Decorating your home can be expensive. If you have unlimited funds, you can easily shell out cash to make your abode as cozy and chic as you want it to be. However, few people have unlimited funds, and there’s also this: it’s fun and rewarding to throw some DIY efforts into your home decor to give it a personal feel.
It’s so rewarding when someone visits and comments on a fabulous piece that was conceived in your creative brain and shaped by your hands. With that said, DIY home decor requires as much thoughtful planning as pricey home decor.
We’ve come up with 11 great ideas for you to try if you want to customize your space and make it uniquely yours.
- Give Old Wood a New Life
If you can get your hands on a stash of old barn boards, you’ve struck gold. The great thing is, you don’t have to have hundreds of barn boards to cover a small accent wall. You can do wainscoting and use barn boards on the bottom half of a wall.
Putting barn boards onto your accent wall requires a bit of skill with either a hammer and nails or a nail gun but the effect is stunning.
Don’t have a coveted stash of old barn boards? No worries. You can age or weather newer boards yourself with some simple techniques and materials.
- Crate It Up
Wooden crates are easy to dress up for DIY home decor projects. If you have old ones, lucky you! You can leave them in their natural wood finish or spray paint them. However, you can also pick up these crates at discount stores and hobby stores.
Try these great uses for wooden crates.
- Rolled-up bathroom towels
- Bottles of wine
- Vintage silver pitchers and platters
- A few stacked for a side table
- Toy storage
- Kitchen storage
- Board games
- Think Green
The entire personality of a room can be changed just by bringing in some live (or fake!) house plants and artfully arranging them. Just imagine bringing a comfy chair and side table into the plant-filled room pictured above. When you curl up with a book and a mug of tea, you’ll feel like you’re relaxing in your own private tropical oasis.
- Bring in the Looking Glass
A mirror wall is not only an affordable way to change the character of your home, but it also adds another dimension to a room. Here’s a bonus: it makes the room look bigger, so if you’re upgrading a small room, mirrors are perfect.
Where to find inexpensive mirrors:
- Thrift stores
- Yard sales
- Hobby stores
- Make your own with large mirrors, glass cutters, and thrift store frames
You can create a striking visual effect by spray-painting all of the frames in the same color. Alternatively, you can leave them as you find them to cultivate the look of a collection that’s grown over time.
- Use Decorative Hooks to Add Utility
With just a little artful arranging and creativity, you can increase the utility of your room simply by using decorative hooks. You can use hooks to store lesser used or seasonal items like coats or scarfs or to display accessories like jewelry and belts. Or you could create an art wall and display your favorite pieces with unique hardware to create a personalized atmosphere.
You could even choose from a variety of hardware to hang some drapey floor-length curtains to make your space shine as its own little special corner. Create a quiet place for yourself, set up a coloring table for the kids, or add a cozy nook for you and a friend to enjoy a cup of coffee.
- Showcase Your Vintage Blankets
If you have a vintage ladder lying around the yard—or spot one at a thrift store—you can repurpose it as a decorative way to display blankets and throws. Have a vintage quilt you’d love to show some love? This is the perfect way to show it off.
- Collect Fine Art – for Free!
Did you know that you can find works of fine art online and print them for your home or office? Printing public domain works will cost you nothing but the cost of the printing. You can frame these works of art with thrift store frames, decoupage them onto a wall or piece of furniture, or even just hang them up with tacks or double-sided foam tape.
Check out some of these websites for free art printables, photographs, maps, drawings, quotes, and more.
- New York Public Library’s Digital Collection
- Library of Congress Digital Collection
- Feed Your Soul (modern artists who are offering their artwork for free!)
- USDA Special Collections
- Free Classic Images (vintage travel posters FTW!)
- Chicfetti (tons of quotes and word art)
Pro tip: download the highest resolution image available. That way, if you want to blow it up into poster size, it will come out looking clear and sharp.
- Chalk It Up
Even if you’re not artistic, you can have tons of fun with a chalkboard wall. Buy chalkboard paint at any paint store or home improvement center, and you’re ready to transform a room.
A chalkboard wall is a great look for any room in your home and works particularly well in family rooms, kitchens, and playrooms. Be sure to follow these easy chalkboard painting tips to achieve the best results.
- Go Minimalist
Minimalist home decor is perhaps the most radical DIY idea in this article. Why? Because it involves going through all of your stuff and getting rid of (or storing) most of it.
But how does minimalism fall under the idea of DIY home decor? When you choose minimalism, you’re making a conscious choice to live with less. Going through all of your belongings and choosing a few precious items to keep is definitely a DIY project.
- Bring the Gallery Home
One of the hottest trends in recent years is the gallery wall. Traditionally, a gallery wall consists mostly of paintings or art prints, but feel free to throw in a bit of your own style. Get some sophisticated floating shelves or an integrated shelving system and group a gallery of framed images. If you have a simpler taste, let the frames stand on their own. Also, you can add in other collectible items.
In addition to photos and artwork, here are some ideas for a gallery wall.
- Drawings and art by your children
- Framed movie and even tickets
- Theatre programs
- Framed vintage doilies and handkerchiefs
- Vintage doll clothing
- Ballet slippers
- Use What You Have
Most people have a collection of something. For example, maybe you didn’t plan for all of those coffee mugs you bought on vacation to amount to a collection, but a few years later, here you are.
In the photo above, none of those mugs are extraordinary on their own but grouped together, they provide a charming and colorful visual that would bring cheer to any kitchen. The same thing applies to a plate collection.
Remember, It’s All About You
When you’re DIY-ing home decor projects, don’t get too wrapped up in perfection. The beauty of DIY home decor is that you’re putting something of yourself into your home. It’s not just about saving money; it’s also about self-expression and creating a warm, inviting place for your family and your guests.
Did you try any of these tips, or have your own to share? Let us know in the comments!
Katie Tejada is a writer, editor, and former HR professional. She enjoys writing about events, travel, decorating trends, and innovations for the home, but also covers developments in HR, business communication, recruiting, real estate, finance, law, and investing. She works with Sugatsune America, a company that develops and manufactures hardware elements found in architectural casework, door openings and furniture we use every day.