Who all has entered the DIY stage of quarantine? Or are you ready to pick up the paintbrush and hammer and get to the home renovation stage? I can safely say I entered both of these zones as I quarantine at my family’s home and sit in the bedroom I designed when I was 13. Let me tell you, the dated 2000s design and teenage trends finally got to me.
However, once we get back to our new normal and I head back to living in the city, I won’t be seeing as much of this room anymore (but don’t worry mom and dad, I will still be making my regular visits!) so I didn’t want to invest too much into it. Anyone else quarantining with their families and feeling the same way about their old bedrooms?
That said, I am lucky enough to make it home often enough that it really did feel time to invest some energy, effort, and a little bit of money into this room. And time plus effort minus a whole lot of money to spend is the perfect equation for a DIY project!
As I get started taking old decor pieces off the wall, giving my room a fresh coat of paint, and upgrading a few decor pieces, I wanted to share my process with you and also round up some fun DIY projects that I’ve done in the past or have on my radar to do in the future.
Now I won’t lie: DIY projects can go tacky quick. So I am only sharing home decor DIY ideas that will elevate your design and add to your space, while saving you some money.
Paint bulletin boards and hang a grouping on your wall.
Before my mini room reno began, I had three big bulletin boards wrapped in fabric I picked out back in 2008 hanging across my wall, and let me tell you, those were the first things to get ripped down. However, they took up a ton of wall space and added a lot to the room, so I decided to give them an upgrade in the form of a bottle of paint. If you have some old bulletin boards around your home or want to order these inexpensive ones, you can easily give them a totally new look with a fresh coat of paint, making a statement on your walls that’s both elevated and incredibly affordable! I painted my bulletin boards a clean white and plan to pin some magazine pages and photos to create inspiration boards.
Paint inexpensive canvases to tie together colors of your space.
Another project I’m tackling right now is creating some abstract art on inexpensive canvases. I ordered these blank canvases from Michaels and an array of acrylic paints that tie in the colors of my room. To bring these pieces to life, brush on a mixture of strokes however it resonates with you. Tip from my friend Laura Janis: incorporate drywall to add some depth to your canvases! Here is some more inspo for you.
Repurpose your furniture or give it a fresh coat of chalk paint.
If you’ve been following along for quite some time, you know I love to chalk paint furniture! Almost every piece in my apartment is chalk painted (which you can see here – don’t mind the old photography!), as when I was moving to the city my budget didn’t allow for all new furniture. DIY projects saved the day! Here I share all about how to chalk paint old furniture. (And spoiler alert: it doesn’t have to look shabby chic. You can use chalk paint to create really elevated looks!)
If you don’t have furniture calling for a coat of paint, check out Facebook Marketplace and arrange a contact-free transaction.
And while you’re at it, try reimagining the way you use a piece of furniture. Maybe create an old book shelf into a bar cart.
Purchase wooden, unfinished furniture or decor items.
You can save quite a bit of money by purchasing unfinished decor or even furniture! I grabbed these wooden candlesticks and plan to give them a coat of white paint, followed by some sanding on the edges to give it some character. When I designed my studio apartment’s kitchen, I bought this unfinished table and loved the natural color, so I just sealed it! Other ideas of pieces to buy unfinished and paint yourself: picture frames, boxes, storage pieces and more.
Add some character to basic wooden pieces.
Painting unfinished decor or restoring an old piece of furniture doesn’t mean it needs to be flat and boring. Grab a sanding brush and wear down the edges to give your basic wooden pieces a more natural, character-packed look. You can even do this to basic Target or Ikea pieces like simple tables and chairs or picture frames.
For even more character, take a dry painter’s brush, dip in a neutral color, and lightly brush your wooden piece. I did this on my wooden chest, which you can see here! I started with a white base coat, sanded the edges, and then lightly swiped some charcoal grey pain on top.
Paint basic pots and create an indoor garden.
I’ve had this project on my list for quite some time and haven’t gotten to it yet, but maybe quarantine is the time to make it happen! I’d love to take some inexpensive terracotta pots, paint them, and create a little indoor garden. Here is some inspo for you!
Switch out or paint dated hardware.
It’s amazing how much a little change like switching out hardware can make on an old piece of furniture. Anthropologie, Wayfair and Etsy all have so many cute knobs and handles that can instantly elevate an old piece of furniture. You can even try taking off your hardware and giving it a coat of paint for a new look. I did that to the same chest I mentioned above – what was once dated silver now is matte charcoal.
Create aromatherapy candles.
As I try to live a more natural lifestyle, I’ve found myself gravitating towards diffusing essential oils far more often than lighting a candle, but there is always something so soothing about a flickering flame you just don’t get from a diffuser. I’d love to try and create my own essential oil-packed aromatherapy candles for a more natural fragrance!
Have you worked on any fun DIY home decor projects? Drop them below and keep the list going! Happy crafting!