50 Genius DIY Designs

I think we all love looking at DIY projects….easy projects that we can all do with materials that are widely available, or just stuff that is laying around our house, or or mother’s house for that matter.

We like to entertain the thought, that we too, could pull off these projects just as well as the original artist…..If you don’t already have a dozen projects on the go, why not add on another 50?

Most of us don’t have thousands of dollars to spend on a project, and sometimes the ones that don’t cost us a lot are the most enjoyable ones to do.  At least I think so…..

With access to pinterest, facebook and blogs, creative ideas are within reach…..

Here are some genius approaches to design that might make make you think…  why didn’t I come up with that?

Seriously... I saved you some time and picked out my favorite ones around the net.

If you like this article….and DIY is YOUR thing……then here are a few more articles that you also may enjoy:


2014 Natural Hanitat Target Ad

This idea came from Target’s Natural Habitat Magazine ad for the 2014 season.  Use tree branches to make an outside fort for your children, or a nice reading area for yourself- Talk about relaxing! 

Hanging Photos By Wire Seen On Womans Day

Hanging photos by wire, not only looks good, but is inexpensive. Seen On WomansDay.com

Cost Friendly Genius Interior Design

1. DIY Concrete Pendant Lamp- Instructables shows you how to make a modern pendant lamp out of concrete and two plastic pop bottles.  Now this is hot!  See it at instructables.com

2. Wisteria Knock-Off Linen Hand Towels– Debbie from Confessions Of A Plate Addict saved herself $34 buy buying her own linen from Joannes fabrics.  She simply used her sewing machine to make a gathered edge, and frayed the ends.  A French provence look for much less!  confessionsofaplateaddict.blogspot.com

3.  Concrete Cabbage Leaf Bowl– Joy made a spectacular gift for her mother in law from a cabbage leaf and concrete.  This project may be tricky, but it sure looks amazing!  Get instructions from joybeadworks.blogspot.com

4. How To Transfer Graphics Using Paint Thinner- Design something beautiful like this using your  laser printer and paint thinner. Mademoiselle Chaos shows us how to do this project step by step.  Make your own vintage throw pillows, decorative towels and upholstery graphics.  See it at mademoisellechaos.blogspot.com

Holland & Sherry - The finest cloths in the world

If you are thinking about working with felt, then you have to look at this piece of cloth from Holland & Sherry –who make the finest cloths in the world.  Here you can see cut patterns in cream felt sewn on the cream cloth.  Take cues from this to make throw pillows for your sofa and bedrooms. 

Cost Friendly Genius Interior Design

1.  Leather Belt Drawer Pulls- The next time you throw an old belt into the trash, think again.  Here, a distressed old belt is used to pretty up a wood desk. Use this idea with wicker baskets, wooden crates to give that old world appeal.   curbly.com

2. Yarn Pendant Light- Using an over-sized exercise ball, Jen used wallpaper paste, yarn and wrapped the yarn around the ball randomly.  Once it was dry, she deflated the ball as carefully as possible.  There are so many more steps to this project…see how she did it at  madebygirl.blogspot.com

3. Concrete Planter – Home Made Modern constructed this amazing concrete planter using brass Pipe, concrete, heavy duty casters, a spigot, plywood, foam insulation and an old cabinet. See detailed instructions at homemade-modern.com  

4. How To Make A Faux Stone Cement Patio– Building a simple mold with 1/4″ X 3″ poplar stock, and 1/4″x 1/4″ to make the decorative pattern, concrete was poured into the mold, and then released.  After wait about two hours for the wet cement to harden,  slowly work the form up and off.  See more pictures of this project at instructables.com

Hanging Porch Swing Seen On Southern Hospitality Blog

Hanging Porch Swing Seen On Southern Hospitality Blog

Can you see an old twin bed from this high end designer porch swing? Use existing bed frames to create this elegant look for your patio….

2013 Kips Bay Decorator Show House

If you are thinking about making your own folding screen out of plywood, this could be one to gather some inspiration from.  The simplicity of the design is attractive and interesting while not overpowering.  Seen at Kips Bay Decorator Show House

Cost Friendly Genius Interior Design

1. Wreath Out Of Old Chair Spindles-Old Balusters and spindles can be found at flea markets, antique stores, and even garage sales. There are many great Trash to Treasure projects out there for these items. Buy this wreath for $7 at robomargo.com

2. Vintage Kids Chairs Turned Into Pet Feeding Stations– Better Homes and Gardens featured a project where two antique children’s chairs were transformed into dog dish holders. Holes were cut into the seats, and lined with rubber. bhg.com

3. Reclaimed Wood Into A Bookcase– Johnnie made a bookcase that would work in almost every room from a pile of reclaimed wood she got from craigslist for free. She details how she made this distressed gray painted shelf for next to nothing. savedbylovecreations.com

4. Simple Shelf To Hold Smalls- Maria made a simple shelf to store her small accessories that she uses on a daily basis. The shelf has a simplistic look to it, which looks great in it’s natural wood. read more about her shelf at scandifoodie.blogspot.com

Picture Frame Turned Shelf From Country Living Magazine

Picture Frame Turned Shelf- If you are like me, and always seem to find fancy picture frames at thrift and antique stores, that don’t have their original glass in place, this might be an idea for you. This shelf featured by Country Living Magazine would be ideal in a small bathroom, or nursery. Assemble shelving according to the frames measurements, and simply nail on the antique frame. Here’s the tutorial for the shelf at countryliving.com

Square Boxes Make A BookShelf - Better Homes And Gardens

Who ever designed this bookshelf has a fantastic eye for design.  Likely this bookshelf costs several thousand dollars….  and I hope my comments here don’t degrade it in any way.  Looking at this shelf, you could, construct graduated boxes made out of wood… Creating one box slightly larger than the other, they can be painted and then stacked on one top of another.  Using a scroll saw, you could cut out circles in the sides of the wood before assembling them.  Finding a base wouldn’t be that hard, simply make a platform out of wood.  This bookshelf has high style, and could be created on a budget for less. Found on bhg.com 

Vintage Doily Bonnbonn on etsy

A vintage doily displayed on a weathered wooden embroidery hoop. Ready to hang- sold though bonnbonn on etsy

Cost Friendly Genius Interior Design

1.  An Old Chicken Coop Turned Coffee Table-   Here they take an old chicken coop and add four casters, and a sheet of glass, and you have a distressed looking table which can be used as an end table or a coffee table in a living room.  Got to love that! Found on bhg.com

2. Open Books Displayed On The Wall-   If you want a pretty inexpensive, but rustic decorating idea, this one rocks!  Hang 3 old books on the wall with wire.  Found on modvintagelife.blogspot.com

3. An Antique Sewing Base Used To Create A Farmhouse Table- 720 B Blog posted some spectacular pictures of a table she made from an old industrial sewing table base.  A piece of wood was used to support and assemble long planks of wood to.  The lovely gray finish was achieved by using Glidden’s Natural Linen Stain and MinWax Classic Gray 270- Go to their site 720 B Blog for more pictures.

4.  A Nautical Shadow Box Made From A Spoon Cabinet- A Modern Country Lady shows us how to make a beautiful shadow box using a vintage cabinet that used to house spoons.  We have all seen these cabinets…here is one great design re-purposed.  See the full post at moderncountrylady.blogspot.com

Cost Friendly Genius Interior Design

1. Old Crates Used As Planters On A Wall- Crates are mounted to wall, and on brackets for garden display. Terrain at Styer’s – Glen Mills, PA  Found on flickr.com

2.Craft Paper Book Coverings –Unify your bookshelves with brown-paper book jackets and a white paint pen Mara Zepeda’s Home

3. A Plank Wall To Hold A Flatscreen TV-  Love the look of plank walls?  Incorporate the design above a fireplace, or a dresser to hold a flatscreen television.  Lauren used 1×8 planks, and 1×4’s, on the edges, and popsicle sticks for spacers.  Check out their project blesserhouse.blogspot.com

4.  Transform Old Drawers And Windows Into A Cabinet – 2 old windows + 2 old drawers = new cabinet- Unknown Credit

Cross Stitch, Wallpaper Fill Up A Wall - Better Homes And Gardens

 Cross stitch, art, wallpaper remnants framed can fill up an empty wall in no time.  If you love quilting, and want to create a gallery wall, go to your local thrift store and start collecting frames which all have the same pattern.  Here you can see a simple black frame unites a common pattern.  Thrift stores, estate sales, consignment shops, antique malls all have frames for sale for less than $5 dollars.  If you are into quilting, create custom pieces for frames.  Wallpaper stores often have books of wallpaper samples that they throw out yearly…  Blow up some prints and frame them.  This is a very inexpensive idea to get a gallery look for very little money.  Found on bhg.com

 Style By Emily Henderson

 Decorate With Mason Jars– Painting mason jars has become so fashionable.  It seems like everyone is jumping on the bandwagon with this trendy form of art.  Here you can see a graduated color, from darker blue to a shade of off white near the top of the ceiling.  A custom bookshelf really shows off this collection.  You can even decorate with food storage!  Carrots, beets, green beans could look fabulous all lined up and color coordinated.  Who knew mason jars would look this good!  Found on stylebyemilyhenderson.com

Cost Friendly Genius Interior Design

1. Peg Board Poster Size Art– Needing extra storage and a headboard for her 8-year-old son, Carmel Phillips from Our Fifth House came up with this clever, all-in-one solution: a painted pegboard! I love the bold Union Jack design she went with, but you could easily customize this to suit your own style and tastes.  See more at ourfifthhouse.com

2. Framed Peg Board Jewelery Organizer– Liz Stanley from Say Yes used a gilt wood frame and peg board to organize her necklaces with ornate drawer knobs- See more at sayyes.com

3. Kids Chalkboard Table- Erin transformed a kids play table into a table top surface where her children could scribble on with chalk.  She used a pretty shade of blue from Benjamin Moore called Champion Cobalt.  See her project at diyonthecheap.com

4. Old Rhinestone Jewelry Updated With Neon Paint- We have seen gobs of these necklaces and bracelets at thrift stores and they seem very outdated.  Here is a simple way to update them for under 5 dollars using florescent spray paint.  Check out how chic this looks against a white top  apairandasparediy.com

-Neon Is Back- 80 Ideas –Kids Room Decor

Cost Friendly Genius Interior Design

1. Turn A Crib Into A Wagon– Cami designed a wagon for her girls from an old crib.  Doesn’t it look amazing?  See how she did it at creatingbycami.blogspot.com

2. A Garden Bench Made From Two Chairs– Mak and Jill made this fabulous antibes green garden bench from two chairs.  Wouldn’t we all want this in our flower garden.  See the project at makandjill.com

3. Make An Industrial Floating Bathroom Shelf From Plumbing Materials – The German DIY magazine, Selber Machen, featured this floating bathroom shelf using pipe, Kee Klamp fittings and some Lack components from Ikea. See how they did it on simplifiedbuilding.com

4. Shelves Made From Paint Buckets- Sweet!!  White paint buckets were cut using an electric saw, and then mounted on the wall using screws.  Look how they did it at ohohblog.com

Cost Friendly Genius Interior Design

1. Wired Baskets Hung On The Wall- Darn this looks good!  Great ideas for a boys room, garage, or even on the outside of the shed to hold sporting equipment.  Here they used heavy duty milk crates.  Found on bhg.com

2. Ombre Wood Paneled Wall- Create this look for your own home using a feature wall, strips of wood, and paint.  Simply buy paint samples at your local paint store, and paint each strip slightly darker or lighter in color.  Talk about a pop of color!     Found on lialeukinterieuradvies.nl

3. Candlesticks Made From Vintage Finds– These candlesticks are from Anthropologie.  Don’t they look like vintage trinkets that you often see at flea markets?  A glass cutter is used to cut holes into these glass pieces, and a threaded pipe often seen in lamps holds these pieces together.

Cost Friendly Genius Interior Design

1.  Beautify Your Vintage Books- DIY Upcycled Book Journal tutorial. Actual crafting time: about 15 minutes Drying time: 30 minutes + setting overnight Found on rookno17.com

2.  Thrifted Dipped Paintings- We all come across those really inexpensive paintings at our local thrift stores……. here is one way to make something inexpensive make them chic with very little effort.  Found on insidecloset.com

3. Make Art Using Brass Thumbtacks-  Angela used thumbtacks to create a beautiful piece of art using a printed image and 700 thumbtacks!  See more pictures of how to do this at  lifeinvelvet.com

4. Recycle Like A Pro- Eggbeaters are made into a clock by using vintage parts.  It may take a little bit of talent to pull this off!  By sassycrafter on Flickr

Cost Friendly Genius Interior Design

1. A Gallery Wall Made From Wire And Wood- Liz Marie made a gallery wall showcasing her favorite art from simple wood planks, and wire. Read how she did it here lizmarieblog.com

2. Plastic Urns Used As A Concrete Mold– Forget about spending up to $200 dollars on a concrete urn mold when you can make your own from these plastic ones you can buy at your local hardware store. To prevent the plastic urn from breaking upon removal, apply a thick coat of vaseline or motor oil to the sides of the plastic. Fill it with concrete, and let it dry. See it at hilmashorna.blogspot.fi

3. Beehive Black and White Picture Gallery – Aki from Minted Strawberry was given was given some free prints by Shutterfly & Looksi for their campaign entitled ‘What Can You Do With A Print?’ …..and what she did was amazing! Cutting black and white prints into a hexagon shape, she created a beehive-pattern worth of pictures. See more at mintedstrawberrytoo.blogspot.com

4. Large Scale Picture Art- Wendy Copley from Wendolonia took sensational photos of her kids at their most playful side and blew them up as art. Using plywood and Mod Podge Photo Transfer Medium, along with her photos, she creates one of a kind pieces of art that she will treasure for years. See how she did it at wendolonia.com

Paper Globes By Stibs On Flickr

Round Paper Globes – if you are looking for a unique one of a kind way to dress up a wall in your office, kids room, play area, consider buying a vintage map book, and simply cutting out circles using round paper cutter.  Either hang them with clear wire, or mount them in such a way that they give a layered look.    Found On Globes by stribs on Flickr

Paper rolls in grid by Eli the Bearded on Flickr

Rustic Paper Holder Made From Fencing – If you are looking for another rustic decorating idea, look in your garden section at your local hardware store for these metal grids which are often used for fencing.  Here paper rolls are stuffed into the grid which is shaped into a cylinder.  by Eli the Bearded on Flickr

Window Coverings With Hooks

Genius idea for odd shaped/sized windows; use hooks instead of a rod- Found on inspirationfordecoration.com

Sports WallMount smaller pictures inside larger frames.  Here you can see mini plaques mounted on a larger wood trophy board.  This idea can be created using a scroll saw…  Vintage wood sporting equipment hangs on the wall, and creates a rustic look for a mans cave, library, or entertainment room.  Love it?  Found on yournestdesign.blogspot.com