Laura Gaskill, Houzz Contributor
Craving a fresh look for your home this spring but don't want to spend a lot of money? From a giant DIY inspiration board to colorful trim, a repurposed daybed, stenciled stairs and more, these 14 crafty, creative ideas can help you spruce up your space.
1. Hang a map of local interest. Sure, we've all seen maps as decor, but how about seeking out something more offbeat than the usual suspects -- like the map of fault lines in the San Francisco area, shown here? Try a geological survey map or one of a favorite local campground, state park or museum.
2. Make a giant bulletin board. Mega inspiration board or supersize display space for your child's art? You decide. Get cork, available in rolls at most home improvement stores, and affix it to your wall with finishing nails. While you're at the store, have some molding cut to fit and use that as a frame. Once you have the whole thing installed, paint it to match your wall color for a seamless look.
3. Raid the recycling bin for vases. Glass soda bottles, jelly jars and tea tins (especially ones with pretty labels) can make charming vessels for flowers. Line up a bunch down the center of your dining table or cluster some on a tray and place it on a sideboard.
4. Look to vintage magazines for wall art. Cut out illustrations, photographs or advertisements from vintage magazines for quick wall art that costs very little. Check your local antiques store for a stash of old magazines and scoop up whatever catches your eye.
5. Paint the trim a bright hue. Why stick with plain old white when you can have sunshine-yellow trim? If your space has mostly white and neutrals, this can be a fairly easy way to give your rooms a new look. Painting just the trim is a fussy process, but even with all of that taping, it probably wouldn't take as long as painting the walls -- and it certainly wouldn't require as much paint.
6. Re-cover your seat cushions. Making covers for dining chair seat cushions is a good sewing project for a beginner. But even if you don't sew, you can whip some up using iron-on adhesive tape. Remove the existing covers and use them as a guide to cut your fabric. When it comes time to seam, use iron-on tape instead of sewing, following the instructions on the package.
7. Put wallpaper samples to work. Have some wallpaper samples lying around? This project is such a fun way to put them to use. Experiment with pattern combinations by laying out all of your samples on the floor and moving them around until you find an arrangement you like. Then apply them to the wall, starting at floor level and lining up the edges carefully. This is a great way to add oomph to a bedroom, but it would also work in a child's room or a quirky breakfast nook.
8. Write on the walls. Do you have lovely handwriting? Select a favorite poem, passage of prose, Bible verse or song lyric, and reproduce it on the wall using a permanent marker. Either write it on paper first and project it onto the wall to trace, or write it directly on the wall with pencil before doing anything permanent. This extra step will take time but is well worth it.
9. Personalize a basic wardrobe. Getting bored with your basic Ikea wardrobe? Spice things up by coating the doors with a paper you love -- either wallpaper, like the scrap wood print shown here, or pretty gift wrap, affixed with decoupage or spray adhesive.
10. Stencil the stair risers. There are many beautiful stencils out there -- a quick search online should turn up hundreds. Try applying a tile pattern or a geometric motif, or use alphabet stencils to write a message on your steps.
11. Create a serene lounging nook using stuff you already have. Don't toss away that old twin bed. Place it lengthwise against a wall, cover it with fresh white linens and call it a daybed. Create symmetry with matching bookcases, lamps or tables flanking the daybed -- shop your house to find stuff you can use. Then finish things off with a small stool borrowed from the garden and a colorful accent wall using leftover paint.
12. Make geometric wall art. Forget paying for a huge art print or a blown-up photograph; you can create your own supersize wall art for a few bucks. Use colorful paper craft tape, copper tape (available at hardware stores) or paint to create a pattern on a blank wall. Just remember to map out your design on paper first.
13. Display your full address. Why stop with house numbers when displaying your street name as well is so much more fun? Custom decals are widely available online and tend to be inexpensive. Experiment on paper with what you would like the decals to say before ordering.
14. Go wild with color outdoors. A garden shed, playhouse or camper is the perfect place to experiment with color you might hesitate to use inside your home. A turquoise camper with a lemon-yellow door and rainbow string lights? Why not?