Category: Interior Design

Weekend Projects: 5 Favorite DIY Wall Clocks

Make a wall clock that will not only tell people what time it is, but also express your personal style, interests, and creativity. It's not hard to do—you just need a bit of inspiration and a little time.

Since their advent in the Middle Ages, clocks have been made in a seemingly infinite range of styles. Even in the present day, they continue to be reinvented, with do-it-yourselfers coming up with ever more creative designs. It’s easy to join the fun: All you need is a DIY clock kit—the kind sold in most craft stores. The rest just depends on your imagination. Need a little help getting started? Scroll down to see five favorite DIY clock projects, any of which could be re-created in no time.



DIY Clock - Dominoes


Is that old dominoes set gathering dust in your drawer? It’s almost begging to be part of a DIY clock project! After all, there’s a domino tile to correspond with every hour in the livelong day. Once they’re properly arranged, simply glue the dominoes onto your chosen clock face. Emma’s Nook and Granny cleverly used cookware.



DIY Clock - Frames


Here’s a DIY clock that gives you hourly reason to appreciate your framed photos and keepsakes. To make yours, start by cutting a piece of white cardboard for the clock face. Proceed to mount the clock, hanging a dozen 2″ x 3″ frames around it. The only difficult part, the instructions note, is choosing what to put in the frames.



DIY Clock - Vinyl


Where does the time go? We used to love our records, and now we drop them off by the boxful at Goodwill. Before purging your collection, why not set aside one of your favorites and make something to commemorate the good old days. Watch this video tutorial to see how easy it can be to transform an LP into a rockin’ DIY clock.



DIY Clock - Globe


Out of one cardboard globe, you can make two worldly DIY clocks within minutes. First, score the globe across its equator. Next, slice the sphere in half. Drill holes at the poles, then slide the clock mechanisms through. That’s it! Gift the extra to a friend or hang the pair side by side, setting each to a different time zone.



DIY Clock - Magazines


Believe it or not, the colorful coils of this clock come from old magazines! No tools are required for this DIY—just patience. What you do is tightly twist magazine pages around a pencil, closing each roll with a dab of glue. Once you have made an ample supply, glue the coils together in whatever arrangement looks best.

Weekend Projects: 5 Stand-Out DIY Benches

A beautiful, sturdy DIY bench is a welcome addition to any foyer, mudroom, or outdoor space. Let one of these accessible designs inspire your next attempt to build one!

Consider the DIY bench and its beautiful simplicity: It celebrates the union of form and function, don’t you think? Whether indoors—perhaps in the mudroom or foyer—or out in the backyard, a DIY bench welcomes you to park your weary bones or rest your burden (shopping bags, gardening tools, and the like). Sure, you can buy a bench at a retail store or find one at your local flea market, but when you take the time to build your own, you can be sure that it meets your needs exactly.



DIY Bench - Spindles


To make this charming DIY bench via Ana White, start with four matching spindles. Cut your spindles to the desired height, then proceed to fasten them to a one-inch-thick wooden slab. Finish by painting the legs different colors, or choose a single hue that boldly contrasts with the finish you’ve chosen for the bench top.



DIY Bench - Reclaimed Wood


If scrap wood has been piling up in your workshop, why not use it to build a one-of-a-kind DIY bench like this one from Operation Paper Cut. The steps involved are straightforward; note, however, that besides the requisite materials and tools, you’re going to need basic woodworking skills and an equivalent degree of patience!



DIY Bench - Coffee Table Makeover


What do you do with a coffee table whose only redeeming quality is “good bones”? One option is to paint and upholster the piece, transforming a down-and-out eyesore into a chic and comfortable DIY bench, versatile and attractive enough to sit at the foot of your bed or in the entry hall. Visit Curbly for the full project tutorial.



DIY Bench - Pallet Furniture


Do-it-yourselfers love to build things out of wooden shipping pallets, because they are readily available free of charge (ask around at your local nursery or hardware store). One great reason to use pallets for a bench is that they come with a ready-made storage shelf. Get the details at Jenna and Calder.



DIY Bench - Bed Frame


Check out Little House in the Suburbs to see how a wooden bed frame can be transformed into a garden bench. Here, the headboard forms the back of the bench, while the footboard (cut in half) serves as the sides. Since the surface can be painted so easily, making a secondhand bed frame look like new is no problem at all.

Bob Vila Radio: DIY Headboards

Searching for the perfect headboard? Don't lose sleep over the options available in stores. Instead, design and build your own! It's easier than you think.

The most important part of any bed is the mattress: The right mattress on a good frame is key to a good night’s sleep. But if you want just the right look for your bed, it’s the search for a perfect headboard that might keep you up at night. Here are some ideas for constructing a headboard with a unique and creative look that’s completely your own.

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Listen to BOB VILA ON DIY HEADBOARDS or read the text below:

DIY Headboards


Your custom do-it-yourself headboard can be attached to just about any basic metal bed frame or wooden platform, and the sky’s the limit when it comes to designing one. Some of the more creative headboards I’ve seen have been crafted from old barn doors, discarded shutters, mirrors or chalkboards. You can even make a headboard from plain plywood covered with a colorful fabric or quilt.

If you’re not ready to commit, a terrific and temporary idea for a headboard is to paint one right on the wall over the head of the bed. With some painter’s tape to lay out a design, a bit of creativity, and a steady hand on the paintbrush, you can make almost anything—and you can change it any time you’re ready to paint again.

Bob Vila Radio is a newly launched daily radio spot carried on more than 75 stations around the country (and growing). You can get your daily dose here, by listening to—or reading—Bob’s 60-second home improvement radio tip of the day.

Weekend Projects: 5 Ways to Make a DIY Floor Lamp

Are you in search of a one-of-a-kind DIY floor lamp with great style that won't break the bank? Then check out these bright ideas!

When it comes to lighting, form and function are equally important. You want your fixtures to let you see what you’re doing, but you also want them to enhance your room decor. In the kitchen or bath, overhead or wall-mounted lights usually fit the bill. But in living spaces, floor lamps are often most suitable, particularly next to chairs and sofas. The trouble is that for anyone on a budget, floor lamps can be prohibitively expensive. That’s why these DIY floor lamp options are so welcome: You save money and you get exactly what you want, a custom solution that perfectly corresponds to all of your lifestyle and aesthetic preferences.



DIY Floor Lamp - Copper Top


It’s hard to believe this gorgeous, expensive-looking DIY floor lamp cost only about $5 to make. The trick was to install a new lampshade (cardboard and metallic paper) on a sturdy metal stand (look for one at your local thrift store). For a uniform look, spray-paint in one hue or, alternatively, go for a two-tone treatment.



DIY Floor Lamp - Glass


Clear glass lamps are all the rage, in part because of their chameleon-like ability to look at home in virtually any setting. Unfortunately, their minimalist look often comes with a maximalist price tag. But for a fraction of the retail cost, using only basic tools and materials, you can easily build a DIY floor lamp in a similar style.



DIY Floor Lamp - Lantern


Reclaimed wood and a vintage lantern combine in this rustic DIY floor lamp, perfect for a seaside cabin or mountain retreat. Spray-paint the wood stand or the metal lantern separately, or paint the entire assembly. Or, if you prefer, leave both elements unfinished, just as you found them. Visit HGTV for all the DIY details.



DIY Floor Lamp - Tripod


Sometimes a flea-market purchase can become a statement piece—case in point, this tripod-turned-DIY-floor-lamp from Dream Book Design. Stain or paint the tripod to match or complement the rest of the room, then complete the job with a lamp kit (available at any hardware store), drill/driver, and some washers and nuts.



DIY Floor Lamp - Repurposed Books


Looking for something to place beside a comfortable reading chair? The answer might very well be a DIY floor lamp festooned with old hardcovers. There’s not much to it: You drill a hole through a stack of books and then fit them over a simple stick lamp. Check out the Live Well Network for the full step-by-step guide.

How To: Hang Wallpaper

Use these tips to achieve satisfying, professional-level results the next time that you set out to hang wallpaper.

Here’s how to get a professional look when you hanging wallpaper. After you line up your pattern, overlap the top and the bottom by about two inches. You should always cut each piece a little long. Then after smoothing out the bubbles and checking to make sure the wallpaper is plumb, use a five-inch putty knife as a guide for a perfect razor cut on the top and at the bottom. This will ensure a clean and crisp professional edge.

For more on wallpaper, consider:

DIY Wallpapering
How To: Wallpaper a Corner
12 “Off the Wall” Ways to Repurpose Wallpaper

Shopping for a New Chandelier? Here Are 4 Things to Consider

While style is an important consideration in choosing a new chandelier, don't overlook the finer points of scale, installation requirements, and, most important, how well the fixture will satisfy your lighting needs.

Spiral Chandelier

Maxim Lighting at

Nothing epitomizes decorative lighting quite like a chandelier. A chandelier is the jewelry of a room, accenting the architecture, furnishings, and decor. With so many fixture choices available and so many possible applications within the home—in dining rooms, dens, and even bedrooms and bathrooms—choosing a chandelier can be overwhelming. But if you adhere to a few design rules and installation tips, you’ll be on your way to dressing your room right—and in the best decorative light.

There are chandeliers available to suit any style and decor. Fixtures that have their lights directed up are more traditional; the most formal of these fixtures showcase bare candelabra bulbs. Adding glass or chandelier shades softens that formality, resulting in a slightly more casual attitude. For a more informal feeling, choose a chandelier on which the lights are directed downward. An additional benefit of this more casual design is that your decorative chandelier can also serve as task lighting—aiding cooking or homework duties. In general, metal finishes are more formal than painted ones.

Related: Which Lighting Where? 9 Pro Tips for Improved Illumination

If your chandelier is serving a primarily decorative purpose, it can really be the focal point of the room, highlighting the beauty of your furnishings and decor. If, however, you require task lighting, find a fixture that also has a downlight, to illuminate the surface beneath it.   For either application, don’t miss out on the flexibility that you’ll get by installing a dimmer switch. Dialing the lights down can create a warm glow, similar to candlelight—perfect for evening entertaining.


Sea Gull Lighting at

Choosing the proper size chandelier is important.  A fixture that is too large will overwhelm a room, while one that is too small will disappear and lose its impact. Josie Jaspers, of the lighting and home furnishings online retailer Bellacor, advises: “Choose a chandelier that is 6 inches narrower on either side than the smallest width of the table.  If your table is 48″ x 72″, then the recommended width of the fixture is approximately 36 inches (6 + 6 minus 48).”

Jaspers also has tips for determining the correct hanging height. For a dining room, “the chandelier should hang approximately 30 inches above the tabletop in an 8-foot ceiling. For each additional foot of ceiling height, add one inch. In a 10-foot ceiling, the chandelier should hang approximately 32 inches above the table.” You should keep in mind that in rooms with lower ceilings (less than 9 feet), a chandelier may make the ceiling feel low. If you must hang a chandelier in a room with a low ceiling, be sure to hang it high enough so that it doesn’t become a hazard. If possible, mount it over a table to avoid bumped heads and to keep it from impeding foot traffic. If you’re putting a chandelier in a bathroom (Sure!—why not?!), the rule of thumb is to keep it 6 feet away from the shower or tub.  Moisture is the enemy of electrical wiring, so purchase a model that is rated for “wet” or “shower location” use.

With so many options available, you’re bound to find a fixture that suits both your practical needs and decor. With the right fixture, you can just dim the lights and turn up the style—a chandelier brings it all together.


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Quick Tip: Embossed Wallpaper

With origins in England, embossed wallpaper endures as a common choice among homeowners seeking an old-world look.

There’s a revival of the 19th-century embossed wallcoverings Anaglypta and Lincrusta. Anaglypta is a heavy embossed paper with a soft, low relief that must be painted after it dries. Lincrusta is made of something that’s a lot like rubber, and its relief is much deeper. Both are great-looking and easy to use.

For more on wallpaper, consider:

Wallpaper Basics
Bob Vila Radio: Vintage Wallpaper
Today’s Toile: Artisans Retool a Classic Pattern

Quick Tip: Using a Wallpaper Pasting Machine

Wallpaper pasting machines enable do-it-yourselfs to much more quickly complete a common home improvement job.

If you have to hang a lot of wallpaper, here’s a time-saving way to apply paste. Try a manually operated wallpaper pasting machine. Cut your wallpaper strips to length, then fill the reservoir with paste and coat the applicator bar. Place the paper on the bar, close the top, and pull the paper back towards you. This way, you’ll get an even distribution of paste on each piece of paper in seconds.

For more on wallpaper, consider:

DIY Wallpapering
Bob Vila Radio: Vintage Wallpaper
12 “Off the Wall” Ways to Repurpose Wallpaper

Weekend Projects: DIY Window Treatments

If you've been scared off in the past by the vast selection and high cost of window treatments, try your hand at some of these accessible DIY approaches.

Why do people so often ignore the importance of blinds, drapes, and curtains when they are chief among the elements that make a house a home? For one, window dressings are not essential. You can easily live without them, or with an inherited solution that you don’t love. Also, window treatments can be expensive, particularly for those in homes with many exposures. If you are looking for low-cost, high-style ways to decorate your double-hungs, check out these DIY window treatments culled from around the Web.



DIY Window Treatments - Roman Shade


Pick a fabric, any fabric—shop online for a wide selection—then follow this Remodelaholic tutorial to make your own Roman shade. These DIY window treatments, easily operated by cord, present a smooth panel when closed; when raised, the fabric falls in neat, attractive folds.



DIY Window Treatments - Drapes


These DIY window treatments are well within reach of beginners, thanks to a lucid Apartment Therapy guide. Besides fabric, the only materials needed are common household items. If you can measure the width of your window, you can do this project.



DIY Window Treatments - Painted Drop Cloth


Many store-bought window dressings feature fussy floral prints or funky geometric patterns. If neither option suits your taste, take a cue from Stefanie of Brooklyn Limestone, who used iron-on transfers to decorate a drop cloth–turned–shade in her own style.



DIY Window Treatments - Shutters


Using repurposed wall paneling, Suzanne of Meridian Road built this pair of interior shutters, mounting them via gate hinges. Shutters are perfect for those who dislike cord-operated window treatments and for anyone who wants to cultivate a rustic design scheme.



DIY Window Treatments - Lace Screen


Even though they are technically not window treatments, we couldn’t resist including this creative DIY from designmadde, in which squares of lace are installed behind screens. The former beautifies the latter without at all diminishing their utility.

Weekend Projects: DIY Thanksgiving Decor

With a minimum of time and expense, you can whip up some DIY decorations that are sure to brighten and beautify your Thanksgiving celebration.

There’s a lot to be thankful for: your health, the roof over your head, and the loved ones who surround you at Thanksgiving. This year, celebrate your gratitude by welcoming guests into a festive atmosphere, one that reflects the special qualities of autumn. Down-to-earth and beautiful, these DIY Thanksgiving decor projects are as accessible as they are affordable, and each one promises to help make your holiday memorable.



DIY Thanksgiving Decor - Grapevine Pumpkin


Whether you’re an occasional craft-store visitor or a frequent, preferred-status customer, you’ve no doubt seen grapevine for sale on the shelves. For little more than $3, you can combine grapevine with floral wire to create a decorative pumpkin, the perfect accent for a side table.



DIY Thanksgiving Decor - Banner


Nothing says “give thanks” quite like a banner that actually spells out the phrase. In about 20 minutes—with only scissors, glue, ribbon, and a downloadable template for the letters—you’ll be able to hang your own loud-and-proud declaration over a doorway or across the mantelpiece.



DIY Thanksgiving Decor - Centerpiece


DIY Thanksgiving decor preparations would never be complete without a centerpiece for the dining table. Gather a loose collection of painted pinecones, raw birch wood, and gourds in a clear vase or a patterned bowl, or display fall flowers in a medium-size, hollowed-out pumpkin.



DIY Thanksgiving Decor - Calendar


Count down to turkey day with a Thanksgiving-themed calendar. Arrayed on autumn-appropriate burlap are 30 taped-on felt squares, one for each day in the month. Double the utility by putting December on the reverse side, so you can just flip it over at the end of the month.



DIY Thanksgiving Decor - Corn Husk Wreath


If you’re shucking any corn in the days before Thanksgiving, be sure to set the husks aside. (Alternatively, head to the nearest farmer’s market, where you can likely buy husks by the bagful.) Then use them to make a corn-husk wreath and hang it on the front door. Is there a better invitation to a fall feast?