ALL POSTS IN Designer MacGyver

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As a writer, I’m pretty partial to letters, but it seems like you readers may be, too. Since my post about paper mache and cardboard letters got a good response (I see you pinning away!), I thought I’d dig up some ideas around wooden letters that may be up your alley as well. Take a look at these easy wooden letter crafts and get inspired to start spelling.

5 Wooden Letter Ideas That Add Personality: Personalized Wall Art

Design: Susie Fougerousse

WOODEN LETTERS –> PERSONALIZED WALL ART
Use wooden chipboard letters to personalize a kids’ bedroom, like designer Susie Fougerousse did here. This is especially handy for making kids feel like they have their own space in a bedroom shared with siblings.

MORE EASY IDEAS FOR WOODEN LETTERS

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I feel like lace has an unfair reputation for being too frilly and old fashioned, but I’ve noticed it starting to make a comeback. AKDO even has a whole lace tile collection, so it seems other people have noticed, too! If you’re ready to embrace lace, I’ve found five crafts that make the fabric feel modern and fresh again.

5 Lace Crafts We're Loving Now: Lace Vases

Design: Michelle Edgemont

LACE –> MODERN VASE
This craft from Michelle Edgemont is an easy and elegant way to use scraps of lace. Just add white paint and some hurricane vases, and you’ve got a modern-looking vessel with tons of texture. Check out her tutorial for more how-to tips.

MORE COOL LACE CRAFTS TO TRY

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Craft supply stores are dangerous places for me. I’ll go in for one specific item and walk out with dozens of random treasures that caught my eye. (Hello, iron-on patches and calligraphy pens!) If you’re an impulse shopper like I am, you may have picked up a few plain cardboard or paper mache letters…aaaaand then wondered what exactly to do with them when you got them home. Well, fear not, because I found some easy ways to pretty them up in no time.

5 Lovely Ideas for Paper Mache Letters: Jute-Covered Monogram Wreath

Design: Chelsea McDonnough

PLAIN PAPER MACHE LETTER –> JUTE-COVERED MONOGRAM WREATH
The return of Pumpkin Spice-flavored everything signals that it’s time to switch up your seasonal decor. This jute-covered monogram is an unexpected but appealing alternative to all those fall wreaths covered in leaves and corn. Get the instructions here.

MORE PAPER MACHE AND CARDBOARD LETTER IDEAS

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I always wanted a wagon as a kid, though I can’t quite remember why. Maybe I had visions of racing one down a hill or using it to haul my dolls all over the neighborhood? In any event, I think I must have known then what I know now: Kids’ wagons are fun and functional, all in one shiny package. Even if you’ve long outgrown the days of pulling your stuffed animals or little siblings around in a wagon, there are still plenty of uses for the classic toys. Take a look at these fresh ideas for kids’ wagons and embrace your inner child’s style.

5 Fresh Ideas for Kids' Wagons: Container Garden

Design: Nancy Ondra

Old Kids’ Wagon –> New Moveable Container Garden
If you’ve read this column before, you know lots of unusual items turn out to be fantastic container gardens, but I like this twist of using a wagon, because your plants become portable! Don’t like where you’ve placed them? They need more sun or more shade? Wheel them where you please.

MORE COOL WAYS TO USE KIDS’ WAGONS

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Last week I featured some clever birdhouse projects and since I’m on a roll with the theme, I thought I’d keep it going with birdcages. Whether they’re modern or antique, wooden or metal, birdcages can be charming home accessories, even if you don’t have any feathered friends. Check out these birdcage decor ideas for inspired ways to revamp a roost.

5 Birdcage Decor Ideas: Wedding Centerpiece

Credit: Courtesy of BHLDN

MORE BEAUTIFUL BIRDCAGE DECOR IDEAS

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Did you know it’s the perfect time to start thinking about birdhouses? Many birds won’t use a house until it has a weathered look, so some experts suggest getting birdhouses up by late summer or early fall in preparation for the spring. Even if you’re not an avian enthusiast, the charming little boxes can be used in so many other contexts. Take a look at these birdhouse decor ideas and get inspired to feather your nest with some of these structures.

5 Birdhouse Decor Ideas That Aren't for the Birds: Fence Flair

Credit: Janell Beals

Birdhouses –> Fence Flair
Give an old, drab fence some pizzazz by adding a collection of decorative birdhouses. This idea from Janell Beals works well with a mix of different colors, shapes and sizes. Check out her tutorial to see how you can copy the look.

MORE BEAUTIFUL IDEAS FOR BIRDHOUSES

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My parents are in the process of moving, so I’ve got real estate and curb appeal on the brain. Of course, house numbers can be an important part of amping up your home’s curb appeal, but did you know they can pack a visual punch inside the home as well? Take a look at these eye-catching ideas for house numbers and try not to be too tempted to pry yours off the side of your place for crafting purposes.

5 Hot Ideas for House Numbers: On the Stairs

Photo: Björn Wallander/HGTV Magazine

On the Stairs
This example from Sarah Richardson’s cozy farmhouse retreat makes great use of an often overlooked area of the house: the stairs. Here, a trompe l’oeil stair runner adds some welcome color and the old house numbers feel kid-friendly and whimsical. Check out the rest of Sarah’s home in HGTV Magazine‘s spread.

MORE HOT IDEAS FOR HOUSE NUMBERS

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I’m not sure where the summer went (seriously, where did it go?!), but it’s getting to be time for pencils, books and teachers’ dirty looks, aka back to school. Whether you greet the school year with dread or excitement, the upside is that school items and supplies offer plenty of DIY decor inspiration. Take a look at these crafty ideas that totally make the honor roll.

5 Back to School Crafts: Pennant Banner

Design: Brian Patrick Flynn

This vintage pennant banner from Brian Patrick Flynn really gets me in the school spirit. Though it’s intended for a themed party, I can easily imagine this dressing up a kids’ bedroom or even a game room, can’t you? Check out all the instructions over on DIY Network.

MORE BACK TO SCHOOL BEAUTIES

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Did you like my post about musical instrument design ideas? Then I’m betting these sheet music crafts will be up your alley, too! If you’ve got old sheet music that hasn’t seen love since your childhood piano lessons, consider turning it into something you can enjoy and admire every day. (Of course, you could always keep an eye out for old sheet music at flea markets, too.) If you object to repurposing the original sheets for crafts, you can easily make copies on similarly-colored paper.

Sheet Music Crafts: Decoupaged Dresser

Design: Marian Parsons

Old Sheet Music –> New Decoupaged Dresser
This idea for old sheet music from Marian Parsons serves another purpose: hiding imperfections like gouges or water marks on furniture. The lovely aged color of the music looks totally at home in this shabby-chic style setting, too.

MORE CRAFTY USES FOR SHEET MUSIC

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Baskets are something that mysteriously accumulate in my home. I think between flower arrangements and gifts of fruit, they just pile up in my hall closet, waiting for their time to shine again. If you can relate, take a look at these cool crafts and ideas for baskets and get inspired to use yours for something beyond bananas, pears and apples.

5 Brilliant Basket Ideas and Crafts: Light Fixture

Design: Brian Patrick Flynn

Old Basket –> New Light Fixture
This idea from Brian Patrick Flynn is perfect for deeper baskets that already resemble lampshades. The rope adds a touch of coastal-cool to this nautical light fixture. Get the full tutorial on DIYNetwork.com.

MORE BRILLZ BASKET IDEAS

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We’ve covered some cool ideas for buckets in this space, but since you might be doing some more outdoor entertaining these days, I’ve gotta share these ideas for galvanized tubs. Whether you use them to add ambiance to your yard or to keep drinks chilly for your guests, they’re sure to come in handy. Take a look…

5 Outdoor Ideas for Galvanized Metal Wash Tubs: Light Fixture

Old Galvanized Tub –> New Light Fixture
A galvanized tub light fixture has a rustic industrial charm that looks just right over an outdoor dining table. Check out Brian Patrick Flynn’s project on DIY Network to see how to make your own version at home.

MORE WONDERFUL WASH TUB IDEAS

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Are you musically inclined? I never played an instrument when I was growing up, but one of the first gifts my husband bought for me when we started dating was a silver glitter Danelectro bass. He was teaching me how to play and my lessons were coming along nicely…until we got noise complaints from our neighbors across the hall. (Uh, sorry for rocking too hard, guys!) While it might not be practical to play again until we eventually move to the suburbs, I hate to see Estelle (that’s what I named her) collecting dust up in our loft, so I may take a cue from these smart ideas that turn musical instruments into decor worthy of admiration in the meantime.

5 Interesting Musical Instrument Design Ideas: Coffee Table Conversation Piece

Coffee Table Conversation Piece
I love the space-saving musical instrument idea in this small studio by Casey Noble. Nestled inside a cool custom coffee table, the guitar has a place of honor and is protected, as the table acts as a kind of guitar case.

MORE IDEAS FOR MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS

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Did you go anywhere fun for the 4th of July holiday? I went to the beach with my folks and bought a handful of souvenir postcards to send to friends, but then I saw these adorable postcard ideas and considered keeping them myself. Hey, can you blame me? Take a look at these creative ways to use and display old postcards and you might be tempted to hoard yours as well.

5 Pretty Postcard Ideas to Try: Banner

Credit: Emily Fazio

OLD POSTCARDS —> NEW BIRTHDAY BANNER
This birthday banner (made with Pantone postcards) by Emily Fazio is festive, cute and cheaper than a banner you’d find at a party supply store if you use postcards you already have. Get all the how-to instructions on DIY Network’s Made + Remade blog.

MORE PRETTY IDEAS FOR POSTCARDS

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Remember a few weeks ago when I showed you a bunch of cool things you could do with old dressers? Maybe none of them were your cup of tea. Maybe you were intimidated by the time and effort those projects would take. I hear you. Sometimes nothing but (nearly) instant gratification will do. So, here are some super easy things you can do with old dresser drawers. Guys, you don’t even need the whole dresser. Less muss and fuss, but with all the crafting rewards! Don’t say I never did anything for ya.

5 Darling Ideas for Dresser Drawers: Bathroom Storage
Old Dresser Drawers —> New Bathroom Storage
This bathroom storage idea from Jen Jafarzadeh L’Italien could not be easier. Here’s what you do: Find an old dresser, yank out some of the drawers and use them to corral your toiletries. Everything is tidy, but still accessible. Genius, I tell you.

MORE DARLING IDEAS FOR DRAWERS

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Metal pails have a variety of practical household uses, but in the right context, they can be quite pretty, too! If you’ve got one devoted to cleaning supplies or gathering cobwebs somewhere in your garage, take a look at these beautiful ideas for buckets and consider repurposing it for something with a little more flair.

5 Perfect Ideas for Metal Pail Buckets: Toy Storage

Design: Susie Fougerousse

Old Metal Pail —> New Toy Storage Solution
Make an old metal pail look shipshape again by adding some red and white stripes or an adorable whale design. After its makeover, the bucket becomes an attractive toy storage solution in a nautical kids’ bedroom, as in this example by Susie Fougerousse.

MORE BRILLIANT IDEAS FOR BUCKETS

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Did you celebrate Father’s Day yesterday? I’m thinking there are probably a lot of special guys out there who got a shiny new toolbox as a gift, and if so, the old one may be hanging around, collecting dust. Before you ditch it, take a look at these clever ideas for repurposing old toolboxes. (Now who’s the handy one around the house?)

5 Handy Ideas for Old Toolboxes: Grooming Kit

Old Toolbox —> New Grooming Kit
An old metal toolbox looks right at home in a teen boy’s bathroom as a grooming/toiletry kit. It adds just the right rugged edge to the space and keeps products neatly tucked away from prying eyes. Want to complete the look? Check out Laurie March’s gallery on DIYNetwork.com.

MORE IDEAS FOR OLD TOOLBOXES

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Summer’s starting to bring the heat, so it’s no wonder ice cube trays (and fresh summer drinks!) are on my mind. But did you know that the humble ice cube tray can be used for so much more than just making frozen H2O? Take a look at some of these other genius DIY ideas for ice cube trays and get creative. Of course, if you want to kick back with an icy beverage after all your efforts, who can blame you?

Fun DIY Ice Cube Tray Ideas: Snack Caddy

Ice Cube Tray —> Snack Caddy
The classic ice cube tray format is perfect for those who like to keep their bite-sized snacks separate. The insanely-clever hack from Jennifer Bishop is a big hit with the toddler set, especially picky eaters! (They may even ask for seconds…)

MORE IDEAS FOR ICE CUBE TRAYS

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Confession: There’s a dresser in my loft that I can’t seem to part with, even though it is totally old (not like valuable antique old, just like, old old), not in great shape and the drawers are barely deep enough to hold my unmentionables. Since we’ve established that I can’t (read: won’t) let it go, I figured I may as well solve my own dilemma and come up with some interesting new uses for it. Here are a few of my favorite ideas…

5 Totally-Doable DIY Dresser Ideas: Planter

Photo: DK – Garden Design © 2009 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Old Dresser —> New Planter
This dresser-as-planter notion tops my list because it’s so whimsical and unexpected in an outdoor setting. It’d be perfect in a cottage chic garden, no? I love the way the items on top of the dresser have been cleverly repurposed for potting plants, too. A double threat!

 
MORE DIY IDEAS FOR DRESSERS

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When I was little, “You make a better door than a window” was a popular way to complain about someone blocking the TV in front of you. Turns out that sometimes even windows are better in other capacities! Take a look at these wonderfully crafty ideas for old windows to see what I mean…

Old Window Ideas: Window Box

Design by Mandy Stansberry

YOU MAKE A BETTER PIECE OF WALL ART THAN A WINDOW:
Hey, there’s no rule that window boxes need to stay outdoors! Attach a box to an old window frame, hang on a bare wall and change out the display to reflect the seasons.

MORE WONDERFUL WINDOW CRAFTS

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A refreshing wall hue (like a blue or green) can make your home feel brand new, but it doesn’t take gallons of paint to spruce up the place. If you have a half-empty can or paint samples, you can still make colorful crafts designed to elevate the mood in just about every room. Check out these clever ways to make the most of your last painting project’s leftovers.

5 Painting Crafts to Refresh Your Home

Photo: Alison Gootee

If you have paint samples or pints: Dress up a dresser
If you only have a small stash of paint, this idea from HGTV Magazine is for you. Just take the color you have (like this cool blue) and mix it with a bit of white paint for an eye-catching ombre effect on an old dresser.

MORE CRAFTY WAYS TO REFRESH WITH PAINT

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