55 Incredibly Clever DIYs You’ll Actually Want To Try

1. Sketch a cute design onto white teacups using a ceramic marker, then bake to set it.

Unlike the Pinterest myth, you can’t just use any old Sharpie — it has to be a ceramic marker like these, $9.83 for a set of 3. Here’s the tutorial.

2. Etch a custom design or name into a glass dish to give to a friend.

Just make sure to use food-safe etching cream like this one, $16.99 for 10 oz. This makes a great gift for a housewarming or a wedding. Here’s the tutorial.

3. Easily write on a cake by tracing out the words with a toothpick first.

Then you can erase them if you mess up by simply smoothing the icing back out. Learn this cake writing technique here.

4. Repaint a classic blue cooler and cover the lid with contact paper to make it look fresh.

You could also use paint to stencil a monogram on the top, if you wanted. Here’s the tutorial.

5. Cover the inside of a tray with food-safe chalkboard paint to make a handy platter for dinner parties.

No one will ask you “is this goat cheese??” ever again. Here’s how to do it.

8. Mod Podge fabric to the back of clear glass plates to make salad plates that no one’s ever seen before.

There are as many options out there as there are cotton fabrics — which means, a lot. Here’s the tutorial.

9. Customize colorful napkins by doodling on them with bleach pens, which you can get at the grocery store.

Just make sure the bleach is dry before washing. Get a bleach pen here for $5.95. Here’s the tutorial.

14. Glue a strip of copper to an earring back to make a minimalist earring for a third of the price.

It’s like scoring knock-off UO, except even cheaper, if you can believe it. Here’s how to do it.

15. Strategically stitch up a placemat to make a quick, stylish clutch.

Of course the colors won’t necessarily be this bright red, yellow, and blue, but it will be as cute as the placemat you buy.

Here’s the tutorial.

19. Customize your favorite fabric shoes by stitching simple designs onto them.

These are basic embroidery stitches; learn how to do them here.

22. Stick a piece of adhesive glitter vinyl to a clear phone case to make it less boring.

You could also cut shapes (like your initials) out of the vinyl, if you wanted. Here’s the tutorial.

23. Hot glue a raffia pom pom to a shoe clip to cover any pair of flats or heels in color.

Seriously — you can glue whatever you want to shoe clips, then use the shoe clips on almost any shoes you want. Here’s the tutorial.

24. Stencil your house number onto a doormat using a (big) permanent marker.

26. Make your own faux molding using grosgrain ribbon.

It doesn’t even have to be quite so stark a contrast as this black-on-light-grey: you could use a bright white ribbon on an off-white wall. Here’s the tutorial.

28. Rip out the bag in your college laundry hamper, flip it over, and turn it into a side table.

29. Glue pretty seashells to the front of a wood-frame mirror to make a classic seashell mirror.

The most challenging part of making this happen is finding just the right way to glue shells on. Here’s the tutorial.

30. Screw hooks into an inexpensive tray so you never have to pull out your phone to remember the date.

I know, I know, it’s soooo *old fashioned* to use a paper calendar. But some of us like it, okay? Here’s the tutorial.

31. Tape a piece of scrapbook paper around a vase to make it look expensive (or to make it match your decor)!

Just face the taped edge toward the wall, and no one will ever know. Here’s how to do it.

34. Hang simple fabric window shades using a few screws and a couple pieces of wood.

35. Loop elastic through the weave on your picnic basket to make stable (and pretty!) silverware holders on the inside.

Use the same trick for wine glasses so you can enjoy a little picnic pinot. Here’s how to do it.

36. Glue pom poms onto a pillow case to make a boring cushion decorative.

You don’t have to stick with the monotone white-on-white either: you could pick a bright color pillowcase and complementary color pom poms, or a grey pillow case and pastel pom poms. Or whatever combo makes you happy! Here’s the tutorial.

37. Mount sliding picture frames in front of your TV so it’s not an eyesore whenever you have visitors.

Just make sure you really read the directions for this one, so you get it right — they’re here.

38. Mod Podge your favorite fabric onto a circle of cork to make a mousepad you can’t find in a store.

Or that would be really pricey if you did find it in a store. Here’s how to do it.

39. Hot glue a few yards of fringe to your patio umbrella to give it a vintage vibe.

Learn how to do it so the fringe doesn’t fall off easily here.

41. Turn a shoebox into a projector for your phone, so everyone can see the latest cat video.

44. Turn your old magazines into pretty, colorful package bows.

Photograph by Raymond Hom. Courtesy of Whole Living. Copyright © 2010.

Photograph by Raymond Hom. Courtesy of Whole Living. Copyright © 2010.

45. Dress up an old pill bottle to keep your bobby pins close at hand.

Learn how to decorate yours like this here.

47. Help your plants thrive while you’re out of town by inverting a wine bottle full of water in their pots.

You can turn any container into a fancy ~self-watering~ container. And if you want it to be a little bit more controlled, you can always pair your wine bottles with a Plant Nanny — read more about that here. But if you want to stick to the good old-fashioned simple trick, here’s the tutorial.

49. Create your own scented rainbow bath bombs using basic ingredients.

These are a perfect, affordable holiday gift for your friends…and no one’s saying you can’t make a few extra for yourself. Here’s the tutorial.

50. Fill an empty vase with coffee beans and candles for affordable aromatherapy.

To prevent the wax from melting all over the coffee beans, make sure the candles are enclosed in small metal containers. Here’s the tutorial.

52. Slice up strips of pretty cardstock and add tassels to them for easy-to-grab bookmarks.

Another cute gift for your friends, maybe in the middle of a book you know they’ll love. Here’s the tutorial.

54. Cut cheap sponges into strips and secure in the middle with a rubber band to make cool substitutes for water balloons.

Hours of fun, and you can dry them out and store them to use again. Here’s the tutorial.

55. Transform a string of white holiday lights into all-season globe lights with ping pong balls.

Ping pong balls are cheap (buy 144 of them for $7.94 here). Holiday lights like this are cheapish, and you might already have some. Why not try it? Here’s the tutorial.

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