Bloggers' budget-friendly DIY projects
Photography courtesy of Tim Lam.
1 Custom-built storage solution
"I decided to build the basics with pieces from Ikea and the rest will need to be custom built.
I lucked out as Ikea happened to have a major sale on the Pax system in the birch finish. I was going to have them all sprayed anyway so the finishes really didn't matter much to me. I also found two doors from the As-Is section for only $20 a piece! Then ordered four kitchen cabinet frames and doors to complete my trip to Ikea. The order came three weeks later and I had all the pieces sprayed by Benjamin Furniture Refinishing. Noel did a great job and they totally looked light years apart from their Ikea brothers.
The custom pieces were then ordered and I totally enjoyed designing the pieces; creating the drawings with the measurement... I felt like a real designer! The custom units also include pot lights for reading and are on dimmer for romance. Thanks to a great suggestion, these bedside tables were designed to be 'floating' and so access to the drawers under my bed would be a breeze!
To take it a step further and add an extra customized touch, I installed crown molding at the top and also baseboard all the way around to unify the pieces. It was a long process, but I now have a bedroom with plenty of storage!"
Tim Lam is a Toronto-based design and decor enthusiast and founder of Design Maze, a blog and portfolio that documents his projects, savvy shopping and favourite finds.
Photography courtesy of Maria Killam.
2 Home office nook
"To create this home office space I bought two pieces of white shelving and had them cut to size at The Home Depot $30. The filing cabinets were $150 each from Office Depot. The storage boxes were a fab find HomeSense - the black and white were $16.99 each, and the black ones were only $9.99!
To brighten the space, I painted the inside of the closet in Benjamin Moore's 170 Traditional Yellow and found a desk lamp, also from HomeSense, for $119."
Maria Killam is a blogger, decorator, stylist, and internationally known colour expert. Her no-nonsense colour advice and inspiring writing style quickly turned Colour Me Happy into one of the top 10 colour blogs in North America with readers in over 150 countries around the world.
Photography courtesy of Kathy McGee.
3 Upcycled console table
"My best budget decorating tip is to scour Craigslist or similar sites, flea markets and thrift stores for basic furniture pieces at bargain prices to re-do or upcycle in your own special way.
I found a great Parson's console table on Craigslist for $25! I had been searching for a sofa table with clean lines for quite some time, so my patience finally paid off (that's another tip: patience is a virtue when bargain shopping). While it was the perfect size and shape (and price!), I wasn't in love with textured laminate finish. It was a little too groovy, 70's-looking for me. No problem. I remembered I had a few rolls of grasscloth wallpaper, which I purchased on eBay a while back for $25.
A couple of hours later, I had a beautiful grasscloth Parson's console table. These tables often retail for hundreds of dollars so for $50 and a little elbow grease, I got a beautiful and unique table at a great price!"
Kathy McGee is a design-loving decorator, wife and mother who is slightly obsessed with a lot of things: mirrors, lamps, rugs.. the usual. Her blog, My Interior Life is her design therapy, where she shares her love for all things design.
Photography courtesy of Sara Russell.
4 Chalkboard cheese platter
"This versatile chalkboard can be used in many ways. I have chosen to use it as a cheese platter.
I went to The Home Depot and found a piece of finished scrap wood for free! All I needed was a paintbrush, four round felt pads (I purchased mine at Jacaranda Tree for $2.99), primer paint, and chalkboard paint (which cost me $21.49 for 887mL).
Paint a layer of primer paint on the wood to seal it. Let it dry for one hour then apply two to three layers of chalkboard paint, allowing an hour to dry in between layers. Once all is dry, apply a felt pad on each corner on the bottom to protect any surface you place the board on. The pad also allows for a smooth, finished base that will move with ease. Wait three days for the paint to cure. After this, gently rub a piece of chalk on its side over the entire surface and then rub it off with a dry cloth. This preps the chalkboard surface from permanent chalk mark damage.
Note: When serving cheese, I place a piece of parchment paper under each piece."
Sara Russell is a lover of all things fabulous in decor and design, sharing her passion through her blog Sara Russell Interiors.
Photography courtesy of Haley Dillon.
5 Sunburst mirror
- 30 1/8" round wooden dowels (I found them at Hobby Lobby)
- 10" round mirror
- Silver spray paint (make sure it can adhere to plastic)
- 10" round plastic ceiling medallion (I found mine on the fan and light fixture aisle at The Home Depot for $7.99)
- Cardboard that you can cut into a 10" circle
- Hot glue gun
- Metal picture hanger (mine was 1" long)
"You'll need to remember some geometry. I traced the ceiling medallion onto the cardboard and cut out the circle. I used the protractor to mark the center and began drawing lines every 45 degrees, and then again to split those areas into 22 degree sections. Then, trace an 8" and a 6" circle in the center of the original one (I traced bowls, it doesn't have to be exact). If you want your sunburst to have points like mine, you'll also want to mark each section with diagonal lines to indicate what direction the dowels will go.
Next, I began to lay out my wood pieces in the space between the two smaller circles. I made a dot along the 8" circle at each 22 degree marker and glued the first dowels down with a dot of hot glue. Then, I glued three dowels in the space between each of the ones I already glued down. I staggered them in a stair step pattern following the pattern I marked and just eyeballed the spacing (probably not the best decision, but splitting an already small slice into three pieces was going to be tedious).
I took my wooden sunburst and the plastic ceiling medallion out to the backyard and spray painted it silver. I only needed one coat, but I let it dry for about 3 hours before touching it. After this, I used TONS of hot glue to attach the ceiling medallion to the wooden dowels. I let that dry then used more glue to attach the mirror to the front of the ceiling medallion and put a book on top of everything so it would set overnight. Finally, I used super glue to attach my picture hanger and then hung the finished product in an empty spot by the window.
Overall, I invested about $11 and I'm really happy with the end product. Every comparable mirror I saw online was at least $150 and since these probably aren't going to be in style for decades to come I didn't want to invest much."
Haley Dillon of Cardigan Junkie is a lover of clothes bought on sale, reading novels with a glass of wine, decor magazines, Pinterest, and cardigans.
Photography courtesy of Autumn Clemons.
6 Revamped lampshade
"Here is a quick and easy update for a lampshade that has seen better days. Trace and cut circles in various sizes from several different fabrics. i used seven different linens in neutral tones. if you have a Cricut or other personal cutting machine, you can use that to cut the circles. Simply glue the circles onto the lampshade and finish edges with trim."
Autumn Clemons is a mother of three, interior designer and design blogger for My Design Dump who believes that every home can be decorated in a personal, functional, and beautiful way... even on a tight budget.
Photography courtesy of Heather Peterson.
7 Block-printed window coverings
"Vinyl black-out shades are a great budget choice to control light in a room, but they're not much to look at. An inexpensive wood block and a little bit of paint can change all of that. In my daughters' room, I chose a pattern that reminded me of snowflakes and used a bit of the leftover latex paint from the walls to keep things coordinated.
Using a tape measure, I created a square grid of stamps about 6" apart, then came back and eyeballed the placement for additional stamps in the center of each square. Let the paint dry then be sure to spray the whole shade with a matte sealer. Don't worry if your paint is not perfectly even, that's part of the charm of block prints!"
Heather Peterson is a Minneapolis-based decorator, editor, and blogger. She helps her design clients fall in love with their homes again, and shares tips, projects, how-to's, and inspiration for budget decorating at Love Your Space.