Creative style hacks anyone can do

Create a stylish home using these clever craft ideas

Looking for ways to update your home on a budget this autumn? Here are some clever  style hacks that are cost-effective and super easy to achieve.

Upcycle a vintage crate

lamp with chair and books

(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Eltes)

A solid crate, such as an old wine box, makes for the perfect unique side table.

Step 1
Turn it on its side to attach castors to the bottom so it can be moved around. You can use castors from all good DIY stores (try B&Q)

Step 2
To add interest decorate the inside with old book pages, sheet music or leftover wallpaper or paint.

Display a few carefully curated objects in the crate, and use the top as a table – perfect as a lamp table in a living room.

Make your own lighting

Turn a humble kilner jar into a statement pendant light in four simple steps.

lights with table and sofa with cushion

(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Eltes)

You will need:

  • A vintage style bulb socket and coloured flex
  • A large, screw top Mason jar
  • A hammer
  • A nail
  • Heatproof glue
  • A maximum 30W light bulb

Step 1
Unscrew the blub socket.
Open a screw-top Mason jar and take out the inner flat lid. Place one half of the bulb socket on top of the flat jar lid and draw around it.

Step 2
Use a hammer and a nail to punch holes along the circle you have drawn on the lid. Eventually the inner piece will fall out- the edges will be jagged, so take care.

Step 3
Screw up the bulb socket on either side of the flat lid, sandwiching the lid between the two pieces.

Step 4
Prevent overheating by hammering several air holes in the lid using a hammer and nail, and fixing in a low-wattage light bulb (30W or less). Screw up the outer lid of the Mason jar.
Ask an electrician to the flex to your mains lighting.

Make a memo board

memo board with grey wall and table

(Image credit: Future PLC/Polly Eltes)

Create a pretty display board out of fabric remnant and an old picture frame

Step 1
Choose a fabric that compliments your frame, whether it's opulent Rococo for a gilt frame or simple Nordic for a plainer style.

Step 2
Cut foam mount-board to fit snugly in the frame. Wrap your fabric around the board, pulling it tight across the corners and sides so there are no wrinkles on the front.

Step 3
Tape the fabric in place, then fit the board into the frame, attaching it with small nails or upholstery tacks.

Repurpose stepladders

grey wall with ladder and chair with cushion

(Image credit: TBC)

Create your own inventive open-shelving system using vintage stepladders

Trawl car-boot sales for wooden stepladders. You'll need a pair that have rungs at matching heights.
Check for secure joins and fixtures.

Step 1
Position the ladders next to one another and place plywood shelves between the rungs.

Step 2
Drill holes in the shelves and use screws to attach them securely to the rungs.

Step 3
Use the shelves to show off your favourite flea-market finds, grouping together glass bottles and vintage books. Add a touch of nature by using the quirky shelving to display on-trend succulents.

Make a peg rail

peg rail with blur background

(Image credit: TBC)

Whether faceted glass or ceramic flowers, cupboard knobs can make a lovely addition to a peg rail.

Step 1
Collect cupboard knobs in a mix of shapes and colours to add an electric feel to your design

Step 2
Screw five or six to a painted length of wood – the length determined by where you wish to hang your display rail.

Step 3
Affix to the wall. Don't hide your peg rail behind a door- show it off instead. Fix it above a dressing table to display necklaces or on a blank wall to hang up handbags.

Heather Young

Heather Young has been Ideal Home’s Editor since late 2020, and Editor-In-Chief since 2023. She is an interiors journalist and editor who’s been working for some of the UK’s leading interiors magazines for over 20 years, both in-house and as a freelancer.