The Best $25 DIY Decor Projects You Can Do This Week, According to Design Pros
Spending so much time at home can make you itch for a change in decor—but when you’re changing things up for the season, it can be hard to justify spending too much on decor. But $25? That seems like just the right amount for a refresher. Below, five design pros weigh in on what they’d do with just 25 bucks. Not only do they deliver big on ideas that are all super stylish and on budget, but—depending on what supplies you already have on hand—some of these high-impact mini makeovers can be pulled off without spending a single cent. How’s that for a low-cost DIY?
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Make and hang DIY pressed flower art
When blogger, celebrity home stylist, and winner of HGTV’s Design Star Emily Henderson wanted to create some art that felt personal for her mountain house in California, she enlisted the help of her kids to create a set of framed botanicals that would always be in bloom. She and her kids scouted around for pretty, delicate flowers and interesting greenery of different sizes and shapes. The next step was flattening and drying their finds. “I used a microwavable flower press because I was impatient and it speeds up the process, but there are also tons of free online tutorials,” Henderson says.
Once the petals were pressed, Henderson used a hot glue gun to adhere them to the interior backing of a pair of picture frames. (Tip: If you want to give yourself the option to swap in other art down the line, glue flowers to a piece of paper or fabric cut to size instead.) For a fresh, modern, not-your-Grandma’s-pressed-flowers look, she spaced the cuttings out against the white background and chose a pair of minimalist light wood frames. “Every time I walk into our the house I see the art I made with the kids, and it makes me happy. I love that it ultimately makes our home more special and unique to us,” says Henderson.
Best yet, if you have a little glue and frames collecting dust in your closet—or if there’s framed art on your walls that you want to swap out for something new—this project won’t cost you a thing. Otherwise you can pick up slim, natural wood frames similar to Henderson’s at Staples for $14 each.
Create a pegboard wall organizer
Looking for a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to organize an entire room? Home design expert, editor, and creative consultant Michelle Adams suggests adding pegboard to a wall like she did in the garden shed outside her house in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The project is a brilliant budget solution for anyone lacking in storage space in their garage, workroom, craft space, or kitchen (à la culinary icon Julia Child). Plus, putting even the most humble pair of kitchen shears or a garden spade on a pegboard display magically upgrades its status from utilitarian to artistic.
For under 20 bucks at Home Depot, Adams bought a 4-foot-by-8-foot piece of pegboard and installed it with tools and hardware she already had on hand. Then she placed a few dollars’ worth of hooks at different heights to hang her garden tools and gear like an apron and sun hats. “Visually it makes an enormous difference when you add something that large to a space, and if you arrange things on it in an artful way, it can be super chic,” she says. For step-by-step instructions, check out our full pegboard wall tutorial.
Customize your bedding
Buying new bedding can cost a pretty penny. So if you’re tired of that plain duvet and set of pillowcases, Boston-based interior designer Taniya Nayak—whose design work you may have seen on shows like HGTV’s Designed to Sell and Food Network’s Restaurant: Impossible—suggests adding new life to your linens with fabric paint and stencils.
You can peruse a rainbow of fabric paint colors and a huge range of stencil designs at fabric and craft stores, and major retailers like Walmart. The paint comes in jars, squeeze bottles, and easy-to-use spray can options. Prices for both start at just a couple bucks, so it’s possible to pull off making your own custom bedding for adults, kids, or guest rooms for less than $10.
Create a chic shadowbox
Green living expert Danny Seo is king of the artful upcycle: he’s always dusting off old and forgotten items and finding ways to give them new life as chic, one-of-a-kind home decorations. But when the Editor-in-Chief of Naturally, Danny Seo visited famed designer and author India Hicks at her home in the Bahamas, it was her clever use of an everyday object that caught his eye.
Hicks had created a shadowbox-like display by mounting an old wooden desk tray on a wall. She used a few brackets and screws to mount it, and filled each divided section with a beautiful array of shells, sand dollars, and other treasures she found washed up on the beach. Next to it, Hicks continued the theme with a “lovely vignette that featured a variety of vintage postcards and island-esque items just casually pinned up on the wall,” says Seo.
According to Seo, it’s easy to find similar wooden trays at flea markets for just a few dollars; you could also scout sites like Etsy and eBay for similar finds without leaving home. Seo picked out his own wooden trays at flea markets and created a display that showed off his collection of small rocks, minerals, and crystals. Curate your own shadowbox with a theme inspired by one of your hobbies, collections, pretty bits of nature, or a mini library of items in the same family of colors or materials.
Make whimsical flora and fauna branches
It’s always nice to bring the outside in with pretty flowering branches like cherry blossoms. But why stop there? Hewley Helstone, the Creative Director of Jamali Floral & Garden Supplies in New York City, suggests using the branches to craft a whimsical display of flora and fauna.
If you’re lucky enough to have cherry blossoms, forsythia, or other blooming trees or shrubs in your yard, cut a few small branches and arrange them in a sturdy vase that won’t easily tip under their weight. (You can also find flowering branches at your local florist, farmer’s market, or even grocery store for around $8 to $12.)
Adorn the branches with colorful bird or butterfly ornaments with clips, which can be found online at Jamali starting at 99 cents each (or from $8.99 for a set of 12), or at your local craft store.
Intersperse several birds or butterflies throughout several branches, or — Helstone recommends — achieve a striking minimalist look by perching the pretty creatures close together in a row on a single branch. The finished arrangement makes a fun, lively, and colorful addition to a dining table, kitchen island, or kid’s room—and it can instantly cheer up a bland office, too. You can also create the look with willow branches, bamboo stalks, or any other real or faux branches for a no-cost display that makes a big style statement.