Free DYI in Times of Sheltering in Place


What do YOU miss during this pandemic/shelter in place time? For me, it’s the hunt, the frugal hunt for antique treasures and junk I can rescue and DYI. I miss that nearly as much as I miss going to the gym.

Still, we frugal folk are nothing if not creative so I have been casting about for projects closer to home. I started with clearing out my garage. My local Goodwill does take limited donations so we have been dropping off boxes now and again. I did go through those final boxes from a recent (well, sort of recent) renovation and realized I had a small collection of whimsical Cheshire Cat collectables I could display in my guest room. I also finally got around to that one, annoying (“I can do that in an hour any old time!”) DYI project that had been gathering dust in my garage for ages. It was a very dated but in excellent condition standing lamp. It has a very heavy base and with a fake bronze finish that cried for updating. I finally dug out a can of black gloss spray paint and gave it a double coat, instantly updating it. I then topped it with a new silver, much larger lamp shade to complete the new look and dragged the bemouth upstairs to my guest room/office where I spend my work days now. It fits right in and makes for a great accent piece as well as adding much needed additional lighting. Which leaves me with the need for new DYI projects. I need to paint the bathroom vanity in one bathroom and touch up wall paint in another so that’s next on the list.

Mostly however, I am looking for projects that do not require additional supplies, that I can use what I already have. So, below are some easy hacks and tips for you lonely DYI-ers out there:

  1. Use up what you already have. Gather up your paint and other DYI supplies and let them guide you.
  2. Check each room with a critical eye. Can you update old lighting with what you have? How about bedding? Can you mix and match what’s in your linen closet to freshen up the look of your beds?
  3. Arm yourself with spray paint and update old vases, pots and other inexpensive home decor.
  4.  Repurpose what you already have. While pulling weeds in my backyard the other day, I spied a decorative two-tiered iron plant holder in my garden that was in excellent shape. I really didn’t need it where it was being used so I gave it a good hosing off and placed it on my kitchen counter where it now displays onions, root vegetables and other room temperature produce. MUCH better use this time around and I didn’t even have to update it, it was perfect the way it was.
  5. If you feel safe, you might consider venturing out to your local dollar store to stock up on cheap crafting materials. You can also buy a store of them on line if that is more your cup of tea.
  6. Give old photo frames new life by painting or updating them with flowers or other cheap baubles. I have a box full of frames  in my garage that I am working my way through,
  7. Group collectables. As mentioned above, I was surprised but pleased to discover that I had about seven little Cheshire Cat collectables scattered around. Grouped together they now make a fun and playful statement.
  8. Dig through old photos and scatter a few treasured memories in a decorative platter or fruit bowl.
  9. Take a seat with refreshed seating and brand new cushions. If the seats come apart easily, you can quickly stretch old scarves or fabric across them for a brand new look that is basically risk free. You can also pin pretty scarves or fabric over tired old throw pillows for an instant and free update.
  10. Pile up all the clothing you have that you want to keep but needs an update. Dig through your notions collection and swap out buttons on a jacket that’s seen better days, add trim to the hem of an old skirt, even stitch a design on an old pair of jeans if you are handy that way.




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