Stuck at home for awhile? Turn the challenge into an opportunity by tackling those DIY home projects that you’d normally never have the time to complete. Be productive and feel in control again…while making your home more appealing!
I sincerely hope you’re hanging in there…staying healthy and sane during this insane time.
Remember all those times you wished that your list of obligations and appointments could just disappear for a while so we could stop feeling like a chicken with your head cut off?
Well, here we are. In a world where just like that, the dry-erase calendar of our life has suddenly been wiped clean.
Typically, our family is busy running around between school, swim practices, drama club rehearsals, errands, appointments, and meetups with friends. Now suddenly, all of these activities have vaporized.
I can’t imagine we will ever have another time when so many obligations are wiped off our plates. Of course, the economic instability and all the uncertainties of life lead to a lot of stress and other negative emotions. But, if we choose to look on the bright side for a moment…
This means we suddenly have more time to do things around the house that we’ve been putting off FOREVER.
So it’s time to ask yourself:
What projects have you wanted to do for a while, but have put on the back-burner?
Last week, I put together the mother of all Stuck at Home Organizing Project lists. Did you have a chance to dig into any of those projects yet?
Perhaps your projects are more of the DIY/home improvement variety. I can totally relate.
Since we moved into our new home, we’ve compiled a list of home projects that would normally take years to complete. But during the past month, we’ve been able knock out a surprising number of them.
In order to help you take advantage of this extra time, I put together a list of eight DIY home projects that would be perfect to tackle while you’re sheltering at home this month. These projects require some basic DIY skills, but nothing a beginner can’t handle.
Many of the projects can be completed with materials you have on hand. For the other projects, you can order the needed materials online (no in-store shopping required!).
Stuck at Home? Choose Your DIY Home Project Adventure
Project #1: Change Up Your Walls
Paint – Painting a room is the perfect project to tackle this month. NOTHING gives you more of a new room feel for such a small investment of time and money.
Need to tear down old wallpaper before you can paint? Relax. It’s not as hard as you think! Just follow the steps in my wallpaper removal tutorial (no chemicals necessary).
This post contains affiliate links for your shopping convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission, but it won’t cost you a penny more)! Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
BONUS TIP: Did you know that you can order paint online and have it delivered to your home right now? If you need help choosing a color, check out my no-fail method for choosing the perfect paint color.
Apply a Stencil – Of course, you can stop with new paint on the walls, but why not take things a step further and create a stenciled focal wall?
I walk you through all the steps in this wall stenciling tutorial.
and this focal wall in the master bedroom in our last home:
Stenciled walls are always a room design show-stopper!
There are SO many ways to jazz up your walls beyond paint and stencils (check out this great resource for fabulous wall decor ideas). Your only limitation is your creativity!
Project #2: Update Cabinet & Drawer Hardware
Since the week we moved into our new house, we’ve been completing minor projects to make our 20-year old home feel more modern and in line with our decorating style (well, my decorating style…no one else in the house cares much LOL).
One of the most satisfying projects has been replacing the cabinet/drawer hardware in our kitchen, laundry room, and bathrooms.
Why so satisfying you ask?
The net cost of this project was around $20 — for over 60 draw/cabinet pull replacements. And it was so easy to do! I was able to complete the whole project in one morning, without any help from my hubby.
So how did we slay this project so inexpensively?
First, I discovered that Amazon sells home improvement supplies (like cabinet hardware) in contractor packs. I found high-quality T bar cabinet pulls for a fraction of what I would have paid in the local home improvement store.
Second, the ones I was replacing (below on the left side), weren’t hideous. They were high quality and in great shape…they just didn’t have the modern vibe I’m trying to achieve in our kitchen.
So I was able to sell them on Facebook Marketplace for almost as much as the new ones cost. Woot woot!
All it takes is a screwdriver and a bit of time to totally change out the look of your cabinets and drawers.
Here’s a shot of the new hardware (top drawers) compared to the old hardware (bottom drawers):
I rinse and repeated this process in the bathrooms, removing the existing chrome handles and replacing with the T-bar handles:
Even if your old hardware is not Facebook Marketplace-worthy, this project still packs a lot o bang for the buck when you purchase contractor hardware packs via Amazon. The hardware I chose came out to just around a dollar per handle.
Project #3: Create a Gallery Wall
If you’re like me, you have plenty of raw materials on hand to make a really cool gallery wall:
- a blank wall
- unused frames
- photos you’ve been meaning to display
- art that you love.
This is a project where you get to really use your creativity and artistic flair! It’s really fun to base your project around a theme. For example, gallery wall that displayed art and photos of the different states we’ve lived in:
Project #4: Install an Elfa Storage Solution
If you’ve hung around my blog for any length of time, you know how much of an Elfa storage system fan girl I am.
It’s the storage and organization system I used as a professional organizer in many client projects. In addition, we’ve installed several Elfa closet systems, door and rack systems, freestanding drawer units and shelving systems in our own homes.
Why not take the plunge on that storage system installation project you’ve been pondering over these past few years?
Have your project materials shipped directly to your house. Or you can choose curbside pick up service if you are lucky enough to live within driving distance of a Container Store.
Project #5: Banish the Brass Doorknobs and Hardware
From the moment we put a contract on our current house, we knew that one of our first home projects would be to replace the outdated interior door hardware and door knobs with more modern versions:
True story — my Christmas present last year was a set of new brushed nickel door hinges and door levers for all the interior doors (yep, it was on my Wish List)!
Although it was our intention to complete this project during the winter months, our crazy schedule made it really hard to carve out time for door handle-hinge replacement sessions.
So guess what we did during the first week of sheltering at home?
You guessed it!
Think you need to head to the local home improvement store for doorknobs and hinges? Nope. Once again, it’s Amazon for the win.
All you need is a drill, a screwdriver, and some patience.
I do know a few people who have chosen to paint their existing door handles in order to save money. I have concerns about how the paint would hold up over time. If you’ve done it successfully, let me know in the comments 🙂
Project #6: Upgrade Lighting
Another easy way to improve your interior spaces is to upgrade your lighting.
This is another key project we’ve been focusing on at our house during the first year of ownership. Just about every (original) light fixture needs swapping out (for both form and functional reasons) in our 20-year-old home.
During our shelter in place weeks, we finally took the plunge and swapped out our existing old school ceiling can lights for energy-efficient LED versions (yup, more contractor packs).
The new fixtures light up the room in a way that is so much more pleasing to the eye. Replacing the lights is a bit of an investment upfront, but the lights end up paying for themselves over time with what you save in energy costs.
Each light will cost us about 31 cents a year to use.
You might also want to take this opportunity to replace other lights in your home that simply don’t reflect your personal style.
For example, we replaced the light over our kitchen island and ended up selling the original one on Facebook Marketplace once again, which defrayed the cost of the new light.
– Old Fixture –
– New Fixture –
If you don’t possess that necessary electrical know-how to replace a light fixture the standard way (or you just find it intimidating), check out this round-up of easy ways to update interior light fixtures that require NO electrical skills.
Swapping out ceiling fans is a bit more complicated. If you happen to live with someone who has mad electrical skills, this is another project in the “updating lighting” category that you may want to add to your quarantine project list.
We took down an undersized white builder-grade ceiling fan in our great room and swapped it out for this beauty:
And don’t forget the exterior lighting. If it’s high time to swap out those tired outdoor fixtures with some new ones, first read these tips for selecting the right exterior light fixture for your home.
Project #7: Paint Furniture or Home Decor
Looking for a project you can complete in a few hours? paint something!
Whether it be a piece of furniture, or any type of home decor (mirrors, trays, lamps, accessories…you name it!), painting it can breathe new life into a it.
All of us have half-used cans of paint or spray paint stored in the corners of our garage and basement. Time to take stock of what you have and start brainstorming how you can use that paint to update your home decor items.
Project #8: Have Fun with Peel & Stick Wallpaper
Peel & stick wallpaper is a fun way to incorporate bold and beautiful patterns into your home decor without the commitment of regular wallpaper. Sure, you CAN use it on a wall, but it’s fun to think of unconventional uses too.
Wondering where to buy peel & stick wallpaper? Here are some great sources for ordering online:
And don’t forget to check out my Ultimate List of Stuck at Home Organizing Projects for more ways to spend this extra time at home productively.