Pipe Dreams: 10 Inspiring DIY Projects with PVC

While you may have no idea what polyvinyl chloride is, chances are you have some in your home, in the form of PVC pipes. PVC is an inexpensive, hard yet flexible, fire- and water-resistant plastic used for many plumbing projects. It’s also an excellent material for DIY crafters. Made from a combination of plastic and vinyl, PVC pipe is resistant to strong movement (like earthquakes) as well as bacteria, and it's widely available at both big-box and local hardware stores. It comes in different diameters and can be used in its standard white or black shades or painted. Given its awesome properties, if you’re planning a weekend project or small home improvement, consider adapting it to incorporate PVC pipe. Need some inspiration? Here are 10 smart PVC creations to get you on the right track.

  1. PVC Pipe Clock



    Here’s a fun project that would make a perfect parent-child activity for a rainy afternoon. Use a 45-degree PVC elbow for a four-inch inside diameter (ID) pipe. The clock shown here actually has two faces, so you can keep track of another time zone as well as your own. Get the full tutorial here.

    Related: Weekend Projects – 5 Favorite DIY Wall Clocks

  2. PVC Kids' Table



    This simple kids’ table uses five short lengths of PVC pipe for the table legs and a stool support. Making one table leg slightly taller creates a handy pen and pencil holder. Either look for pipe in a vibrant primary color like red, blue, or yellow, or spray-paint it. Add a tabletop and stool seat, and your little ones will have a new play station!

    Related: 10 Unexpected Uses for Spray Paint

  3. Fun PVC Pipe Planter



    This unusual indoor planter is the perfect size for a potted African violet. PVC can bend easily because it is a thermoplastic—once heated, it can be shaped into whatever you like. This attribute allows for some truly individual creations!

  4. PVC Side Table



    What do you get when you combine PVC pipe, elbows, and a round glass tabletop? Why, a unique side table for a modern living room, of course. Add longer pipe lengths for a higher table, or go for shorter pipe lengths and choose a wider tabletop to make a coffee table.

  5. Truck Bike Rack



    Make this simple yet sturdy PVC bike rack, and save the big bucks you would have spent on a store-bought model. While this rack comfortably holds three or four bicycles, you can custom design yours to fit your vehicle and your needs.

  6. Pipe Lamp



    It’s hard to believe that this pretty, delicate-looking pink butterfly lamp is made from a piece of PVC pipe. Once the pattern has been punched and cut from the pipe, the lamp's ready to be wired for electricity. This is a lovely addition to a girl’s room.

    Related: 9 Lampshades You Can Make Before Lights Out

  7. Hose Caddy



    Another ingenious use for PVC pipe is as a hose caddy. Instead of spending your money on an expensive hose storage rack, assemble your own with a few cheap pieces from the hardware store. Add a couple of wheels to make it portable, and you’re ready to water your lawn.

    Related: Garden Hose Management – 10 Stylish Solutions

  8. PVC Fence



    Forget the white picket fence—a white PVC fence is much cooler. This playful design uses various lengths and joints to create a pretty and airy, yet strong and earthquake-resistant, front fence. It is also a perfect trellis for climbing greenery.

    Related: Recycled Fences – 8 Clever Ways to Put Salvage to Good Use

  9. PVC Dresser



    Quick—can you spot the PVC pipe in this picture? Yep, it’s dressing up the entertainment unit, which is, in fact, an upcycled old bedroom dresser. In this project, small rounds of white PVC pipe are used for decoration instead of function to create a modern, highly detailed living room piece.

  10. PVC Bird Feeder



    Paint, birdseed, PVC pipe, two saucers, metal hardware, and a dose of imagination are all that’s required to create a fun bird feeder. This is another great project to do with kids, but make sure an adult is around to cut out an opening in the pipe for the seed to fall through.

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