Ten Affordable Beginner DIY Home Projects

March 25, 2020

Transform your space with these easy and affordable DIY home projects.

You don't need to take on a big renovation to update your space and make it feel brand new!

If you're new to DIY or just looking to transform something in your home for little money, these home improvement projects are for you.

Most of these upgrades can be done with what you have at home already. And some don't cost a thing but will give your space new life. 

I gathered a list of ten home projects that will make a big difference for very little money. 

1. Spray paint something

OK, you may not have the big spray paint stash I do, but even if you just have the basic black and white, you'd be surprised at how much you can change things up!

I've shared a ton of spray painting tips over the years. It's not hard to do and it gives almost anything a new look fast

Spray painting is one of the easiest DIY projects of them all! 

This mirror used to have a wood frame and the lamps used to be shiny brass:
foyer with round mirror

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I transformed our kitchen cabinets with spray painted hardware
spray paint kitchen hardware

You can boost your curb appeal by spraying your outdoor lighting or porch planters: 
spray paint outdoor lights

And give your patio furniture new life with spray paint as well!

See some of my all time favorite spray paint projects for more inspiration. 

2. Rearrange furniture

This is by far the cheapest way to change up a space. I don't do this often -- in both of our houses I've found a set up I like and stuck to it...forever. Ha!

But even a simple thing like switching out chairs or tables will freshen up a space:
Symmetrical family room layout

We moved our family room furniture around at the holidays and like it so much we've kept it for now: 
tall fireplace furniture layout

Just swapping the chairs and sofa made a big difference -- especially for someone like me who never moves stuff around. We love it! 

Think about different layouts or even simple changes -- change the direction of your dining room table, or move your bed to a new wall. 

It will feel like a brand new room!

3. Organize a problem spot

This one is a given, right? I always feel like making our storage spaces work better this time of year. 

Tackle those spots that have driven you crazy:

Organized linen closet

Read more about this pretty linen closet and my favorite, our mud room closet

Organize under the bathroom vanity with these awesome pull out shelves: 
sliding drawer under vanity

These bins are my absolute favorites for organizing drawers: 
bins for organizing drawers

Organization always calms me and makes our home function so much better!

4. Printable art projects

You know how much I love free printables! 

They are basically free art -- and spring is a lovely time to add some color around the house:
FREE spring printables DIY art

You can find Lauren's prints (pictured above) in this free spring printable round up

Make photos into watercolor art

Don't forget printing off photos and framing them too! 

Get the photos off your phone and create that gallery wall like this one on our basement stairs: 
gallery wall down stairs

5. Fabric projects

Have you had fabric tucked away to make those curtains or pillows?:
How to sew a pillow with zipper

I shared how to make pillows with zippers here

If you don't have decorative fabric, you can use any fabric -- old bedding, drapes, shower curtains even! 

My placemat pillow tutorial is great if you're a beginner:
easy pillows with placemats

But you can make more than pillows of course!

Cover a lampshade with fabric to give it new life (that is an OLD post!) or wrap your picture frame photo mats with fabric to add some color to a gallery wall. 

There are so many fun ways to add some color around the house with fabric. 

6. Declutter/edit

Addressing the clutter will free up space in your home (even more important now that many of us are working from home!) and it feels SO GOOD to get rid of stuff.

I promise you it will lift your mood! 

Do you really need 150 markers?:
The best decluttering method

The answer is no. No, you do not. :) 

The key is gathering all like things together -- it makes a HUGE difference. 

I used the Konmari method a few years ago and have kept up with it over the years: 
Konmari method review

Decluttering is the best feeling! Clutter stresses us out and makes us more anxious than we realize. 

7. Rearrange accessories and art

Rearranging isn't just for furniture! 

Mix things up -- try your home decor in different spots. Change up the accessories on your bookshelves:
Dark green DIY built in bookcases
See how I built my home office bookcases

Or move art and mirrors around. Shop your house! 

And don't forget that editing can make a big difference too. 

Let your house "breathe" -- take a few things away and lighten things up for the spring and summer seasons. 

It will feel good. :) 

8. Paint something

A fresh coat of paint goes a long way! 

Walls are a given, and make the biggest impact. Paint an accent wall a bold, fun color. 

But if you don't have a whole gallon of paint you can still paint your interior doors:
Painting interior doors

brick red front door

Try painting a small piece of furniture! A stool, bench or dresser is perfect. 

I still love our little vintage cabinet in this green color
How to paint furniture

Give you kitchen a makeover by painting your kitchen island
dark gray peppercorn island

Paint is a game changer! Add some contrast or lighten things up. 

9. Deep clean 

Have you seen that meme going around? 😂
Stay home cleaning

So true!! Well, this is the time my friends, let's get it done! 

Open the windows, let the fresh air in and clean the house!

Every few months I deep clean every rug and carpet with the awesome carpet cleaner I love
Best carpet cleaner results

It works so well it's almost...enjoyable? There is deep satisfaction seeing what it picks up. (And deep shame for how dirty our rugs are.)

how to clean fireplace glass

It will make your fireplace look brand new!

10. Scrap wood projects

This is one of my favorites because I keep a large scrap wood stash in the garage. It's REALLY hard for me to let go of extra wood.

As long as you have a hammer and nails, you can build the basics. 

Try building some easy picture ledges:
DIY wood picture ledges
My board and batten wall project

Ours look great on our staircase! This easy shelving only takes a few pieces of wood. 

Or build a simple tray for the coffee table or ottoman. I made this HUGE hideaway tray for Legos years ago:
DIY large hideaway Lego tray

It slides under the sofa! 

But it works for kids and adults alike -- we also use it for puzzles and games in the basement as well: 
large DIY puzzle or game tray

You can use scrap wood and paint or pretty paper to make labels for baskets
DIY wood labels for storage baskets

Or paint and strips of wood to make labels for your pantry shelving
scrap wood pantry labels

Those are perfect project to tackle after you're done decluttering and organizing. ;) 

There you go -- my top ten easy DIYs that are both affordable and great for beginners. I tried to include projects using what I already have on hand. 

What would you add to this list? 

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  1. Generally love the ideas, but would caution against using power saws and the like right now. Even a skilled carpenter can have an accident, and now is not the time to have to go to the ER! I really want to work on some framed wallpaper panels, but have put that on hold for just this reason!

  2. Kinda wish I was working from home so I would get to try these! Thanks for the fun list! ❤️✨

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  3. Now that your son is a bit older, have you showed him how to make these items? It would be a wonderful life lesson to teach him while he is out of school. Skills such as cutting and math. Use of tools, safety. You could make something together that he would have to share one day with his family, like your potting bench. These are the lessons not taught in school.

    1. Yes good idea! I've had him help in the past and it's just not his thing yet. I hope he'll get into it more. He DOES love the nail gun. ;)


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