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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 May 28, 2020

                              How to Overcome Boredom

                              How to Overcome Boredom

                              Have you ever been bored? Restless? Fidgety? In need of some inspiration?

                              I have a theory on boredom. I believe that the rate of boredom has increased alongside the pace of technology.

                              If you think about it, technology has provided us with mobile phones, laptops, Ipads, device after device – all to ultimately fix one problem: boredom.

                              What is Boredom?

                              We have become a global nation that feeds on entertainment. We associate ‘living’ with ‘doing’. People now do not know how to sit still, and we feel guilty when we are not doing anything. Today, inactivity has become the ultimate sin.

                              You might not realize it, but boredom stimulates a form of anxiety and stress. It evokes an emotional state that creates frustration and feeds procrastination.

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                              It’s a desire to be ‘doing something’ or to be ‘entertained’ – it’s a desire for sensory stimulation. What it boils down to is a lack of focus.

                              If you think about those times when you’re bored, it’s usually because you did not know what to do. So, indecision also plays a big part.

                              When we are focused on what’s important to us and what we want to achieve, it’s pretty hard to be bored. So, one answer to boredom is to become focused on what you want.

                              Sometimes It’s Good to Be Bored

                              If boredom is a desire for sensory stimulation – then what’s the opposite of that? To be content with no stimulation – in other words – to enjoy stillness.

                              Sometimes, it’s not boredom itself that causes the frustration but the resistance to doing nothing.

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                              Think about it. What would happen if you were to ‘let go’ of the desire to be entertained? You wouldn’t be bored anymore, and you will feel more relaxed!

                              In my experience, it’s often the most obvious, simplistic solutions that are the most powerful in life. So, when you’re bored, the easiest way to combat this is to enjoy it.

                              It may sound weird but think of ‘boredom’ as a form of ‘relaxation’. It’s a break from the constant stimulation that 21st-century living provides – constant TVs, mobile phones, radios, internet, emails, phone calls, etc.

                              Who knows, maybe ‘boredom’ is actually good for us?

                              Next time you’re ‘feeling bored’ instead of feeding the frustration by frantically looking for something to do, maybe you can sit back, relax, and savor the feeling of having nothing to do.

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                              In this article, I’ll share with you my 3-step strategy on how to overcome boredom.

                              3-Step Strategy to Overcome Boredom

                              1. Get Focused

                              Instead of chasing sensory stimulation at random, focus on what’s really important to you. Focusing on something important helps prevent boredom because it forces you to utilize your time productively.

                              You should ask yourself: what would make good use of your time? What could you be doing that would contribute to your major goals in life?

                              Here are a few ideas:

                              • Spend some time in quiet contemplation considering what’s important to you.
                              • Start that creative project you’ve been talking about for the last few weeks.
                              • Brainstorm: think of some ideas for new innovative products or businesses.

                              2. Kill Procrastination

                              Boredom is useful in some ways because it gives you the energy and time to do things. It is only a problem if you let it. But if you use it to motivate yourself to be productive, then you can more easily overcome boredom.

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                              So, the next time you’re bored, why not put this good energy to use by ticking off those things that you have been meaning to get done but have been too busy to finish? This also presents a great time for you to clear your to-do list.

                              Here are some ideas:

                              • Do some exercise.
                              • Read a book.
                              • Learn something new.
                              • Call a friend.
                              • Get creative (draw, paint, sculpt, create music, write).
                              • Do a spring cleaning.
                              • Wash the car.
                              • Renovate the house.
                              • Re-arrange the furniture.
                              • Write your shopping list.
                              • Water the plants.
                              • Walk the dog.
                              • Sort out your mail & email.
                              • De-clutter (clear out that wardrobe).

                              3. Enjoy Boredom

                              If none of the above solutions work, then you can try a different approach. Don’t give in to boredom and instead choose to enjoy it. This doesn’t mean allowing yourself to waste your time being bored. Instead, think of it as your time to relax and re-energize, which will help you be more productive the next time you work.

                              Contrary to popular belief, we don’t need to be constantly doing things to be productive. In fact, research has shown that people are more productive when they take periods of rest to recharge.[1] Taking breaks once in a while helps boost your performance and can help make you feel more motivated.

                              So, take some time to relax. You never know, you might even like it.

                              Final Thoughts

                              Learning how to overcome boredom may be difficult at the beginning, but it can be easier if you make use of some techniques. You can start with my 3-step strategy on how to overcome boredom and work your way from there. So, ready your mind and make use of these tips, and you will be overcoming boredom in no time.

                              More Tips on Overcoming Boredom

                              Featured photo credit: Johnny Cohen via unsplash.com

                              Reference

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