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15 Simple and Affordable DIY Projects

15 Simple and Affordable DIY Projects

DIY projects look fun and stylish, but many seem daunting because of 1) effort and expertise, and 2) cost. Some of us are less artistic, some of us don’t have tools to saw and drill into things, and some of us just plain can’t afford the materials to make these things. No fear, here are some affordable DIY projects that don’t require you to be a carpenter or a master artisté. Happy DIY-ing!

1. Gold Desk Organizer

Anthropologie Inspired Gold Pencil Holder - Desk Organizer  |  View From The Fridge

    It’s no surprise plenty of DIY blogs enjoy taking on some of Anthropologie’s products with cheap ways to make them yourself. This DIY desk organizer looks super modern without being expensive. You can easily find tins or small glasses around your house or at a thrift store for the compartments.

    2. Easy T-Shirt Grocery Bags

      Plastic bags are still the main option for produce even in the greenest cities. Make your own reusable produce bags out of old t-shirts with very minimal sewing. All you need are old t-shirts and a thread and needle, both of which can be bought cheaply if necessary.

      3. Mini Gardens

      Don’t have a green thumb? No worries. Succulents are tougher than the average plant and do well in pots. Your local home improvement or gardening store will have some succulents to choose from; if it doesn’t already say so on the plant tags, ask an employee which ones do best indoors. Bam, colorful and easy mini garden.

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      4. Pebble Bath/Mudroom Mat

        Easy, affordable, and not as hard to collect materials for as you think. Those who don’t want to gather stones themselves — or who simply don’t live near a body of water — can purchase bags of river rocks at most dollar stores. A few other cheap items also typically available at dollar stores, and you’re all set to make your mat.

        5. Mini Framed Dry-Erase Board

        dryerase

          Make a small DIY dry-erase board with tape and a simple frame, an easy way to leave notes in the kitchen or by the door. And fellas, don’t let the cute mom-theme put you off here — there are plenty of manly or neutral tape patterns you can use for your manly-man abode.

          6. Cereal Box Drawer Organizers

          DIY drawer dividers

            This may be another free project if you’ve got a) cereal boxes or boxes from other non-perishable foods, b) wrapping paper that isn’t covered in Santa, and c) double-sided tape. Any of these things can be bought cheaply regardless.

            7. Stamped Cloth Napkins

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              Similar to the first DIY project on this list, this napkin idea looks like an artsy store-bought product but at a fraction of the cost. What I like best about this tutorial is that it gives you ideas for common household objects to make cool patterns with. Spice up any cloth napkins you already own or buy some cheap ones from the local dollar or thrift store.

              8. Gold Sharpie Mugs

                This DIY project is a great opportunity for super-creative people, but the less artistic folks can easily do simple, classy designs. The link above suggests oil-based sharpies for the best chance of staying-power, though I’ve personally had luck with a regular black sharpie by baking the mug a little longer and not owning a dishwasher. Either way, the possibilities are many.

                9. Natural Room Scents

                Scents_for_home5.jpg

                  While a little more involved, but there are plenty of ways to get creative with the ingredients to use some things you already have in your kitchen. These room scents are just a fun way to make a room smell yummy for a gathering or just a day of relaxation, without the toxic chemicals found in most store-bought air-fresheners.

                  10. Wire and Stone Photo Display

                    The tutorial specifies a type of wire, but you can use any kind that suits your taste and budget. Take your favorite pictures, find some medium-sized rocks (probably for free, unless you live in a strangely rockless environment), and display them with an industrial-chic style.

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                    11. Constellation Jar

                      Mason jar + aluminum sheet + small light = instant star-filled bedroom. You don’t even have to be that artsy to do this project, as it requires little more than cutting a disposable cake pan, puncturing holes, and putting one thing inside of another. And, of course, it requires only affordable and easy to obtain materials.

                      12. No-Sew Covered Pillow

                        While many of us would love to make stylish home decor on the cheap, the whole sewing thing that many of those projects require is a lost art for some. This no-sew pillowcase idea has to be one of the easiest DIY home decor projects I’ve seen. All you need is a cheap decent-sized chunk of fabric (you could even use old sheets, or old clothing items if they’re big enough) and you can follow these easy instructions for chic DIY pillows.

                        13. Colorful Paint-Bottomed Glasses

                        colorfulglasses

                           

                          If you can find it and afford it, there are paints for glasses that won’t wash off when you do the dishes, but a cheaper option is to use acrylic paint and seal it. Buy some dollar store tumblers or other glassware and make them look ultra-modern with these cool paint design ideas.

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                          14. Hat Organizer

                            Store hats or scarves cheaply and conveniently with this no-brainer idea. If you want, you could even spray-paint the hanger to make it look extra nice.

                            15. Photo Magnets

                            photofridgemagnets

                              A unique way to save photographs, AND an awesome gift idea for someone you share memories with. Your fridge will never be boring again, and you have a quick and affordable gift/party favor idea for the future. It’s a win-win.

                              Featured photo credit: Untitled/Jamie Henderson via flic.kr

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                              Last Updated on January 21, 2020

                              The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                              The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

                              Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

                              your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

                                Why You Need a Vision

                                Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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                                How to Create Your Life Vision

                                Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

                                What Do You Want?

                                The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

                                It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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                                Some tips to guide you:

                                • Remember to ask why you want certain things
                                • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
                                • Give yourself permission to dream.
                                • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
                                • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

                                Some questions to start your exploration:

                                • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
                                • What would you like to have more of in your life?
                                • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
                                • What are your secret passions and dreams?
                                • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
                                • What do you want your relationships to be like?
                                • What qualities would you like to develop?
                                • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
                                • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
                                • What would you most like to accomplish?
                                • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

                                It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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                                What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

                                Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

                                A few prompts to get you started:

                                • What will you have accomplished already?
                                • How will you feel about yourself?
                                • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
                                • What does your ideal day look like?
                                • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
                                • What would you be doing?
                                • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
                                • How are you dressed?
                                • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
                                • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
                                • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

                                It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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                                Plan Backwards

                                It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

                                • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
                                • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
                                • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
                                • What important actions would you have had to take?
                                • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
                                • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
                                • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
                                • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
                                • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

                                Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

                                It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

                                Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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