Whether you want to gift something personal, or tailor your furnishings just the way you like, doing-it-yourself is becoming more and more popular, thanks to photo-sharing platform Pinterest. The so-called “visual discovery tool” is an ever-growing crafting encyclopedia, with projects like the bullet journal going viral.
I decided to give a few popular DIY projects a go and see if they’re really as easy as described. From my Pinterest feed, I picked 6 crafts based on the time, expense and skill level needed to do them. Here’s how they turned out…
Iron Mesh Mood Board
This was one project that struck my inner minimalist as soon as I came across it. You don’t really need to follow instructions; I just used some scrap fencing wire I had, filed down the sharps edges, spray-painted it black and fixed it to the wall with some picture frame hooks (with some help from my stepdad).Verdict: It’s easy, cheap and quick to make, and I love how it instantly gives the room a modern, industrial look. I made mine a longer vertical shape to fit the wall space I had, and filled it with family photos, but it could be used as a mood board or even a funky notice board. These versatile mesh boards look good in a variety of different sizes and purposes, check out this article for more inspiration.
Nail Polish Watercolour Mug
Probably one of the best DIY projects I’ve tried, all you need is a couple of $2 mugs and some of your nail polish collection. The tutorial I followed said to only put one drop of nail polish in the bowl, but it didn’t actually spread out in the water very much – I found I had to pour it out of the bottle in a swirly pattern. It made a coating on top of the warm water, so when I dipped the mug in, the pattern sticks immediately on like a sticker. Then I left it to dry for a good 24 hours, after putting 3 coats of finishing spray on.
Verdict: Absolutely loved this one! Very impressed, it actually works so well, and it’s so easy anyone can make them! The other thing I love about this project is that if you stuff up or don’t like the design on the cup, you can just wipe it off with some nail polish remover and try again!
52 Things I Love About You Book
The hardest part of this project was finding a shop that sells binder rings separately, which I couldn’t, so I ended up using ribbon instead. The template from the tutorial was exactly the right size, however it was difficult to get the text to sit neatly in the box, so I just printed it out and hand-wrote the messages. Another problem I found was hole punching the cards – the cards were too small to fit under both holes, so I decided to just do one hole in the corner.
Verdict: Pretty easy to do and it makes a very cute present for Valentine’s Day, or any other special occasion. Keep in mind, though, that it’s quite time consuming writing out the text, gluing the squares and punching the holes.
Upcycled Bottle Dispenser
Using the lid of the bottle as a guide to what size bottle of soap (for the dispenser nozzle) to buy at the shops, I ended up having to use a bottle of lotion – big mistake! It was incredibly difficult to transfer the lotion from one bottle to another, because it’s thick and doesn’t go through a funnel. I spray-painted the plastic dispenser nozzle black to match the logo on the bottle, which was also a poor decision because it clogged up the nozzle and made it hard to push down.
Verdict: In theory it’s an easy project that only takes 5 minutes, however it’s vital that you use soap or some sort of liquid that’s easily transferable from each bottle. I do recommend trying it, cos it’s an easy way to uniquely change up your decor. Check out this article for some inspiration.
I made two sets of these – one set using scrapbook paper and one using magazine clippings. The scrapbook paper is much easier to mod podge onto the tiles because it’s thicker, but with thinner paper you have the option of covering the edges of the tile too. The tutorial I followed used cork on the bottom, however I found that felt works just as well. I used upside-down plastic containers as drying racks for them, and I thought it was a good idea until I left them overnight to completely dry and they ended up drying onto the containers themselves.
Verdict: A good, practical gift idea and pretty easy to do, and I recommend using thick scrapbooking paper so you don’t get air bubbles and wrinkles. You can make them to match any decor, or put photos on them for a personal touch.
Map Print Photo Frame
Another fantastic mod podge project, I made one for a friend using a map of the places she travelled to, just for that extra personal touch. Following the tutorial instructions was pretty easy, however the mod podge can get a bit messy, and you don’t want to use too much otherwise it can make the ink run or the paper tear apart. I also recommend using a sponge to do the top layer of mod podge so you don’t get that streaky look that paintbrushes leave.
Verdict: I adore these! Great for beginner DIY-ers and they make great gifts, or just for a weekend project. You can pick up really cheap frames from $2 shops and variety stores, and you could use wrapping paper, magazine clippings or book pages. I like how you can easily tailor the frame to match the photo inside or the surrounding decor.
There you have it! Quick, cheap and easy Pinterest projects that are definitely worth a try.
Invite your squad over for a crafternoon, like I did with my friend Georgia, and you could end up with some masterpieces! Get DIYing!