10 Easy Upcycled DIY Home Décor Projects
Looking for some easy upcycled DIY home décor projects to add color and interest to your walls? Look no further to find clever décor ideas, easy how-to instructions, complete materials lists and helpful tips from start to finish.
Whether your taste runs to the traditional, you prefer something more abstract or you just want something NEW on your walls, you are sure to find plenty of inspiration in these 10 easy upcycled DIY home décor projects.
Do You DIY? - Or do you not?
Upcycled DIY Inspiration
Upcycled DIY Home Décor Project #1 - Crayon Art
-Crayola Crayons (Other crayon brands do not melt as well as Crayola Crayons)
-16" x 16" Canvas
-Hot Glue Gun
-Hot Glue Sticks
-Newspapers, Drop Cloth or Fabric
-Heat Gun (A hair dryer can be substituted for a heat gun, but check to be sure it has enough power to melt a crayon before starting the project)
How to Make Crayon Art
- Protect area around the project with newspapers, drop cloth or fabric.
- Select desired crayon colors and remove their wrappers.
- Use the glue gun and hot glue to attach crayons to the canvas, tips facing out.
- Use heat gun or hair dryer to melt a little of the first crayon's tip, being careful not to melt the entire tip.
- Take the drinking straw to blow the wax puddle away from the tip of the crayon.
- Repeat with each crayon until all have been melted and the hot wax blown out.
- Allow the wax to dry completely.
- Hang your crayon art!
Upcycled DIY Home Décor Project #2 - Paint Chip Art
FInally, a use for all those paint chips you have lying around the house!
-Picture frames or canvas of your choice
-Background paper (if using picture frame) of your choice
-Glue stick or Mod Podge (your choice)
-Scissors, paper cutter, scrapbooking punch of your choice
Note: If you do not have enough paint chips for your project and are going to a paint retailer to get some, please ask for permission before taking paint chips.
How to Make Paint Chip Art
- Cut paint chips into desired size or shape.
- Adhere paint chips to background paper or canvas, using chosen adhesive.
- Allow to dry.
Upcycled DIY Home Décor Project #3 - Leaf Art
What could be easier than this?
-Leaf or leaves of your choice
-Craft paint in colors of your choice
-Small sponge brushes for paint application
-Rags or newspaper for dabbing off excess paint
-Plastic wallpaper smoother or other flexible smoothing tool
-Paper in color of your choice with picture frame or stretched canvas
How to Make Leaf Art
- Pick leaf or leaves you want to use.
- Apply small amount of craft paint in colors of your choice to leaf.
- Using plastic wallpaper smoother, gently but firmly smooth coated leaf onto paper or canvas surface.
- Carefully remove leaf.
- Allow to dry completely.
- Seal with matte sealer.
Supplies for Leaf Art
Upcycled DIY Home Décor Project #4 - Mirror Collage
This is the perfect opportunity to make the most of as many old (or not so old) framed mirrors you already own. If you need more, scour thrift stores, garage sales, ask friends and snoop through craigslist for budget-friendly mirrors of all sizes.
Part of the fun is that it's up to you to decide if you want to leave the mirrors as is, spray paint or Rub 'n Buff the frames a unifying color or coordinating colors.
-Mirrors of your choice
-Spray paint in color(s) of your choice
-Rub 'n Buff in color(s) of your choice
-Painter's tape (if painting)
-Newspapers (if painting)
How to Make the Mirror Collage
- Tape off mirror with painter's tape.
- Use a second row of painter's tape to secure newspaper over mirror, protecting it from paint.
- Spray paint or Rub 'n Buff mirror frames (To paint or not to paint, that is the question - it's totally up to you...)
- Remove newspaper and tape.
- Hang mirrors using mirror hangers.
Upcycled DIY Home Décor Project #5 - Yarn Art
Use a simple image for maximum impact and use the yarn (or string) as you would use paint.
It is recommended to use wood, sheet insulation or MDF 1" to 1-1/2" thick, stained or painted in the color of your choice.
A Visual Guide for the Yarn Art DIY Home Décor Project - Images from cremedelacraft.com
Have a Favorite Upcycled DIY Home Décor Project Yet?
Upcycled DIY Home Décor Project #6 - Salvaged Wood Art
The best kind of wood for this piece is FREE WOOD! Ask friends, family, neighbors for any castoff wood or lumber they might have gathering dust in their garages or basements. Be sure to check frequently on Craigslist, etc., for free wood and lumber.
Use this project as inspiration for your own unique salvaged wood art piece. This project is not difficult, but it is a bit tedious, so take advantage of friends' help and/or work on it while watching TV.
You can use any type of wood you choose and it can be stained or painted, your choice.
You can make your salvaged wood art in one piece or multiple pieces, it's all up to you (think about turning all those paint stir sticks you have lying about the house into some cool wall art).
If the wood you select is too long for your desired art piece, it may have to be cut down with some kind of power tool, such as a table saw, chop saw or circular saw, depending on your need. If you don't have the proper power tool, consider borrowing it or asking friends or family to assist you with the cutting.
Materials Needed: (The items listed were used to create the piece of salvaged wood art shown above)
-60" x 24" MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) - If your transportation options are limited, consider cutting the MDF into two smaller 30" x 24" pieces, using the available cutting services of the store where you are purchasing it.
-Approximately 100 pieces of wood, different widths and lengths.
-Seven-8 oz. pots of paint in colors coordinating with and/or complementing your existing décor. (Consider looking at mis-mixed paint at hardware stores, paint stores, home improvement centers for well-priced options. Another well-priced possibility is to buy sample-sized pots of paint in colors of your choice.)
- Bag of sponge brushes (you will need at least 1 brush per color)
- Sanding sponge or sandpaper: medium grit is fine
- Tube of Liquid Nails
- Caulking gun for dispensing Liquid Nails
- Power saw
How to Make Salvaged Wood Art
- Paint the edges of your MDF base with two coats of any one of the 7 colors you plan to use on this project to camouflage the base from being noticed when the piece is hung on the wall.
- Cut enough 24" pieces of wood to cover the entire 60" length of the MDF base, using different widths of wood to complete the job. Once the 24" pieces are cut, continue to cut the remaining wood in random smaller pieces, to be used atop the base pieces. This is what will give dimension, depth and visual interest to your salvaged wood art.
- Sand down all rough edges of the wood.
- Paint each piece of wood with two coats of paint, making sure that each color is used on different sizes and widths of wood.
- Take as much time as you need to do a random dry-fit of your painted wood pieces, starting with the 24" pieces of wood for the base of your salvaged art piece. Once you are satisfied with the bottom layer, add in the smaller pieces on top, playing with different length, width and color combinations.
- Once you are satisfied with the layout, remove the top layer of wood pieces, carefully setting them aside, being sure to maintain your final pattern. Place small dabs of Liquid Nails along the length of each 24" piece of wood and affix them to the MDF base. Take care to clean off any excess adhesive that squeezes onto the painted wood as you go, since it will dry white, thus requiring another coat or two of paint to cover.
- Once the 24" pieces have been glued down, fill in with the rest of the wood, dotting them with Liquid Nails and placing them in your predetermined pattern.
- Allow 24 hours for the Liquid Nails to dry completely.
- Attach a heavy-duty mirror hanger at either end of the salvaged wood art piece and hang it with appropriately-weighted gallery quality picture hangers.
Upcycled DIY Home Décor Project #7 - Ombre Chipboard Letter Art
Ombre is defined as having colors or tones that shade into each other, a gradation of color from light to dark.
The best thing about this on-trend project is that it will truly be an expression of you, your taste, and your personality. Use whatever saying you like, in whatever colors you like, on whatever size canvas you like - it is completely up to you!
Materials needed: (Materials listed below are for the picture, above)
- Large stretched canvas
- White matte spray paint
- Acrylic paints in desired colors (10 colors in varying tones of blues, white and neutrals were used by the artist for this project)
- Self-adhesive chipboard letters
- Paint brushes: artist's brushes or 1" paint brushes
- Drop Cloth, newspapers or sheet to protect work surface
How to Make Ombre Chipboard Letter Art
- Working in a well-ventilated area (preferably outside), spray the entire canvas and edges with the white spray paint.
- Allow to dry completely.
- Place chipboard letters in your desired arrangement on the canvas.
- Peel off the protective backing of the letters of your desired saying and adhere them in the location of your choice.
- Make a light pencil mark on both sides of the canvase, about a third of the way up from the bottom. Your darker paint colors should not go above this mark in order to maintain the piece's visual balance.
- Starting with the darkest color, brush on a couple of inches of paint from side to side.
- Using the same brush, change to the next paint color, add another couple of inches, blending as you go.
- Proceed with the next several colors, blending as you go, until you reach your pencil mark delineating the 1/3 point.
- While the paint is still wet, blend your colors until you are satisfied with the look.
- Soften the perimeter of the canvas by dry-brushing the lightest paint color around the canvas edges, blurring any hard edges with a rag.
- Allow the paint to dry completely.
- Hang your new masterpiece!
A Visual Guide for the Ombre Chipboard Letter Art
Supplies for Ombre Chipboard Letter Art
Upcycled DIY Home Décor Project #8 - Modern Tryptich Art
This upcycled DIY home décor project features a tryptich, which simply means three related pieces of art making up one larger piece. You can choose to make one, two, three or more related pieces of art for your project - it is your decision.
The idea is to just to free up your imagination and do something uniquely yours.
Materials Needed (Materials listed are for the tryptich shown above)
- 1/2" thick MDF, cut into three pieces of equal size
- 1" x 2" pine lumber for the frame
- Smaller wood trim to fit inside the frame (needed to span any gaps between your MDF picture and the frame)
- Paint in assorted colors (4 colors plus white, used as a base coat and for blending, were used in this example)
- Paint stir sticks
- Paint brush
- Disposable plates
- Jars and lids in assorted sizes
- Miter saw
- Wood glue
- Brad nailer or hammer and finishing nails
A Visual Guide for the Modern Tryptich Art Project - All images courtesy of Addicted2Decorating.com
Upcycled DIY Home Décor Project #9 - Puffy Paint Art - This project works equally well with a saying as it does with an image...
I really like this upcycled DIY home décor project, most especially the subtle nature of the white-on-white pattern, ideal for most any room.
This project is easy and quick, requiring little in the way of materials, all of which appeals to my immediate gratification tendencies.
One cautionary note: Be sure to 'draw' your image on wax paper, not directly on the canvas, as the puffy paint can develop bubbles if applied right on the canvas.
- Stretched canvas
- 2 bottles white Puffy Paint (If your pattern is simpler, you may only need one bottle of Puffy Paint)
- Mod Podge
- Wax Paper
- Artist's brush
A Visual Guide to the Upcycled DIY Home Décor Project #9 - Puffy Paint Art - Images courtesy of virginiaandcharlie.blogspot.com
Upcycled DIY Home Decor Project #10 - Gilded Leaf Art
This project can be expanded to include as many canvases as you can find leaves to gild. Or perhaps you just want one large image. The decision is yours. This upcycled DIY home décor project is a particularly flexible one which allows you to customize the colors to coordinate with your décor.
- As many 18" x 18" stretched canvases as you have leaves
- Leaf or leaves of your choice
- Paint in as many background colors as canvases desired
- Chip brush for base coating
- Small artist's brush for fine paint work
- Disposable plate for each paint color
- Repositionable spray adhesive
- Metallic spray paint
- Sawtooth hangers
A Visual Guide to the Upcycled DIY Home Décor Project #10 - Gilded Leaf Art - All images via Pinterest
Supplies for Gilded Leaf Art
The Time Has Come to Choose a Favorite Upcycled DIY Home Decor Project
Which Upcycled DIY Project Do You Plan to Tackle First? - Share all your DIY projects here! Inquiring minds NEED to know!!
Sara on February 19, 2017:
Sadly I used Elmer's glue for the canvas design project. Warning... don't use Elmer's glue, it turns out flat.
Tari on March 05, 2015:
Not all of These can be called upcycled, when you're purchasing new products.
Pam Irie from Land of Aloha on August 09, 2014:
This is a nice collection of DIY projects!
MarieLoves on May 20, 2014:
Great DIY ideas!
EmmaGraceEllis LM on May 17, 2014:
Modern Tryptich is amazing, it will be my first thing to attempt out of all the amazing things on here :-)
teelover on February 25, 2014:
I would try the leaf art.
acreativethinker on October 22, 2013:
These ideas are wonderful! Great lens. Thanks for sharing. :)
RebaC on April 15, 2013:
I'm going to try the Modern Tryptich Art.
surabhinafdey on March 29, 2013:
Susan Deppner from Arkansas USA on March 06, 2013:
Another winner, Kate! Love these DIY ideas!