(Welcome to Sarah, one of the finalists for a contributor position here at AT:Chicago. Comment away!)
Design is art that people use.
Ellen Lupton, from the introduction to her book D.I.Y. Design
The best DIY projects utilize well-designed objects that anyone can recreate and adapt for their own use. One flexible (and good-looking) tool on hand for do-it-yourselfers is the printer-friendly round label.
Available in a full spectrum of colors (like the sherbet-colored "Poppy" shown above), the labels work with templates that can be downloaded from the Web or easily created in MS Word. Use them to organize in style, dress up letters, make adhesive monograms, or stick them back-to-back on a grosgrain ribbon to make a mod garland. Packs of 60 are available for $5.20 at Paper Source.
Taking a cue from British installation artist Liam Gillick, the circular labels could also be used in true DIY fashion to transform the everyday world into art. Gillick argues that art should exist in unexpected places and has said, "I'm trying to encourage people to accept that artwork, presented in a gallery, is not the resolution of ideas and objects." Gillick's art examines the nature of a range of spaces—from museum halls to offices to private homes.
Shown here, Gillick-inspired round labels can make the mundane into something more. A kitchen cabinet, a lamp and a bathroom mirror get a one-step makeover. Not bad for five dollars.