stand out from the neighbors. The basic build requires just four boards and a few tools for assembly. Once you're finished, stain or paint your DIY plant stand any color you want.

10 of 26

Paint Minimalist Wall Art

three panel mop artwork hung above fireplace
Werner Straube

Using a mop as a paintbrush and doors as oversize canvas panels, this large-scale monochrome artwork steals the show in any space. Bold, high-contrast lines swoop across the panels to capture attention. This wall art is easy to make yourself but will look like you bought it from an expensive showroom.

11 of 26

Install a Tile Backsplash

light blue laundry nook with porcelain tile backsplash
Ryan Garvin

Add color and pattern to your kitchen with a mosaic tile backsplash. With new materials on the market, it's now possible to set and grout tile in one day instead of two. Apply the mesh tile mat set to your clean, level backsplash surface. Smooth out any wrinkles as you apply. Peel back the liner on the mesh side, and then press your sheet of tile into place firmly for five seconds. Once all tiles are in place, apply grout according to manufacturer directions and wipe clean.

12 of 26

Dress Up a Drum Shade

diy fabric lampshade
Marty Baldwin

Finding the perfect light fixture for a room can be tough. Take matters into your own hands by creating your own floral shade! Use fabric you love to spruce up a plain white drum shade.

13 of 26

Organize Your Office

black mason jars on writing desk
Adam Albright

All you need to corral clutter in your office are three simple ingredients: glass jars, spray chalkboard paint, and a chalk pen. Spray the jars with a few coats of chalkboard paint, label their contents with a pen, and enjoy!

14 of 26

Brighten a Bedroom

bed with hanging lights
Adam Albright

Instantly illuminate your bedside with a series of pendant lights made from canning jars. Purchase socket lights that plug into a standard outlet so you won't have to worry about electrical work. Cut a hole in the jar lid and tuck the light into the jar, then hang from a hook.

15 of 26

Snap Happy

bulletin board with photos
Adam Albright

You'll be all smiles making this modern-day version of a bulletin board. Customize the size, fabric, and string design to create a playful display with just a few standard tools. Use a staple gun to cover medium-density fiberboard with white felt and fabric. Create rows of tacks and wrap string around each one to create a web. Place photos behind the string, and display.

16 of 26

Add an Area Rug

persian rug in living room
Courtesy of Walmart

An area rug can help elevate a room in just minutes. It's as easy as unrolling it. When shopping for an area rug, there are several things to consider including size, shape, and material. Our helpful guide to choosing the perfect area rug answers these common questions. If you're adding a rug to a high-traffic room like the living room or entry, look for an easy-to-clean washable rug.

Washable Rug, $89, Walmart

17 of 26

Punch Up Your Pillows

diy pink stamped pillow
Steven McDonald

A repeating floral design makes a plain cotton pillowcase look like designer fabric. Remove the pillow form from the case, and slip a piece of cardboard inside to prevent ink from bleeding through. Roll an even layer of screen-printing ink for fabric over a stamp, then press evenly onto the pillowcase, starting at the center. Repeat, working your way out to the edges and reapplying ink after each print. After the ink dries, heat-set by ironing on the reverse side of the pillowcase.

18 of 26

Jazz Up Old Dining Chairs

white table with green chairs
Ryann Ford

Take an old or unfinished wooden chair from simple to stylish with this easy treatment. Sand, prime, and paint the piece a bold color, like this forest green. Finish the transformation by covering the seat in fabric. Remove the seat, place a layer of polyfill on top, and cover with the fabric, stapling in place on the bottom; replace the covered seat.

19 of 26

Make Over Your Mantel

bottles on white mantel
Adam Albright

These glass displays give new meaning to the phrase "message in a bottle." Cut photos to fit bottles. Use a foam crafts brush to coat the front of a photo with decoupage medium, then press it face down onto the outside of a bottle, smoothing out air bubbles with fingers, and let dry. Write special messages on paper and drop inside a bottle or two.

20 of 26

Dress Up a Dining Room

red and purple dyed table cloth
Adam Albright

Pretty fabric paints blend to turn plain white table linens into a soft setting for your next gathering. Wash a cotton tablecloth and hang it while damp on a clothesline or large workspace. Dilute pink and purple fabric paint with water to various intensities in separate buckets. Keep one bucket of water close by for rinsing the brush. Dip a large paintbrush in a small amount of diluted paint, then brush color in a large sweeping motion onto the damp tablecloth. Work with small amounts of each color, blending them as you work.

21 of 26

Refresh a Table Lamp

gold polka dot lamp
Steven McDonald

Brighten a basic lamp with sparkling metallic accents. Tape around the cord and top of the lamp base, then spray all-purpose primer and paint below the tape. When dry, spray clear sealer over the paint, let dry, and remove tape. Tape off the painted portion, and spray the top with gold metallic paint. For the shade, punch circles from cardstock to make a stencil. Press the stencil against the shade, spray with gold glitter, and let dry. Finish with a clear sealer to prevent flaking.

22 of 26

Perk Up a Tabletop

Wooden Tabletop Signature Decor
Jay Wilde

Using a woodburning tool, add the names of guests or family members to cut log sections. Have each person write his or her name in pencil on the log pieces, then burn the letters into the wood to make keepsakes of those kindergarten printed letters or Grandma's pretty signature.

23 of 26

Update Your Entryway

yellow wicker rocking chair next to turquoise front door exterior
Cameron Sadeghpour

Add modern flair to your blooms or houseplants by color-blocking a cheap terra-cotta pot. All you need is two colors of exterior latex paint (try sample sizes), a brush, and painters tape. Or wrap a pot with a bit of rope, glue, and tape for an alternative update that packs a style punch.

24 of 26

Wow with Wall Art

love art on mantel
Adam Albright

Create pretty map art with a map and white mat. Dry-mount a map to a foam-core board by applying a layer of rubber cement to both surfaces, letting it dry, and pressing the surfaces together. Trim any overhanging map with a crafts knife. Print a word or phrase you love and trace backward onto watercolor paper before cutting it out. Glue the paper to the map board, lining up the edges.

25 of 26

Store Toys in Style

wicker basket with teal painted bottom
Steven McDonald

Take storage to a new level with baskets and bins sprayed with stripes. Apply wide painters tape to mask off areas on all sides of the container, then, using an all-purpose primer and paint, spray the uncovered areas. Let dry before removing the tape. Use different colors of paint to assign baskets to family members—it works even for kids who can't read yet.

26 of 26

Easy Entertaining

painted metal serving tray with flowers
Adam Albright

Add your own pattern to plain-Jane accessories like this galvanized-metal serving tray. Masking with painters tape keeps edges crisp and clean on our colorful stripes. Think outside the stripe with vinyl decals or stencils—both make nifty masks and are available in many shapes and patterns.

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