Go on, confess: Are you one of those people who goes wild on Pinterest, pinning ultra-ambitious home makeover projects that promptly get forgotten in their sheer impossibility?
What I need – and you do too, probably – are simple DIY projects that I can tackle in an evening or a weekend that produce quick results. And thanks to some basic ‘sticky’ home improvement tools, that is now possible.
So there it is: my sticky arsenal. Three basic tools that I suggest you get hold of right now for your little DIY kit, if you don’t have them already lying around at home. Because the range of projects you can tackle, and the transformations you can effect, are simply phenomenal. Let’s dive into how and when to use them.
Lethal Weapon #1: The Hot Glue Gun
Where would we be without the humble glue gun? This nifty little tool is surprisingly great for projects that look like they would need a ton of time and effort to complete, but don’t. So go on, take yours out and try your hand at one of these awesome projects.
- No-sew cushion covers
There’s no easier way to freshen up your living space and give it a pop of color than by adding some cushions. Napkins are perfect for making them at home because they come ready-hemmed and need minimal work. All you need to do is lay them down with the wrong sides facing, then start gluing the hemmed edges together. Once three sides are firmly glued, simply fill with stuffing and then glue the last side. Easy as pie!
- Fabric wall panels
When we moved into our new home, I wanted to jazz up the walls of our dining room but didn’t have any room left in the budget for a fancy painting. Enter the perfect low cost solution: fabric panels. These are so easy to make and can really help to accent a wall in your living space. Simply pick a printed fabric – or several – and cut out rectangles a few inches bigger than you want your finished panel to be. Mount on foam core blocks by smoothing over the front and sticking with the glue gun at the back, securing the fabric as if wrapping a parcel. The end result is so light it can be hung with wall putty, which makes the panels movable and repositionable.
- Customized lampshades
I’m always falling in love with rustic-looking lampshades at upscale stores. The great thing is that these are surprisingly easy to reproduce at home using – you guessed it – your trusty glue gun. With a plain lampshade base to work with, you can experiment with different fabrics and trims glued on in layers to create a totally customized look. My favorite is this one, with strips of frayed burlap glued on in a wave-like pattern. No one would believe that this was made at home!
Lethal Weapon #2: Duct Tape
Sticking things, fixing things, holding things together – duct tape has been many things in the past, but never decorative. That’s changing now, though, with the new colored and printed duct tapes in the market. With a little imagination, you can create an entire party theme and décor with clever use of this multi-functional tool.
- Simple table vases
This easy craft has little skill required but lots of impact. All you need is a length of PVC pipe and the pipe caps that can be found at the hardware store near the pipes. Cut the pipe to size, attach the cap, and cover with your patterned tape of choice. The end result is so cheerful and pretty! These vases make great accents for a luncheon table; you could use them to build a beautiful floral centerpiece, or put one at each place setting for a table with real flair.
- Cupcake wrappers and toppers
It’s easy to match your dessert table accessories to your theme with printed duct tape. Simply print out cupcake wrapper templates, cover them with tape, and assemble. You can make adorable toppers too by cutting out shapes and adding a toothpick. Would you believe that this sweet denim topper is actually made from tape?
- Party bunting
Bunting is a great way to add a splash of color to a festive event, and it’s so easy to make with duct tape and twine. You can experiment with a combination of colors, prints and shapes.
Lethal Weapon #3: Sugru
Su-what? Sugru is a self-setting kind of rubber that you can mold by hand. It sticks to almost anything and turns into a strong, flexible rubber overnight, making it perfect for a whole host of DIY crafts.
- iPad wall mount
This is a great project for anyone whole likes to follow recipes on their iPad while cooking, or just have something to watch in the kitchen. You can shape sugru into mini flexible brackets to hold your iPad on the wall, and the best part is, there’s no need to worry about drilling or messing up your tiled walls!
- Pot lid organizers
If you’re like me and can never find the right lid in the cupboard to go with the pot, then you’ll love this idea. It’s so simple but effective, like most good ideas. All you have to do is shape the sugru into cupboard door mounts that will keep all your lids on display and within reach. If you’re feeling extra-crafty, you can even create different colored mounts and make coordinating heat-proof sugru handles for the pots so that matching them up is even easier.
So are you feeling inspired? Take another look at your household sticky tools, now you know what they’re capable of. And get experimenting!