There are many creative projects that will add a refreshing touch of style and originality to your home.
The majority of them are inexpensive or even free to make as they rely on recycling and upcycling to make use of existing resources.
All that’s needed is some imagination and a little patience to make beautiful, practical objects.
1. Reupholstering a Dining Room Chair
Instead of discarding a dining room chair, it can easily be given a makeover in an hour or two. Remove the old seat cover with care as it can be used as a template when cutting out a new one.
Some chairs have a seat of wood while others have a lattice of webbing to provide support.
If the existing webbing is frayed or sagging, replace it by nailing new, interwoven lengths of durable, nylon webbing to the frame.
Cut a thick layer of foam rubber to match the shape of the seat. Then make a seat cover from a durable, heavyweight material that’s either been purchased or upcycled from another project.
Nail the material to the frame, pulling it firmly, but allow for some flexibility when it’s being used. Neaten the edges with a length of braid in a toning color or add a row of upholstery studs.
2. Plastic Bottle Desk Tidy
Plastic bottles can be used for dozens of projects such as a mini watering can or plant pot, but one of the easiest and most useful ways is to turn them into a convenient pencil holder for your desk.
Trim a few plastic bottles to different heights of between three and five inches.
To make an open-ended tray, cut a bottle in half along its length and neaten the edges. Glue or staple the upright containers to the back of the long, tray section, making sure they stay level at the base.
The second row of trimmed bottles can be added by fixing each one between the two in front of it to form a honeycomb design. Line each section with offcuts of decorative wrapping paper.
3. Wooden Pallet Coffee Table
Minimal carpentry skills are needed for this quick and easy project that can add a distinctive style to your living room. Put two wooden pallets on top of each other, then nail or screw them firmly into place.
This creates a useful shelf below the table where magazines and the television’s remote control can be placed.
Sand all the surfaces to smooth out any rough splinters then wipe the table with a damp cloth to remove the residue.
The edges of the pallets’ timbers can be neatened by gluing strips of wooden beading across them. The wood can then be primed and given a top coat of gloss paint in a bright color for a contemporary style.
Alternatively, keep the table looking natural by applying a wood stain then sealing the surfaces with a glossy varnish.
4. Cardboard Spice Rack
Sturdy cardboard boxes can easily become a set of tiered shelves to hold spice jars. Cut three boxes to form shallow trays.
Place them on their edges to create spaces that are slightly taller than the jars. Glue the narrow edges of the boxes together to form rows of stacked shelves. Strengthen the seams by gluing thick paper over them.
The shelves will need a barrier to prevent the jars from falling off them.
The nylon cord is sturdy and it has flexibility that allows for the easy removal of the jars. About one-third up from the base of each shelf cut a small notch at each end.
Cut a length of nylon cord and tie it securely around the shelf, concealing the knot at the back and using the notches to anchor it into position. Repeat on each shelf.
The spice rack can be painted or covered in self-adhesive vinyl. Stand it on your kitchen counter and fix to the wall to keep it in place.
5. Comfortable Window Seat
Bay windows with a large recess are perfect for constructing a comfortable window seat. Measure the dimensions of the alcove or make a template out of paper to match the shape.
Using the measurements or the pattern, cut a long piece of wood to fit the recess.
The easy way to make a frame for the seat is to recycle sturdy wooden crates. Place them neatly along the length of the alcove then screw or nail the shaped panel of wood across the top of them to create a level surface.
The structure can be secured to the wall with screws. Use the paper pattern to make a pad of foam rubber. Make an inexpensive cover for the pad by upcycling an unwanted duvet cover.
Neaten the front of the seat by securing a length of surplus material arranged with decorative pleats. Fit the padded cushion to the window seat.
Trying out practical, creative projects can have a therapeutic effect and improve your well-being as well as making your home more comfortable. You’ll also gain a great sense of achievement.
Inspiration for new ideas can come from many different sources, but by recycling and upcycling wherever possible, it’s surprising how much money can be saved compared to buying similar items.
Remember, not all jobs/projects can be DIY, especially when safety comes into play.
Hiring a professional is recommend in these situations, for example electrical projects. A property maintenance company would be a recommended option.