When spring arrives, it often brings with it the drive for making a change around the house or making something useful.
The very organized often roll into spring with a list of projects they’ll work on, broken down by level of importance.
If you’re less organized or lack high-priority projects, however, that drive for creation or construction can often go unfulfilled. Let’s say that you bought a new home.
Odds are good that the house and landscaping meet your expectations.
Even if that sounds like you, you can still embrace your inner-DIYer.
Keep reading and we’ll give you a number of projects you can take on this spring/summer. Before we jump into the spring DIY projects, though, let’s take a moment and talk about tools.
The trend toward DIY is one way that homeowners, parents, and the adventurous can claim more ownership over their lives. It’s also a trend that requires you to come to the party with some tools in tow.
While you don’t need a completely equipped, pro-grade woodshop or auto garage, you should still invest in some essential tools.
For small projects, you should have a core set of basic hand tools, such as:
- Smooth face hammer
- Phillips and slotted screwdriver set
- Tape measure
For medium-sized or large-scale projects, you’ll want more diverse and powerful tools at your disposal.
A few core tools include a miter saw, drill/driver, circular saw, clamps, and a socket set.
For truly ambitious projects, consider investing in a portable table saw and a random-orbit sander.
There is a level of landscaping that requires a professional, but most landscaping projects remain within reach of the average DIYer.
For example, all you need is a shovel if you want to plant trees. You can spread a bit of mulch around the base of the trees with nothing but your hands.
Flower beds looking a little sad or possibly dead. It might stem from a lack of attention or the soil may need some attention. Start by breaking up the ground with a small shovel.
You can start by turning in some basic compost, which adds essential nutrients to the soil. You can go the extra mile and add topsoil that’s available at almost any garden center.
Greenhouses and garden centers can help you pick out the right plants for your climate or region.
With some careful planning, your flower beds can bloom from spring until fall.
2. Planter Boxes
Any woodworker will tell you that most of the work goes into designing and setting up a project. That means it’s only a little more work for you to make two planters, rather than just one.
Plus, a matched set by your door or on either side of your walkway provides a balanced look.
You can pick from all kinds of different designs but a basic cube design is a simple option for a Saturday afternoon.
You can use pressure treated lumber for this project, but a weather resistant wood like cypress, cedar, or redwood will look nicer and hold up well.
The size of the cube will determine how much wood you need.
Let’s assume you’ll make a basic 15″ x 15″ x 15″ planter. That calls for around 20′ of 5″ x 3/4″ boards and 15′ of 2″x2″ wood. Make sure you get exterior grade screws for assembly.
At that point, it’s all just cutting and attaching. Make sure you cut the legs around 17″-18″ long, so the box sits off the ground a little for water flow beneath it.
Pro Tip: Seal the bottom two inches of the legs for longer working life.
Of all the possible spring projects you can take on, a renovation is one of the most ambitious.
Unlike a basic outdoor project, renovations can create major disruptions in your household. Not only do they make an entire room unavailable, but they also create a big mess that can prove difficult to contain.
If you do decide a room in your home needs a renovation, consider starting small. You can install a floating floor in a bedroom or living room using engineered wood flooring.
With a little careful selection, you can get some that simply snaps together and avoid glue or nails.
Repainting and installing new trim or molding can freshen up a room a lot. It’s an excellent choice if you’re on a budget but need a change.
Looking for something more substantial?
If you’re comfortable with plumbing, you can renovate a bathroom. Simply replacing the toilet and vanity can dramatically change a bathroom’s look and feel.
If you’re the master of mortar and trowel, you can even take things up a level and put in new tile.
As an added bonus, new tile can bring a bathroom in line with contemporary trends. It’s a solid choice for anyone prepping their house for a sale in the near future.
4. Kitchen Refinish
Even a small kitchen remodel can run you anywhere from $10,000-$15,000. High-end remodels can cost in excess of $30,000.
If numbers like those make you cringe but you want a fresher kitchen, consider refinishing instead.
Much of what makes a kitchen feel uninspired is the simple wear and tear on the cabinets. Once the finish fades, chips, or wears through, the cabinets just look old.
Instead of replacing them, paint or repaint them. A fresh coat of paint restores that new finish look and can radically alter the entire vibe of the kitchen space.
Read to invest a little more? Look into getting a new countertop. As with the paint, the new countertop can add a new dimension to a familiar space.
5. Old Window Picture Frame
Looking for something a little easier that you can do with the kids or significant other? An old window picture frame fits the bill nicely.
Here’s everything you need:
- A wood frame window with intact glass panes
- Clear adhesive dots
- Glass cleaner
- Paper towels
- Heavy duty picture hangers
- Photos or Prints
- Sandpaper (optional)
You can pick up old windows at lots of places, such as flea markets, garage sales, and online classified sites.
You can sand down the window frames, but it’s a gamble. You might find lead paint hiding a few layers down if the window is old enough.
You should clean the glass and make sure it’s completely dry. Then, you position the pictures on the back of the glass. Use the clear adhesive dots to attach the pictures to the glass.
Use the picture hangers for convenient wall hanging or go with the classic eyehook and wire approach.
6. Driftwood Wall Candle
One of the simplest projects on the list, a driftwood wall candle only takes two pieces of flat driftwood, two screws, picture hangers, and sealant.
You’ll need one long piece of driftwood and a short piece. You’ll want to pre-drill pilot holes in both pieces of driftwood. If you don’t, you can easily split the wood.
The pilot holes reduce the total pressure on the wood when you drive the screws through the long piece and into the short piece.
The short piece should sit at a ninety-degree angle to the long piece.
This creates a small shelf for the candle.
You should seal the entire piece before you hang it on the wall. The sealant helps stabilize the wood’s moisture content. That helps prevent excessive expansion and contraction as the seasons change.
This one obviously works best if you live near the coast. While you can order driftwood, it might prove most costly than the project warrants.
7. Make Your Own “Antique” Dresser
True antiques can cost you a lot, depending on the age and style. If it’s just the aged look your after, though, you can achieve that on your own with almost any wooden dresser.
- High grit sandpaper, such as 150 grit and 220 grit
- Matte paint
- dark stain
- paint brush
- soft cloth or rag
Hit the whole dresser with the 150 grit sandpaper. Don’t get super-aggressive with it. You just need to rough up the surface.
Hit low spots and edges with the stain. Put on two thin coats of the matte paint. Let each coat dry completely.
The idea is that you want a visual bleed-through effect of the dark stain beneath the paint.
Now, break out the 220 grit sandpaper and go to town on the edges and corners. Take it down to bare wood in a few spots if you want. Apply the stain gently to the freshly sanded edge and corners.
Take the dresser outside for the staining if at all possible, since most stains produce VOCs as they dry.
Parting Thoughts on Spring DIY Projects
Whether you’re the organized person who makes a list or just someone with the DIY urge, spring DIY projects offer a lot of options.
You can go with simple projects that only take a day or two. You can go the other route and invest your time and money into major renovation projects.
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