Tipnut's DIY Home Project Library: Build / Create / Beautify

Many say we live in a throwaway culture (probably because products today don't seem to be built to last), but more and more of us are learning to take a closer look at "junk" before sending it off to the dump. Terrific pieces of unique wood furniture, pallets & crates were lost to us instead of cleaned up, given a bit of DIY TLC then put back to good use in the house and yard.

With easy "Do-It-Yourself" endeavors that can be worked on over the weekend, a single day or even assembled in just a couple hours, we are reclaiming long lost skills by taking hammer in hand, a block of sandpaper and a bit of glue in an effort to cobble together pretty nifty creations. Some beautiful, some functional...some WOW! There's real satisfaction in laboring to construct wholly new items, especially when able to reuse materials and recycle old bits. The reason why home improvement is so popular: results can be amazing & so fun to do!

Tray, Rollers, Brushes & Supplies For Painting Project

This section on Tipnut catalogs numerous clever ideas found around the 'net and are sure to perk up the space in mind. Whether the intention is to increase storage, add pops of color to a room, personalize & freshen decor (even in the bathroom!), or make things more organized & efficient, there's a great collection of goodies listed (big and small alike).

I've also included assorted tutorials showing step-by-step how to be a self-taught handyman & tackle simple household repairs without calling in the pros (impressive amounts of money can be saved by fixing things yourself). A drill and power tools expert or just a beginner...there's plenty to browse through, creative juices are sure to be sparked!

In This Archive

  • Fixes
  • Outdoor Decor
  • Projects

TN Recommends

One of the most economical stud finders on the market, but boy this little guy gets the job done. Low tech = long lasting. Has a lot of fans generating over 10,000 reviews on Amazon (before product details page changed).

A "must have" tool for the DIYer, this paint sprayer is great for all kinds of crafty adventures yet still has the muscle needed to easily tackle ceilings, decks & fences. A useful gadget providing a professional finish & helps the job go lickety split (budget friendly too).


Projects & Tutorials

Transform An Old Dresser: Lovely & Functional

Pick up old dressers from garage sales and thrift stores that are pretty banged up but inexpensive to buy, or maybe an old piece or two is stashed away just waiting to be freshened up. Check out the wonders now looking like new designer pieces.

15+ Backsplash Ideas & Tutorials: {For The Kitchen}

A great bunch of design concepts focused on updating the kitchen backsplash wall, nearly all provide detailed instructions for unique creations. There's a little bit of everything in this collection (ceramic tile, fancy glass, pebbles, brick…)

Tired Cabinet Makeovers On A Budget

Are the kitchen cabinets a little tired or outdated but there's no extra cash in the budget to update them? Here are several different visions for freshening up the space using items such as paint, bead board and decorative…

Custom Furniture Slipcovers & Reupholstery: Help

One budget saver when redecorating the home is to keep perfectly fine furniture that may be a little tired or worn and recover them with gorgeous fabrics (many can be found in a local fabric store's bargain bin).

20+ Jewelry Organizers For Display & Storage

Tired of digging through jewelry boxes looking for an earring or taking time to untangle a delicate necklace? Here’s a bunch of nifty projects to help organize and display all your pieces neatly. Some hang on the wall or on…

Pets Love Crafts Too! A Great Collection To Start On

A fun bunch of toys and accessories to make for furry friends, most are for dogs and cats but I do have a couple goodies for fish and birds. Many have been previously featured and moved for better organization…

20+ Mostly Low-Budget Wall Art Creations

An assortment of clever and crafty ways to make customized wall decor pieces, most are made with basic supplies and tools. I’ll be adding to this list over time so check back every now and again to see what's new…

Constructing Custom Designed Clocks: So Easy!

Fashioning a customized clock for a special space is easier than you might think, all that's required is a kit or parts from an old clock and a few other supplies (paint, mod podge, wood disk, etc., depending on which one…

How To Make Lovely & Inventive Mirrors That Shine

A nifty bunch of mirrors to create for your home, many are very easy to assemble too! Some feature etched glass, there are a few versions of the popular sunburst, some made with cheap tiles and others offer…

Oh So Crafty! 20+ Bulletin & Memo Boards

Great bunch of ideas for making a variety of bulletin and memo boards, you’ll find cork, ribbon boards, dry-erase and magnetic versions. Some pretty, others plain, but each do the trick! Shutter Style: Lovely message center with shutters…

Let There Be Light! 30+ Crafty Lamps & Lanterns

As part of the ongoing cleanup process here on Tipnut, I decided to remove the DIY Lighting category and organize all projects in that section into one handy sheet so nothing’s lost. A couple new ones added to the list...

A Few Nifty Key Holders: Make Your Own

A number of different ideas to keep keys organized and stylish at the same time, many needing only basic supplies and simple diy skills: Decoupaged: Made with 4" wide pine board, a bit of acrylics and decoupaged…

Decorated Serving Trays To Fit Your Style Perfectly!

A great mix of serving trays to assemble featuring different techniques and ideas. Some use ready-made trays, others repurposed items (like picture frames and cupboard doors). With a little paint and creativity…

20+ Budget Friendly DIY Headboard Examples

If it's time for a new headboard but there's no money in the budget to buy one…or it's been impossible to find the exact model desired, try designing and creating your own. It's surprising how many different, clever ways…

Fixes & Solutions

Help: Hanging, Displaying & Arranging Artwork

I'm not very confident when it comes to hanging pictures on a wall. Will they be straight? Too high? Too low? Does the arrangement look balanced or wonky? If shy about taking out the hammer and nails, the good news is there are plenty of online resources that have this all figured out for us.

Getting Tar Off: Lard Will Do It! Plus More Advice

A master list of items I've collected over the years to help remove splatters from vehicles, upholstery, soles of shoes and other items. Before Getting Started: Ensure that a surface's paint, color or finish won't be damaged by first testing…

Easy Ice Packs For Coolers, Lunches & First Aid

A few different quick and effortless ways to have a steady supply of homemade ice packs on hand for assorted uses (soothing minor scrapes, first aid treatments, keeping food and beverages chilled, etc.). Included also are several budget…

Wallpaper Care & Repair Tips

For grease spots apply a paste of cornstarch and water to the stain and allow to dry. Brush or vacuum off the cornstarch after a day, the grease should be gone. If a little nic or tear appears, conceal it by coloring in the damaged area.

Reference Sheet For Repairing CD Scratches

Plenty of tips are found online for how to clean and fix CDs, some debunked and others debunking the debunkers ;). Here is a list of three methods (light, moderate and extreme) that should cover all the bases. First…

Painting Walls & Interiors – Information Sheet

Ready to pull out the rollers and brushes? This page is loaded with tips and inspiration to help you get the job done (including a gallery of examples and recipes). Have fun! Instructions: If Oil Or Latex Was…

An iPod Survives The Washing Machine

Major catastrophe in our home a few months ago: my son's iPod nano was left in his pants pockets--which were washed & dried with the rest of the laundry. Here's what we did to bring it back to life, can be tried for all devices such as cell phones...

Plugged Sinks: Homemade Drain Cleaner & More

Check out this handy tip sheet detailing different methods for clearing plugged kitchen sinks (stuck bathtubs can benefit from these too). Gentle, natural ingredients pack a real punch and should readily be found in…

Mending Linoleum & Vinyl Floors: Scuffs, Stains, Nics

Updated: A medley of tips and recipes for all-purpose cleaners, handyman repairs and other odds & ends for linoleum and vinyl flooring. A few were previously published elsewhere on Tipnut and moved to this page for better organization. Assorted…

30 Helpful Items To Remove Sticky Adhesive Goo

Things like price stickers and labels, different types of tape (packing, masking, scotch tape) may leave behind a sticky, gooey residue that's a tricky mess to remove. It's amazing how many common everyday items will get rid of…

Crayon Busters: Instructions To Get Scribbles Off Walls

Have a little scribble artist nearby? No worries, they’ll outgrow it eventually! I promise ;). As the oldest of four children, a busy neighborhood babysitter as a teen and then a mom when I “grew up”, I’ve had…

Instructions For Boosting A Car Battery

Step-by-step instructions for how to boost a "dead" vehicle, feel free to print them out, put in a plastic sleeve and tuck into the car's glove compartment. First: Someone with a running automobile is needed to give a…

Removing Ugly White Heat Stains On A Wood Table

We have an old wood table that has been used and abused for years. I brought it out over the holidays for card playing and commented how badly stained it was–while quickly covering with a cloth. Find out the remarkable method that conquered those white cloudy marks…

Clever! Removing Permanent Marker From Surfaces

Did the kiddos get a little "artistic" with masterpieces of coloring? A quick tip to clean things up in a flash: Smear toothpaste over the stains then take a damp cloth to scrub off (just plain paste–not the gel kind). I've tried this and it works!

Spray Painting Trick: For smaller items, place a large cardboard box on its side, flaps open. Set item to be worked on inside the box (about 1/3 of the way in). Spray paint as desired. The box will shelter from wind & debris plus contain overspray. An old baking sheet can be used to rest item on; pull it out & in as needed to check progress.

Wooden Kitchen Tools: I had a bit of an obsession w/handmade wooden spoons & spurtles (check Etsy for examples); wood butter keeps them in good shape. Easy Recipe: Fill a small canning jar with 1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil and 1 oz of beeswax. Place jar in a pan of simmering water (don't let water inside the jar, keep water level up the sides). Once melted, remove from heat & stir. Allow to cool & set in jar. Once solid, cover. Use the butter to rub into pieces as needed.

After purchasing a new child's bike, tuck their picture inside the handle bar before placing the grips on. If the bike is stolen & later recovered, remove grip & there is proof who owns the bike.

Carry several yards of duct tape discreetly? Tightly wrap strips of the tape around an old credit card until it's about the size that still fits comfortably in wallet. Rip off pieces as needed.

Favorite CD is Skipping: Carefully hand wash with gentle liquid detergent & dry then try gently rubbing a bit of toothpaste (use a cotton swab) to polish out any noticeable scratches. Wash & rinse again before playing.


Handyman Tips & Tricks

You knew saving those small plastic dairy containers (such as sour cream, cottage cheese, yogurt, etc.) was a good idea! Slip one under each leg of furniture to slide a heavy piece across the room (carpet). If the container is too tall, cut down to size needed.

When crafting messy projects involving liquids, protect a smartphone from spills by stashing in a ziploc baggy--it can still be used as needed!

A soda can tab is a clever picture hanger, simply bend it back & forth carefully to snap a clean break from lid then attach to back of the frame with a screw or gorilla glue.

Heavy gunk trapped in the joints of scissors, pliers, clippers & assorted metal tools and it's affecting performance? Spray WD-40 over it, open & close a few times then wipe out gunk easily.

Save bread bag plastic clips, they are terrific masking tape edge savers (just tape the end to the tab & fold over). Never again pick and pick to find the edge! Toothpicks will also do the trick (roll the tape end around the toothpick & its place will hold).

If you only hammer the occasional nail--and are skittish (fearful such inexperience will inevitably cause a banged finger or two), try this tip: use needlenose pliers instead of fingers to hold the nail shaft in place while hammering.

Hardware parts & pieces in tough to open plastic packaging/clamshell/blister packs? I found a $3 pair of heavy duty scissors/clippers at the Dollar Store that do the trick nicely--BUT--try using a can opener all around the edge of the plastic, it should open right up! Tin snips work too.

Ever notice the curved edge of a paint stick & wonder what that's all about? It's to push firmly on a roller to slide/scrape down every bit of paint into the can before rinsing the roller clean.

Glue a magnet to the bottom of the handle of a hammer to find dropped nails, bolts, screws quickly.

Adding a seam of caulking along the top of baseboards (sealing space between board & wall) will prevent dirt & debris from accumulating over time (which may eventually cause warping).

No funnel? No problem! Just cut out a section along the side of an empty plastic soda bottle (any size will do). The neck of the bottle should fit nicely where required & cut section receives the fluid as it's poured.

Crusty, ruined paint brushes may be rescued by boiling the bristles in a pot of white vinegar for about 5 minutes. Allow to cool then rinse under running water, breaking away pieces/dried chips as you wash.

Measuring Tape Linear Measure:
1 foot = 12 inches
1 yard = 3 feet
1 rod = 5 1/2 yards
1 mile = 320 rods
1 mile = 1,760 yards
1 mile = 5,280 feet
1 international nautical mile = 6,076.1155 feet
1 knot = 1 nautical mile per hour
1 furlong = 1/8 mile
1 furlong = 660 feet
1 furlong = 220 yards
1 league = 3 miles
24 furlongs = 3 miles
1 fathom = 2 yards
1 chain = 100 links
100 links = 22 yards
1 link = 7.92 inches
1 hand = 4 inches
1 span = 9 inches

Milky White Distressed Chair

Reclaim an old chair with a bit of milk paint then sand to distress. Glass canning jar is tinted a pretty blue, twine wrapped around the neck and voila! a sweet vase to hold fresh cut flowers. Tuck into a corner near the entryway for a cheery spot to hold visitors bags and accessories. Two simple decorative ideas that don't cost a lot yet add a warm touch of charm to the home.

Outdoor Creations

Outdoor Living: 35+ Projects, DIY & Smart Ideas

Now that summer’s finally here, it’s time to enjoy our decks, patios and backyards…love it! Along with grilling, gardening and puttering around the yard, who doesn’t want to take advantage of the pleasant weather and just chill outside for a…

How To Make Bird Baths: Inspiration

A marvelous bunch of ideas for assembling bird baths using a variety of bits and pieces found around the house or harvested from garage sales & thrift stores. Most are quite simple with several featuring inventive, original...

30+ Charming Birdhouse & Decor: Plans & Tutorials

Whether wanting to construct something simple better suited for beginners or a project that's a little more advanced and decorative, this collection of free birdhouse tutorials has you covered! I've put together lots of concepts, each providing full instructions & plans.

13 Lovely Features Sure To Be A Big Splash

If you don't have the space or the time to devote to a pond, consider small water fountains or container gardens, they're easier to maintain and just as lovely. Here is a selection of free tutorials that I've handpicked.

Simple & Functional: 15+ Creative Trellis Concepts

A terrific selection showing how to make trellises for both vegetable and flower beds, many are simple in design while others are detailed and fancy (a bit of woodworking skill required).

Ways To Build A Fire Pit - DIY Resource Guide

One of the things I enjoy most during the summer is sitting around a fire pit at night visiting with family and friends and having a nice fire going. Marshmallows and hot dogs always seem to taste better when they’re…

Crafty Gadgets & Gear For The Garden

Loads of ideas for things designed to either help with yard work or decorate the space a bit. Most are DIY but there are a few involving crafts/sewing. Many have been featured...

Constructing A Raised Bed For The Garden: Plans

An assortment of free tutorials and plans for building raised beds, especially useful with the square foot method (wonderful for both vegetable and flower beds). Most of the online examples seem pretty similar to each other so I chose those having something unique to offer.

Dreaming Of A Greenhouse? Build Your Own!

Looking to extend the growing season but aren’t willing to spend the big bucks on a pre-built option or DIY kit? If you're handy with a hammer (or know someone who is), here is a variety of projects for inspiration.

An Assortment Of Compost Bins & Boxes To Build

Here are several different variations (all free of course) collected from around the 'net. I also tucked in a few tips at the bottom to help get the most out of composting efforts. Some made with pressure treated wood...

Dozens Of Free Bird Feeders To Make: Tutorials

Birds do a pretty good job of taking care of themselves. They're happy with all sorts of bugs, worms and assorted bits of natural debris (fallen berries, seeds, pods, etc.). But if we enjoy their company and want to encourage…

Making A Cold-Frame: Extend The Season

I mainly use my cold frame to start seed pots and to harden off bedding plants a little earlier than my zone normally allows. They do work like a charm for that purpose. Folks also place them right in the garden…

Grow 100 lbs. Of Potatoes In 4 Square Feet: Tutorial

Quite the clever method here folks! Today's feature includes tips from three different sources for growing potatoes vertically (in layers) instead of spread out in rows across the garden. If space is limited or wanting to try some nifty…

Get Rid Of Wasps Easy As 1-2-3: Effective DIY Traps

Once stung by a wasp, you'll realize how well they live up to their reputation of being angry, aggressive and producers of mean, painful stings. When regularly spotted in the yard, it's a good bet a nest is nearby.

20+ Potting Benches: {Free Plans, Projects & Guidance}

Looking for somewhere to sow seeds, transplant a few plants or maybe just putter about? Working with a potting bench during gardening season is pure luxury and you'll soon discover how convenient one is to keep all yard tools and supplies organized…

35+ Camping Tips, Tricks & Treats

Summer holidays are just around the corner and if a camping trip or two is on the agenda, you might just find a new trick in this bunch! I've put together a list of amazing ideas…

Glass Bottle

A few nifty ideas for using old glass bottles & a touch of paint.


Sand Art

I saw these being made while traveling in Israel, do a search online for "sand art bottle" and discover videos on how to make them (more simple designs).

Clever: Never lose track of paint shades by labeling cans &/or using labels to document info. Cut this free printable & affix to lid tops or paste into home project books. Click image to download.