ALL POSTS IN Designer MacGyver

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Doilies are a bit fancy and frilly, but that’s part of their charm, am I right? If you’ve got leftover paper doilies from celebrations or other crafting endeavors, there are plenty of adorable things you can do with them for Valentine’s Day…or anytime you want to add a little sweetness to your life. Take a peek at these paper doily crafts that are so darling, they just may sway the doily-haters. (I’m looking at you, Troy from Reality Bites.)

Make adorable treat cups out of paper doilies! See how on HGTV's Design Happens blog...

Making treats for your sweetheart? (Like say, these Neapolitan Bonbon Cupcakes?) Add an extra special touch with these doily treat cups from our own Camille Smith.

MORE DARLING IDEAS FOR DOILIES

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Of course, there’s the “big game” coming up this Sunday, but if you’re like me, you’re more into board games, card games and puzzles. I have quite the collection at this point, but some of them have been with me since I was a kid and are missing crucial pieces or are just looking shabby. Fortunately, there are a bunch of nifty craft ideas for old game boards, cards and pieces so I can turn my old amusements into something equally diverting.

Make valentines and more crafts with game pieces from HGTV's Design Happens blog!
Give your valentine a piece of your heart and a few pieces of your games with these card ideas from Camille Styles. Old Bingo cards adorned with hearts have a vintage charm and Scrabble tiles are great for spelling out your sweet nothings.

MORE GOOD IDEAS FOR OLD GAMES

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I remember my dad tucking fold-up maps and road atlases in the car before road trips when I was a kid. These days, in-dash navigational systems are becoming standard and smartphones can call up directions with a few finger taps and swipes. Paper maps may be falling out of favor when it comes to travel, but they’re hotter than ever in the home. Take a look at these cool vintage map crafts and get ready to raid your car’s backseat pockets and glove compartments for supplies!

Like these chairs? See 4 more cool map crafts you can make on HGTV's Design Happens blog...

Plain wooden chairs for little explorers are a lot more appealing after a decoupage map makeover! Follow Brian Patrick Flynn’s tutorial and jazz up your kids’ bedrooms or playrooms on the cheap.

MORE EYE-CATCHING MAP CRAFTS

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I live in the land of subways and taxis here in NYC, so while I rarely get a chance to drive anymore, I still appreciate the look of license plates. I particularly love vanity plates and the designs on plates that support worthwhile causes. While I may not be behind the wheel anytime soon, these eye-catching license plate crafts mean I can surround myself with road-tested style. Check out my finds and get inspired to snatch up vintage plates the next time you’re thrifting or browsing an online auction site!

Learn how to make this license plate divider and more license plate crafts on HGTV's Design Happens blog
This license plate room divider by Brian Patrick Flynn provides a jolt of color and a little privacy to boot. It looks super cool in this outdoor room, adding a bit of art where it’s usually hard to find.

MORE IDEAS FOR OLD LICENSE PLATES

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It’s been a while since we featured projects specifically for oenophiles, but if you’ve crafted with all of your corks and are still looking for more raw materials, look no further than the wooden wine crate. Like milk crates, these sturdy boxes are surprisingly simple to transform and have a certain rustic flair. (Not big on wine? Fruit or soda crates may work for many of these makeovers, or you can head to your local craft supply store for plain crates.) Drink in these clever ideas and when you find one you like, try the tutorial!

6 Crafty Ways to Update Wood Crates: Toy Box
Keep kid clutter to a minimum with these mobile wooden crate toy boxes from Brian Patrick Flynn. Names spelled out with stencils are a cute, personal touch.

MORE WOODEN CRATE CREATIONS

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The weather may be less than ideal for outdoor gardening in much of the country right now, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any fun to be had until spring. If your green thumb is getting itchy, why not channel that energy into some totally cool crafts made with old gardening tools and accessories? Here are some inspired ideas I spotted (with some help from MacGyver veteran, Briana)…

garden watering can planters

Dented or leaky watering cans can become the perfect vessels for the plants they used to water! Take a look at Nancy Ondra’s other ideas for stunning, low-budget container gardens here.

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With cold season in full effect, you might find yourself reaching for a tissue or two more often. The upside to feeling fluish is that empty tissue boxes are an ideal craft material! The next time you take a sick day, try your hand at one of these tissue box crafts that require minimal effort and supplies while showcasing plenty of creativity.

Tissue Box Pinata

A square tissue box provides the base for this simple piñata idea. Grab some colorful tissue paper and go crazy with the design!

More Brilliant Tissue Box Ideas

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If you’ve ever assembled favor bags for a child’s birthday party or festival, you might be familiar with those little plastic figurines shaped like dinosaurs, tigers and other zoo animals. Many of the smaller ones come in packs of 10 or more for that very purpose — mass dispersal of plastic animal fun. If this all sounds familiar, you may have also thrown away your fair share. Here are some exciting ways to keep that growing army of toy animals at bay — or at least add some childlike whimsy to your design life.

Animal book end project
These golden book ends, while still full of charming whimsy, add a regal touch to bookshelves, mantelpieces, or wherever your books find a home.

Animal box topper
Add some serious character to these simple boxes with minimal effort and supplies. They can be great for gift-giving, or to keep yourself as some adorable organizers.

More animal frenzy

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Pinecones: they last forever, they’re interesting to look at and they signal the season where evergreens reign supreme. Throw a couple of pinecones on a coffee table or mantle and you could call it wintertime decorating success. Orrrrr you could always take things further with these ideas…

Pinecone Wreaths

 Construct this wreath with rolled up book pages and an assortment of pinecones for a result that gives off a wintery welcoming vibe without the usual pine needle shedding.

pinecone garland

Wintertime is garland time, right? Make your own with pinecones laying about outside and whatever spray paint and string you like.

THIS WAY FOR MORE PINECONE CRAFTS

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We’ve talked about elevating old magazines before, but where’s the love for old newspapers? If you still have a hard-copy subscription to the local newspaper, then you likely have even more raw material on hand. Here are some ways to use up that looming stash that don’t involve papier mache or packing ceramics.

Newspaper gift bag

Personalized, green, and cheap, this handmade gift bag serves as the perfect vessel for an equally clever gift. Hand over those presents with pride!

Newspaper Nails

You can show off these wordy nail designs everywhere. In case your stack of old newspapers is dwindling, they require little actual newspaper. Just use rubbing alcohol to transfer the newsprint to your nails, then seal it on with a shiny top coat. A light gray base coat will make the print pop.

MORE NEWSPAPER TRICKS

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