We all know DIY home projects can save money, customize our home and make us much more interesting. Do you feel a “but” coming? Here it is. But DIY projects are not always a slam dunk. Back when my husband and I were trying to furnish our home and pay off our mortgage, we became serial DIYers. We dove right into projects, often learning as we went. This caused some moments when we were like, “crap, that’s not right,” and chalked up our mistake as a lesson learned. Yes, learning through experience is, well memorable, but it can also create waste, injury and undesired results. Not fun.
This is why I reached out to best-in-class DIY home bloggers to learn useful tips on where to get the best supplies, how to add style to old furniture, project safety precautions and DIY techniques to get the best results.
Keep in mind, the 16 DIY home project tips listed below are from influential bloggers with a lot to say and teach. I encourage you to check out their sites because there’s a reason they rock! Here goes…
1. Don’t limit yourself to the craft store – anything can be a craft supply if you change your perspective. What can you make from items that you’d toss in the recycle bin? Those materials don’t have to be trash; they can be free craft supplies! ~Becky at Green Upgrader and Glue and Glitter.
2. So much of DIY is learning as you go. Expect delays and problems. Learn from them and keep at it. ~Sharon at Mrs. Hines Class
3. When I need something specific for an upcoming project or idea, I look several places. Thrift stores and the Habitat for Humanity ReStore are great places to find bargains. You may have a couple of ReStores in your town, you can locate them by checking out the Habitat for Humanity ReStore site. The only thing better than a great bargain is FREE. I’ve been known to “curb” shop, in fact when I put my unwanted items to the curb, I HOPE someone picks them up before garbage day. And last but not least, use your social media. When I was looking for an old Christmas tree last year, I posted it on Facebook. My cousin had one she had been wanting to get rid of. It was a win/win. ~Gail from My Repurposed Life
4. For inspiration, I’ll often browse through home/decor stores like Anthropology, Pottery Barn, and Cost Plus World Market. I often find products there that I love, look at carefully, and then go home and replicate (for a fraction of the retail cost). ~Dora from La ti Doe
DIY Project Safety
5. Nervous about smashing your fingers when hammering? Use a piece of medium or high grit sandpaper on the head of the hammer which will help the head grip the nails when you hit them and stop slipping onto your fingers. ~Jessica from CraftFoxes
6. Don’t forget to put on goggles, dust mask, or ear protection, which can sometimes happen when you’re in a rush to start an exciting new project, but it’s never a good idea. Breathing problems, hearing loss, or worse just isn’t worth it. ~Sheila from Plum Doodles
7. Designate an outfit for painting projects. You want snug fitting clothes and shoes that protect your feet. ~Anne from Design Dreams by Anne
DIY Style Inspiration
8. I find that putting color palettes together can be very difficult! Use sites like http://design-seeds.com/ for painting color palettes for creative projects or home decor. In a similar manner you can choose a photo that you find beautiful and pull out colors for an interesting palette. ~Amy from Mod Podge Rocks
9. Rather than throwing away your old dresser, simply revamp it to look brand new! My favorite quick and easy tip to do so is paint it a new trendy color like a sharp blue or green and to switch out the knobs to something new, show stopping and fabulous. Another approach for color selection is new eco color trends which pair well with selective eco-friendly furniture.~Jenna from Pizzigati Designs
10. When you start to lose interest in old clothes, don’t throw them away. Look around and see what you have that can give them new life. Embroider your beat up sneakers (example), give your jeans a new trim (example), or add scrap fabric to an old flannel (example). There are so many ways to revive your old pieces with a bit of creativity. ~Julia from Free People BLDG 25 Blog
Tried and True DIY Techniques
11. A good paint job depends on a good paintbrush more than anything else. Buy the best quality paintbrushes you can afford. A fully saturated, angled edge brush makes a very clean line, even without tape. ~Shannon Mishmash Mama
12. Chose polycrylic instead of polyurethane to seal your painted furniture. Polycrylic is water based NOT oil based. Polyurethane will yellow over time and polycrylic won’t. ~Brooke at All Things Thrifty
13. If your surface isn’t properly cleaned, dried, spackled or primed this will undermine the durability and quality of your finished piece. It seems like most paint/primer will stick to anything, but it pays to take an extra step to keep the paint from peeling off or flaking later when you don’t want it to. ~Jennifer from Jennifer Rizzo
14. It’s important to consider the environment in which you are doing your project. Make sure you are using paint products in a recommended temperature room. ~Debi Ward Kennedy from HOMEWARD Found Decor
15. Don’t cheap-out on supplies. It’s worth a couple extra dollars to be able to use fewer coats of paint and have a richer end result. ~Kelly at View Along the Way
16. To create something you are proud of might take longer than a weekend. So plan, measure and buy your supplies on weekend one + actually do the project on weekend 2. That will give you a few days to think all the possibilities thru before embarking. Don’t feel depressed if your project doesn’t turn out as perfect as you intended or saw on-line. Many creative endevors are works-in-progress. Also remember your project doesn’t have a photo stylist to make it look absolutely perfecto! ~Mindy from Encore Decor Interior Design + Renovation
Bonus Tip for you Frugal DIYers: Livening up your closet or home doesn’t have to be expensive. By looking to thrift shops and yard sales, you can easily DIY an entire outfit or room you’ve been lusting over on the cheap. Carefully inspect everything before you buy it and if something isn’t completely right, don’t do it. Save that money and put it towards something you desperately need or want. ~Maggie from Mag’s Rags to Riches
Please share your DIY project tips in the comments!
Eve of Reduction: Free Seasonal E-Newsletter; Extra tips and wit on Facebook; Reduction Beauty on Pinterest ; The debut DIY lifestyle book (includes 10 upcycling tutorials); and the guide to creative streams of income ebook (only $2.99).