Bob Vila's Best DIY Projects of 2015

Home improvement is more than simply fixing sinks, refinishing floors, or patching drywall. While these tasks are important to the function and design of your home, they often feel more like work rather than play. At we believe that DIY should be as fun as it is functional. That's why we bring you simple, affordable project tutorials all year long, giving you everything you'll need for a weekend filled with building, making, and enjoyment. Here's a look back at some of our favorite DIY projects from 2015. See for yourself—who knows—maybe you'll find a project that you'd like to add to your list in 2016.

Well Hello There

DIY Doormat

A little wood and rope can go a long way. Here, the pairing functions as the base of a low-effort, high-impact piece of curb appeal guaranteed to brighten anyone's day. The hand-painted speech bubble on this DIY doormat will greet every guest with a cheery message even before you answer the door, setting the tone for a pleasant visit every time.

Related: DIY Lite - Make a Wood-Slat Doormat for Almost No Money

Slimline Storage

DIY Bathroom Storage

The bathroom is the one place you don't want your possessions on display. But as anyone with a small bathroom knows, finding the space to hide all of your essentials is an unending challenge. However, a practical over-the-toilet shelf could solve those problems forever. Easy to make and easy to paint, this little number can be customized to any space, and stocked with a few decorative baskets can conceal all your bottles, brushes, and supplies. Find the step-by-step video tutorial here at Bob Vila Academy.

Milestone Marker

DIY Growth Chart

Kids grow up before you know it, and growth charts are a simple way to measure that change over the years. This oversized ruler beats out the traditional pencil-marked door frame because you can take it with you if you ever decide to move. Made of budget-friendly pine planks and scrap wood, this easy woodworking project won't take more than an afternoon to craft but it'll be a family keepsake forever. 

Related: DIY Kids - Measure the Years with a Growth Chart

Writer's Block

DIY Desk Organizer

With this colorful and easy organizer, work has never been so fun! Slots for writing utensils, paperwork, and even your cell phone combine to rid your desk of everyday clutter, while the painted stripes inject cheerful energy into any space. Requiring little more than a wood plank and a few tools, this hardworking DIY can be yours in an afternoon or less. 

Related: DIY Lite - Brighten Your Day With an Easy-to-Build Desk Organizer

Concrete Jungle

DIY Concrete Planter

A little green goes a long way toward refreshing a room and, with the right planter, make a stylish statement. These DIY concrete planters are the perfect perch for your favorite plants. Get the exclusive step-by-step—as well as in-depth info for two other concrete projects—from the molding maestro himself, Ben Uyeda, over on Bob Vila Academy.

Related: Buy or DIY - 7 Hanging Planters for the Great Indoors

Stacking Up

DIY Herb Garden

Would you believe it? A vertical garden that's as easy, if not easier, to grow than it is to maintain. Its double-decker design fits a full garden of herbs—rosemary, cilantro, thyme, basil, mint, and more—in half of the space! Set it in the kitchen windowsill to thrive in the sunlight by day, and move it to your countertops for culinary prepwork by night.

Related: DIY Lite - Make an Herb Garden from Kitchen Recyclables


DIY Coin Vault

For creative, budget-minded do-it-yourselfers, every building material represents more or less infinite possibilities. And that's true even when (or especially when) you're dealing with the wood removed from a discarded shipping pallet. Head over to Bob Vila Academy, and you can see exactly how Tanya Highet turns a few rough pieces of salvaged pine into a refined home accent with a practical purpose built in. Cick now for the full video project guide

Concrete Bookends

DIY Concrete Bookends

These diamond-shape bookends are not only a simple way to add an industrial touch to your bookshelves, they're also extremely easy to craft using a cardboard box, some concrete mix, and a few tools. Great for beginners and novice's alike, this project adds some serious style when displayed anywhere in the home.

Related: DIY Lite - Modern Bookends on a Modest Budget

Lighten and Brighten

DIY Wall Sconce

The soft glow of a wall sconce makes it a great choice for any room in need of ambiance. Though they're easy enough to buy and install, it's much more special to make your own. Not only will these little lamps light up your home, but they'll be a great conversation piece to boot. Best of all, you won't need to wire them or call an electrician to get the look. Visit Bob Vila Academy for the full how to.

A Bench for Beginners

DIY Outdoor Bench

Usually, summer seating in the backyard means flimsy lawn chairs. If you're looking for a sturdier (and more attractive) solution, consider building this DIY bench from reclaimed wood instead. Pick up the lumber and a few other basic supplies, and you'll soon have a sturdy seat to catch a few rays.

Related: DIY Lite - A Wooden Bench That Anyone Can Build

Happy Hour at Home

DIY Liquor Cabinet

In years past, Midcentury modern liquor cabinets were an essential furniture piece for any host. Nowadays, the nostalgic storage solution is making a major comeback. Pricey store bought models will set you back hundreds—even thousands—of dollars. But with a little ingenuity, and this helpful video tutorial at Bob Vila Academy, you can make your own for a fraction of the cost. Click here to get the full details.

Scrap Hack

DIY End Table

Got a pile of scrap wood laying around? Here's a great way to give purpose to at least some of those boards. First, separate out the 2x4s and tile the assorted members into a simple tabletop. Next, secure the construction with pocket-hole joinery. Last: Embrace the makeshift, mosaic-like nature of the tabletop by applying different wood stains to the different pieces forming the whole. The result is a simple, unique, and eye-catching project that tells its own story.

Related: How To - Make a Tabletop with 2x4s

Step Up

DIY Stepping Stones

Doing it yourself isn't just for adults. If you want your kids to pick up home improvement skills early on, involving them in your latest project is your best bet. To create a perfect square for these cement stepping stones, the author used an empty pizza box. Let the kids choose what to add to the mosaic—here, marbles and sea shells add a straight-from-the-beach-feel to a suburban walkway.  

Related: DIY Kids - Make a Garden Stepping Stone

Don't Miss!


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!