Home improvement projects don’t necessarily mean remodeling your entire kitchen or re-roofing the house. Sometimes all it takes is a fresh coat of paint or a thrift store collection of frames to dress up a drab room. From easy accent-wall murals to brightening the room with a shelf of succulents, here are a few of our favorite fun, inexpensive DIY projects you can do in a weekend to update the look and vibe of any room in your house.
1) Create an Accent Wall
Accent walls come together in just a few hours and can make a dramatic change. Dress up a boring wall with anything from a coordinated neutral to an eye-popping jewel tone paint. Make sure to balance a bright pop of color with neutral walls in the rest of the visible area, and choose a wall that won’t be too busy with structural or architectural features. The main focus of this wall will be the color, so when hanging things, be sure they add to the scheme and don’t detract. Less is more.
You can even take this one step further with a deceptively simple mountain mural. This project can be done with painter’s tape and several layers of the same color in three different tones: darker, medium, and light. Simply tape out three rows of mountain peaks in alternating elevations, then paint in the rows, starting with the darkest in front, medium in the second row, and finishing with the lightest tone in the third row. The result is a statement wall that will jump out whether you feature it in a bedroom or a common area. Pinterest is full of ideas, directions, and inspirations for mountain wall murals in all levels of complexity.
2) Not in the Mood to Paint? Purchase a Hanging Wall Mural
This is even easier than painting your wall and less permanent. For surprisingly little money, you can find a hanging wall mural to cover a bland wall and make a real statement. Made of lightweight polyester and available in several dimensions, these hanging tapestries can be an eye-catching centerpiece of a room or a calming backdrop depending on what you’re going for. Wall coverings are perfect for bedrooms, studios, or offices, and you can switch them out when the mood strikes.
3) Go to Town with the Spray Paint
Found the ugliest chest of drawers, end table, or chairs at the thrift store but couldn’t turn down the low price? For just a few dollars, a can of spray paint will completely transform even the worst furniture eyesore. You can choose a neutral grey or matte black, or opt for a splash of color to make furniture stand out (in a good way). White furniture will brighten a room, while neutrals provide a more subtle backdrop.
Spray your furniture outside, and put a cloth down so you don’t inadvertently paint your driveway or lawn. You can sand the furniture before spraying depending on finish, but it isn’t entirely necessary.
4) Show off Your Photos With a Gallery Wall
The magic combo of thrift stores and spray paint strikes again. Hit up a yard sale, rummage sale, or thrift store and buy a collection of frames in different sizes. Then use a can of spray paint in matte black, white, or grey to make them look coordinated and classy. Buying frames in common print sizes is a safe bet, such as 4x6, 5x7, or 8x10. Next, dig through your photos for the best ones to display. This gallery wall can work with prints, photos, even vintage ads or magazine pages. Get creative—one of the best things about this project is it’s temporary and you can always change it up.
5) Splatter Art on Canvas
You don’t need to be Jackson Pollock to splash some paint in your favorite color on a large canvas. Art supply stores have canvases in a huge variety of sizes and dimensions—choose the best size based on the wall space you want to cover, then go to town. This video shows a fun, bright way to paint canvas then splatter bright paint on a series of canvases to hang in a triptych across a long wall.
6) Put Together a Fun, Funky Succulent Display
Hit that thrift store again, this time for a collection of weird, wild, vintage, or matching vessels for plants that even you can’t kill. Stick to a theme, like pewter containers, delicate teacups, or kitschy souvenir mugs, and the display will come together on its own. Stores like Home Depot have a variety of cacti and succulents for just a few bucks a pop. Drop a few rocks on the bottom of your container and choose a well-draining soil mix to keep your succulents healthy. Display your collection on a wall-mounted shelf, as a raised centerpiece on a table, or scattered around the room on end tables.
7) Pick a Simple Landscaping Project
You don’t need to redo your whole lawn or hire a landscaper to do simple yard upgrades. Choose an edge section of yard for grounding—a portion connected to a front porch, steps, or driveway corner. Mark out the shape you’d like to create and edge it with bricks or paving stones. Then turn the soil, add a hearty planter mix, and plant your favorite perennials and ground cover.