16 Thrifty DIY Projects You Can Do at Home Right Now

diy painted plant pots wall shelves
Photo: Greg Scheidemann

Gather your extra scraps and leftover supplies. These thrifty DIY ideas use items you already have around the house to create cool, custom home accents. Try these projects to get creative with what you have, no trip to the crafts store needed.

01 of 16

Floral Fabric Lampshade

diy fabric lampshade
Marty Baldwin

Utilize leftover fabric scraps to dress up a plain lampshade. Cut designs from fabric and adhere to a drum shade using decoupage medium. For a more finished look, secure bias tape around the top and bottom of the shade with fabric glue.

02 of 16

Fabric Drawstring Bag

bathroom tray with fabric bag and products
Jacob Fox

If you like to sew, you likely already have the materials you need for this easy sewing project. Craft a simple drawstring pouch from fabric pieces and some cotton cording. You can use this versatile pouch as a makeup bag, purse organizer, or catchall for miscellaneous items.

03 of 16

Basket Shelf

Hanging wicker shelf holding books and laptop
Paul Dyer

Grab an unused basket you have lying around the house and repurpose it as a bedside shelf to boost storage in your bedroom. Any style of basket works, as long as it has a flat bottom. Mount it to the wall by hammering a nail through an opening in the basket's weave.

04 of 16

Easy Watercolor Art

Photo ledge with watercolor artwork spider plant dark painted walls
Werner Straube Photography LTD

Pick up that watercolor palette and a few brushes to try your hand at DIY watercolor art. You can create your own masterpiece with just a few easy watercolor techniques. Frame your finished art for a personalized addition to your gallery wall.

05 of 16

DIY Plywood Art

Colorful painting on mantelpiece at home
Jason Donnelly

If you have an extra sheet of plywood and a few cans of spray paint, you have enough supplies to make this DIY wall art idea. Use our technique to create an organic, fluid shape, then fill in the design with blocks of spray-painted color. This eye-catching modern art is perfect for a fireplace mantel or gallery wall.

06 of 16

Paper Pendant Light

Geometric Paper Pendant
Jacob Fox

Put extra paper to use with this DIY geometric pendant. A simple scoring and folding technique turns plain paper into an origami-inspired lampshade, which you can use to dress up a basic pendant light. If the paper you have on hand isn't large enough, you can glue sheets together before folding.

07 of 16

Welcome Mat Update

grass painted welcome mat
Jay Wilde

Refresh a lackluster doormat with a nature-inspired design. Mark off your desired layout with painters tape, pressing down firmly so the tape adheres. Use leftover spray paint to fill in the pattern with color. Be sure to do this project outside in a well-ventilated area.

08 of 16

Wood Branch Fireplace Filler

Living room with fireplace filled with decorative wood
Anthony Masterson

This DIY project might take a bit of foraging before you begin. Make your fireplace a focal point with an arrangement of small branches or logs in interesting shapes. Pile the wood in a nonworking firebox, rearranging until the display is secure.

09 of 16

Leftover Paint Idea

diy painted plant pots wall shelves
Greg Scheidemann

Put your brush-wielding skills to use with this quick DIY project. Terra-cotta pots are inexpensive and easy to pretty up with leftover crafts paints. Cover pots in on-trend metallics or pastels for a glam update to your houseplant collection.

10 of 16

Fabric Scrap Curtains

Blue room with grey sofa and geometric motif in contemporary style
Adam Albright

Add style to basic white window treatments with fabric scraps. Cut out fabric triangles in various sizes and colors. Sew the pieces to the curtain to form a free-flowing, geometric pattern that draws the eye upward.

11 of 16

Marker Designs

Eclectic style couch and throw pillows
Tria Giovan

Quickly change a plain pillow into a cool conversation piece. Claim your ZIP code (or another meaningful number) by drawing it onto a pillow with a marker. Freehand the design or use stencils for extra-crisp lines.

12 of 16

Picture Frame Display

Blue room with yellow accents and metal writing desk
Steven McDonald

Fashion a custom memo board from an old picture frame to liven up the space above your desk. To make this board, grab a hefty frame, some twine, and your hot-glue gun. Secure photos, postcards, or reminders with small clips.

13 of 16

Map Project Ideas

diy coasters made from maps
Adam Albright

Turn old maps into mementos from favorite travels. To make these travel-inspired coasters, cut maps into pieces and use decoupage medium to adhere them to square tiles. Apply felt to the back of coasters to prevent them from scratching surfaces.

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Dish Towel Curtains

white window with blue curtains counter top
Steven McDonald

Give dish towels new life as eye-catching window treatments. Bonus: These cafe curtains don't require any sewing! We stamped ours with a homemade potato stamp before attaching to a tension rod with curtain clips.

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Felt Bathmat

Blue tray top table in bathroom pop art diy floor
Steven McDonald

Bring warmth and style to your bathroom floor with this Pop Art-inspired rug design. Thick felt furniture feet pads form the base and circles cut from crafts felt fabric add color on top. Use up felt scraps in a variety of colors with a randomized design.

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Ribbon Lampshade

green accent room with love seat and whicker chairs
Adam Albright

Available in a multitude of widths, colors, and textures, ribbon is a versatile DIY staple that can embellish almost any home accent. In this living room, a plain lampshade is dressed up with bright green ribbons. Secure the ribbons to the shade with hot glue, making sure the seams are on the side that faces the wall.

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