5 Minutes Flat: 7 Upgrades You Can Do in Under 300 Seconds

Home improvement projects don’t have to drag on for weeks—or even wait for the weekend! Here are 7 easy upgrades that you can accomplish in just a little more time than a typical commercial break. Ready, set, go!

Swap Out Switch Plates

Decorative Switch Plates

Often overlooked, switch plates can really change a room's mood. The covers attach with just a screw or two, so switching them out only takes a minute. Feeling extra crafty? Take off your white switch plate and give it a candy stripe using washi tape like lifestyle blogger Carissa Bonham did.

Related:  Turn On the Style: 11 DIY Switch Plate Upgrades


Change the Shower Curtain

Shower Curtain Ideas

As the largest accessory in your bathroom, the shower curtain often defines the room's feel. Energize the place with a pop of color, or enhance elegance with classic patterns like paisley or stripes. When you bring in a new textile, don't forget the finishing touches: A new set of metal shower rings beats the plain-Jane plastic ones any day.


Add Intricate Designs to a Wall

Wall Decals

Today's wall decals make it possible to transform your wall into a mural in mere minutes. With options ranging from small flourishes to floor-to-ceiling landscapes, you have plenty to choose from to hit upon the best style for you and your home. Picking is the hard part—once you've picked your decal, just peel off the backing and affix it wherever you want.


Make Mason Jar Lanterns

Mason Jar Ideas

For an eclectic table setting or outdoor lighting, try a riff on this project from The SITS Girls blog—converting mason jars into lanterns. Just drop a tea light into a mason jar. If possible, use a variety of jar sizes and combine vintage with new for visual interest. Enhance the appearance by using different materials to cushion the candles, such as sand, pebbles, or glass stones.


Turn Your Cabinets into Chalkboards

DIY Chalkboard

Update your kitchen cabinets' looks and function with a bit of trendy chalkboard contact paper like the one shown here from Wallies. Cut to size and insert it either on the outside or inside of a cabinet door for an eye-catching place to leave notes and shopping lists. As a bonus, you can cut leftover paper into small squares and use the pieces to label kitchen canisters.

Related:  10 Reasons to Go Crazy for Chalkboard Paint


Rearrange a Bookcase

Bookshelf Ideas

Streamline jumbled shelves by arranging your books according to size. Lean the larger volumes against the bookcase sides, but try not to run your books all the way across the shelf. Instead, stack some books flat in piles (they can double as bookends); fill in with collectibles that share a unifying color scheme or picture frames set at eye level, as Sarah at The Yellow Cape Cod suggests.


Make a Teacup Bird Feeder

DIY bird feeder

If you have a chipped teacup and saucer around the house (or want to pick one up at a thrift store), simply glue the teacup to its saucer using a strong craft adhesive. Ashlee at My So-Called Crafty Life attached three equally spaced jewelry bails around the saucer to create loops to string up the feeder outside. Just add birdseed, and wait for your feathered neighbors to fly by.

Related:  The 10 Best Bird Feeders for Your Wintertime Yard


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If you have the money to hire a handyman for every household woe, go ahead. But if you want to hang on to your cash and exercise some self-sufficiency, check out these clever products that solve a million and one little problems around the house. Go now!