Books Table Lamp
This project is easier than it looks: Drill a hole through each volume in the stack, string some lamp wire through, then glue a socket to the top book. Flip the switch and, almost literally, illuminate your world with the written word.
Related: 5 Things to Do With…Used Books
Mason Jar Chandelier
Wood Shutters Headboard
Four whitewashed shutters—topped with a length of decorative, carved molding—make up this beautiful headboard. Depending on the stability and height of the shutters, you can either bolt them to the wall or attach them directly to the bed frame.
Related: 5 Things to Do With…Wood Shutters
The small stature of a step ladder makes it an ideal nightstand, no alterations required. The steps provide multiple levels, so a reading lamp, books, beverage, and even flowers can share the real estate.
Related: 5 Things to Do With…Vintage Ladders
Wine Barrel Mirror
If you have more advanced DIY abilities, including woodworking and drilling into metal, a single wine barrel can go a long way. Take this entryway mirror, for example. Buy a half barrel at your local home improvement center, cut it down to size, and then slot in a plain round mirror for a rustic addition to your home.
Related: 5 Things to Do With…Old Barrels
Rain gutter shelving is ideal for the oversize picture books often found in children's rooms, and it can easily be mounted low so young ones can reach. But for a more grown-up take on this project, adapt copper gutters to hold magazines or favorite records in more adult surroundings.
Related: 5 Things to Do With…Gutters
Lattice Tool Holder
Thanks to this clever idea, you may finally be able to organize the contained chaos within your garden or tool shed. Cut a piece of heavy-duty lattice to size and mount it to a door or interior wall; use S-hooks and clamps to hold tools in place.
Related: 5 Things to Do With…Lattice
Car Tire Grassy Seat
The tire-as-planter idea is hardly novel, but it can be given plenty of twists. Mount old tires on the wall and let plants cascade down, or stack and stagger tires in your backyard for a more elaborate design. Or, as shown here, improvise a unique riff on the theme by building grass-cushioned seating.
Related: 5 Things to Do With…Old Tires
Picture Frame Molding
If you're looking for an easy way to get the look of decorative molding, why not repurpose frames as a wall treatment? Consider it a literal take on traditional picture frame molding.
Related: 5 Things to Do With…Picture Frames
Silverware Cabinet Pulls
Swap out traditional cabinet pulls in favor of repurposed silverware. Simply heat, bend, and drill for an inexpensive update to your kitchen.
Related: 5 Things to Do With…Old Silverware
Tin Cans Wine Rack
Tin cans and glue come together with spray paint to create an inexpensive and fully customizable wine rack. Incorporate as many tin cans as you need—or want, if you'd like to leave room for a few extra bottles. (If you build it, they will come!)
Related: 5 Things to Do With…Tin Cans
Beadboard Bathtub Surround
Beadboard is handy for covering dishwashers, ceilings, and other surfaces that lack style. This standard-issue bathtub got an elegant upgrade with a custom beadboard tub surround.
Related: 5 Things to Do With…Beadboard
Pallet Plate Rack
Bring a serious boost of country charm to your kitchen by using a classic shipping pallet to display your plates. This project requires hardly any modifications to the pallet! Just add a couple of long nails to keep each plate from falling forward and two eye screws to hang the pallet on the wall.
Related: 5 Things to Do With…Shipping Pallets
Corrugated Metal Outdoor Shower
This open-air shower requires only basic building skills and few materials: aluminum sheeting, lumber, and an outdoor shower kit from your local home improvement store. In a single day, you can create an outdoor shower that looks great and feels even better.
Related: 5 Things to Do With…Corrugated Metal
If you are interested in more DIY projects, consider:
18 Brilliant Ways to Decorate with Rope
Weekend Projects: Kitchen Countertops the DIY Way
10 Inventive Ideas for a Perfect Porch
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!