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11 Clever DIY Projects We Actually Did In Our Own Homes

We got that West Elm look for a fraction of the price.

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1. This thrifted chair that was one man's trash but — with a little reupholstery — is now another woman's treasure.

Emma Loop / Via instagram.com

When I moved to the States a year ago, I really needed cheap furniture. I started buying old pieces at thrift stores and giving them a lil' makeover. Once I got used to the staple gun and figured out how to reupholster, I actually found that it's a great stress reliever! It's become more of a hobby than a necessity at this point.

It took me a while to finish working on this chair because getting the stain even was a struggle — but now that it's finally done, I love it!

Emma Loop

2. These floating shelves that took a bit of trial and error, but ended up being a ton of fun to build.

I have a protruding, exposed brick wall in my living room that makes it stupid hard to decorate. I wanted to hang wooden shelves on each side of the bricks, but I quickly learned that buying them would be waaaay out of my budget. I decided I’d take a stab at DIY-ing them, and it was the BEST, cheapest decision of my life.First, I measured out how long I wanted the shelves. I went to the hardware store to have boards cut to my ideal dimensions (around $25), and picked out the perfect wood stain. (I obviously had to ask someone for help, because I had ZERO idea what the heck I was doing because what even is a wood stain, but the Home Depot peeps were super helpful). I then got $1 metal brackets that were a not-so-cute gray, so I bought a metallic black spray paint to give them a new color. I went home, stained the wood (after sanding it down), let it dry, and hung the shelves up all in a day. It’s so incredibly easy, and after all was said and done, I have five beautiful shelves that only cost me around $60!—Kayla Suazo
Kayla Suazo

I have a protruding, exposed brick wall in my living room that makes it stupid hard to decorate. I wanted to hang wooden shelves on each side of the bricks, but I quickly learned that buying them would be waaaay out of my budget. I decided I’d take a stab at DIY-ing them, and it was the BEST, cheapest decision of my life.

First, I measured out how long I wanted the shelves. I went to the hardware store to have boards cut to my ideal dimensions (around $25), and picked out the perfect wood stain. (I obviously had to ask someone for help, because I had ZERO idea what the heck I was doing because what even is a wood stain, but the Home Depot peeps were super helpful). I then got $1 metal brackets that were a not-so-cute gray, so I bought a metallic black spray paint to give them a new color. I went home, stained the wood (after sanding it down), let it dry, and hung the shelves up all in a day. It’s so incredibly easy, and after all was said and done, I have five beautiful shelves that only cost me around $60!

Kayla Suazo

3. This wall hanging that was even cheaper than the Target one, and way cuter.

I'm in LOVE with this wall hanging I made — and it only cost me $7. I'd ordered a similar one on Target, but my order ended up getting cancelled because they were actually out of stock (annoying!). So, I decided to take matters into my own hands and bought two metal hoops (they were from the fake flower section in Michaels) and some gray yarn, which happened to be on sale. All I did was knot four strings onto the hoop. I needed about eight of these knots on the smaller hoop, and ten on the larger one. Afterwards, I decided to give it a bit of a haircut and cut the string to make a cute diagonal pattern. —Nichole Francois
Nichole Francois

I'm in LOVE with this wall hanging I made — and it only cost me $7. I'd ordered a similar one on Target, but my order ended up getting cancelled because they were actually out of stock (annoying!). So, I decided to take matters into my own hands and bought two metal hoops (they were from the fake flower section in Michaels) and some gray yarn, which happened to be on sale. All I did was knot four strings onto the hoop. I needed about eight of these knots on the smaller hoop, and ten on the larger one. Afterwards, I decided to give it a bit of a haircut and cut the string to make a cute diagonal pattern.

Nichole Francois

4. This bulky blanket that's warm in the winter and gorgeous year-round.

This blanket is the warmest, cuddliest thing I own. It's not incredibly soft or anything, being merino wool, but it's gorgeous. On the coldest winter nights, when the heater just isn't doing it, I like to spread it on top of my duvet, and it's heavy enough it feels like a hug.My sister gets partial credit for this blanket, too, because the materials were her Christmas gift to me one year. That, plus getting to knit it up myself, make me love it even more than I would've if she'd bought me a finished blanket. (Oh, and while you don't have to be an experienced knitter to make this, I wouldn't recommend making this your very first project ever. Or your second.) —Natalie Brown
Natalie Brown

This blanket is the warmest, cuddliest thing I own. It's not incredibly soft or anything, being merino wool, but it's gorgeous. On the coldest winter nights, when the heater just isn't doing it, I like to spread it on top of my duvet, and it's heavy enough it feels like a hug.

My sister gets partial credit for this blanket, too, because the materials were her Christmas gift to me one year. That, plus getting to knit it up myself, make me love it even more than I would've if she'd bought me a finished blanket. (Oh, and while you don't have to be an experienced knitter to make this, I wouldn't recommend making this your very first project ever. Or your second.)

Natalie Brown

5. This super cute wall grid that's actually just a few wire shelves.

When I moved into my new place, I knew I wanted to try something different for my headboard. I loved the wire wall grid from Urban Outfitters but ya girl is balling on a budget. So I decided to make something similar myself and, after dragging my mom through every aisle in Home Depot, we were struck by inspiration in the middle of the closet section. Basically we bought three wire shelves ($6.02) and hung them flat against the wall. Because the shelves were so light, I only had to use a few nails to keep them on the wall (gotta get that security deposit back) and now I can fall asleep under string lights and pictures of my friends and family.—Delaney Strunk
Delaney Strunk

When I moved into my new place, I knew I wanted to try something different for my headboard. I loved the wire wall grid from Urban Outfitters but ya girl is balling on a budget. So I decided to make something similar myself and, after dragging my mom through every aisle in Home Depot, we were struck by inspiration in the middle of the closet section. Basically we bought three wire shelves ($6.02) and hung them flat against the wall. Because the shelves were so light, I only had to use a few nails to keep them on the wall (gotta get that security deposit back) and now I can fall asleep under string lights and pictures of my friends and family.

Delaney Strunk

6. And this ridiculously cool headboard made out of yarn and a hula hoop that's sure to bring good dreams.

I can't take credit for this because it's my little sister's invention, but I can tell you how she made it! First, she cut open a hula hoop, emptied out the weights inside, and attached it to a broom handle (without the brush head!). To attach the two, she used E6000 adhesive and then tied the two pieces together with yarn: she says the knot's called diagonal lashing. Once that dried overnight, she took more yarn and wrapped it all around the hula hoop and wove it around the frame. Needless to say, I treasure this headboard, not only because the price was right (materials were about $30), but also because it was made ~with love~. —Natalie Brown
Natalie Brown

I can't take credit for this because it's my little sister's invention, but I can tell you how she made it! First, she cut open a hula hoop, emptied out the weights inside, and attached it to a broom handle (without the brush head!). To attach the two, she used E6000 adhesive and then tied the two pieces together with yarn: she says the knot's called diagonal lashing.

Once that dried overnight, she took more yarn and wrapped it all around the hula hoop and wove it around the frame. Needless to say, I treasure this headboard, not only because the price was right (materials were about $30), but also because it was made ~with love~.

Natalie Brown

7. This West Elm-inspired bookshelf built to match the dining room table.

instagram.com, scontent-lga3-1.xx.fbcdn.net

Instead of getting one of the trendy industrial bookshelves at places like West Elm or CB2, I made my own! I wanted to DIY these since I didn't want to spend money on tax and shipping, which can add upwards of $100 to the receipt. I bought the pipes from Supply.com (free shipping!), and the lumber from a local lumber yard. I already had the sander and stain from when I built my dining table, so the cost just came to about $150.

It took a lot of measuring and sketching to figure out how many shelves I could build before making pilot holes in the wall, but I love the end result. There are now probably twice the amount of books than in the photo, but the shelves are as sturdy as ever! I love having something custom that I made myself because of the story that you get with it.

Matt Ortile

8. These adhesive hooks that create the most satisfying organization system for measuring cups and spoons.

I used 10 hooks to hang up my measuring spoons on the inside of a kitchen cabinet. It took all of 10 minutes, most of which I spent making sure the hooks were spaced so the cabinet could still shut neatly. If it gets too confusing with the measurement labels face in, I might just label them on the back too. Time will tell!—Elizabeth LillyGet the hooks from Amazon for $9.99
Elizabeth Lilly

I used 10 hooks to hang up my measuring spoons on the inside of a kitchen cabinet. It took all of 10 minutes, most of which I spent making sure the hooks were spaced so the cabinet could still shut neatly. If it gets too confusing with the measurement labels face in, I might just label them on the back too. Time will tell!

Elizabeth Lilly

Get the hooks from Amazon for $9.99

9. This Ikea dresser that just needed a coat of paint and a new set of drawer pulls to make it a bit more fun.

I love affordable IKEA furniture, but some of it is so drab. So, when I bought my six-drawer dresser (and put together myself!), I decided to make it more ~me~ by giving it a little paint job. I bought a single can of paint and devoted a Saturday afternoon to coating the entire dresser. (Side note: Do not buy paint with a matte finish like I did, as it is easy to dirty and hard to clean!) I then finished the job with some cheap knobs I got from H&M. It honestly was an easy, almost meditative activity, and the feeling of accomplishment I got from the final result was so great. Now, every time I look at the big hulking piece of furniture, I'm reminded that I can get shit done — even if I may not feel capable at the moment.—Michelle No
@michellenope / instagram.com

I love affordable IKEA furniture, but some of it is so drab. So, when I bought my six-drawer dresser (and put together myself!), I decided to make it more ~me~ by giving it a little paint job. I bought a single can of paint and devoted a Saturday afternoon to coating the entire dresser. (Side note: Do not buy paint with a matte finish like I did, as it is easy to dirty and hard to clean!) I then finished the job with some cheap knobs I got from H&M.

It honestly was an easy, almost meditative activity, and the feeling of accomplishment I got from the final result was so great. Now, every time I look at the big hulking piece of furniture, I'm reminded that I can get shit done — even if I may not feel capable at the moment.

Michelle No

10. This super cool music corner that took just a few wall anchors and a bit of patience.

My boyfriend Collin and I decided to hang our instruments above the piano to free up a little floor space and create some nice decor without investing in any art. After holding each up to try and decide on a layout, we marked the holes and got to work installing the instrument hooks. Easy right? Wrong. Collin drilled a few holes for the plastic anchors that were supposed to expand in the wall. Turns out there's only an inch or so of drywall and then a very dense layer, which explains why we've never gotten any complaints from our neighbors about all the music. We must've gone to the hardware store a half dozen times trying to find the right size wall anchors, but they all just kept sliding out! We finally found one that worked and declared the mission a success... Until Collin's guitar fell. Right on the cat bed. Luckily the cat was not napping and the guitar is sturdy. No harm no foul. Besides that, the others held up for a few months now! Moral of the story: if you're hanging your instruments, just make sure your wall has more drywall than ours and that you're up to the challenge. —Ashley Trenkle
Ashley Trenkle

My boyfriend Collin and I decided to hang our instruments above the piano to free up a little floor space and create some nice decor without investing in any art. After holding each up to try and decide on a layout, we marked the holes and got to work installing the instrument hooks. Easy right? Wrong. Collin drilled a few holes for the plastic anchors that were supposed to expand in the wall. Turns out there's only an inch or so of drywall and then a very dense layer, which explains why we've never gotten any complaints from our neighbors about all the music.

We must've gone to the hardware store a half dozen times trying to find the right size wall anchors, but they all just kept sliding out! We finally found one that worked and declared the mission a success... Until Collin's guitar fell. Right on the cat bed. Luckily the cat was not napping and the guitar is sturdy. No harm no foul. Besides that, the others held up for a few months now!

Moral of the story: if you're hanging your instruments, just make sure your wall has more drywall than ours and that you're up to the challenge.

—Ashley Trenkle

11. And this vertical storage solution for pots and pans that saved a ton of space and took less than ten minutes to set up.

Emily Shwake

My kitchen is so small and cluttered that, for a while, I was eating peanut butter for dinner rather than try to cook. I was obsessed with the pegboard storage ideas on Pinterest for forever, but because I'm moving out in four months, it was a hard no on any legit installations. I found these magnetic hooks that hold up to 12 pounds on Amazon which was great because it just so happens that we have a giant metal door right next to the fridge. Now, we have so much more cabinet space and I don’t have to take everything out to get to the big pot. As a bonus, I had a few leftover to hang our measuring cups and potholders on the fridge!

Emily Shwake

Get a 12-pack from Amazon for $9.99.

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