10 DIY Projects That You Can Make After One Trip to the Hardware Store
Some of our editors' favorite projects involve those where seemingly one-dimensional items or household favorites that have become worn, can be completely revolutionized with a simple approach. Updating items to help them reach their fullest potential in your home's design scheme can be easy as a fresh coat of paint, and in most cases, requires just an hour or two of your time.
For the projects here, we took a tour of the hardware store and made use of the seemingly niche tools, supplies, and other odds and ends that line its shelves. Consider this an opportunity to overhaul your set of furniture with our upcycling ideas, which include ideas for cleverly disguising worn or other unwanted details on wooden surfaces, cabinetry, and furniture itself. A do-it-yourself desk can be built from a hollow-core door across two sawhorses. Use a pegboard for tools to organize and stock up on craft supplies like gift-wrapping paper, embroidery hoops, hammers, or a shelf of jarred beads and baubles.
That's just the beginning—look for opportunities in the bathroom (with a towel ladder made of copper piping), the kitchen (in the form of a shelving unit), or the tabletop for entertaining guests (you can strengthen napkin rings, cords, and key fobs with upholstered rope). There's even something to be made for your canine companion in the form of a moving-blanket pet bed with quilted fabric.
There are many ways to upcycle your everyday items into pieces that will last. And, best of all, everything you need can be found in one place.
To get a spacious desk for a song, lay a hollow-core door across two sawhorses. Coat them all with scuff-resistant high-gloss paint, and the sleek factor skyrockets. (We used Benjamin Moore's Trout Gray.) Then keep supplies in reach with color-blocked pegboard, magnetic sheet metal, and chalkboard that you can outfit with standard-issue hooks, magnets, and shelves. Spray-paint them gold to unify—and elevate—them. Organization? Achieved.
Benjamin Moore Paint, in Trout Gray, benjaminmoore.com. Jeld-Wen Unfinished Flush Hardwood Interior-Door Slab, 32" by 80", $41, homedepot.com. The Home Depot Pine Sawhorses, 29", $19 each, homedepot.com. Dimensions White Pegboard, 48" by 24", $9, homedepot.com. Everbilt 26-Gauge Zinc-Plated Sheet Metal, 12" by 24", $7, homedepot.com. Ook Hangman French Cleat Picture-Hanger Kit, $12 for 13 pieces, homedepot.com. #10 Brass Finishing Washers, $1.25 for 4, homedepot.com. Everbilt #10 Phillips Flat-Head Wood Screws, 21⁄2", $1.25 for 2, homedepot.com. Art to Frames Picture Frames, 24" by 36", in Natural Oak, $40 each, arttoframe.com. Industry West Hovy Armchair, $950, industrywest.com. Target Project 62 Dean LED Task Lamp, $30, target.com. Cofield Hand-Turned Arched Bookends, in Black and Maple, $190 a pair, food52.com. Martha Stewart All-Purpose Scissors, $21, michaels.com. Martha Stewart Hammer-and-Setter Set, $26, amazon.com. Martha Stewart Fine Glitter, $21 for 24 0.34-oz. Jars, amazon.com. Garrett Wade Innovative Standard Storage Shelf, $11, garrettwade.com. Everbilt Pegboard Pliers Holders, $3 for 4, homedepot.com. Everbilt Zinc-Plated Steel Double-Arm Straight Peg Hooks, 4", $2.50 for 2, homedepot.com. Rust-Oleum Universal Metallic Spray Paint, in Pure Gold, $8.50, truevalue.com.
A towel ladder made of copper plumbing fittings gives your bathroom the charm of a fancy Parisian hotel suite for the cost of room-service petit déjeuner. (Get the how-to and all piping materials at the link here.) To cast a glow on your handiwork, bring a pair of no-frills light fixtures up from the basement, too. Leave them white, or paint them—either way, the bare bulbs will lend even more minimalist chic.
West Elm Metal Framed Wall Mirror, in Rose Gold, $299, westelm.com. Leviton White Outlet-Box Lamp Holders, 600 Watts, 250 Volts, $1.50 each, homedepot.com. Kohler Purist Faucet, in Vibrant Rose Gold, $844, us.kohler.com. DXV Cossu Pedestal Sink, 24", $816, dxv.com. Sherwin-Williams Paint, in Ibis White, sherwin-williams.com. Granada Tile Tunis 54 B Cement Tiles, 8" by 8", $8 each, granadatile.com. Copper Beech Grey Willow Oval Laundry Basket with Lid (similar to shown), $95, copperbeechbythesea.com.
To give steel utility shelves a garage-to-gourmet makeover, coat them in cream-colored metal-specific spray paint. Then outfit every level for optimal storage with open-front crates; brass S hooks; and a half-inch-wide, 18-inch-long dowel or two—they'll slip right into the rivet holes to dole out butcher paper or twine.
Muscle Rack Steel Shelving Unit, 72" by 48" by 18", $83, homedepot.com. Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch 2x Spray Paint, in Gloss Ivory, $4.50, homedepot.com. Crates & Pallet Wood Vegetable Crates, 13.25" x 15.62" x 9.25", $48 for 2, homedepot.com. Smeg Full-Size Refrigerator, in Cream, $1,999, williams-sonoma.com. Rig-Tig Save-It Storage Box Set, $47 for 5 pieces, unisonhome.com. Mauviel Copper Tri-Ply Cookware Set, $1,300 for 10 pieces, williams-sonoma.com. Macy's Martha Stewart Collection Enameled Cast-Iron Round Dutch Oven, 8 qt., in Black, $230, macys.com. Mujeres del Barro Rojo Red-Clay Low Ovaladas, from $170 each, marchsf.com. Azmaya Copper Tea Kettle, $350, marchsf.com. Sir/Madam Flour Larder Crocks, in Flour, Matte Black, and Matte Terra Cotta, from $45 each, shopsirmadam.com.
Dining in Style
The Fab Fob
BYO (braid your own) boutique-worthy keychain, using cotton clothesline and a brass snap hook. Knot three pieces of line around the ring with a lanyard hitch, then braid and secure with another knot at the end.
Mount a brass cleat to corral cords in nautical style.
Hardware Essentials Solid Brass Rope Cleat, from $2.25, fleetfarm.com.
A pair of sturdy bifold closet doors was the basis for this brilliant decorative screen. Join them with extra hinges, then cover the unfinished wood with wallpaper of your choice—you need only a few strips, so even a designer price will be right. (For a faster result, use the paste-free, peel-and-stick kind.) To finish the raw edges, hot-glue on ribbon in a contrasting color.
Hermès H Pointille Wallpaper, in Terre de Sienne, $274 for a 26.97" x 393.7" roll, hermes.com. Jeld-Wen Unfinished Flush Hardwood Closet Bifold Doors, 24" x 80", $51 each, homedepot.com. Jenni Kayne Oak Side Table, $1,295, jennikayne.com. CB2 Kaishi Chair, in Snow, $599, cb2.com.