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DIY Inspiration

How-to projects, upgrades and repairs for hands-on home improvers from This Old House and Hometalk.

Get inspired to take your old junk and turn it into something magnificent!

Use a paint can to shade a lamp: Snip off the handle of a large can with wire cutters; remove the bottom with a can opener. Drill small holes in the metal sides, following any design you like, then paint. Cut a disk out of hardware cloth to fit snugly inside the can; cut a smaller circle, large enough to fit a lamp socket without a harp, out of the disk's center. Fit the disk inside the can. Rest the shade on the socket. | Photo: Ryan Benyi

How to paint a straight line at the ceiling like a pro without using any tape.

If you can paint and sand, you can create this timeworn look on any new or old piece | Photo: Wendell T. Webber

For an inexpensive DIY curtain rod alternative, consider using galvanized pipe. Great for an industrial look or a boy's room. Seen here from DimplesandTangles... | thisoldhouse.com

I renovated my kitchen on a strict budget, and it only cost me $93 to completely transform my kitchen from bland builder-grade oak to bright white.

Once you have a basic deck structure built, there are plenty of ways to customize it to fit your needs and design aesthetics. Here are 16 ideas to make your deck more beautiful and functional. | Photo: Mark Lohman

Use milled brackets and pressure-treated lumber to create an elegant canopy over your garage door | Photo: Kolin Smith

Striped flooring on a porch adds so much character! See project details here.

How to avoid the cost of refinishing or replacing worn planks by sprucing them up with a few coats of durable paint. You can choose whatever pattern you want (here we use a checkerboard for a cottage-style look) or color you want; all you need is a framing square and some painting tools.

From blogger Ana White, a handy produce food storage drying rack. You'll find the DIY plans at her website, Ana-White.com | thisoldhouse.com

Personalize your green acres with character-filled items scavenged from flea markets, thrift shops, even your own garage

When the sun is hot and kids are bored, there’s nothing better to get them motivated than a project that comes with a built-in reward. This old-fashioned lemonade stand is sure to spark some creative interest, along with a bit of entrepreneurial spirit. The stand is easy to assemble—slotted construction means no nails or screws—it’s sturdy and colorful, and it comes apart quickly for storage. There’s even a bonus: If kids need to display a science fair project or perform this week’s puppet show, the table works just as well inside. | Photo: Wendell T. Webber

Would you believe this beautiful hot tub was free from craigslist? And it was UGLY!

Install wood corner shelves to take advantage of untapped space. Use a pair to raise cordless speakers off the ground.