21 (Basically) Free Makeovers to Do at Home With Stuff You Already Have

published Mar 24, 2020
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Credit: Liz Calka

Even if you’re usually a homebody, being at home has probably looked a little different recently, now that staying in has truly been the only option. If you’re going a little stir-crazy and are looking to take on some low-budget, simple upgrades this week, we have good news: We have 20 super easy, basically free projects that you can do at home with items you already have. Read on for inspiration on refreshing your home for almost nothing.

1. Change out the prints in your gallery wall

If you have extra prints stored away, swap them in for the ones you already have up. If not, try switching which pieces go in which frames, or which frames go where on your gallery wall.

2. Switch the rugs in your living room and bedroom

Your old rug might look brand-new in a totally different setting.

3. Or layer rugs in your living room

Have a smaller rug that’s not getting enough love where it is? Try layering it on top of a larger one in the living room for an offbeat, eclectic vibe.

4. Paper the back of a bookshelf with spare wallpaper

A favorite wrapping paper would do the job, too. Use masking tape or washi tape to secure it to the back of your shelf, then swap it out in another month for something new.

5. Paint your plants’ pots

Give your plant babies a little color with a coat of paint on plain terra cotta pots.

6. Give yourself more plants

Yes, you can do this for free! It’s easy to propagate new plants from cuttings of your old ones. Check out our guide for the best plants for propagating.

Credit: Heather Bien

7. Turn empty candle jars into pretty storage

Once you’re done burning a candle, you can use the pretty tin to hold small items such as toiletries or hair accessories, like blogger Heather Bien did here.

8. Style your coffee table

If your coffee table is stacked with couple books, try moving a plant there instead to create a new look. We have lots of ideas for styling coffee tables here.

Credit: Marie-Lyne Quirion

9. Re-organize your bookshelves

Got them by author? Try it by genre. Or—gasp!—organize by color. Then, fit favorite decor items into the gaps on the shelf for a totally re-styled look.

10. Add color to shelf edges

Colorful washi tape across the edges of a bookshelf totally changes the look.

11. Or add color to your light fixtures

Got smart bulbs? Try changing them to a pink hue to give your living room a warm cast.

Credit: Liz Calka

12. Paint a mirror frame

This is a perfect afternoon project since you won’t need much paint—a sample size will do. Try a bright, punchy color to to give your walls some oomph.

13. Rotate your furniture layout

See what your setup looks like when move your couch to a different wall, or move your living room chair into your bedroom.

14. Decorate walls with washi tape

Use washi tape to mimic the look of wallpaper without the fuss, like this homeowner did in her Australian digs. Try a confetti look, like is pictured here, or go for something more geometric, like stripes, plus signs, or triangles.

Credit: Heather Bien

15. DIY Some Artwork

Blogger Heather Bien has also enjoyed DIYing some of her own art pieces using materials she already had at home. She created the above print with black acrylic paint and thick watercolor paper. “Another idea is to use leftover paint from a room to create an abstract print,” she adds. (Our own lifestyle director Taryn Williford did that in her own home.)

16. Or turn non-art into artwork

Frame a favorite kerchief, mount a basket to the wall, or hang a beautiful blanket or quilt.

17. Use paint to make minimalist accent

Start by putting a thumbtack where you want the middle of your circle to be. Then, tie a piece of string to it on one side and a pencil on the other; the length of the string will be equal to the radius of your circle. Then, holding the thumbtack in place and pulling the string tight, use the pencil to trace all the way around in a circle. Fill in the penciled circle with paint.

18. Change up your throw pillows

Switch up throw pillows and create new pairings on your sofa, arm chairs, and even your bed.

Credit: Lula Poggi

19. Hang bunting or string lights

Sure, you may not be having a party anytime soon, but why not bring in some party atmosphere?

20. Try raising (or lowering) your mirrors

See what it looks like when you move a mirror up to higher than you normally would or lower than you normally would.

21. Put something different in the middle of your dining table

Flowers are a classic, but you can also try: a collection of candlesticks, a potted plant, a bowl of fruit, a pitcher with a single monstera leaf, and more.