Category: How To’s & Quick Tips


Genius! The Smartphone Speaker You Already Have in Your Kitchen

Crank up the volume on your smartphone in one easy step.

DIY Phone Speaker

Photo: brit.co

Everyone wants to be a DJ, but no one wants to buy the equipment—let alone figure out how to use it. This life hack won’t replace store-bought speakers, but it’s a perfect way to crank up your favorite tunes while cooking dinner or finishing up a day’s work.

All you have to do? Reach into the kitchen cupboard! This ingenious amplifier for your at-home jam session is a simple ceramic bowl. Just set your phone into the bowl with the speaker end down. The bowl’s concave shape does the rest of the work, sending sound up the sides and out into the room—minus the chord chaos.

FOR MORE: Brit+Co

DIY Phone Speaker - Smartphone and Headphones

Photo: fotosearch.com


DIY Lite: Turn Digital Photos into Wooden Coasters

Rather than filling up a Facebook album, share and enjoy your favorite photos on a set of personalized wooden coasters! Read on to learn how to transfer any image to wood.

DIY Photo Coasters - Travel Souvenirs

Photo: Ohoh Blog for Bob Vila

Whether you’re returning from a 12-day vacation on foreign soil or have just wrapped up a weekend by the pool with the kids, one thing is true: You probably have a memory card or phone library packed with photographs. Why leave these summer vacation (or staycation) pictures locked away on your digital device when you can enjoy them anytime you reach for a cool refreshment? Follow our instructions to transfer your images to the tops of wooden coasters, and you’ll craft a set that will keep your memories on display all year long!

 

MATERIALS AND TOOLS

DIY Photo Coasters - Supplies

Photo: Ohoh Blog for Bob Vila

- 12mm plywood
- Sandpaper (60 grit and 120 grit)
- Wax paper
- Printer paper
- Glue stick
- Digital photos
- Printer
- Spoon
- Brush or foam brush
- Acrylic paint
- Acrylic varnish

STEP 1

DIY Photo Coasters - Step 1

Photo: Ohoh Blog for Bob Vila

Cut your wood into four-inch squares. (We used 12mm plywood, but any relatively thin scrap wood you have will work.) Sand each piece to remove splinters. As it’s very important to have a smooth and uniform surface on which to apply the picture, be especially careful sanding the side you’ll be covering with a print. Start with a piece of coarse 60-grit sandpaper, and then give the wood a second pass with a finer 120-grit sheet.

 

STEP 2

DIY Photo Coasters - Step 2

Photo: Ohoh Blog for Bob Vila

Unroll your wax paper and cut a piece to the dimensions of a letter-size sheet of paper (8.5″ x 11″).

 

STEP 3

DIY Photo Coasters - Step 3

Photo: Ohoh Blog for Bob Vila

Use a glue stick to adhere the wax paper to a sheet of printer paper, wax side out. Dab a little extra around the edges so that the two sheets stick—you’ll be sending these through the printer together, and you’ll want to avoid a paper jam. Repeat the process to create four to six printer-ready sheets.

 

STEP 4

DIY Photo Coasters - Step 4

Photo: Ohoh Blog for Bob Vila

Select four to six pictures to transfer to your coasters—as many as you have squares of wood. Pull them all up in a photo-editing program (like Adobe Photoshop or Paint) and flip each to be a mirror image. (When transferred, they’ll appear correctly.) Then, crop each file into a square, resized to either 1,000 pixels across or 3.3 inches wide. Place your doubled-up wax-and-printer-paper sheet into the printer so that the ink adheres to the wax side, and print!

 

STEP 5

DIY Photo Coasters - Step 5

Photo: Ohoh Blog for Bob Vila

Flip the printed picture onto the coaster, ink side down, and position in the center of the square. Then, press with the back of a spoon to transfer the ink from the wax to the wood. Firmly hold the paper so it doesn’t move while you rub. Make several passes over the paper with the back of the spoon to properly transfer the picture.

 

STEP 6

DIY Photo Coasters - Step 6

Photo: Ohoh Blog for Bob Vila

Remove the paper and—ta-da!—you should see your photo totally transferred to the wood.

 

STEP 7

DIY Photo Coasters - Step 7

Photo: Ohoh Blog for Bob Vila

Choose a few colors of acrylic paint that coordinate with the photos, and carefully brush the paint around the edges of your coasters. When that paint dries, finish by coating the entire wood square in an acrylic varnish; this will offer protection against condensation from glasses and other beverage containers. As the varnish dries, kick back and flip through a cocktail recipe book—all that’s left now is to choose the first refreshments to rest on your one-of-a-kind coasters.

 

DIY Photo Coasters - Completed

Photo: Ohoh Blog for Bob Vila

Ama is a DIY addict and the creative mind behind Ohoh Blog. She likes home decor, lighting, and furniture projects that may involve painting, sewing, drilling… no matter the technique! Whatever she has on hand is inspiration to create, and fodder for her serious addiction to upcycling.


2 Ways to Make Your Own Wallpaper

Don't let a blank wall get you down! Create a truly custom interior that suits your style and needs—be they temporary or permanent—with one of these two DIY wallpaper methods.

How To Make Wallpaper

Photo: fotosearch.com

Wallpaper is having its moment again—and we’re not talking about the stuffy prints you remember seeing in your grandmother’s house as a kid. The sky’s the limit nowadays, especially with all the options for creating your own prints. The newest trend in interior design has homeowners customizing wall coverings with beautiful printed papers or fabrics, in both permanent and temporary styles. Confused, and wondering how you can cash in on this crafty project? Read on for a detailed how-to, then grab a partner to get started.

Option #1: Permanent Wallpaper
You can adhere just about any type of paper—including gift wrap—to a wall using wallpaper paste. Tip: Skip thin, shiny wrapping paper, which is very challenging to hang without it wrinkling. Instead, choose a thick, higher-quality wrapping paper with either a repeating pattern that’s easy for you to line up or a random print that won’t need extra attention—this will all help make your job look pro instead of pathetic.

TOOLS AND MATERIALS
- Drop cloth
- Paint tray
- Wallpaper paste
- Step ladder
- Gift wrap (or old book pages)
- Painter’s tape
- Scissors
- Foam roller
- Sponge
- X-Acto knife
- Small foam brush

How To Make Wallpaper - Permanent Method

Photo: fotosearch.com

STEP 1
First, prep your work space by covering the floor with a drop cloth in case any wallpaper paste should slop or splatter.

STEP 2
Cut your paper into ready-to-hang pieces. Hop onto your step ladder to align the top edge with the top of your wall; unroll the rest so that it measures roughly the length of the wall, with a little extra on the bottom. Cut your length, and use painter’s tape to lightly hold it in place while you unroll your second column of “wallpaper” and match up the pattern. Continue this all the way down the wall.

STEP 3
Pour the paste adhesive into a paint tray, and work with one panel at a time. Remove the tape from your first paper, and lay it on a flat surface so you can apply paste with a roller directly to the back of the paper. Be careful not to oversaturate.

If instructions on your can of wallpaper paste require it, “book” the wallpaper so that the paste completely penetrates. Do this by curling each end up to the middle of your paper, then lightly pressing the pasted sides together as much as possible without creasing the folds. Wait the length of time suggested on the can before unfolding the top end.

STEP 4
Align the top of the wrapping paper once more to where the wall meets the ceiling or the molding. Press the paper into place, and smooth it downward with clean hands. (You can use a damp sponge to remove any traces of excess paste on the wall.) If you’ve booked your paper, unfold the bottom end when you reach the middle, and continue to smooth the rest of the way down.

STEP 5
If you need to make any cuts to fit around molding or hardware, trim with your X-Acto knife and then use the small foam brush to lightly spread the wallpaper paste along the edges and stick it to the wall.

STEP 6
Repeat Steps 3 through 5 with the next sections of wrapping paper until you’ve covered the full wall, taking care to smooth down the paper and get rid of any bubbles as you go. When you’re finished, let the walls dry following the instructions on the paste container.

 

Option #2: Temporary Wallpaper
Whether you inhabit a rental or just enjoy changing up styles from year to year, a wall covering with the flexibility to come down easily and leave your wall damage-free is like a mini miracle. Use the following instructions to create your own temporary wall motif using your favorite cotton print fabric as your “wallpaper” and liquid fabric starch as an adhesive. When you’re ready for a change, removal is as simple as softening the wall covering with warm water and a sponge, and then pulling it off.

TOOLS AND MATERIALS
- Lightweight cotton fabric
- Fabric scissors
- Drop cloth
- Step ladder
- Thumbtacks
- Paint tray
- Liquid fabric starch
- Paint roller and cover
- Utility knife

How To Make Wallpaper - Temporary Method

Photo: vintagerevivals.com

STEP 1
Whichever fabric you decide to use, make sure you have enough square footage to cover the wall and then some—you’ll want at least a few feet extra so you have room to reposition pieces when you’re lining up the print. Wash and dry the fabric, then cut off the white edges with a good pair of fabric scissors. Also, give a quick wash to the wall you’re going to be hanging the fabric on, and let it dry thoroughly. While it’s drying, lay out a drop cloth to keep your floors from being ruined.

STEP 2
Attach your fabric to the wall with thumbtacks, and cut it roughly to size, leaving a little excess at the ceiling and baseboard. Do the same for all panels of fabric until your wall is completely covered. Then, use your utility knife to cut around any fixtures or molding in the middle of the wall.

STEP 3
Unfasten a portion of the cloth so that you can thoroughly coat a patch of wall with fabric starch. Work in only one small area at a time—the starch dries fast. Position the fabric on top of the liquid starch, and smooth it down. It should start sticking to the wall immediately, but replace the thumbtacks once more to hold it in place while it dries. Continue until the entire wall of fabric has a starch backing.

STEP 4
Roll over the fabric with the liquid starch. Make sure the fabric is completely covered, and really drench it with fabric starch so that the starch seeps through the fabric and onto the wall.

STEP 5
Allow the starch solution a few hours to dry completely, then pull out the thumbtacks, and slice off any excess fabric at the molding and/or baseboards using a utility knife.


How To: Get Rid of Drain Flies

Fuzzy winged insects flying out of seemingly clean sinks are the stuff of homeowners' nightmares. Fortunately, if you can unclog and clean up a drain, you can rid your home of this pesky problem.

How to Get Rid of Drain Flies - Psychodidae

Photo: fotosearch.com

Drain flies, also known as moth flies, are a common nuisance in many homes. These pests live and breed inside your plumbing pipes, feeding on decomposing material and laying eggs within the gelatinous slime that collects along the interior walls of your drain. While these insects don’t bite or spread disease, no one likes to see tiny, winged bugs flying out of otherwise clean sinks. If you see some hanging around your kitchen or bathroom, follow these steps to identify the source of drain flies and eliminate them.

TOOLS AND MATERIALS
- Masking tape
- Pipe snake
- Plunger
- Enzyme drain cleaner

How to Get Rid of Drain Flies - In the Kitchen Sink

Photo: fotosearch.com

STEP 1
Before you can rid your home of drain flies, you need to identify the affected drains. Adult drain flies love to feed and breed in slow-moving or clogged drains because they provide plenty of decomposing material where the insects can complete their life cycle. If any of your drains are backed up, chances are that those are the root of the problem.

If diagnosing the source turns out not to be that simple, try this other easy trick: Simply cover each drain in your home with a strip of masking tape, sticky side down. (You don’t want to block airflow in your drain, so just make an “X” over each drain opening with the tape.) Drain flies are most active at night, so put the tape on the drains before you go to bed and leave it there overnight to catch any insects that may try to fly out. Check the tape the next morning for signs of bugs to figure out which drains are the source of your flies.

STEP 2
Once you’ve determined the problem drains, you need to clean the slimy gunk that has collected there and wipe out the breeding zone. Resist the urge to pour a bottle of chemical drain cleaner down the drain, as that won’t effectively take care of all the decomposing material in your home’s pipes and traps. Instead, start by running warm water down the drain to wet it.

STEP 3
Insert a pipe snake or pipe brush down the drain and use a gentle scrubbing motion to remove the built-up slime covering the inside of the drain pipe. A plunger can also be used to help pull out any leftover material from your pipes.

STEP 4
Open the U-trap under your sink so you can easily reach and remove any other clog-causing remnants that have collected inside.

STEP 5
Once you’ve cleared out the gunk, close the system back up and pour an enzyme drain cleaner down the drain to attack any remaining residue that didn’t come off with the pipe snake or brush. This specially designed gel has the additional benefit of coating the inside walls of the pipe to prevent future blockages. Let the gel sit in the drain for several hours, according to the instructions on the label, then run more water down the drain to flush it out.

 

Additional notes: The length of the life cycle of a drain fly varies depending on the climate and temperature of the drain, but it can last anywhere from eight to 24 days. Once you’ve wiped out their breeding ground, the adults will eventually disappear because there is nowhere left for them to deposit their eggs. After a week, if drain flies are still a problem in your home, it’s safe to assume you didn’t adequately treat all the problem areas. Perform another set of tests (as in Step 1), and look for other spots that need your attention.


Quick Tip: What to Do If a Bird Flies into Your House

Feathered friends make for great window watching, but when they come too close, things can get chaotic. If a bird swoops in through an open window and gets stuck in your home, try this trick to shoo it back outdoors using a common household item.

How To Get a Bird Out of Your House - Bird at Window

Photo: fotosearch.com

Cracking the windows is an effective way to air out your house in the summer—but an open window can also be an open invitation to any number of unwanted visitors. Occasionally, a bird may fly in through this entrance and trap itself indoors, fluttering about looking for an exit. If one makes its way into your house this season, keep calm and just head to the linen closet for the only thing you need for assistance: a flat sheet.

How To Get a Bird Out of Your House - Bird Indoors

Photo: fotosearch.com

Start by opening one window as wide as possible to give the bird a way out. Then, close all blinds and drapes over the rest of the windows, and switch off all lights inside the house so that the open window shines brightly like an exit sign. Your feathered intruder will associate the light with the open air and will, we hope, fly toward it. If the bird still hasn’t made any moves after some time, get ready to guide it. Take your large bedsheet in both hands, and hold it up at eye level or higher, arms extended so that it makes a large, flat surface. Check that the bird is between you and the exit, then slowly walk toward the bird. By creating a “wall” closing in on it, you can better direct the bird out through the window. Once it leaves, close the window, send your sheet through the wash, and call it a day.

Additional notes: If you’re still stuck with a bird in the house even after following these suggestions, then it is time to call in the professionals. Look up wildlife groups or bird sanctuaries in your local area to see whether they will come and deal with your feathery nuisance. Wildlife experts know how to handle a bird without causing injury, and they have equipment to help the process along.


Genius! Turn Your Phone into a Movie Projector

If you love a big screen but don't want to sacrifice space to accommodate a TV, set up your smartphone instead! Given that it uses only a few recycled materials, how can you afford NOT to make this DIY?

DIY Movie Projector

Photo: photojojo.com

Having a TV is great—except when you’re not using it. Then the box just sits in your living room, idle and unappealing, upsetting the room’s feng shui. The average American may binge on five hours of television a day, but what good is a big screen if you’re part of the minority that tunes in only once a week? When we show you this smartphone hack that lets you eliminate the need for a screen and still enjoy your favorite programming, you’ll definitely consider downsizing.

To turn your phone into a projector, all you need are a handful of leftover household supplies—an empty shoebox, duct tape, magnifying glass, construction paper, and a paper clip—and an unused white wall. First, cut a hole the size of your magnifying glass lens in the side of the shoebox, pop in the lens, and secure it with tape. Then, cover up the inside of the box with black construction paper to frame the magnified image better. Once your casing is assembled, just bend a paper clip into a stand to hold your smartphone upright inside the box. Finally, open your video-playing app of choice, turn the brightness all the way up, and slide your phone closer or farther away from the lens to focus the picture. All that’s missing in this tutorial from Photojojo is how to make movie-theater-quality buttered popcorn.

FOR MORE: Photojojo

DIY Movie Projector - Cardboard Box

Photo: photojojo.com


3 Fixes for Smelly Footwear

Embarrassed by your shoes' lingering scent? Give your favorite pair that new-shoe smell again with these solutions for banishing bad odors.

3 Fixes for Smelly Shoes - Smelly Shoes

Photo: fotosearch.com

With the kickoff of summer comes sunshine, warm temperatures, backyard games—and sweat, lots of sweat, from head to toe. And those balmy feet quickly lead to stinky shoes. Bacteria on your feet feed off of sweat and produce a byproduct with a pungent scent that’s hard to erase once it’s there. Luckily, easy solutions for avoiding the stench are within reach. Open wide your pantry and rummage through your closet to mix up one of these concoctions that will eliminate smelly-shoe shame for good.

 

POWDER FRESH

How to Clean Smelly Shoes - Baking Soda

Photo: fotosearch.com

Baking soda has many superpowers, neutralizing unpleasant odors chief among them. Simply pour some into your shoes and let them sit overnight. The powder will soak up excess moisture while you sleep, leaving your kicks clean and dry in the morning. For a fresher scent, consider mixing in few drops of an essential oil with the baking soda before filling your shoes. Just don’t forget to empty the baking soda into the trash the next day—the only thing worse than smelly feet is leaving a powdery trail in your wake!

Once you’ve sopped up the extra moisture, craft a pair of homemade deodorizers to slip into your shoes between uses. Fill a pair of socks (or feet cut from nylon stockings) with baking soda, and knot the ends of each. You can even stuff the socks with kitty litter; made to tackle far more offending scents, it’ll work wonders for your shoes.

 

PAPER TRAIL

How to Clean Smelly Shoes - Newspaper

Photo: fotosearch.com

Surprisingly, your morning paper can work overtime as an effective way to squash shoe odor. Stuff a generous amount of crumpled newspaper into each shoe—it will help your shoes dry even faster by absorbing extra moisture, thus eliminating any bacteria that comes with it. For a dose of sweet-smelling goodness, sprinkle a few drops of vanilla onto the newspaper first; come morning, your go-to loafers will not only be rid of their funky scent, but they’ll actually smell fresh.

 

SPIN CYCLE

How to Clean Smelly Shoes - Washing Machine

Photo: fotosearch.com

For heavier-duty stinks, head to the laundry room. Pull out your sneakers’ insoles and run them through the washing machine with a load of towels. If you want to wash the entire shoe, remove the laces and put the shoes in a pillowcase before throwing them in the washer. Let them air-dry for a day or so before wearing again. Still smell? Soak just the insoles in a water-vinegar solution for a few hours, then air-dry under a heater or in a sunny spot.

As you implement any (or all) of these measures, also limit wearing your favorite pair of shoes to every other day—even just once every few days. This will ensure that they have time to dry out fully, which will cut down on bacteria buildup. Start working these solutions into your everyday routine, and you’ll be amazed at the difference they’ll make in keeping your shoes fresh and clean.


How To: Get Rid of Woodpeckers

While woodpeckers may be attractive additions to your backyard, their eating habits can be a hindrance to your home. Try these solutions to ward off the noisy birds.

How to Get Rid of Woodpeckers - Woodpeckers

Photo: fotosearch.com

As pretty as woodpeckers are to observe in your backyard or garden, these noisy birds can cause major damage to your trees and wooden structures if left unattended—not to mention, their constant drumming can be extremely disruptive to the peace and quiet you need to be productive around the house. Prevent woodpeckers from taking over your outdoor space with these tips for handling the winged troublemakers.

How to Get Rid of Woodpeckers - Read Headed Woodpecker

Photo: fotosearch.com

You’re most likely to hear woodpeckers in the spring, during their mating season. That’s when the medium-size birds are usually most active—and noisy—drumming to attract mates and mark their territories. The hallmark pecking will aid you in locating where a bird’s nest might be and therefore usher them out of your backyard.

To get rid of woodpeckers that have already made themselves at home in your yard, it’s best to use a technique that will scare them off. Always avoid solutions that could harm woodpeckers, such as sticky substances that trap the birds. Instead, use one of these four ideas that have been proven to help ward off woodpeckers safely.

1. Hang up a shiny object. A mirror (or aluminum foil if you’re in a pinch) near the spot where a woodpecker has made its home will show the bird its reflection when it returns, startling it and potentially scaring it away from the area.

2. Set up a wind chime or a pinwheel near the spot. The noise or motion these objects make in the wind may fool your woodpecker into thinking a predator is near and deter them from coming any closer.

3. Set up a pretend predator. Because owls prey on woodpeckers, you can purchase a decoy owl from a home improvement or garden store to place in your yard. Opt for one with reflective eyes, which look more realistic.

4. Spook them with noise. This last simple deterrent (no purchase necessary!) only requires you to clap your hands, whoop, or make another loud noise to frighten the bird off if you’re outdoors and you see one.

Prevent the Woodpeckers’ Return
Even if you successfully scare the woodpeckers away, the fact that these birds are frequent visitors to your yard could be an indicator of a bigger problem: an insect infestation. Do some investigating to see if carpenter ants, carpenter bees, or termites are present in your yard. If so, treat the infested trees with an insecticide that is specifically made to kill pests without affecting other animals or the trees themselves. Stay inside while the insecticide goes to work, as the chemicals can be harmful to children and pets. Then, plug up any hole made by wood-boring insects. This will trap them deep inside the tree so they will die off, and other members of the colony will not be able to enter the structure easily. Not only will this process rid your property of unwanted insects, it will also keep woodpeckers from returning to your yard and causing any further damage to your home.


Quick Tip: Neutralize Paint Fumes with an Onion

Get rid of leftover paint smell—and the nausea that comes with it—when you slice open this surprising grocery store purchase.

How to Get Rid of Paint Smell - Painting a Room

Photo: fotosearch.com

Few things in life are guaranteed. That short list includes death, taxes, and the fact that freshly painted rooms will retain some lingering odor until you give them adequate drying time. While low-VOC paints can minimize the fumes, sometimes they aren’t the most affordable option—and other times, you have already fallen in love with a swatch for a paint that isn’t manufactured in a low- or no-VOC formula. No matter the reason, if you have plans to paint anywhere inside your home this summer, save yourself from falling victim to that slightly nauseous post-paint-job feeling with an unusual grocery store grab: the onion.

How to Get Rid of Paint Smell - Halved Onions

Photo: fotosearch.com

Though it might make you cry while you’re chopping it, a cut onion can absorb and neutralize fresh paint odors. To try this on your next paint job, simply take a medium or large onion, peel it, and slice it in half. Then, place each half in its own shallow dish, cut side up, at opposite ends of the room. You may need more onion if you’re painting a space that’s larger than a master bedroom or small living room; start with one, and add more if necessary. Also, keep pets or small children out of the room as you work—you don’t want them discovering the onion halves and accidentally ingesting them! When you’re done, simply toss the remains into your home’s compost bin, and enjoy the rest of your evening in odor-free peace.


5 Things to Do with… Newspaper

When you've finished catching up on current events and op-eds at breakfast, save your newspaper pages to craft one of these 5 equally useful around-the-house projects.

Besides keeping you up on all the need-to-know current events, a hefty newspaper is downright useful to have around the house—whether you’re using it to cushion easy-to-break items or to line your garden beds. While you can probably rattle off the most common ways to recycle newspaper, why not take a crack at a few ingenious project ideas that you’ve never considered? You can’t do these with a digital subscription. Viva la paper!

 

1. MAKE GIVING LOOK GOOD

Newspaper Crafts - Paper Gift Bags

Photo: howaboutorange.blogspot.com

We’ve all had those moments where we’re running late to a birthday party and desperately searching for a gift bag—only to realize that we forgot to buy one. You can avoid the last-minute scramble out to the store when you try your hand at the user-friendly directions from How About Orange for making your own newsprint gift bags. A few quick cuts, some strategic folds, and a glue stick all help to get the job done in no time flat.

 

2. PLAY IN A FORT

Newspaper Crafts - DIY Fort

Photo: modernparentsmessykids.com

Move over kids’ tepees, because this newspaper jungle gym will be the next indoor play area to sweep the nation. Brainchild of Modern Parents Messy Kids, the shape only looks like complex construction. All it takes are rolled newspaper pages taped and stapled to form triangles, all linked together in a geometric shape of your and your child’s choosing. Voilà, instant place to play!

 

3. GROW A LITTLE GREENER

Newspaper Crafts - Seedling Starter Containers

Photo: flickr.com, via toffutibreak

There’s no need to spend the time and money to pick up seed starter trays when you have last week’s newspaper lying around. Simply follow the step-by-step from Instructables, and grab a can to fold your paper into tiny biodegradable pots for seedlings. Just remember to make sure your fold is thick enough to support the soil you’ll be pouring in!

 

4. ORGANIZE ODDS AND ENDS

Newspaper Crafts - DIY Paper Baskets

Photo: instructables.com, via Muhaiminah Faiz

What home doesn’t need catchalls for life’s miscellany—the craft supplies, tiny toys, spare change, you name it—that always seems to be floating around? Weave a sturdy, recyclable basket to store and organize any size collection with strips of folded paper in this craft from Instructables. While newspaper is great for this, you can even upgrade to glossy magazine pages or bright patterned paper for a dose of color.

 

5. DRESS UP WITH DECOUPAGE

Newspaper Crafts - Light Switch Cover

Photo: josiejones.com

For a quick and quirky room update, add some reading material to a switch plate with this sweet idea from Josie Jones & Company. Simply remove your standard plate from the wall, cut a rectangle of newspaper to fit, and tape it so that it wraps around the back. A finishing coat of decoupage paste will both add sheen and keep newsprint from rubbing off on you every time you turn on the lights.