Colorful DIY Projects

painted wooden blocks
Photo: Adam Albright

Add a little color to your home with these creative DIY projects starring paint, fabric, embellishments, and more.

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Ombre Effect

couch with colorful ombre pillows
Adam Albright

Bring a little trendy style and color to plain curtain panels with this oh-so-easy ombre dyeing effect.

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Take a Dip

Embellish plain pots with this trendy dipping technique.

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Medallion Magic

medallions on purple wall
Jay Wilde

Make a statement with multiples. Scoop up a collection of ceiling medallions in various sizes and designs. Spray-paint the medallions and arrange on a wall as art. Try neutral medallions on a brightly colored wall, or do the reverse -- paint the medallions in fun colors and arrange on a neutral wall.

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Pom-Poms for the Win

throw blanket with pom poms
Jay Wilde

Make a stylish addition to a purchased throw by adding jumbo pom-poms to the edges. Use an extra-large pom-pom maker to make 4½-inch balls, leaving long tails when tying each one off. Pin the yarn tails along the edge of the throw, roll the hemmed edge to enclose the tails, and topstitch.

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Message Me

green dry erase board
Greg Scheidemann

A handwritten message trumps iMessage or Snapchat. Case in point? The coolest message board ever. It's simply glass that's been painted on the back and framed. Messages penned in dry-erase markers show up clearly and erase easily.

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Spot On

painted red dots on lampshade in front of yellow curtain panel
Cameron Sadeghpour

Puff paint isn't just for 1980s sweatshirts. Use it to embellish a plain white lampshade with a fun and colorful design.

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Door Panache

door with blue geometric shapes
Adam Albright

Make a grand entrance with a door that's dressed up with color and shine. We used aqua-blue paint as the base color and a silvery-metallic paint for the stenciled design. You can complete this project with the door on or off its hinges. (Be sure to brace a hanging door so it doesn't swing while you work.)

To stencil a door, remove the doorknob. Prime and paint the door in the base color. Wait two to four hours before stenciling. Use a permanent marker to mark the center of the stencil and the center of each side. Use a pencil to mark the center of the door. Place the stencil in the center of the door, lining up the mark at the center of the door and the mark at the center of the stencil; mark the stencil height and width on the door. Remove the stencil, spray the back with stencil adhesive, and lay the stencil in place on the door, lining up the marks. Using a 4-inch wide roller with the accent paint, roll over the stencil. Apply the paint evenly and lightly -- pressing too hard will cause the paint to bleed. Remove the stencil;let paint dry. Realign the stencil, using the painted area as a straightedge, and repeat until the entire door is stenciled. Replace the doorknob and rehang the door if needed.

Go to the next slide for more stenciling tips.

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Stenciling 101

Whether you're stenciling a door or a wall, watch and learn the secrets to stenciling success.

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Put Your Feet Up

yellow pouf next to blue chair
Greg Scheidemann

Bright poufs are almost too pretty for resting your feet. (Almost.) But, news flash, this DIY version can be made for a fraction of the cost of their boutique counterparts. So you can kick back, knowing your pouf is everyday easy.

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Mirror Magic

blue mirror with writing
Adam Albright

Sometimes a little color can work wonders for a worn out piece. The shape of this mirror was eye-catching, but the wood was in poor shape. Primer and two coats of latex paint brought out the best in the piece. A quote, scrolled on with a paint pen, transforms the aging mirror into a piece of art.

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Artistic Style

vanity mirror with variety of wall displays
Miki Duisterhof

Get creative with your wall art displays. Add colorful mats, embellished frames, and interesting objects.

Continue to the next slide to learn the story behind this awesome display.

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Personalized Display

Learn how to create a unique art display with these tricks.

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Pillow Talk

collection of colorful pillows
Jay Wilde

Transform plain-Jane pillow covers with colorful paints. Slip cardboard inside the case while painting to prevent paint from bleeding through. For the sunburst design, tape off desired angles. Apply paint to fabric using a stencil brush. Remove tape when paint is dry. The polka-dot pillow uses five fabric paints and foam dabbers. Start with the largest dabber and work to the smallest, pressing straight down to apply the color evenly.

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Dye Job

hand-dyed fabrics on table
Adam Albright

Try your hand at dyeing to bring a little color to plain fabric accessories.

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You're a Gem

DIY necklace hanger
Cameron Sadeghpour

Craft a storage rack worthy of your prettiest baubles using equally gorgeous cabinet knobs. Prime and paint a 1x4 board and attach the cabinet knobs. Space the knobs far enough apart to keep necklaces from tangling.

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Splatter Art

blue yellow splatter art
Wendy E. Johnson

Embrace your inner Jackson Pollock and create gallery-worthy modern art with this splatter technique. Lay the canvas flat on a drop cloth or a newspaper-covered surface. Thin the paint with water, if necessary, to make it drip easily. Using an eyedropper, drip spots and blotches of paint on the canvas. Move the dropper to different heights, shake it, and swirl to vary the splotches. Start with a single color, then layer additional colors to create the desired free-form pattern. For a quicker take, use a speckling brush (available at art supply stores, crafts stores, or online retailers) to create a similar effect in less time.

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DIY ribbon decor
Jay Wilde

In a variety of widths, materials, patterns, and colors, you can't go wrong with ribbon as a tool for adding DIY color. Use this versatile material to dress up picture frame mats, window treatments, and more.

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Fun and Functional

white chairs with colorful fabric
Jay Wilde

Update kitchen chairs with brightly colored fabric that can withstand spills and mishaps. Wrap and staple wipe-clean laminated fabric around removable chair seats and/or backs. These fun fabrics feature soft, protective polyurethane film that's laminated to cotton fabric. To cover a cushion, remove it from the chair, place it facedown on the back side of laminated fabric, and cut around the cushion, leaving enough fabric to wrap around the edges; wrap and staple fabric to the back.

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All Lit Up

DIY blue sconce
Jay Wilde

Dress up a plain sconce with decorative sheet metal. Cut the sheet metal to size, spray-paint, and wrap the piece around the sconce.

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Slipped Up

office with yellow walls and blue desk
Adam Albright

Slipcovers are an affordable way to rescue a chair with good bones but bad upholstery. But sometimes slipcovers lack a little personality. Combat the boring with a few easy embellishments, such as a colorful stenciled monogram.

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Roll Out

green yellow roller shades white rattan loveseat orange rugs tables enclosed porch
Cameron Sadeghpour

Don't settle for plain roller shades -- with a little paint, you can create custom window treatments that perfectly coordinate with your decor. To make these shades, we taped off stripes and applied latex paint with a foam roller. Be sure to remove the tape immediately; let dry before hanging your custom creations.

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Crystal Color

painted chandelier
Josh Savage Gibson

Give a crystal chandelier new life as a colorful light fixture. Spray-paint the entire fixture one color to create an eye-catching focal point.

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Head of the Class

headboard with area rug
Greg Scheidemann

Dress up an existing headboard and add a dose of color. Drape an area rug over the headboard. To secure this rug, we clipped drapery rings to the front and back of the rug. Then, we threaded a ribbon through both rings and tied the ribbon in a bow to secure.

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One-of-a-Kind Chair

DIY slipcover for chair
Wendell Webber

Take advantage of fabric you already own, or scour the remnant stacks at your local fabrics store for designs you love, to adorn a plain slipcover. Adhere iron-on adhesive sheets to the back of your fabric, following manufacturer’s directions. Cut out your favorite design elements, such as a blooming flower or knobby twig, discarding the excess. Arrange your finds on a plain chair or slipcover, and press to adhere.

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Rock the Block

painted wooden blocks
Adam Albright

For sculptural appeal, add color to faceted wood blocks. Use painters tape around the edges of the section you wish to paint. Apply two coats of paint for the best results. Arrange the now-colorful blocks in stacks on a mantel, coffee table, or as a centerpiece.

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