28 Tiny Home Makeovers for the Shortest Month of the Year

published Feb 1, 2021
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No matter how much you love hot chocolate, snow flurries, and cozy blankets, by the time February hits, winter can feel like a drag. That goes double when you’re spending more time at home than ever. But instead of waiting out the weeks and crossing your fingers for spring, why not use this month — the shortest one all year — to give your home some tiny makeovers?

To give you some inspiration, here are 28 small projects worth trying this month. Do you need to do them all? No, of course not! You’ve got work, and family, and plenty of Netflix to power through, too. But one or two (or more!) well-placed picks can give your home the jolt of energy it needs when the days are gray and the weather’s cold.

As for me, I’m challenging myself to take on all 28, which I’ll be tracking in my Instagram stories. Here’s what’s on my list.

1. Paint the interior edge of a door a fun color.

Afraid to paint the entire room a bold color? Grab a sample pot of paint from the hardware store, and paint just a door. An even smaller project: paint just the interior edge, where the door latches. You’ll be done in no time.

2. Decoupage a chair.

Whether you’re tired of your kitchen chairs or just have a random chair on hand that needs some love, this is a great way to make them over. You’ll just need fabric, Mod Podge, and a brush for this decoupage furniture project.

3. Organize your books by color.

Yes, I know this is a very controversial topic. If you’re hesitant to do it for your whole collection, try it on just your cookbooks.

4. Upcycle empty containers into faux ceramic vases.

Mix a few tablespoons of baking soda with acrylic paint, and brush onto containers in thick layers. It makes even the most humdrum of containers look like artwork.

5. Refresh your headboard with a scarf.

If you’re getting tired of your headboard, toss a vintage scarf or blanket over it and arrange some fun throw pillows. No need for a major upholstery project — just a refresh will do!

6. Put peel-and-stick tile on your floor.

Peel-and-stick tiles can be purchased in packs of 10 at hardware and craft stores. Choose a small spot to refresh — like a powder room, or your entryway — and set aside an afternoon.

7. Add faux grids to your windows.

A little electric tape, a level, and a measuring tape are all you need to create the illusion of architectural details on your windows. You can do standard grids, like the ones shown above, or create a more intricate pattern that mimics the look of leaded glass.

8. Mount some new wall hooks.

Hang a hook — or a few — by the door to hold essentials, or add some to your bedroom to hold your robe, towel, or not-quite-clean, not-quite-dirty clothes. You’ll need wall anchors and a drill for this project, but you’ll be done in less time than it takes to drink a cup of coffee.

9. Add a decal.

It’s like art you don’t have to frame.

10. Create a fabric accent wall.

Peel-and-stick wallpaper is great, but sometimes a DIY fabric wall is a faster, more affordable option. Prep the wall with liquid starch, apply the fabric, and you’ve got a gorgeous accent wall that is totally removable.

11. Frame favorite tchotchkes.

Trinkets and costume jewelry shouldn’t be hidden away on a shelf. Take time to display it in a shadow box or bubble frame and decorate your walls. If you can’t find a frame that fits, you can make your own.

12. Recover a lampshade.

Go buy that wild fabric you’ve had your eye on (just a yard will do), and follow DIYer Ann Lacouture’s tutorial.

13. Make over a boring mirror.

Create a mirror that looks like it was purchased from Anthropologie. Wood appliques and a few other clever DIY techniques get you the effect for a fraction of the retail cost.

14. Make your own custom bendy candles.

Bendy candles are all the rage, and the only thing you’ll need to make them are taper candles, hot water, and patience.

15. Spray paint your house numbers

Give your front porch a glow up, and ensure the delivery person won’t pass you by — win/win!

16. Add peel-and-stick wallpaper to a shelf.

While an entire wall might be intimidating, a tiny little bookshelf is a breeze. If you don’t want it in the open, try papering the back of your cabinets for a little bit of cheer whenever you reach for a dish.

17. Add rainbow stripes somewhere unexpected.

I love this look on a refrigerator, but it can easily be transferred to anything in your home. You’ll need paint and painter’s tape for a permanent project; for something a little more temporary, try washi tape.

Credit: Alice Moen

18. Wood dowel vase

If you’re looking for a statement piece but don’t have a big budget, look no further than this simple but on-trend DIY. You’ll just need a cylinder vase, wood dowels, and some glue.

19. Paint your front door.

If you can’t paint the outside — because it’s too cold, or because you live in an apartment that restricts it — then paint the inside. Don’t forget that painting trim can be another great way to add some color or drama, too.

20. Add moulding to a door.

Architectural details make your home look way more glamorous and expensive. If you aren’t able to permanently glue or nail decorative trim to your doors, you can use removable Command poster strips to fake the look of fancy moulding.

21. Doodle on your walls.

Here’s a fun (and easy) alternative to wallpaper: Sharpie! Grab a level and create faux subway tiles or shiplap — or if you’re a pro doodler, create a one-of-a-kind mural. (Note: If you have kids around, proceed with caution, lest you end up with far more doodles than you anticipated.)

22. Make a suitcase into a coffee table.

I love being able to give old stuff a new purpose. For this project, find a beautiful vintage suitcase, add peg leg or hairpin legs, and you’ve got yourself a practical piece of furniture that adds tons of character to any room. No suitcase? Try doing this project with an antique door or window.

23. Create a shower garden.

To create your garden oasis, look for plants work well with your bathroom’s light and humidity levels. You can keep them in a pot or hanging planter, or follow these instructions to turn them into mossy hanging Kokedama like the ones shown above.

24.  Paint your upholstery

Mix a little bit of water in a bowl with chalky finish paint so that it’s thin without being too runny. Then, brush onto upholstery fabric to create a completely new look. Stencils can help you create fun patterns like the polka dots above.

Credit: elleehome

25. Create the illusion of a headboard.

By painting halfway up your wall then capping it off at the line with a thin shelf, you’ll create the illusion of a high, dramatic headboard (for way less money).

26. Add color to your stairs.

Painting an entire staircase is a project for another day, but painting those three steps that lead into another room is a perfect tiny project that packs a big punch. Paint the risers all one color, choose shades of the same hue, or go for a variety of related colors, as shown above.

27. Paint color-blocked wall art.

With a few empty frames, paint, and some painter’s tape you can achieve this high-end look all on your own.

28. Accent a shelf.

A painted circle or arch accent makes a simple shelf look extra stylish. You’ll need a thumbtack, a pencil, and a string to help get the circle shape right; from there, you’ll just need to paint in the outline.