The sun is shining and we’re halfway into 2017 already. Where did the time go? If you’ve been meaning to tackle some DIY projects this year and not found the time to get round to it, now’s your chance. Not only does DIY save you money in the long-run, it also teaches you new skills and allows you to take ownership and pride in the things you’ve made. Embrace your creative side this summer and try one of these 13 easy DIY projects for your home, garden or garage. What are you waiting for?
1. Craft a new bird feeder out of old dinnerware
For this project, you will new some old dinner plates and bowls, a drill, a thick piece of rope, two clothes pegs, and a piece of copper pipe around 10 inches long. This project is a neat way to reuse old crockery that you no longer need, and give the birds who visit your garden a new perch to feed from.
2. Build your own live edge coffee table
Tree slices are ideal for building your own statement furniture, with beautiful organic patterns and edges. No piece of furniture made from organic wood is ever the same, and that’s part of what makes it so appealing. The markup on a readymade live edge coffee table is often high, which makes doing it yourself a much more cost-effective approach – and you get to have some fun with it as well.
First things first, you need to find a solid piece of lumber that’s the right shape and size for the room. You may want a circular tree round, or a longer slab if the room is long and thin. Check for lumber going on sites like Craiglist, and once you have a piece to work with, you can set to work curing and smoothing the wood, filling in any holes, sealing the wood, and finding a base for it to stand on.
3. Update your showerheads and faucets
If you want to add a little more style to your kitchen or bathroom on a budget, then new fixtures and fittings could be the way to go. What’s more, it can be completed in relatively little time. Be sure to take all measurements accurately before you go about purchasing your new fixtures, and remember that it’s always best to go with energy-efficient options where possible, to save you money on your water bill. Always shut off your water valves before installing new showerheads and fittings.
4. Build your own pergola
If you’re feeling a little more ambitious and you have a weekend to dedicate to your DIY project, then why not try building your own pergola? You will need a reasonably sized garden for this. Pergolas are a great way to bring your backyard to life, and used to be a common feature of Italian Renaissance gardens. You can add life with a climbing plant or vine such as roses or wisteria. Cedar is often recommended as the best kind of wood to use, as it is decay-resistant – you can choose to leave it unfinished, or finish it with stain or sealant.
5. Get creative with clear acrylic
Acrylic is an increasingly popular home and garden DIY material. Durable, weather-resistant, low-cost and easy to clean, clear acrylic sheets are incredibly versatile and a safe alternative to glass. You can buy perspex sheet cut-to-size, so it’s ready to go as soon as it’s delivered.
Use clear acrylic to create acrylic-sided shelves, or if you’re feeling more ambitious, have a go at building a clear-topped table or plant stand.
6. Put up floating shelves
Floating shelves in the kitchen look neat and minimal, keep your counters clear and help to maximise your vertical space. Try adding them to the side of a kitchen cabinet where there is surplus space. As always, use a level to make sure you hang the shelves completely straight, and mark your holes before drilling them. Floating shelves can be used for all sorts, from herbs and spices to cookbooks, plants and mugs.
7. Plant teacup succulents
Got some spare vintage tea cups lying around that you’d like to make use of? If not, there are usually plenty to be found at charity shops and thrift stores. Vintage teacups make beautiful planters for small succulents, which can be picked up from most garden centres for around £2-5 each, depending on their size. These planters make gorgeous home decor and even better, they’re cheap and easy to make.
8. Paint your garage floor
Chances are you’ve not spent all that long thinking about how your garage looks, but if you’re into DIY, you may spend a lot of time in there. So why not give it a new lease of life with a lick of paint? Adding color to the floor will give your garage a fresh, vibrant look – just be sure to use the right paint. A latex paint or floor enamel is your best bet for a good finish and minimal odor, provided you’ve cleaned the floor thoroughly beforehand.
9. Repurpose your kids’ old swing set
A brand new swing set costs a lot of money, and once the kids have grown up and moved on, what are you supposed to do with it? This DIY tutorial provides a radical idea – turn that old swing set into relaxing outdoor lounge area. Once you’ve got rid of the swings and slide, etc. simply add some fabric chair hammocks, throw pillows and a side table, and you have yourself a rather nice place to sit, chat and sip wine of an evening.
10. Make your own cocktail bar tray
A swanky home bar cart can be surprisingly expensive. But guess what? It’s easy to create one that looks just as polished and sophisticated, with a little time and effort. Your friends will love coming round for a homemade cocktail on a Friday night, and will be equally impressed by the fact you built it yourself.
To build your own cocktail bar tray (and stand) you will need a large rectangular tray, 8 mini brass decorative corners, 2 brass campaign drawer pulls, a gold metal tray stand, a power drill, a tape measure, painters tape, and a toothpick. Oh, and not forgetting several bottles of liquor…
11. Put your trash bags on a roll
The cupboard under the sink is often a cramped and disorganized space. Small changes can make keeping these spaces clean and organised much easier. Adding a simple dispenser for trash bags means you will never have to root around for a new bin bag again – simply tear a new one off the roll. You will need 3/4″ curtain rod brackets, a 5/8 x 48″ wooden dowel, white spray paint, a saw, a hand sander, a measuring tape, a screwdriver, level and pencil.
12. Make a tool wall
Over the years, we accumulate more tools and gadgets than we realize – particularly those of us who enjoy dabbling in DIY now and again. Using a pegboard is an ideal way to keep all of your household tools organized in your garage, rather than having to dig deep into your toolbox every time you need a screwdriver. See all your tools in front of you every time to set your mind to a new DIY task.
13. Create a dry-erase calendar
Though we may be halfway through the year, a family dry-wipe calendar is still a great way to keep everything organized. Make it at whatever size you want, with as many categories/people as you need – the great thing about a custom-made calendar is you can customize it to fit your needs. Being dry-wipe also makes it super easy to use, jot things down, decorate, and start again.
Hopefully these 13 ideas have provided you with some DIY inspiration for the year ahead. Let us know which you choose, and how you get on, by sharing your experiences in the comments. Read more from Architecture Lab with these 38 Brilliant Floor Level Sofa Designs to Boost Your Comfort.