Decor in a Day: Easy Decorating Projects
From vibrant accent walls to savvy storage solutions, transform your home in a flash with these no-fuss design projects.
Brighten a bedroom.
Instantly illuminate your bedside with a series of pendant lights made from canning jars. Purchase socket lights that plug into a standard outlet so you won’t have to worry about electrical work. Cut a hole in the jar lid and tuck the light into the jar, then hang from a hook.
Organize your office.
All you need to corral clutter in your office are three simple ingredients: glass jars, spray chalkboard paint and a chalk pen. Spray the jars with a few coats of chalkboard paint, label their contents with a pen and enjoy!
Get snap happy.
You’ll be all smiles making this modern-day version of a bulletin board. Customize the size, fabric and string design to create a playful display with just a few standard tools. Use a staple gun to cover medium-density fiberboard with white felt and fabric. Create rows of tacks and wrap string around each one to create a web. Place photos behind the string, and display.
Punch up your pillows.
A repeating floral design makes a plain cotton pillowcase look like designer fabric. Remove the pillow form from the case and slip a piece of cardboard inside to prevent ink from bleeding through. Roll an even layer of screen-printing ink for fabric over a stamp, then press evenly onto the pillowcase, starting at the center. Repeat, working your way out to the edges and reapplying ink after each print. After the ink dries, heat-set it by ironing on the reverse side of the pillowcase.
Make over your mantel.
These glass displays give new meaning to the phrase “message in a bottle.” Cut photos to fit bottles. Use a foam craft brush to coat the front of a photo with decoupage medium, then press it face-down onto the outside of a bottle, smoothing out air bubbles with your fingers, and let dry. Write special messages on paper and drop them inside a bottle or two.
Jazz up old dining chairs.
Take an old or unfinished wooden chair from simple to stylish with this easy treatment. Sand, prime and paint the piece a bold color, like this forest green. Finish the transformation by covering the seat in fabric. Remove the seat, place a layer of polyfill on top and cover with the fabric, stapling in place on the bottom; replace the covered seat.
Refresh a table lamp.
Brighten a ho-hum lamp with sparkling metallic accents. Tape around the cord and top of the lamp base, then spray all-purpose primer and paint below the tape. When dry, spray clear sealer over the paint, let dry, and remove tape. Tape off the painted portion, and spray the top with gold metallic paint. For the shade, punch circles from card stock to make a stencil. Press the stencil against the shade, spray with gold glitter, and let dry. Spray with clear sealer to prevent flaking.
Paint an accent wall.
Wake up a wall with a bright paint color. A cheery hue such as this vivid yellow goes a long way in a small space, so limit it to one wall in a room. This color would be especially effective in a north-facing room that doesn’t get a large amount of natural light. Ground your saturated color with furnishings in neutral colors such as white chairs.
Update your entryway.
Add modern flair to your blooms or houseplants by color-blocking a cheap terra-cotta pot. All you need is two colors of exterior latex paint (try sample sizes), a brush and painter’s tape. Or use glue and tape to wrap a pot with a bit of rope, for an alternative update that packs a style punch.
Wow with wall art.
Create pretty map art with a map and white mat. Dry-mount a map to a foam-core board by applying a layer of rubber cement to both surfaces, letting it dry and pressing the surfaces together. Trim any overhanging map with a craft knife. Print a word or phrase you love and trace it backward onto watercolor paper before cutting it out. Glue the paper to the map board, lining up the edges.
Store toys in style.
Take storage to a new level with baskets and bins sprayed with stripes. Apply wide painter’s tape to mask off areas on all sides of the container, then—using an all-purpose primer and paint—spray the uncovered areas. Let dry before removing the tape.
Install a tile backsplash.
Add color and pattern to your kitchen with a mosaic tile backsplash. With new materials on the market, it’s now possible to set and grout tile in one day instead of two. Apply the mesh tile mat set to your clean, level backsplash surface. Smooth out any wrinkles as you apply. Peel back the liner on the mesh side, and then press your sheet of tile firmly into place for five seconds. Once all tiles are in place, apply grout according to the manufacturer’s directions and wipe clean.
Create an artistic assemblage.
If you love a fabric pattern but don’t have a lot of yardage, use a yard or less to make striking wall art. Cover a variety of different-size canvases or canvas stretchers with the fabric, stapling it in place on the backs. Be sure to cut the pieces so that you display your favorite section of the fabric’s motifs.
Build affordable shelving.
Create a makeshift library with three stacked stools in a sophisticated palette of gray and white. Paint the tops of two stools in a warm white and one in a warm gray. When dry, paint the bottoms of the two stools in gray and the other in white. Use sticker letters to spell out library-related words in Latin, Italian and French and adhere them to copper plant tags. Glue the plant tags to the fronts of the dry stools and stack the stools as shown.