DIY — Sometimes we avoid such projects because we think we don’t have the skills or the creative talent to fix or improve our home. But that’s all about to change.

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I’m not particularly “handy” when it comes to making stuff, however I still managed to accomplish most of the hacks I picked up around the Web when I was settling into a new home.

Sit back, read, and think about some of these hacks that you could use right now to transform lots of places in and around your home.

Outside

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1. Tired of Replacing and Dragging Bags of Mulch Around Every Spring? Solve that once and for all with the new plastic mulch. Lay down some landscaping material and cover with the mulch. Say goodbye to weeds and to annual replacement. And even better — it’s from re-cycled materials.

2. Have You Priced Replacement of an Old Deck or Patio Recently? Yikes! Here’s the perfect solution. The rubber material that is being used on playgrounds is now available in 12-inch to 18-inch squares in all sorts of great colors. Glue these down on your deck or patio floor (just like tiling any floor) and you have a great surface made from recycled tires — go green!

3. Want a Great and Really Unusual Spot Garden? Take old tires and spray paint them bright colors. Arrange them in a stacking pattern and plant flowers in them.

Moving Inside

Walls: Older homes often have a wall or two that are pretty ugly — repaired plaster that really shows, etc. Painting won’t do the job. And in newer homes, everyone now has an accent wall with a contrasting paint color. Do something different.

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4. Cover an Ugly Wall or Make an Accent by Covering It With New Metal Materials. What an amazing difference it will make in a room.

5. If You Want a “Homier” Effect, Cover a Bad Wall With New Laminate Flooring. There is even a vinyl variety now — so easy to fit the parts together!

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Floors: This is one of the most reasonable and cost-effective improvements you can make.

6. Old Ugly carpet? Replace It! No need to keep cleaning it or getting new carpet only to start cleaning it again. There are so many new materials now that you can get just about any color, texture, and tone you want, from hardwoods to vinyl planks, that look amazingly like real wood. And they all “lock” together so easily — a snap to install. Check out all of theamazing flooring options you have at cheaper prices than carpet. And water cleanup to boot.

Easy Decor Hacks

Here’s a great list of what to do to spark up lots of boring spots/spaces and repair or “hide” those small things that just make a room or home look old and tired.

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7. Under Those Sinks: There are those ugly stains and water spots from leaks. Get cheap peel and stick vinyl flooring squares and cover those areas. Soap and water cleanup too.

8. Vent Covers: They may no longer match the paint scheme or may have chipped paint. Instead of replacing with others that don’t do much for you, spray paint them.

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9. Plain Square Bathroom Mirror: Instead of replacing that mirror with a more expensive one that has some framing, frame it yourself. Get some ceramic tiles from a big-box home improvement store and frame that mirror yourself — cheap and easy.

10. Unused Fireplaces: Decorate that space! Put artificial plants or an arrangement of candles in that fireplace to ignite a boring space.

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11. Curtains: They’re expensive. But with a little ingenuity, you have other options. You can cut a bed duvet in half and make curtains. Or you can buy a couple of shower curtains — they already have holes for hanging, and get some really cool show curtain hooks and a nice looking shower rod. Instant curtains you’ll love. Shower curtain come in so many great patterns, prints, and colors these days, they really can be amazing curtains for windows too.

12. Make Your Own Occasional Table: Three pieces of wood that your home improvement store will cut for you free. This idea was actually stolen from Ikea, but it is really an exact replica. Make the table side enough to fit over a twin bed. Now, you can work from bed if you are feeling lazy.

13. Dark Lampshades: if you’re tired of that dark lampshade but know how much it costs to replace (a lot), then try something else first to see if you might like it. Poke holes in the shade to get a brighter effect. And you aren’t out anything if you don’t like it, since you were going to replace the shade anyway.

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14. Picture Arrangements: these are really hard to get right, and you can end up pounding all sorts of holes in your walls until you get them right. Instead, cut stick-and-peel contact paper the size of your pictures and stick each piece up on the wall, moving them around until you have what you like.

15. Boring Six-Panel Doors: Paint those panels with a bright contrasting color. The change to a room will be amazing.


16. Change Your Art Work Often: We all get tired of the pictures that we spent money on and don’t want to spend more money onto replace. Instead of buying new pictures, find fabrics that have great prints or geometric designs, etc. Put those in the frames for a while. And if you are into photography, take a few shots — Staples will enlarge them beautifully into any size. Another great idea is to get adult coloring books — the heavy paper kind. Frame those and change out your current wall art.

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17. Speaking of Wall Art: If you are wondering how to display family photos, make them all the same size, frame them, and then make a wall clock with them. Get a plain clock for the center, and each photo will represent an hour on that clock

18. Unique Paint Texturing: Experiment with adding textures to wet paint on a wall. Try them a plain piece of wood first, of course, but try different objects. Here’s an example of using broom bristles to create a very cool effect.

19. Hanging a Perfect Cabinet Every Time: If you have a large or heavy cabinet, you can spend a lot of time measuring the back and then the wall and marking off where you think the brackets or hangers should go. Instead, measure the space between the hold on the back of the cabinet with a piece of masking tape, and then put the tape on the wall where you want it. Now you know exactly where to put the holders in the wall.

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20. Wall Shelves the Easy Way: Instead of the hassle of cutting wood, sanding, and finding brackets for DIY shelves, buy already finished stair treads. They already have rounded, finished fronts. Paint those stair treads any color you wish and then attach them with pre-made corbels, painted the same or a contrasting color.

21. Turn a Closet Into a Home Office: If you have a guest room or just an extra small bedroom that you want to convert into an office, you can certainly bring in a desk and shelves. If the space is really small, however, by the time you add a file cabinet, possibly a TV, and a few other pieces, you have a very crowded looking space. Instead, turn the closet into the desk and shelving space. Put a deep shelf in for the desktop and a couple of more shallow shelves up above for storage. This is just one of many great ideas from “This Old House.”

22. Turn Upper Cabinets in Your Kitchen Into Display Shelves: If you have enough cabinet space but have some really tall upper cabinets that you don’t use because of their height, turn them in a decorative statement. Take off the cabinet doors and hinges, fill in the holes, paint the interior of the unit, and you have instant shelves on which to place cute decorative items.

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23. Hate Those Brass Doorknobs, Rims Around Ceiling Fixtures, and Hinges? The fix is far cheaper than buying new. Just get a bottle of “Brass Darkening Solution” and paint it on. Immediately, you have an older, antique brass look that really tones down the entire look of a room.

24. Really Tall Ceilings With Bare Space Above Doorways: Your halls and rooms can look bare and unfinished if you have lots of bare space above doorways. Mount a shelf on top of that doorway with decorative brackets and display pottery or other items. Bring more coziness to a room.

25. Waterproofing You Kids’ Bathroom: Here’s a way to make the walls around their bathtub waterproof and give some added color to the bathroom at the same time. Get rubber floor tiles and glue them up to make a great backsplash around the tub.