Hang a wreath on your door made from the pages of unwanted books, custom-color your own vases and mason jars, turn torn doilies into a pretty hanging lamp or organize your jewelry with a reclaimed rake. These 14 fun, crafty DIY projects for the home transform cast-off materials into stylish new decorative items.
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Custom Colored Mason Jars
Vintage blue mason jars can make a pretty addition to home decor, but a single jar – once tossed away as junk – can cost as much as $12 at an antique store. This tutorial, by Creative Little Daisy, shows you how to glaze clear jars and vases in any color you want using nothing more than Mod Podge glue and food coloring.
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Branch Candle Holders
Add rustic beauty to your mantle with twig candle holders. This DIY project is simple and natural, using just a flat candle holder (check thrift stores!), garden pruners, craft adhesive and dry tree or shrub branches of your choosing. The same concept could be used on vases or other decorative items.
Tiered Cupcake Stand
Cupcake stands are a fun and dramatic way to show off these confectionery creations, but it makes no sense to spend a lot on one if you’re not a frequent baker. Thankfully, it’s cheap and easy to turn the plates of your choice (preferably secondhand, to make this an eco-friendly project) into a tiered display rack that’s customized to your tastes. A tutorial from Givers Loguses decorative drawer pulls and items from the hardware store to create an interchangeable stand, so you can switch out the plates according to the occasion.
Round Lace Lantern
Lace doilies aren’t exactly fashionable home decor any more, but if you’ve still got some laying around – even if they’re ripped and otherwise unusable – they can be turned into a pretty globe lantern using glue and a balloon. Other items that might work include lace handkerchiefs and tablecloths.
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Recycled Barrel Planter
Design Sponge will show you how to create this rustic tiered planter for your porch or deck using a half barrel and wood from old pallets. You’ll need a jigsaw, a compound miter saw and a power screwdriver. The result looks almost identical to those pre-made ones that can cost hundreds of dollars.
Got old, ugly flower pots hanging around? You can totally change their look with some scrap fabric and Mod Podge glue. This is a great way to use small fabric leftovers or clothing items that have been torn or otherwise damaged beyond repair. Each one takes just a few minutes to create, using the instructions by Christine Chitnis.
Crocheted Swiffer Sock
Yes, those Swiffer pads work really well to get things like pet hair up off the floor. But that shouldn’t mean you have to keep buying the disposable cotton pads, creating unnecessary household waste. Just crochet your own, if you’re handy, using this tutorial by CraftyStylish – or try any of these other 13 ways to make your own Swiffer socks, listed by Consumerist.
Wine Cork Bath Mat
As if you needed another excuse to crack open a bottle of wine as often as possible, this cool project from Crafty Nest gives you a way to use all of those corks. A naturally soft, water-resistant material, cork is perfect for bath mats. CraftyNest’s instructions involve hot-gluing the corks to a non-adhesive shelf liner, which acts as a floor-gripping base.
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Out-of-date magazines can be given new life as colorful baskets simply by folding the pages and weaving them together. The website How About Orange explains how to use narrow strips of magazine pages and glue dots or double-stick tape for baskets that can be tailored to your preferred color scheme.
Rose Wreath Made of Book Pages
Love all things literary? Proclaim it to everyone who enters your home with a gorgeous wreath made of book pages. Crafter Stephanie Lynn explains how to cut pages from an old, unwanted book into swirls that you can shape into roses and secure to a wreath form with hot glue. The same idea can be used to create individual roses for other projects, like adorning wrapped gifts.
Upside-down planters are an eye-catching way to grow plants indoors or out, but the ones on the market tend to be less than aesthetically appealing. Design Sponge will show you how to make your own using coffee cans or plastic bottles, wire hangers and the fabric scraps of your choice.
Rake Jewelry Organizer
What a brilliant way to wrangle that tangle of jewelry that’s likely clogging up your drawer or sitting in a messy pile on top of the dresser. Old rake heads are easy to come by in flea markets, antique stores or at the junkyard, and turning them into jewelry organizers is as simple as adding a piece of string.
T-Shirt Grocery Bag
Making your own reusable shopping bags has never been easier than this. Old t-shirts with moth holes, stains or unwanted designs make stretchy, colorful totes with minimal sewing. Check out the tutorial at Couture.
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Vintage Trophy Coat Rack
Can you imagine how many trophies with sayings like ‘Potato Sack Race Champion’ there are poking out of landfills around the world? This fun coat rack salvages the little metallic figures that adorn unwanted vintage trophies for a quirky addition to the foyer or mudroom. -webecoist