17 (Basically) Free Makeovers to Do at Home with Stuff You Already Have

published May 1, 2020
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Credit: Liz Calka

Even if you’re usually a homebody, being at home has probably looked a little different recently, now that staying in has truly been the only option. If you’re looking for something to do and willing to take on some low-budget, simple upgrades this week, we have good news: We have 17 super easy, basically free projects that you can do at home with items you already have. Read on for inspiration on refreshing your home for almost nothing.

1. Change out the prints in your gallery wall

If you have extra prints stored away, swap them in for the ones you already have up. If not, try switching which pieces go in which frames, or which frames go where on your gallery wall.

2. Switch the rugs in your living room and dining room

Your old rug might look brand-new in a totally different setting.

3. Or try layering them

Have a smaller rug that’s not getting enough love where it is? Try layering it on top of a larger one in the living room for an offbeat, eclectic vibe.

4. Paper the back of a bookshelf with spare wallpaper

A favorite wrapping paper would do the job, too. Use masking tape or washi tape to secure it to the back of your shelf, then swap it out in another month for something new.

5. Paint your plants’ pots

Give your plant babies a little color with a coat of paint on plain terra cotta pots.

6. Give yourself more plants

Yes, you can do this for free! It’s easy to propagate new plants from cuttings of your old ones. Check out Apartment Therapy’s guide for the best plants for propagating.

Credit: Heather Bien

7. Turn empty candle jars into pretty storage

Once you’re done burning a candle, you can use the pretty tin to hold small items such as toiletries or hair accessories, like blogger Heather Bien did here.

8. Style your coffee table

If your coffee table is stacked with couple books, try moving a plant there instead to create a new look. We have lots of ideas for styling coffee tables here.

Credit: Marie-Lyne Quirion

9. Re-organize your bookshelves

Keep your cookbooks in alphabetical order? Try organizing them by type of food. Or — gasp! — organize by color. Then, fit favorite decor items into the gaps on the shelf for a totally re-styled look.

10. Add color to shelf edges

Colorful washi tape across the edge of a cabinet shelf adds a fun pop of color every time you open the cabinet door.

Credit: Liz Calka

11. Paint a mirror frame

This is a perfect afternoon project, as you won’t need much paint — a little bit of whatever you’ve got left over will go a long way. Try a bright, punchy color to to give your walls some oomph.

12. Switch up your furniture layout

See what your setup looks like when you move your dining room hutch to a different wall. Or swap your breakfast table bench with the bench in the hallway.

13. Decorate walls with washi tape

Use washi tape to mimic the look of wallpaper without the fuss, like this homeowner did in her Australian digs. Try a confetti look, like is pictured here, or go for something more geometric, like stripes, plus signs, or triangles.

14. DIY Some Artwork

Apartment Therapy’s lifestyle director Taryn Williford DIY-ed some artwork using things she already had. She just used some leftover paint from other projects (and painted over old prints that she had outgrown.

15. Or turn non-art into artwork

Frame a favorite napkin, mount a basket to the wall, or hang a beautiful blanket or quilt.

Credit: Lula Poggi

16. Hang bunting or string lights

Sure, you may not be having a party anytime soon, but why not bring in some party atmosphere?

17. Put something different in the middle of your dining table

Flowers are a classic, but you can also try: a collection of candlesticks, a potted plant, a bowl of fruit, a pitcher with a single monstera leaf, and more.

This post originally ran on Apartment Therapy. See it there: 20 (Basically) Free Makeovers to Do at Home With Stuff You Already Have