Home improvement projects often appear daunting – not least because they seem to take a long time to complete and become expensive fairly quickly.
This time, of course, we’re looking at the home as a whole.
After all, you aren’t only spending time in those two rooms, right?
1. New Lighting, the Easy Way
You can go one of two routes to keep it cost-effective. The first is as cheap as it gets – updating one of your existing light fixtures.
The second option is to visit your nearest Habitat for Humanity ReStore.
They do rely on donations, so you can’t expect to find a set catalogue, but they do sell home improvement items at a fraction of the usual cost.
All that’s left to do is grab a can of spray paint in the color and finish of your choice and get upcycling! Here’s a great FAQ for spray painting if you’ve never done anything similar before.
Want to make your own pendant lights instead? Check out DIY Projects for Home Improvements to Beat Lockdown Boredom for a quick and affordable guide!
2. Just a (Paint) Trim…
Painting your home can be a very troublesome task, and one that definitely isn’t going to be a 1 day home improvement project.
However, focusing on the trim around your house is far more manageable!
The obvious choice is a bright white in semi-gloss, as this is an accent piece rather than a statement feature. Just remember to get some painter’s tape for the edges!
3. A New Door
While we’re still on the topic of painting, let’s talk about your front door.
This is often the first interaction guests will have with your home. And of course, it can have a huge impact on curb appeal too.
As you can probably guess, we’re not suggesting you replace the whole door with a new one. Instead, bust out those creative juices and turn your existing door into a striking accent piece with a fresh coat of paint!
While you’re at it, consider swapping out your door handle for a new one. Whether it’s a new material (brass and other copper alloys are generally your best option) or style, this simple change can have a big impact.
4. Scatter Cushions – to Sew or Not to Sew?
Scatter cushions are a great way to add a splash of color and personality to any room. But of course, they can get pretty pricey if you’re looking to change things up from one season to the next.
Here’s an easy, incredibly affordable solution: make your own covers!
All you need are some cloth napkins, funky shirts you aren’t wearing anymore, or any other fabric you have lying around (or can get for dirt cheap). You can either sew them or, if operating a sewing machine is as unfamiliar to you as piloting a NASA rocket, use iron-on hem tape.
5. New Threads for the Window
Speaking of using fabric and trusty old iron-on hem tape, why not put them to use making some fresh new curtains to hang up?
Obviously, cloth napkins and shirts aren’t going to cut it here.
But the good news is you can often find great deals at fabric stores. Spend some time checking online – many stores often have 40% to 50% discounts. The hardest part might be finding a fabric in your choice of color.
Add some clip-on curtain rings and you won’t have to touch a needle and thread to give your home a cozier atmosphere!
6. Upholstery Magic
Re-upholstering a couch or even a chair can take a couple of days. And some of them might even require a professional to get it right.
However, furniture like footstools or bar stools is surprisingly easy to do!
This is a great way to make the most of secondhand stores and places like Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Often, you’ll find pieces you like the style of for highly affordable prices, but the upholstery needs some TLC (or you don’t like the fabric).
All you need is some foam, batting, and fabric. A nail gun is the go-to for attaching everything, but you can also use upholstery tacks instead.
7. A Unique Bookshelf (Option 1)
If there’s one thing book lovers know all too well, it’s that most bookshelves end up looking pretty blah.
The good news is you can easily make a unique bookshelf with a wooden ladder, L-brackets, and some pine wood. Naturally, you want the woods to match – but if not, you can always add a coat of paint!
Check out this great tutorial on how to quickly and easily put together your own DIY ladder shelves.
8. A Unique Bookshelf (Option 2)
Already have enough shelving and/or prefer one with a backing?
Another great way to spruce up your bookshelf is to add some wallpaper. Simply remove the shelving, make sure the backing board is clean, and glue the wallpaper of your choice on!
Don’t fancy the idea of being stuck with the same pattern forever? You can also use double-sided tape to make the wallpaper easier to replace in the future.
As a bonus tip, this is also a great way to add extra detail to the open shelving in your kitchen!
9. Throw Blanket Storage the Aesthetic Way
Tired of digging your throw blankets out of the cupboard every time you want to snuggle on the couch with a book, but don’t want to leave them awkwardly draped over the furniture?
Unique bookshelves aren’t the only thing ladders are good for!
Whether you opt to upcycle a stepladder or simply put together a blanket ladder using pine boards, a miter saw, and nail gun, this makes for a beautiful addition to the sitting room.
Now your blankets are easily accessible whenever you need them!
Not sure it’s the aesthetic for you? Using the same trick, you can use the ladder for towel storage in your bathroom instead!
10. Keeping Babies (Including Fur Babies) Safe
Anyone with kids or indoor dogs (let alone both) knows sometimes, it’s simply not safe for them to freely roam through the house.
But manufactured baby gates are often pretty ugly. Even the prettier ones don’t often match the rest of your home’s decor. And once the kids grow up, they lose their basic function too.
A creative and stylish solution is to make your own picket fence gate!
These look gorgeous and will continue to help block off certain rooms or areas long after your toddler has grown up enough to open baby gates.
You could even move it outside to segregate sections of your garden, keeping pets out of the flowers and on the lawn.
11. Wall Storage
A lot of us started working from home during lockdown – and some of us are choosing to continue doing so.
Adding a small office space in your home is the easy part. Keeping it organized is another thing, with the same to be said for toys and craft supplies.
No matter which storage and organizational issue you find yourself facing, there’s an easy and attractive solution!
All you need are some wire caddies (dirt cheap at the Dollar Store), spray paint in a color of your choice, and mini chalkboards. Once you’ve got the caddie painted, simply glue the chalkboard on, use it as a label, and hang your new storage units on the wall using some screw-in hooks.
As a bonus tip, you can make a bigger version with the caddies connected to hang inside your cupboard door and use as shoe storage!
12. Patio Seating
Have an old mattress or futon still comfortable for sitting on, but not for sleeping? Don’t throw it out just yet!
Instead, consider turning it into a bench for your deck or patio.
Add some more of the no-sew scatter cushions mentioned earlier (you can easily get stuffing for dirt cheap at places like Walmart or the Dollar Store), as well as a new cover for the mattress/futon, and you’ll turn your outdoor space into a comfy lounging area!
13. Fire Pit
Chances are you love a good barbecue.
But what do you do when you just want to sit around a small fire to roast some marshmallows for dessert?
Instead of hoping the coals are still warm enough to make smores, why not use a smaller fire pit instead? One safe to park on your deck so you can sit back on the DIY pallet sofa you just finished building?
Well, with a few leftover pallets, a steel pot, and some concrete tiles, it’s perfectly possible!
Best of all, using this DIY guide, you can easily build one that includes some firewood storage (or, if you prefer charcoal, somewhere to keep your firelighters and accessories)!
14. DIY Planters
Okay, so you have your deck, your outdoor sofa, and a fire pit, but something’s still missing and you have another day off coming up…
Chances are, you’re looking for some greenery – whether flowers or a small herb garden!
The good news is, you don’t have to head out and hunt for planters that will fit your space. With some more pallets (or pine wood if you prefer), you can easily make your own!
These are much easier to maintain than a full garden and will bring your deck or patio to life.
15. Unique Terrarium or Display Case
Fancy moving some plants indoors?
Or, if you prefer, making a unique display case to store some precious items in where curious guests and children won’t easily put them in danger of accidentally breaking?
Grab some old picture frames (or stock up at the Dollar Store) and make a terrarium/display case!
This tutorial is for the former option, but you can easily swap out the peaked “roof” for a case top with hinges if you prefer the latter idea.
There are a few bigger projects that would certainly take some people a day to complete.
However, many of them are dependent on the tools and skills you already have. Using online tutorials will only help so much and you might end up taking a little longer to do something you aren’t otherwise familiar with.
Besides, we wanted to make sure this guide is easily accessible to anyone with a day off and a hankering for DIY.
Of course, easy 1 day home improvement projects will only take you so far, no matter your skill level. If you’re considering larger-scale projects, be sure to read our guide on Home Remodeling: Expectation vs. Reality!
Contact us today and get started!