DIY Furniture & Design

25 DIY Projects That Don’t Use Any Power Tools

While it's no big deal for a pro to grab a power drill to make a quick, precise hole, or to cut lengths of wood with a circular saw, some DIYers lack the skill, comfort level, or budget to wield an arsenal of power tools. The good news is, you can tackle plenty of functional and fun home projects without any power tools at all. Scroll through for 25 transformative indoor and outdoor projects that don't require a single power tool—then get moving on your favorite.

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Tile with a Twist

Replace timeworn kitchen or bathroom tiles with peel-and-stick versions from brands like Instant Mosaic. These lightweight, self-adhesive tiles don’t require tile cutters or messy grout, and they stick to drywall or existing tile. Sold in a variety of colors, patterns, and sheens, they’re perfect for anything from a multicolored mosaic backsplash to a black-and-white shower surround.

Get Hooked

Installing a curtain rod typically requires drilling holes into the wall or window trim—a no-no for many renters. You can skip the holes—and the power drill—by sticking Command utility hooks above the window to hold the curtain rod and window treatment of your choice.

Reclaim Your Bed

Install a rich reclaimed wood headboard without ever having to hear the whir of a drill. Simply mount self-adhesive reclaimed wood planks from Stikwood to the wall behind your bed in the size and pattern of your choice, whether straight-set, offset, or herringbone.

Related: 35 Tips for Easy Cleanup After Every DIY Project

Take Your Pantry Up a Tier

Nothing can squelch a snack craving like the sight of a pantry in disarray. If you have canned goods rolling off the shelves, or bags of rice, flour, and other staples spilling onto the floor, outfit your pantry with freestanding, multitiered shelves, then reorganize the contents. Clearly labeled glass jars or plastic containers are great for keeping your favorite foodstuffs tidy and accessible.

Display Your Memories

Gather together your favorite framed photos or artwork and make them a focal point by creating a no-fuss, no-nail gallery wall. You don’t even need to mess with the hooks behind the frames—simply mount self-adhesive strips, such as Command picture-hanging strips, to the picture frame backing, then stick the frames to the wall. 

Upgrade a Dull Lamp

Ready to toss that old table lamp and its dingy shade? If the wiring still works, give the lamp new life by dressing up the shade with fabric. Use a rotary cutter to cut out a piece of stylish fabric to fit the circumference of the shade, then spray the shade with an adhesive such as 3M Multipurpose Spray Adhesive. Stick the fabric to the lampshade, et voilà—a like-new lamp for reading or brightening up dark corners.

Stripe a Scoop

Plain plastic scoop chairs get a colorful update from vinyl tape in this 20-minute makeover that doesn’t require taking the chair apart. Buy vinyl tape in contrasting or complementary hues, then cut it into smaller strips to fit the chair width. Stick the strips of tape to the back of the chair in alternating rows for a striking sitter that looks right at home in a midcentury interior.

Decorate with Decals

Wall decals come in a variety of patterns and sizes and let you enjoy a new, fun look with minimal effort, no commitment, and not a single power tool. Companies like Walls Need Love offer designs that range from quirky to traditional with everything in between, including a playful pack of plus signs. Just remove the adhesive backing and stick the decals to a wall to add flair to living rooms, bedrooms, and more.

Dress Up a Dresser

While a sleek armoire with luxury hardware can cost an arm and a leg, you can achieve an equally elegant result by sprucing up a bargain dresser with paint and fancy hardware. Start by covering the exterior of the dresser with a high-quality latex paint in a sophisticated shade, then replace the existing drawer pulls and knobs with more opulent hardware for a regal touch.

Open Up the Kitchen

Open up a cramped kitchen by converting traditional closed cabinets into multitiered open shelving. You can simply remove the doors and hinges to make the room seem larger, but for a more polished look, remove the middle shelf with a double-edged hand saw, sand the back wall of the cabinet, fill any holes with putty, and then paint the interior of the cabinet. Stock the shelves with everyday dishware, fine china, or decorative items, just be sure to devise—and maintain—neat, artful arrangements.

Related: 15 Small Kitchen Island Ideas That Inspire

Mimic a Costly Countertop

The sleek look of marble comes at a high price, but you can get the look for much less if you opt for budget-friendly faux marble countertops. Cut marble-patterned contact paper to the size of your countertop with a precision knife, peel away the adhesive backing, and stick the paper to a kitchen or bathroom countertop to lend it a high-end look that belies its penny-wise price tag.

Park Your Plants High

Running out of ground space in the yard for your gardening habit? Put together an old-fashioned cinder-block bench to park your plants above ground. Stack some cinder blocks up against your backyard fence several feet apart, lay a wide, stained pine board on top of the blocks, and then rest two blocks on either end of the bench to keep the wood in place. Top the bench with potted plants to give your yard a little dose of color.

Chalk It Up

Have your kids flecked your walls with finger-paint smudges and marker streaks? Encourage little ones to unleash their creativity on an old coffee table instead of the walls by painting the tabletop with chalkboard paint—or go bold by converting an entire wall into a chalkboard. Tykes can fill up the blank slate with doodles, while adults can use it as a reminder board.

Make a Mat

Achieve the rustic entryway of your dreams by laying a homemade faux jute welcome mat at the front door. Buy a basic doormat and some rope, then cut the rope into strips the same length as the mat and glue them down horizontally using Liquid Nails or another construction adhesive, fraying the ends of the rope by hand for a playful finish.

Let Clothes Climb the Walls

Step up both the storage and natural beauty of your bedroom with a DIY ladder. It’s easy to assemble using short and long 2×4’s cut at the hardware store, a hammer, and finishing nails. Prop the ladder against the wall, and fill it with clothes or lightweight out-of-season blankets to cure closet clutter in an instant.

Ship Away Dirty Shoes

Give muddy boots and sopping sneakers a temporary home by furnishing your foyer with a shipping pallet shoe rack. Free shipping pallets abound at local lumber yards and other businesses. With a hammer, nails, and a few coats of paint, you can assemble these freebies into a colorful multitier rack with room for your whole shoe collection and plenty of charm to spare. 

Rethink the Towel Rack

Create a convenient drop zone for towels or lightweight linens without poking holes in the wall by mounting a no-drill towel rack in the bathroom. It typically takes just minutes to stick the plastic adhesive rack mounts to the wall, attach the rack to the bolt on the mount, and secure it with a few nuts.

Make Over the Mantel

If your fireplace mantel has lost its spark, rekindle it with a rustic, no-drill mantel made from a wooden box beam. First, remove the old mantel, keeping in place the supporting wooden ledger behind it. To make the box beam, assemble three long, stained wooden planks into a box to form the top, front, and bottom of the mantel. Then, close off the two open ends with shorter planks, and fit the box beam over the top of the ledger, securing it with more nails.

Related: 14 Paint Colors That Can Make a Room Feel Instantly Cozy

Drum Up Some Tables

You don’t skill with power tools, or even rhythm, to create a drum coffee table. You just need a big old drum, rubber stops or small pieces of felt, and a large, round piece of glass. Park the drum in a central location in the living room, stick felt pieces along the metal rim at the top of the drum, and then rest the glass on top.

Rock Your Jewelry

Who needs an expensive jewelry armoire when you can access your bling far more easily and economically from a bauble-holder made by yours truly? Paint and dry a small piece of craft wood, use construction adhesive to attach a row of metal hooks—or better yet, small crystals—and then mount the wood to the wall. With your favorite necklaces and bracelets displayed on the hooks, it’s easy to pick what you want and put it back at the end of the day.

Feel the Tension

With a tension rod, you can put up blinds in your apartment or other rental without facing the wrath of your landlord. Just slide the rod through the opening at the top of the blinds, then fit both the rod and the blinds into the window. If you want something even easier, online retailer Blinds Galore offers blinds and shades with an integrated tension rod for easy, no-drill mounting. These cordless shades are available in both light-filtering and blackout options.

Float a Shelf

Compact and lightweight, corner floating shelves like the familiar IKEA Lack shelf are ideal storage options in space-starved interiors. To install one without breaking out the toolbox, adhere Command picture-hanging strips to both sides of the shelf, then fit the shelf into the corner and apply pressure until it stays put. Arrange decorative items, books, and photos on the shelf to liven up the room, but steer clear of textbooks and other heavy objects. The strips are strong, but you don’t want to press your luck.

Wallpaper Without Woes

Hanging fabric as wallpaper can transform a room, whether you cover all four walls or just an accent wall. It’s a cinch to do, and it’s easy to remove, making fabric a great option for renters or commitment-phobic homeowners. Measure and cut the fabric of your choice to a size a little longer than the wall, tape it up, then use a paint roller to apply liquid starch to the area underneath the fabric. Smooth the fabric onto the wall, and then paint additional starch on top of the fabric. Repeat this process with additional sections of fabric, carefully matching any patterns, until the wall is covered.

Revive Your Pillows

If you’re bored with your sofa’s neutral, boring throw pillows, pep things up by making pillowcases out of old T-shirts, sweaters, or tea towels, then pulling them over your old throw pillows to lend color and coziness to the couch.

Raise the Bar (Stool)

It’s always happy hour when your home bar is surrounded by metal stools painted in a mood-lifting shade. Before you get started, use painter’s tape to cover up any areas of the stool you don’t want painted, then spray-paint the seat in regal gold or a bright, cheery hue, and give the legs a spray of silver or gold for a hint of shine.

Related: 10 Tiny Paint Jobs That Make a Big Impact

Extension Cord Not Required

You don’t need power tools to power through many home projects.