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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 September 20, 2018

                              How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

                              How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

                              Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

                              If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

                              1. Breathe

                              The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

                              • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
                              • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
                              • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

                              Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

                              2. Loosen up

                              After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

                              Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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                              3. Chew slowly

                              Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

                              Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

                              Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

                              4. Let go

                              Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

                              The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

                              It’s not. Promise.

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                              Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

                              Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

                              21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

                              5. Enjoy the journey

                              Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

                              Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

                              6. Look at the big picture

                              The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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                              Will this matter to me…

                              • Next week?
                              • Next month?
                              • Next year?
                              • In 10 years?

                              Hint: No, it won’t.

                              I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

                              Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

                              7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

                              You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

                              Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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                              8. Practice patience every day

                              Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

                              • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
                              • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
                              • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

                              Final thoughts

                              Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

                              Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

                              Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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