Time off at the weekend or over a Bank Holiday is precious, but while the weekend is a great chance to catch up on all those jobs that you keep putting off, having a little ‘down time’ is important too. So if it’s easy DIY projects and fun makes to do this weekend that you're looking for, then you’re in the right place.
We’ve put together stacks of our favourite easy makes, style fixes and DIY projects that will have a big impact indoors or out, without eating up too much precious time. Many of these easy DIY and decorating jobs can be tackled using tools, equipment, tester pots and spare materials that might already be lingering at the back of a cupboard or in the garden shed, so they won’t cost a fortune either.
53 Easy DIY projects do this weekend
We've compiled this list of easy DIY tasks and projects to tackle over the weekend. Best of all, each project on the list is easily achievable and most require minimal supplies to get them done.
1. Paint the garden gate
A brightly-painted front door can add bags of kerb appeal to a property, but if your side gate or garden gate is looking a little shabby, why not show it some love too with a creative garden paint idea? If the weather is fine, painting a gate is an easy project to tackle over a weekend, with plenty of drying time for any paint jobs indoors or out.
Opt for a cheery paint shade if you want to make your gate a focal point and team it with colourful flowers and planting that will echo the sunny theme. Try a muted colour or heritage shade if you want the gate to blend in with your property, or consider matching gate colour to the front door for a chic, co-ordinated look.
Whether your gate is wood or metal, start by giving it a light sand down to create a smooth finish. Cover up handles and hinges with tape and then apply a suitable primer on an unpainted gate, or undercoat if it has been painted previously. Finish off with a coat or two of exterior eggshell for a matt finish, or gloss to give a high-shine effect.
Why not grab a tin of Johnstone's Garden Colours paint from Amazon (opens in new tab) - it comes in a huge range of colours and comes highly rated by reviewers for painting exterior wood.
2. Line a cabinet with pretty paper
Give a plain cabinet or dresser an easy weekend makeover with a budget furniture upcycling idea, by lining the inside with a colourful paper. Using leftover remnants of wallpaper, craft paper or gift wrap will create a colourful backdrop for displaying favourite glassware and ceramics and choosing a darker shade will make display pieces stand out more.
Remove the shelves of your cabinet first and then measure up the interior. Consider using one single length of wallpaper for a uniform effect, or cut individual pieces of paper for each section in contrast colours or patterns. Secure paper to the back of the cabinet using contact adhesive.
3. Paint an easy feature wall
Try a simple paint project that will give a breakout breakfast area added focus with a fun feature wall idea. Painting a contrast panel on a wall is a simple trick that can be a useful way of creating zones in an open-plan area. A coloured panel helps to create a focal point, whether it's a circle or a square, which can then act as a backdrop for a small arrangement of furniture.
Paint a contrast coloured circle to echo the shape of a round dining table. To achieve a neat circle, cut a length of string measuring the radius of the circle and attach to a tack. Tie a pencil or chalk to the other end, then, holding the tack in the centre of where you want your circle, draw it out. Fill in with paint using an angled brush for a neat edge.
4. Create an ‘easy-change’ gallery wall
Got lots of pictures and prints that you haven’t gotten round to putting up yet? This easy display idea can be sorted in less than a day and makes an alternative to a fixed gallery wall as pictures can be moved around or added to if you fancy a change later down the line.
You’ll need two or three narrow wooden picture ledges to create this effect. Either make your own using a couple of lengths of timber, or buy ready-made ledges - IKEA’s Mosslanda ledges start at just £5 each and are ideal. Otherwise, these Amazon picture ledges (opens in new tab) come highly recommended by reviewers and they come in a pack of 3. Arrange the ledges in rows on your wall, using a spirit level to make sure that they are straight. The gap between each ledge should depend on the height of the tallest item you’ll be displaying.
Ledges can be painted to match the wall for a seamless look, or opt for a contrast colour that will stand out against the backdrop. Once up, simply prop pictures against the wall and fill in any gaps with small ornaments.
5. Go big with indoor greenery
Tackle a tired living room with an easy project that you can get done in an afternoon. If there’s an area of empty wall space that you can’t decide what to do with, how about installing an indoor living wall? A winning idea for decorating the wall behind the sofa. Adding living, breathing greenery to your space will instantly revitalise it and having greenery indoors is a fabulous way of boosting mindfulness and wellbeing.
Install wall planters in multiples, with rows positioned on the wall above a sofa or sideboard to create symmetry and a stunning alternative to a regular picture wall. Fill with easy-care ferns and trailing plants that will pop against a plain colour.
These clever Eco wall planters by Wallygrow (opens in new tab) incorporate hidden watering channels so that water hits the roots directly, with perforated holes that allow plants to breathe.
Otherwise, La Redoute's Ikebana Wall-mounted Flower Pots (opens in new tab) piece is super stylish and practical. It's also ideal for minimalist or modern decor schemes.
6. Try a two-tone paint treatment
If you’ve a plain white room that’s lacking a little oomph, try this easy but effective paint treatment that can be completed in just a day, rather than tackling a full room redo. Half-painted walls are super on trend at the moment and are a clever way of giving tired rooms new focus with a bold shot of colour.
Starting off with a white or pale-coloured wall is the simplest option. Apply a band of masking tape to the wall where you want your dividing line to be - the tape will help create a crisp edge - then fill in with darker-coloured paint. Using a dark colour on the bottom section of walls and skirting helps a room to feel more grounded and gives a darker backdrop to showcase furniture and accessories. A lighter colour at the top will make a room feel more lofty.
7. Hang a simple floating shelf
Floating shelves are a stylish and easy way of working extra storage or display space into a room. Whether it’s a shelf for crockery and glassware in a kitchen or dining room or a set of shelves for books, pictures and ornaments in a living room or bedroom.
Hanging a floating shelf shouldn’t be too difficult a task, even if you have minimal DIY skills. You’ll simply need to make sure that the wall is sound, you have the correct fixings to secure your shelf, plus a drill and a spirit level. Find out more in our handy how to put up a floating shelf guide.
Paint shelves to match wall colour, so that they blend in for a seamless look. Alternatively, opt for a contrast wall colour, or vary the colours as you go up the wall for a tonal, ombre effect.
8. Add a pop of unexpected colour
Try this quick trick to brighten up a tired room - it’ll cost the price of a tin of paint and won’t take longer than a couple of hours to do.
Perfect for a neutral living room that lacks energy, simply paint the fireplace or a large piece of furniture in a bright, eye-popping shade that will grab the attention and give the room a focal point. Bring in extra touches of colour here and there to give the room symmetry and balance, but take care not to overdo it or you’ll ruin the effect.
9. Paint house number planters
Jolly up the entranceway of your property with fun numbered planters to lead the way in. You’ll need a couple of large-ish terracotta plant pots and exterior paint in one or two contrast colours - cut costs by using tester pots or leftover paint that might be lurking in the shed.
Use masking tape to create the outline of your door numbers, pressing the edges down firmly to ensure that no paint seeps underneath. Use a brush to fill in the number with paint, allowing it to dry and then adding a second coat. Once dry, remove the tape and then fill in the rest of the space around the numbers with simple freehand flowers using a fine brush and contrast colours.
Once completely dry, fill your planters with blooms and display by the front door.
10. Brighten up a shabby dining table
Breathe new life into old furniture by sprucing it up with a fresh coat of paint. Save on prep time by opting for an all-in-one chalk paint, rather than using traditional paint and primer which can take much longer to dry. Chalk paint is self-levelling and self-sealing, so gives excellent coverage with minimal effort.
Just give the surface of the table a quick sand down first and then wipe over with a damp cloth to get rid of any dust and grease. Paint the table and leave to dry for a couple of hours. For extra protection if required, seal the painted surface with wax or a finishing sealer.
11. Make your own boho chandelier
Repurpose a handful of old mini lampshades and create a unique vintage-style chandelier. Go for shades in bright clashing colours or mix-and-match florals and ditzy prints and jolly them up by adding colourful trims, tassels and ric-rac edging. Just use a hot gun to glue the trims on.
You’ll need four or five mini shades to create a cluster-style chandelier pendant like this one and it will require individual light fittings and coloured cable for each pendant. If you don't already have the fittings, you'll find all the components you’ll need at Creative Cables, with flex and cable sold by the metre.
12. Create a breakfast nook
Carve out a corner seating area that's perfect for a family breakfast nook. Adding timber panelling to one wall is an easy DIY project that can be achieved over a weekend in a small or moderately-sized room and makes a good starter project if you're considering tackling a larger area in the future.
Painted panelling makes a practical treatment for a dining area and can be easily wiped clean of marks and finger prints if there are little ones around. Add a corner seating set or built-in bench seating, which will help to section off the space and keep the dining area contained. Cosy it up with colourful seat cushions and throws.
13. Paint a faux headboard
Use a leftover tin of paint to transform your bedroom with an imaginative DIY headboard idea. 'Creating a perfect semi-circle with paint is easier than you think' says Judy Smith, Crown Paints Colour Consultant. 'First of all, measure the length of your wall and mark its centre, or wherever you want the centre of your semi-circle to be.'
'Hammer a nail into the spot you’ve just marked, just above the skirting board. Depending on how wide you want your semi-circle to be, measure out some string and cut it to size. The longer the string, the bigger the semi-circle. Tie one end of the string to a pencil and the other end to the nail. If you’re not allowed to use nails on your wall, extra strong tape will hold the string in place.'
'Once you’re all set, start tracing out your semi-circle on the wall from one way to the other. Making sure you’re pulling the pencil tight on the string. Once you’ve drawn the outline, use a small paint brush to create a precise edge at the top of your semi-circle. You can then go in with a paint roller or larger brush to fill in the rest of the shape.'
14. Rack out the shed
A long weekend is the perfect time to do the jobs you have been putting off, but will benefit from greatly – such as the task of racking out the shed. Get your garden storage ideas in order to make tending to your plot a joy throughout the season ahead.
You can buy something similar on Amazon and tailor it to the size of your garage or shed. The Shopfitting Warehouse White Adjustable Wall Shelving Kit (opens in new tab) is great.
15. Give an old piece of furniture a colourful makeover
Do you have an old piece of wooden furniture such as a chest of drawers, sideboard or wardrobe that is looking dated and in need of a new look? A simple coat of furniture paint goes a long way to make something old feel brand new. Let this fine example inspire your own DIY project. This wardrobe transformation is the work of Ideal Home's Editor Heather Young who has upcycled an old family heirloom for her young daughter's room. See Heather's upcycled wardrobe transformation for yourself.
16. Put up simple shelves
A clutter free home is a happy home. A simple yet highly effective DIY and decorating task is putting up shelves to free up surface space in any room. It's often the easy tasks we delay doing most, but we say don't delay because the results are totally transformative. Watch our easy guide for how to put up a floating shelf.
17. Nail together a DIY garden signpost
Though all the projects listed here should be relatively straightforward, we've starting with a REALLY easy one. And given we are finally allowed to have friends in the garden, it couldn't be a more perfect time to do it. You can use any leftover bits of wood from indoor DIY projects and those tester pots from paint that wasn't quite right for the walls. Here's how: How to make a DIY garden signpost with leftover outdoor paint and upcycled wood battens
18. Make a family of grizzly planters
This grrrrr-eat little project for pot plants with personality is one you can get the kids involved with. It uses air-drying clay, which is readily available online, plus acrylic paint and some sandpaper. Try your hand: How to make DIY bear plant pots.
19. Give your shower door a steel-framed makeover
Next up, we've taken a tip from savvy DIYer Jasmine of Instagram’s @_OhAbode (opens in new tab). She gave her shower screen this cool Crittall-style finish using black electrical tape. The budget hack cost the grand total of £2, but looks super stylish. See this savvy before and after crittall effect shower door hack made for just £2!
You can source your electrical tape from Amazon (opens in new tab), otherwise, you can use window lead adhesive for a similar effect. Also available on Amazon, this one from lead works (opens in new tab) comes highly rated.
20. Transform doors and windows with film
Window film is available to buy online, but you can also buy designs at the likes of B&Q and Screwfix. Use it to create an on-trend fluted pattern on plain glass doors, or to give yourself more privacy by covering the bottom half of windows.
Browse all of the window film available to buy at Amazon (opens in new tab).
21. Paint the ceiling
It's got to be one of the biggest and most transformative decorating trends of the year. And painting the ceiling is a bold change that will make a room feel dramatic, cosy, and that bit more 'designer'. It's easy to achieve, too.
22. Panel your walls
Another big trend hitting homes in 2021 is the one for wall panelling. It's now readily available in DIY stores as primed-to-paint, stick-to-the-wall panels. But you can also have a go creating a bespoke look with MDF batons or strips. Take a look at our wall panelling ideas for different options and the basics of how to do the job.
You can actually buy a wall panelling kit from Homebase (opens in new tab) that comes complete with cut-to-size FSC-certified wood. Ready for you to stick onto your wall and paint.
23. Upcycle a chest of drawers into a planter
We love this brilliant idea for breathing new life into an unloved piece of furniture by literally filling it with new life! Paint and some plastic lining to hold the soil are the main ingredients for this satisfying job. Let's DIY this! How to upcycle a planter – just in time for summer.
24. Hang new curtains
Do you have a pair you've been meaning to hang for a while? Or are you thinking of running up some new curtains yourself? This guide might help...Here's How to hang curtains beautifully – whether in a tricky bay window or a simple setting.
25. Paint the stairs
Stick of the sight of that stained old stair carpet? Tear it up and replace with a gorgeous paint job. You could try a graduated ombre effect using a range of tests pots on the risers, keeping to one colour on treads. Let's DIY this: How to paint a staircase to transform your hallway by painting your steps.
26. Create a garden path or edge a border with old bricks
There's a wealth of cheap DIY garden path ideas to create an inexpensive outdoor walkway, such as this one. Put that pile of leftover bricks to good use and make a path that mirrors the shape of your flowerbeds. Lay them long and sideways in a bed of gravel to create a patterned curve.
27. Hang your photos
Why not use this time to audit all the photos on your phone, then print a few out and create a wall of photos?
Play with composition – especially in areas like stairways or hallways, where walls are often bare and uninspired. For a smarter look, stick to photo frames of the same colour, and print all photos in either colour or black and white, rather than mixing and matching.
28. Wallpaper the bathroom
All that white sanitaryware does put a bathroom in danger of feeling cold and clinical. One way to add colour is to paper the walls in an on-trend botanical print. you can use any wallpaper to do this – as long as you treat it correctly.
29. Try this spice rack hack
Spice racks can be so much more than storage for your garam masala! Hang them upside down and they become a rail for hanging baby clothes or jewellery. And the right way up, they can hold anything from plants to books.
You can buy these IKEA spice racks (opens in new tab) directly from Amazon, to save you a trip to the store.
30. Tile a splashback
Protect the wall behind a sink or oven with a newly tiled splashback. You can give a kitchen, bathroom or cloakroom a whole new look in just an afternoon! Let's DIY this! How to tile a splashback to protect walls and add a splash of style to your decor scheme.
31. Build a pallet sofa
Turn your garden into another room and give the whole family more space by building a sofa out of old pallets. Let's DIY this: How to make pallet garden furniture – a step-by-step guide.
32. Paint your front door
Impress your neighbours by painting your door, boosting your home's curb appeal. Let's DIY this: How to paint your front door to offer plenty of kerb appeal
33. Make trendy terrazzo plant pots
Bored teens might like to try this fun make. Give plain plant pots a jazzy makeover with our simple guide on How to make terrazzo planters – create some pretty plant pots for your greenery.
34. Paint your fences
Get that garden ready for barbecue weather and paint the fences. You don't need to stick to one colour or stain – why not try a pretty pattern? Let's DIY this: How to paint a fence
35. Add pizzazz with a mural
Grab those tester pots and let your imagination run wild! See all our imaginative paint ideas – to create feature walls and paint effects to give any room a makeover.
36. Paint your floorboards
Sort out that tatty old wooden floor by painting it white, or go further and add a patterned stencil for extra wow! Let's DIY this! How to paint floorboards white or any other colour – plus tips for adding a stylish stencil pattern
37. Make a macrame plant hanger
You'll find this knotted make super relaxing! Let's DIY this: How to make a macrame plant hanger to add greenery to your home
38. Paint your kitchen units
Give your tired kitchen a whole new look by painting the units...Let's DIY this! How to paint kitchen cabinets – give your units a whole new look.
39. Or just change the cabinet handles
You can order these sexy leather pulls online from IKEA. All you'll need for this is a screwdriver and your replacement handles!
40. Cover your worktops with vinyl and fake a marble look
You could also revamp a dining or coffee table with an easy-to-use marble effect film. The adhesive film simple sticks to your existing work surface to provide a new look in an instant.
Browse a whole selection of worktop vinyl at Amazon (opens in new tab).
41. Build a living plant wall
Go green indoors or out with the ultimate plant wall. Our friends at Dobbies have explained exactly how to get wall of fabulous foliage. Let's DIY this: How to make a living plant wall.
42. Upcycle a bathroom vanity unit
Give an old table or chest a second chance, and potentially create more storage in the bathroom.Discover How to upcycle a vanity unit – to create a super-stylish piece of furniture.
43. Wallpaper your stair risers
If painting them isn't enough, here's a fun way to add pattern. Let's DIY this: How to wallpaper your stairs to add colour to your hallway.
44. Swap your door handles
It's a simple job that will take less than an hour! Let's DIY this: How to fit a door handle – change your door knob for a new one
45. Plant a hanging basket or two
There's an art to it, but do it right and you'll bring colour to your garden all summer long. Follow these top tips: How to plant a hanging basket to transform your garden with this pretty outdoor accessory
46. Switch your kitchen tap
Sick of the drips? You can do this yourself in a jiffy! Let's DIY this! How to change a tap and give your kitchen a fresh new look
47. Make your own 'stoneware' vases with spray paint!
Become a craft potter without the mess of moulding clay. Let's DIY this: How to create a stunning stone-effect vase for just £6 using a can of spray paint
You can buy this Rust-Oleum spray paint from B&Q (opens in new tab) for £12.
48. Make a pallet bed
Taken from the brilliant book 'Pallet Style', this more ambitious make might take the weekend. But if you are looking for a new bed right now and can't have one delivered, this might provide a temporary solution. Let's DIY this: How to make your own pallet bed – a step-by-step guide.
49. Set up an outdoor cinema
Take move nights outdoors for a change of scene. Let's DIY this: How to make an outdoor cinema in your back garden to enjoy movies without having to leave the house.
You'll also need an outdoor projector, here's a bunch for you to browse...
50. Sew some pretty bathroom storage
Our friends at Hobbycraft shared this easy make with us. If you're looking to tame the clutter of toiletries in your bathroom, why not grab some scraps of fabric and have a go? Here's how: How to make fabric bathroom storage boxes – for toiletries, make-up and hair accessories
51. Build a 'mum cave' under the stairs
One of our favourite stories of the year so far comes from a mum that decided to create a little escape in the small cupboard under the stairs. See how she did it here: Mum transforms space under her stairs into a serene Mum cave for only £17
52. Use kitchen storage to reorganise your workstation
Working from home? Bring a bit of order to your desk by using kitchen storage – such as this trough and spice rack – as a place to stash stationery.
53. Brighten up an outdoor wall
Paint old frames in different bright colours and fill them with succulents for a dramatic transformation. You could do the same with mirrors, too! Here’s how to do it: How to make a wall garden with succulent plants in picture frames
Good luck with your projects, and enjoy the long weekend.
Amy Cutmore is Editor-in-Chief, Homes Audience, working across the Future Homes portfolio. She works on titles including Ideal Home, Homes & Gardens, Livingetc, Real Homes, Gardeningetc, Top Ten Reviews and Country Life. And she's a winner of the PPA's Digital Content Leader of the Year. A homes journalist for two decades, she has a strong background in technology and appliances, and has a small portfolio of rental properties, so can offer advice to renters and rentees, alike.
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