1-Hour Projects

painting and frame
Spruce up your home with one of these done-in-an-hour DIY projects. Some projects require dry time, but all require less than an hour of hands-on work. What's not to love about that?

Serving Up Vintage

Turn clear glass serving platters into unique display pieces by reusing vintage advertisements. Trace the bottom of the dish (use one with a flat bottom) and trim the page to size. Use a small foam brush and decoupage medium to adhere the paper to the underside of the dish. Smooth out any bubbles, beginning from the center and working toward the edges.

Jazz up glass with this easy DIY back-painting technique. In just a few simple steps, you can customize a vase, glass lamp, and more!

Pretty Painted Glass

Give glass a whole new look with this DIY painting technique. The two-tone look will add a unique style to your glass vases, lamps, and more.

Book Picture Frame

Don't let an old book with damaged pages go to waste. If it has a beautiful cover, you can turn it into a pretty frame. Using a crafts knife, carefully cut out a rectangle from the front cover. To create the mat, cut a few of the inside pages into a rectangle a bit smaller than the cover rectangle. Glue the pages to the cover and tape a photo in place.

Hang window treatments from a stylish DIY curtain rod, created from a few basic supplies and brass sheeting.

DIY Curtain Rod

Turn brass sheeting and a plain wood curtain rod into a chic addition for your windows.

DIY Toothbrush Holder

To make this playful toothbrush holder, drill 3/4-inch holes through a wooden figure, then coat using glossy white spray paint. Look for figures large enough to accommodate a few holes without splitting -- find them in thrift stores, on eBay, and at garage sales.

Branch Vase

Add a natural scene to a plain white vase with a simple photo-transfer technique.

On Display

Turn an old spoon rack into a fun display board with twine. Wrap colorful twine around the spoon holders and use small clothespins to display pretty ephemera. If you have extra time, paint the spoon rack before wrapping the twine. 

Patterned Tabletop

A smooth tabletop is the perfect spot for a colorful wallpaper makeover. Cut a piece of wallpaper to fit, then adhere it with decoupage medium. To protect the surface, brush the top with decoupage medium or spray with clear acrylic sealer.

On a Platter

Rescue cast-off crystal platters and turn them into one-of-a-kind artwork. Paint the smooth sides of the platters with two to three coats of acrylic paint; let dry between coats. Mix and match colors, sizes, and patterns, then hang the platters together in a grouping.

Lacy Bowls

Doilies abound at flea markets and antiques stores. Pick up a few and repurpose them as storage vessels. Dip the doily into a mixture of one part crafts glue and one part water. Smooth the wet doily over an upside-down glass bowl with your hands; let dry. Carefully peel the doily away from the bowl.

Craft a decorative bowl from a doily picked up from a flea market, antique store, or even your own closet. It's an easy and simple project you can do in just a few steps.

Watch How: Easy Doily Bowl

Watch our step-by-step instructions on how to make these light and lovely doily bowls. 

Animal Place Card Holders

Plastic toy animals made striking place card holders with just a few easy updates. Go to the next slide to see how it's done.

Set a charming table with woodland creature place card holders. Learn how to make these charming tabletop accessories from plastic animal figurines, gold paint, and a few basic crafting tools.

How To: Animal Place Card Holders

Watch and see how to make our super cute animal place card holders.

Hutch Update

Line the back of a hutch or display cabinet with pretty paper. Simply cut paper to fit and adhere to the cabinet back. Here, a patterned paper with gold design adds metallic glimmer. 

Fabric-Covered Canvases

Stretch your decorating dollar with affordable DIY canvases. Buy ready-made canvases or canvas stretchers and cover with a favorite fabric. Try using a large-scale pattern, and use different parts of the pattern on each canvas.


Repurposed Jars

Rescue pickle jars or other containers from the recycle bin, and give them a new purpose holding bathroom essentials with bright colors and easy updates. To start, drill a hole in the center of the lid to accommodate a knob. Prime, then paint the lids; let dry. Spray with a clear sealer to protect the paint; let dry. Attach the knob, then cut off the excess shank. For an extra decorative touch, cut paper to fit around the jars and adhere in place.

Bottle-Cap Cutie

Create a mini memo board with bottle caps. Cover a frame backing with pretty paper. Use heavy-duty glue, such as epoxy, to attach the bottle caps to the backing. Arrange the caps in a fun shape, such as a heart. Glue magnets inside additional extra bottle caps, and use your new frame as a message board.

Candlestick Makeover

Staring at a set of plain, old candlesticks? Dress them up in a trio or quartet of new colors. Simply spray-paint the candlesticks in coordinating colors, let dry, and put on display.

Milk Glass Look-Alike

Set a pretty display with painted glass bottles that look like milk glass. Wash the glass with soap and water; let dry. Dampen a cloth with rubbing alcohol, and wipe the inside of the glass vessel with the cloth. For narrow vessels, pour a small amount of rubbing alcohol inside, swirl around, and pour out excess; let dry. Mix two parts acrylic paint with one part water in a glass bowl and pour into the bottle or jar. Swirl the paint around inside the bottle or jar until the entire interior is coated. Place the glass vessel upside down on a paper towel or paper plate to dry. Repeat painting steps until you are happy with the coverage. Note: These bottles are for display only; do not use with food or drink.

Wrap and Paint

Give a plain lampshade a boost with ribbon. Wrap ribbon vertically around the shade, overlapping to create a dynamic design. Secure the ribbon with pins and glue. Do you have another hour? Transform the lamp base, too. Paint the base a fresh shade. Tip: Metallic paints reflect best on a smooth surface and simple shape.

Language of Flowers

Turn old, damaged books into cute decor. Use the pages from the tomes to create colorful flowers.

Word Wise

Create art from dictionary pages. Choose words based on a theme (we used "swish," "compete," and "score" for a sports-theme room). Enlarge and photocopy the pages and hang in matching frames.

Customized Vases

Transform plain-Jane milky-white vases with freehand painting. Mix glass paint with a few drops of paint thinner. If desired, adjust the amount of paint thinner to achieve varying viscosities and results, such as drips and runs. Paint freehand designs on each vase using an acrylic brush.

Sweeter Sleep

Are you tired of boring white sheets? Get the look of pricey monogrammed sheets on a budget -- and in almost no time. Stitch ribbon and rickrack along the edges of the pillowcases and top sheet. For a no-sew solution, attach the trims with fusible web, available at fabrics stores. Use a stencil and fabric paint to monogram the pillowcases.

Cork It

Fashion an office memo board from inexpensive cork trivets. To begin, paint the cork rounds with two coats of acrylic paint in your chosen color palette. Leave several unpainted for a natural look. Once dry, turn the cork pieces over and arrange in the design you prefer; secure together with masking tape. Use wall hook-and-loop tape to hang.

All Wrapped Up

Roll up your sleeves and start wrapping to create custom DIY decor. Embellish a flat frame with varying widths of baker's twine wrapped around the frame. Then display a twine-wrapped papier-mache letter inside the opening.

Quotation Art

Cut out letters from a favorite phrase or quote from paper or magazines and glue them to a foam-core board. (This piece was decoupaged with tissue paper before the letters were added.) Frame the art, and display proudly.

Send Style

Make customized stationery that starts with plain note cards. Adhere paper or crocheted doilies to a card, or turn the scalloped edge of a paper doily into a stencil. If you're short on time or materials, trim an invitation with a few inches of lace tape.

Tape It Up

A plethora of decorative tapes are infiltrating crafts stores near you. Use these pretty adhesives to dress up almost anything in a flash. Embellish a plain white frame with a variety of patterns. Stick to a complementary color palette for cohesiveness.

Veggie Art

Take a stroll down the produce aisle to find inspiration for your next DIY art project. Cut stalks of bok choy or celery about 2-3 inches from the bottom. Blot off the moisture, and let the vegetables dry for an hour. Select a light and dark shade of crafts paints in the same hue. Pour the darker color onto a paper plate. Dip the cut end of the bok choy or celery into the paint and press onto a blank canvas; let dry. Repeat with the lighter color, overlapping stamps as desired.

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