This one is fun and cheap and brilliant in its simplicity. I found several examples on Pinterest and I think this one shows the idea brilliantly.
You can take any graphic to Staples, FedEx-Kinko’s, Office Max, etc, and ask for their biggest, cheapest “engineer’s print”. It won’t be 300 dpi wonderful print quality. But so what? It’ll cost you about $7.00. I think 3′x4′ is the biggest you can get. That’s BIG. Take a photo of your kid or your kitten – or your SO shaving (face or legs). Or the crazy squirrel in your back yard. Or, well, whatever seems fun.
Have a black and white print made. It’ll be on flimsy paper, so attach it to foam core or plywood. Hang it. Then stand back and love the new look!
I don’t know if I even have a “tip of the day” section but if I don’t, I ought to. I recently found this one over at Apartment Therapy which you know is one of my favorite sites, anyway. And this! so useful.
If you use dryer sheets – well, I’ve said it before – really, don’t. Now I have an alternative to suggest:
Voila! I tried it and it works. Crumple a piece of aluminum foil, toss it in the dryer. Instant de-staticer. And you can reuse it for months. MUCH better than buying a new chemical-impregnated sheet for every load of wash.
I still don’t use them very often. But when I do – hey, this works!
Okay, I’m using a not-new idea again, but I ran across such a pretty example, I wanted to show it to you. This is how tin cans could be turned into actual, useful storage, and look really nice while they’re at it.
I found it on Pinterest and forgot to save the link, yes I know I’m a bad person for that, and when I find it again I’ll post it here. But meanwhile – actual useful storage from tin cans? And using my favorite medium, paper, of course. Yes, you could use paint or fabric too. But still – this really works. Win!
P.S. Aha! Check out this post: 34 insanely smart DIY kitchen storage ideas – it’s in that article. Yay!
My favorite kind of idea – do it yourself storage, and organization, and it’s a great example of “recycle and reuse”. Also practically free!
What I specially love about this is not only that it’s made from recycled materials (an oatmeal container in this case) but that it’s so useful! You could use it as shown, on its side and resting on an old shoebox lid, easy peasy. Or you could stand it up to take up less space on your shelf. Yes, the ribbons would trail down, but with the shape and size of this container, they’d stay organized and accessible. Win!
Plus when you cover it with your own (recycled) paper, it’s going to fit into your decor perfectly
I found this adorable idea over at Scrapbooks Etc. – which is part of the Better Homes and Gardens network. Of course there are LOTS of super ideas over there, go peek!
Truly this is just an inspiration picture – found at the wonderful Design Sponge. There are a boatload of wonderful projects over there – and lots of inspiration too.
Like the one that inspired this post:
You see what I mean about “inspiration pic”. It’s not that any one single element of this design is irreplaceable – it’s the lighthearted (and light filled) room that they’ve created. It might have been expensive but it certainly doesn’t need to be. Lots of white – white sheers on the (admittedly lovely) windows, plain floors, a lampshade that doesn’t match the lamp – a wooden table with a checkered tablecloth. Old (recycled I hope!) chairs that don’t match either – all in cheery bright colors.
You could adapt any of those ideas to make your own home more fun – I’m going to scour Craigslist right away for some old chairs nobody wants – because I certainly do
Go over to Design Sponge – and get inspired!
This DIY wall art project meets all those criteria. Also customizable, requires NO talent, adjustable in size – probably free – I mean, this is a total win-win.
Okay, not entirely free. You’ll need a backing / canvas – whether it’s cardboard, posterboard, foam core, or even a real stretched canvas. A cabinet door. Whatever you’re using to as a base for your artwork. And then, some tape. And paper. Leftover paint.
And you come up with your own version of this!
You see what I mean? The link takes you to Pinterest, which takes you to the original source. But honestly, for technique anyway, you’re looking at it. Play with tape and geometric shapes, then fill in the spaces with color – whether it’s recycled magazine pages, or bits of leftover paint, or fabric, or, well, whatever you come up with.
Or start with a collage of color – magazine pages, old telephone book pages, you name it – then tape over it and create your “painting” that way.
You choose the colors, the theme if you want – the style – the whole thing. It’s entirely original – and you don’t have to be able to draw a straight line.
This is a great idea!
This is just an inspirational example – but if we look closely, it’s a really good one! Take a good look at the “before” and the “after” pics here. Yes, I found it on Pinterest:
Yes, it’s a classy, probably expensive, fabulous kitchen. But what we’re focusing (most) on right now is the transformation.
I think it’s mostly paint! The countertop hasn’t changed. The floor hasn’t changed (and boy do I love it!). The door hasn’t changed.
The backsplash has changed – and it’s hard to tell from the pics just what the new backsplash is. My vote, for a DIY look that’s similar? Is to use black and white patterned vinyl tiles! Why not? It doesn’t have to be marble or glass, and it doesn’t have to last forever. It has to work, and if it looks good, that’s even nicer.
The wall color and cabinet colors have changed. Hello? Paint. And she took off some of the cabinet doors. These are not expensive ideas.
The “before” kitchen’s not bad at all. But the “after” kitchen is so much more friendly, open, and full of light.
That’s what I call inspiring – and doable – and maybe even cheap!
This is such a useful tutorial! I found it over at How About Orange Blogfrom Jessica Jones. She’s got tons of useful ideas over there. With her super clear pics and instructions, she teaches us how to make gift bags – from newspaper!
Gift Bag from Newspaper – Tutorial.
And of course one of the nice things is that you can use any paper (no, it doesn’t matter if there are folds or creases). Talk about saving money – and giving a gift where even the wrapping is special!
and did I say “saving money”? Hallmark will have to manage without our $$, thank you very much.
Remember the white plate (with a recipe!) I blogged about recently? It’s here. The idea was to write a recipe on the plate, bake it, and voila! Permanent decoration. Well I have been seeing this idea more and more lately – and I wanted to share one more example because it’s so charming – and timely
What a darling idea for a Valentine’s Day craft that everyone will love! I found it at It’s Overflowing – overflowing with creativity, that is!
You might want to check out her Tips pages, too – she’s got some really useful ideas there. “How to remove sticky stuff” and “An easy way to hang art” and “DIY Microwave popcorn” (you know that one’s going to be used!)
Very cool blog. And I do love that plate idea!
This is a super easy do-it-yourself project – and an inspiration for more ideas, too. I found this over on Pinterest. And if you think I am totally in love with Pinterest, you are right! I’ve linked to Liina O’s “Homemade” page and she has found tons of good ideas, go peek!
As shown here, this is a fun, decorative bowl:
This cute bowl would be a great accent in the family room, and a fun project to do with the kids. But, I do have to add, it could be a little time-consuming. Rolling up the magazine pages (gluing them maybe?), then cutting them – that could take a bit of patience.
So what I’m proposing is adopting the idea. Blow a balloon up to a nice chubby round shape. Use thinned glue or wallpaper paste, to apply torn strips of magazine pages, old brown paper bags, or newspaper pages, onto the surface. Keep layering them. (Note: the wallpaper paste could be flour-and-water, super cheap and non toxic).
Keep layering the torn strips. When the surface looks good to you, and there are enough strips of paper on there to be fairly sturdy, I’d apply polyurethane to make it waterproof. Add a couple layers.
Then bust the balloon. Voila! A strong-ish container that could be a vase (if you’ve waterproofed the inside, too) – or a toy holder (make the opening at the top really big, for that one) – or a place for the kids to keep all their pens and markers (make that one small) – and, well, you get the idea.
The colors that work in your house, a shape you like, a project that you and the kids can do together – and a way for them to see that THEY can make things that work. Love it!