DIY Home Decor

Paint Existing Furniture

What you’ll need:

  • Primer
  • Oil Paints
  • Clear coat
  • Clean absorbent cloth
  • Light sandpaper (for wooden furniture)

The simplest way to invigorate existing home furniture such as cabinets or cupboards is to paint them yourself. As the furniture is indoors there are lesser chances of the paint corroding over time.

Clean the surface with a clean cloth to remove any dust that might be present. For wooden non-polished or old furniture, mildly rubbing the surface down with sandpaper helps the paint to hold better.

Apply a thin layer of primer to begin with, as primer serves to bind the paint together well. To ensure a better finish multiple coats of paint and primer are advisable.

Paint the surface whichever way you wish. Templates for designs are easily available online and can be traced on to the furniture.

After you are done, apply clear coat (spray on types will work as well). This will lock the paint in.

Spill-Proof Placemats

What you’ll need:

  • Fabric of your choice
  • Clear/tinted plastic sheet
  • Clothes Iron
  • Scissors

Cut the fabric into square or rectangular pieces of adequate size as determined by you.

For each placemat, cut two rectangles of the same size from the sheet of plastic.

Iron the piece of plastic on each side of the placemats and trim the edges with the scissors.

Wool Coasters

What you’ll need:

  • Old 100% wool garments
  • Large-mouthed glass (or any circular object which can be traced around)
  • Marking pencil
  • Scissors

Good use for old or torn sweaters and the like.

Wash the wool in hot water, and then hand dry or use a dryer with a rough material such as jeans. This serves to smoothen and stretch it out. After a few washes the material should feel soft and velvet like to touch.

Use a pencil and a large-mouthed glass to trace circles onto the wool.

Cut out the circles. Voila.

Laundry Bag

What you’ll need:

  • Old pillowcase
  • Large hoop earring or embroidery hoop
  • Ribbon/Nylon rope

Ideally meant for innerwear which can get mixed up in a big load of laundry.

Make a hole in the top of the pillowcase to pass the hoop through.

Tie on a loop of ribbon or rope to the hoop, and hang it near your washing machine or laundry basket.

Pendant Lights

What you’ll need:

  • Set of plastic/wicker baskets
  • Bulb Holders
  • Wire (as needed)
  • Bulbs
  • Wire cutter

Cut a hole in the bottom of the baskets enough for the wire to pass through.

Pass the wire through the hole and connect it to the holder.

Screw in the light bulb.

Adjust wire length to desired lamp height. Complete wiring.

Candle Lampshade

What you’ll need:

  • LED tealights
  • Wine glasses (or any glass with a thin stem)
  • Paper (artbook paper is preferred, A4 will work as well)
  • Scissors
  • Double-sided tape

Cut the paper into a semi-donut shape. Either draw on a design or print one onto the paper prior.

Fold the paper onto the top of the glass in a conical shape. Trim excess length with the scissors but leave enough overlap to stick the ends together.

Put the LED tea lights into the glass, and cover the glass with your “lampshade”.

DIY Suitcase Table

What You’ll Need:

  • Old travel suitcase suitcase or trunk (hard body)
  • Four table legs (as per required length)
  • Particleboard or MDF (cut to fit the bottom of the trunk)
  • Drill

A neat trick to make a table cum storage space at any height you prefer.

Cut the board into the shape of the bottom of your suitcase.

On a surface such as a stool place the wooden board, and then the opened suitcase upside down, such that the board is touching the bottom of the suitcase from the inside.

Drill into the 4 corners of the suitcase (and through the board in turn) to attach the legs. The number of holes and placement will depend on the type of legs being used.

Attach the legs and flip the table over. Check for any unstability. Washers can be used to counterract rocking.

Ladder Shelves

What you’ll need:

  • Standard step-ladder (can be wooden or metal, up to personal preference)
  • Wooden or aluminium shelves (length as required)

Identical A-frame or step ladders are what you need. A set of minimum 2 ladders will need to be arranged in series where the shelf is to be set up. Number of ladders needed will depend on length of area available.

Set the ladders to the same height if adjustment is available, or else extend them to the max and lock them in place.

Insert shelves which are the same width as the ladder steps onto each step. Shelf complete.

You may paint to match the rest of the decor.

Basket Linen Closet

What you’ll need:

  • Square or rectangular deep baskets (material as per preference)
  • Double sided tape or strong adhesive
  • Screws
  • Drill

Rather than installing a complete cabinet in your bathroom to store toiletries and towels, this nifty little fix gives you customisable storage space and looks good while doing so.

Find a convenient spot in the bathroom to mount the baskets. They will be wall mounted.

Depending on the load you expect and the kind of tiles you need, either stick the basket to the wall or drill into the wall to mount the basket.

A picnic basket provides a lid which can help if you wish to keep the contents hidden.