Chic DIY projects to transform your home in a weekend

We are confident that these are some of the easiest, most beautiful DIY projects you will ever tackle – or delegate

Three images of DIY projects including decorative stairs, a dresser and a decorative plate wall display
(Image credit: Future / Polly Wreford / Jon Day / Annie Sloan)

If you find yourself with a spare weekend, and let's be honest, those are few and far between, seize the opportunity to complete a chic home update with one of our favorite DIY projects. 

These DIY home improvements can be effortlessly completed in just a few hours, or you can savor the process over a leisurely weekend. Each one is the perfect way to stamp your unique style onto a space, whether that’s a quick lick of paint or a stunning wall mural.  

Below, we share the DIY projects that we've tried and loved. Each one is straightforward yet leaves a lasting impression – and more importantly, they're stunningly beautiful. 

DIY projects – the H&G way

From simple tricks with paint to projects that require a needle and a length of thread, these are our top ways to lift a room – or two. Simply arm yourself with your DIY tools, pop your favorite podcast on and enjoy an afternoon of getting hands-on around the house.  

1. Curate a unique gallery wall with decorative plates

DIY projects

(Image credit: Future/Polly Wreford)

If you have decorative antique plates hidden away in a cupboard, consider displaying china as a feature gallery wall. This simple project can be completed in an afternoon and is an easy way to elevate your dining room.

'When choosing plates, try to select a range of sizes and a variety of origins,' says Emma Sims-Hilditch, interior designer. 'Plates which carry meaning or a message are great additions to the design as they help it to become a meaningful part of the home.'

Before you begin this DIY project, measure the placement of each plate on the wall to ensure the spacing is correct. Once you’re happy, attach the plates to hanging wires – you could use this ten-pack of decorative plate hangers from Walmart – and hook them onto the walls.

China plates aren’t the only treasured possessions ideal for gallery walls. You could also curate a unique display with old family photos, mirrors or decorative baskets.

Emma Sims-Hilditch
Emma Sims-Hilditch

Emma Sims-Hilditch is a British interior designer who first started out making curtains from her kitchen table. In the years that have followed, she has developed the Sims Hilditch brand so that it has become synonymous with a timeless English living aesthetic reimagined with a fresh eye. 

2. Use paint to accentuate details

DIY projects

(Image credit: Future/Jon Day)

Revitalizing your space with color doesn't necessarily mean painting an entire wall. A touch of paint applied thoughtfully to a piece of old furniture can also work wonders.

'Many of us have an old chest, chair, or table that's lost its luster over the years,' remarks Helen Shaw, director of Benjamin Moore. 'A strategic splash of color on parts like the interior or the legs can breathe new life into it, making it feel brand new without the expense of purchasing new furniture.'

If the exterior of a glazed piece is still in great condition, consider adding a contrasting color to the interior. This approach not only refreshes the piece but also accentuates whatever is displayed inside. 

Milk paint is an excellent choice for small DIY projects such as this. It doesn't require a primer or an undercoat and dries extremely quickly. Before you start, ensure the surface is clean, smoothly sanded, and any cracks are repaired. 'For a truly professional look, we recommend applying two coats of paint,' advises Helen.

Powdered Milk Paint | View at Amazon

Powdered Milk Paint | View at Amazon
This powered milk paint comes in several sizes and colors, ideal for home renovations and furniture flips. 

Helen Shaw
Helen Shaw

Helen Shaw is part of Benjamin Moore's UK division. Color expert and international marketing director, Helen and her husband Craig are founders of Shaw Paints, acquired by Benjamin Moore in 2020.

3. Add trimmings for beautiful detail

DIY projects

(Image credit: Future/Polly Wreford)

Refreshing the look and feel of a room with every passing season can be as simple as upgrading your soft furnishings. To add a bespoke touch, consider enhancing your cushions with unique trimmings or tassels. Here’s how:

1. Select an old cushion or decorative throw that could benefit from an update and begin by gathering your materials: beading, braids, piping, and tassels. 

Online retailers, such as Samuel & Sons and Etsy, offer a wide selection of trimmings for every design aesthetic imaginable. When choosing your trimmings, consider the existing fabric of your cushion. For a classic, elegant look select trimmings that match the color and texture of your fabric. If you’re feeling adventurous, choose a contrasting color for a bold, contemporary twist.

2. Before you begin sewing, measure the perimeter of your cushion to determine how much trimming you'll need. 

3. Pin the trimming in place to ensure it fits perfectly and to give you an idea of the final look. 

4. Now attach your trim. If you're using beading or tassels, remember to hand-sew them to avoid damaging your sewing machine. For braids or piping, use a zipper foot attachment to get as close to the edge as possible, ensuring a neat finish. 

Singer Portable Sewing Machine with LED Lighting and Accessories |

Singer Portable Sewing Machine with LED Lighting and Accessories | $134.99 at Walmart
This Singer machine has been designed for both beginners and seasoned sewers. It offers 57 stitch applications to help you master essential sewing techniques. Whether you're piecing quilts, creating DIY crafts, or performing simple mending, this machine is a reliable companion. 

4. Highlight an alcove

DIY projects

(Image credit: Future/Simon Brown)

An incredibly simple yet effective DIY project is painting an alcove in a subtly different shade to the main wall and edging it with trim to create a unique focal point.

Recreate the look above by simply stenciling a scalloped edge around your alcove and painting it a contrasting shade by hand. Alternatively, you could design a trim and cut it out of MDF before painting it and fixing it to the wall to create a 3D border. 

You could also use the remnants of an old wallpaper roll to decorate a niche or alcove in your home. ‘Wallpaper is seeing another renaissance, as people seek out color and pattern that injects joy and energy into an interior,’ adds Ruth Mottershead, Creative Director at Little Greene and Paint & Paper Library.

5. Give staircases a decorative edge

DIY projects

(Image credit: Future/Jan Baldwin)

Bring an unexpected splash of color or pattern to your hallway design scheme by decorating your staircase

This DIY project could be as simple as installing a runner on your stairs and painting your banisters a contrasting color, or you could opt for something transformative, such as learning how to sand and restain wooden steps, or how to tile individual stairs for extra impact. 

6. Bring in the green

Hanging kokedama spider plants and ferns

(Image credit: Getty Images/Dorling Kindersley: Rob Streeter)

‘Spring is a great time to get into house plants,’ says Dr Katie Cooper, Founder of online indoor plant store Bloombox Club. ‘As the weather gets warmer and daylight hours increase, houseplants enter their active growing phase and come out in full force.’ 

Previously a practicing therapist and psychology lecturer, Katie explains it is important to research your plants to ensure they sit in the best light. ‘It’s nice to bring together plants of varying shapes and sizes but maintain a theme throughout, whether that’s jungly and rugged or neat and ornamental,’ she adds.

Embrace biophilic design with beautiful DIY projects such as installing a vertical living wall in your home or crafting a macrame hanging plant holder

7. Give your bedroom a boutique look

Colorful bedroom with fabric headboard

(Image credit: Future)

Elevate your bedroom over the weekend by upholstering your headboard with a stylish fabric of your choosing. To complete this project, you will need plywood for the board, wadding to pad the piece out, fabric of your choice, as well as trim or edging – plus a staple gun to bring it all together. 

Consider creating an extra wide or tall headboard for dramatic effect, as this will bring the focus on the room straight to the bed.  


Upholstery 4 in 1 Staple Gun | $18.99 at Amazon
Make easy work of upholstery projects with this heavy-duty staple gun and accessories kit.

8. Hang or paint a decorative mural

DIY projects

(Image credit: Future / Simon Bevan)

‘Murals can add dimension to any room, even small spaces, ’ says decorator and designer Paolo Moschino. ‘They are also ideal for historical properties with wonky walls which make wallpaper impossible.’

If you're feeling confident in your freehand skills, you can sketch your design straight onto a primed wall or use a premade stencil from a website such as Etsy. But you don’t have to put your artistic nature to the test when it comes to picture walls. There are plenty of wallpapers that are designed to do just that with trompe l'oeil illustrations. For a relaxing bedroom scheme, turn to images of escapism, like this tropical pictorial Tana Grisaille wallpaper that evokes the memory of faraway shores. Complete the look by choosing furniture, bedding, and cushions in earthy ochre and a pinch of ginger for a fully immersive design. 

9. Panel a wall

Paneling ideas for walls with blue panelled dining room with red sideboar

(Image credit: Future / Polly Wreford)

Wall paneling is one interior design trend that will likely never go out of style. Fortunately, recreating a timeless wainscoting effect or shaker wall panels is easier and more accessible than ever. 

Most DIY stores and online retailers stock stick-to-the-wall panels that you can install in an afternoon, many of which come pre-measured and/or primed-to-paint. For perfect panels every time, consider the following:  

Preparation: Before you start, ensure your walls are clean, dry, and smooth. Any bumps or imperfections could interfere with the adhesion of the wall panels. It might be tempting to skip this step, but taking the time to prep your walls can make a huge difference to the final look.

Measure twice, cut once: This old carpenter's adage holds true for DIY wall panels. Carefully measure your wall space and plan out your design before making any cuts. If your panels aren't pre-measured, use a level and a measuring tape to mark where you'll need to cut. Remember, it's always better to cut a piece slightly larger and trim it down than to cut it too short.

Finishing touches: Applying a bead of paintable caulk along the seams where the panels meet the wall can bridge any gaps and give your DIY panels a smooth, professional finish. Simply apply the caulk, smooth it with a wet finger or caulk tool, and allow it to dry before painting.

10. Revitalise a wooden floor

DIY projects

(Image credit: Annie Sloan)

If revamping or refinishing your wooden floors is on your to-do list this year, consider giving your floorboards a fresh lick of paint or a coat of varnish.  

The bathroom floor pictured above has been stripped back and then painted with a chequerboard pattern using Annie Sloan chalk paint before being given two to three coats of a tough clear varnish. The result is a warm, characterful look that appeals to those who love a vintage feel.

11. Update doors and windows with fluted film

Antique glass and fluted glass kitchen trend

(Image credit: Higham Furniture / by Ben Sage)

Fluting and reeded glass are two interior design trends that are set to stay popular throughout 2024, and fluted windows are as stylish as they are practical. Thankfully, it's incredibly easy to fake the fluted aesthetic without having to install new windows in your home by simply applying fluted film to plain glass. 

Achieving this look is as easy as getting your hands on some peel and stick film, like this Reeded Glass Window Film from Amazon. This DIY project is ideal for areas like bathrooms, kitchens, or street-facing living rooms. Just apply the film to the bottom half of your windows to enhance privacy without sacrificing natural light. 

12. Replace hardware

modern bathroom vanity and cabinetry by Studio LIFESTYLE

(Image credit: Studio LIFE/STYLE)

One of the easiest ways to elevate the look and feel of your kitchen or bathroom on a budget is to swap out the hardware on your cabinetry. This small change can have a surprisingly big impact, adding a touch of your own personal style to the space without the need for a full remodel. 

When selecting new hardware, consider your existing decor and look for complementary materials and finishes, and before purchasing new knobs or drawer pulls, make sure you measure the distance between the holes of your current hardware. 

If you're able to find new hardware with like-for-like measurements, you may be able to install it without having to drill any new holes. However, if you do need to reach for a drill, consider using a hardware template – like this Liberty AlignRight Clear Mounting Template from Lowes – to accurately mark the drilling spots and ensure a professional-looking finish.

13. Craft custom scented candles

A trio of candles on a wooden plate

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Creating custom scented candles is an easy way to infuse your home with a personalized fragrance that reflects your mood or the season. 

Start by selecting the right wax— we recommend using soy wax for a cleaner burn or beeswax for a natural honey scent. Next, select your scents; essential oils offer natural aromas, while fragrance oils provide a wider range of options, from floral to food-inspired scents. Consider fragrance layering to create a signature scent that's uniquely yours.

Craft your custom candles by melting your chosen wax in a double boiler, carefully adding your fragrance oils and then pouring the wax into prepared containers with wicks properly secured. Customization doesn’t have to end with the scent either; you can choose the color of the wax, the style of the container, and even add decorations like dried flowers, crystals, or herbs for a personalized touch. 

DIY Candle Making Complete Kit |

DIY Candle Making Complete Kit | From $29.99 at Etsy
This handy kit contains all the essentials for candle making at home, including 5lb wax, 2 centering devices, 100 cotton wicks, and 100 wick stickers.

The key to a smooth DIY project is having the right tools by your side. Investing in quality DIY tools not only makes the work easier but also turns the process into a more enjoyable experience.

Gabriella Dyson
Head of Solved

Gabriella is Head of Solved at Homes & Gardens. She is a DIY enthusiast and a lover of all things interior design, often found antiquing or browsing the aisles of her local hardware store. 

She has a particular passion for historic buildings and is in the process of renovating a Victorian coachhouse in the British countryside. 

For much of the past decade, Gabriella has worked as a freelance writer, crafting copy for national publications and renowned homeware brands. Most recently, she worked on Homebuilding & Renovating Magazine, focusing on case studies for the magazine and website, as well as writing features about issues surrounding historic and listed building projects.

With contributions from