Decorating projects are usually something many of us put off, or happily call in the professionals for. But in these unprecedented times, months spent in national and local lockdowns has launched a determined army of DIY enthusiasts ready to tackle a plethora of decorative finishes, get a handle on cabinetry and transform tiles by grouting with gorgeous colours.
9 home craft project ideas
Here are 9 home craft project ideas to get you started.
1. Transform with tiling
Sprucing up the kitchen with tiling takes skill but with a little bit of practice, there’s a look for everyone. Tiling just the splashback means you don’t have to go all the way up the wall, so you have impact without spending so much. And depending on the shape and size of the tiles, you only need to build them two or three rows up to get the look.
Natalia Ratajczak, interior designer for The Furniture Union, suggests tiling the splashback with subway tiles, adding a strong red grout colour and framing them with a thick black outline to add graphic detailing.
Tempting as it is, don’t tile over existing tiles. Ratajczak says it’s better to hack off any existing ones to ensure you get a level finish and that your adhesive is fully bonded, etc. If you want to go one step further, add shelving above to tie in finishes and display decorative items.
If you don’t want to rip out existing tiles, consider painting them instead. You can paint tiles yourself using simple bowls or a ruler to create a new pattern. You may need at least two coats and allow them to dry fully. To protect the tiles afterwards, add a layer of lacquer. Alternatively, you can use tile stickers to get more intricate patterns without taking so much time.
We like these splashback stickers, available on Amazon, that come in a variety of colours and patterns.
2. Colour co-ordinate ceilings and corridors
It may sound a bit matchy-matchy but coordinating a section of your ceiling with a piece of furniture, especially in a long, dark corridor, is a great option to create a boutique hotel-style vibe.
Using a strong colour on the ceiling teamed with cabinetry in the same colour can make a narrow space look utterly revitalised. Furniture Union recommend matt emulsion finish for your ceiling, and say a satin finish works well for woodwork, offering a mild sheen.
You could also try painting the edges of doors to match. Carefully tape the edges of the door on both sides and paint the edge in a bold colour, so that you only see it when the door is open. It’s a subtle look as it only shows when the door is open, so it’s great if you’re just looking to try out a few bold colours.
3. Update handles and knobs
This is one of the simplest yet most effective of our home craft project ideas. Depending on your taste, handles are to a chest of drawers what the standing area is to your shower. Both need to be functional and stylish – and as they say, it’s all in the detail. Refreshing handles is an effective way to update kitchen cupboards or drawers, an old chest of drawers or a wardrobe.
An easy update, industrial-style knobs, statement or drop handles will instantly increase the pulling power of furniture throughout the home and kitchen units, without having to splash out on replacing whole items.
The easiest option is to choose handles that are the same size as the existing ones. If you want something different, be prepared to fill the old holes, sand them down, and paint over before drilling new holes. These Sass & Belle vintage bee handles, available on Amazon, will add some style and contrast to your drawers.
4. Get the wow factor with wallpaper
Budget allowing, think about making the switch from paint to paper. Zooming in on a section of the space, rather than the whole room, makes much lighter work of the task and means you don’t have to worry about clearing everything out of the way.
“As with painting, adding wallpaper to one wall rather than the whole room is a great first-time project,” says Lorna MacPhee, furnishing accessories buyer for John Lewis.
“If this is your first attempt, choose a ditsy or abstract design that’s easier to pattern match, being more forgiving along the joins than a bold geometric design. While a paste-the-wall design is quicker and less messy than traditional paste-the-wallpapers, and you’ll need less in your tool kit.”
5. Change your outlook
When it comes to window dressing, we all need a creative outlook – but we don’t necessarily want the world looking in on us. There’s more to net curtains than meets the eye. Whether you choose lace or voile, they can easily be draped over an existing curtain pole or laced with ribbon and hung on hooks.
For an easy update, MacPhee suggests layering ready-made curtains over lightweight sheers. “The voiles give a softer light and privacy for those at-home yoga sessions and moments of calm,” she says. “Hang from net curtain wire or swap your pole for a tension wire.”
6. Customise with chalk paint
Probably one of our messiest home craft project ideas. If you want to paint the town – sorry, home – red (or any other shade for that matter), chalk based paint offers a flat, matt finish and brilliant coverage with one or two coats.
Ideal for painting walls, furniture, indoors and outdoors, it’s especially suited to vintage pieces (think shabby-chic finish) or flea market finds that just need a bit of love and attention.
To point you in the right direction, we recommend Rust-Oleum paint, available on Amazon. It comes in a wide variety of colours and two sizes so you aren’t wasting paint. A top coat will seal, protect and keep the colour long-lasting, so this is especially good for garden furniture.
7. Make cushion covers with remnants
These cushions are great because they’re so customisable. You can have the back and front in different fabric, so it’s as if you have twice as many cushions. If you don’t have a fabric remnant that is large enough, try sewing a few together to create a colour block or patchwork effect.
If you aren’t confident sewing a zip, make an envelope cover like a pillowcase, or use a couple of large buttons. Again, you can buttonhole by hand if you don’t have the right attachment on your sewing machine.
8. Recover a simple drum lampshade
You can buy lampshade kits but if you have a simple drum shade that you would like to refresh, simply glue some different material over the top and hold with pegs while it dries.
Bear in mind it might not give out as much light as before, so choose a light fabric. Otherwise, it will still give direct light from the top and bottom, rather than a gentle ambient and diffused glow.
9. Create a gallery wall by printing photos from your phone
How many of us have phones crammed with photos? Print a few and create a gallery wall. A staircase is a great place to start, as you don’t have to worry about straight lines. You could either match all the frames and have different sizes, or choose a variety of colours. Try laying them out on the floor first to get a feel for the overall look.
We love this look as it’s so personal. Try this set of 26 frames by Lillyvale, available on Amazon. You could also paint the frames different colours for that home-made patchwork look.
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