31 DIY Home Projects Under $30 You Need to Try This Spring
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Spring is the season of flowering plants, warmer weather and getting things done. Do-it-yourself projects offer a lot of bang for the buck when it comes to upgrading your home, and it can be fun. Many projects can be completed in an afternoon and are easy enough that the kids can help.
Click through to discover budget-friendly DIY projects that will cost you less than $30.
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Fruit Slice Welcome Mat
Add a playful pop of color outside your front door with a DIY fruit slice doormat. To make the doormat, purchase a semicircle doormat that doesn’t have a textured design on it. Home Depot, Target and Walmart have good deals on home goods. It doesn’t matter if the mat has words or printing on it since you’ll paint over it anyway — so go with the cheapest one you can find.
Place the doormat on a tarp outside, spray paint the mat white and let it dry, then spray paint the mat to resemble a slice of watermelon or your favorite citrus fruit. Make paper or tape stencils to block off specific areas of the fruit design, such as the rind, as you add each color, suggested the design blog The House That Lars Built.
The total estimated cost for a fruit slice welcome mat is $28.95, assuming you have paper or tape for stencils. Here’s what you’ll need:
Semicircle doormat: $17.99
White spray paint: $4.28
Colored spray paint: $3.86
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Upgrade a Window Shade
Standard bamboo or vinyl window shades do a great job when it comes to providing privacy, but their looks leave a bit to be desired. To complete this DIY home renovation, take a bland window shade and stencil a new design, such as a series of birds or a large birdcage, over the side facing in, according to Country Living.
Make your own stencil by drawing a design on contact paper, then cutting out the areas you want to paint onto the shade. Peel and stick the contact paper stencil on to the shade, then dab acrylic craft paint over the cut-out areas with a brush, paintbrush or sponge. This project can be done with the shade on the window, but it is easier to remove the shade and set it on a tarp on the floor instead.
The total estimated cost for upgrading a window shade is $20.45, assuming you already own the shade. Here’s what you’ll need:
White adhesive contact paper: $3.86
Six-pack of acrylic craft paint: $8.80
Package of paint brushes: $4.97
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Spring brings with it lots of lovely things, including varieties of birds in your backyard. Keep them happy — and fed — by making birdseed rings to hang from a tree within view of a window so you can enjoy the experience, too. According to Corner Blog, boil one cup of water, then pour it into a large metal or glass bowl. Stir in three packs of unflavored gelatin and five cups of a birdseed blend that contains large seeds such as sunflower seeds.
Grease two six-doughnut baking pans with vegetable oil, then fill one with the birdseed blend, mounding the seed mixture to create a doughnut shape. Place the second tray over the first, hole side down, then clamp the pans together with binder clips. Set the pans in the refrigerator to cool for four hours or longer, then remove the seed rings and hang them outdoors with natural twine.
The total estimated cost for creating birdseed rings is $22.47, assuming you have a large metal or glass bowl. Here’s what you’ll need:
Doughnut pan: $9.97
Bag of birdseed: $4.74
Box of unflavored gelatin packets: $2.24
Vegetable oil: $2.28
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Magnetic Spice Rack
You could buy this well-liked spice rack at IKEA, but you also can keep spice jar clutter under control with a DIY magnetic spice rack that’ll spice things up. Visit a home improvement store and select a piece of magnetic sheet metal that is small enough to fit the side of a kitchen cupboard or inside a cupboard door, according to Garden Betty. To cut the metal sheet, use tin snips.
Purchase a set of good quality four-ounce tins from a craft store, then epoxy strong magnetic discs to the bottom of each. Print out sticky labels for each spice you own, then apply one label to each jar lid. Secure the sheet metal to the desired location with construction adhesive, screws or adhesive strips.
The total estimated cost for a magnetic spice rack is $27.90, assuming you have epoxy glue and, if needed, tin snips. Here’s what you’ll need:
Metal sheet, 12 inches x 24 inches: $11.99
10 four-ounce tins with lids: $7.60
12 disc magnets: $6.68
Self-adhesive labels: $1.63
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Tame Cabinet Clutter
Cutting boards, cookie sheets and platters are difficult to stack neatly inside a kitchen cupboard, resulting in a clattering mess. Martha Stewart’s website suggested getting your clutter under control by installing tension rods vertically between one shelf and the next. Slide those cookie sheets and other large, shallow items between tension rods to keep cupboard clutter under control.
The total estimated cost to tame your cabinet clutter is $11.39. Here’s what you’ll need:
Five-pack of cupboard tension rods: $11.39
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No-Sew Coffee Sack Cafe Curtain
You can make your own cafe curtain or window valance, ideal for the window near the kitchen sink, from an old burlap coffee or flour sack, according to decorating blog Funky Junk Interiors. Choose part of the sack that has graphics on it for the most visual impact. Cut the burlap as wide as the window, then cut the length to a short cafe curtain or valance size, adding two extra inches.
Fray the sides and bottom of the burlap by pulling threads out to give it a well-worn look. Glue the top edge to a dowel rod cut to fit into curtain rod holders installed near the top of the window. For more opaque curtains, add another fabric to the back of the liner using fabric glue.
The total estimated cost for a no-sew coffee sack cafe curtain is $21.23. Here’s what you’ll need:
Burlap coffee sack: $5.99
Dowel rod: $7.25
Curtain rod holders: $7.99
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Revive Your Solar Lights
Solar lights offer an excellent — and movable — source of lighting around your walkways and flowerbeds, but they tend to malfunction after being left out in the changing weather season after season. Often, the malfunction is due to dirty, cloudy plastic over the solar panel.
Fortunately, you can avoid wasting your money on replacements. Instead, revive those dingy solar lights by first wiping them down with a soft, damp cloth — especially the solar panels. Once they’re dry, apply a coat of clear nail polish over the solar panel area to revive and protect it. The lights should work like new once again. A bottle of nail polish is rather small so make sure to grab as many as you’ll need for the number of lights you have.
The total estimated cost for reviving your solar lights is $9.90, or the cost of five bottles of nail polish. Here’s what you’ll need:
Clear nail polish: $1.98 per 0.5 fluid ounces
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Outdoor Terra Cotta Table
‘Tis the season for enjoying nice weather out on the patio, porch or deck. You can create your own terra-cotta storage table to use next to your outdoor furniture.
Buy a large terra-cotta pot and a planter tray that fits the top without falling inside. For a lighter version, purchase a durable fiberglass plant pot and matching tray instead. Paint the rims of the terra-cotta pot and tray to match your patio furniture cushions using exterior paint. Once dry, set the pot where you wish to add a table, then set the tray on top of the pot.
The total estimated cost for an outdoor terra-cotta table is $24.59. Here’s what you’ll need:
Large terra-cotta pot with tray: $19.98
A pint of exterior paint: $4.61
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You can give a plain IKEA corkboard — or any framed corkboard — an adorable upgrade by covering it with a patterned fabric. Pop the cork out of the frame, if possible, then wrap a piece of the fabric around the front of the cork sheet. Set the fabric-covered cork back into the frame, then outline the fabric with decorative tacks.
If the fabric won’t fit around the cork or the cork cannot be removed from the frame, simply fold the fabric around each edge to create a neat false hem, ironing the fabric. Tack the perimeter of the taut fabric to the corkboard.
The total estimated cost for a fabric-covered corkboard is $29.33 or less depending on fabric cost. Here’s what you’ll need:
IKEA Vaggis Noticeboard: $5.99
One yard of fabric: Up to $21.99
Package of steel tacks: $1.35
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DIY Fabric Wall Art
Create your own patterned wall art that’s simple to assemble and lightweight, too, suggested CraftsNCoffee. Wrap patterned fabric or even decorative gift wrap around sheets of hard foam cut into rectangles or squares.
Attach the fabric to the foam by wrapping each foam piece as if wrapping a gift, then either tape or tack the fabric to the back of the foam. Hang the art pieces in a grouping on the wall, using hook-and-loop picture hangers.
The total estimated cost for DIY fabric wall art is $28.18 or less depending on fabric cost. Here’s what you’ll need:
Foam board: $12.85
One yard of fabric: $13.99
Package of steel tacks: $1.34
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Celebrate the season of green with a set of DIY pounded-grass placemats. Purchase a set of plain linen or light-colored cotton placemats and a tray of live wheatgrass, which can be found at natural markets and some grocery stores, according to MarthaStewart.com.
To create the grassy designs, trim blades of wheatgrass several inches long, then arrange the blades next to one another along one edge of each placemat. Set a piece of cardstock over the grass to keep it in place, then pound the cardstock gently with a mallet or hammer. Remove the cardstock and grass to reveal the design. This design will eventually fade after several washes.
The total estimated cost for pounded-grass placemats is $29.00. Here’s what you’ll need:
Set of two linen placemats: $19.00
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Instead of wondering what to do with your old shrunken or stained wool sweaters, Good Housekeeping suggested transforming them into drink coasters. Wash the woolens in hot water, then dry them on high heat with hefty laundry items such as jeans.
After several wash-and-dry sessions, the wool transforms into felt. Trace the mouth of a wide mug onto the wool several times, cut out the discs and you have a new set of wool coasters. Thrift-store wool sweaters are ideal for this project. With a project this easy, kids might even enjoy creating their own coasters from old sweaters.
The total estimated cost for wool coasters is $0 as long as you have a washer, dryer and an old sweater.
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Dip-Dye Ombre Planters
You can ombre and dip-dye items to add a trendy, fresh look to your home, according to craft blog I SPY DIY. Upgrade a series of plain white ceramic planters by dip-dyeing them in liquid designed for tie-dyeing fabric.
To create the ombre or fade effect, mix the tie-dye solution according to package directions, then dip a pot halfway in, holding it for five seconds or until you see a bit of color. Dip the pot again, not quite as far, and hold it for 10 seconds. Repeat a third time, holding it even longer to create a darker shade of the same color.
The total estimated cost for dip-dye ombre planters is $24.26. Here’s what you’ll need:
Set of two hexagonal white ceramic planters: $16.99
Eight-ounce bottle of dye: $7.27
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Washi Tape Picture Frames
Instead of framing your photos and hanging the frames on the wall with nails, you can make your own Washi tape frames instead, according to Design*Sponge. Washi tape, a more decorative cousin to masking tape, comes in a variety of colors and patterns that are perfect for wall decor. Apply the tape in geometric shapes around each photo, or overlap washi tape colors for a playful effect.
The total estimated cost for Washi tape picture frames is $14.99. Here’s what you’ll need:
Assorted Washi tape: $14.99
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Veggie-Themed Shopping Bag
Help protect the environment by making and using your own vegetable-themed fabric shopping bag. Purchase a plain but durable canvas or muslin tote bag, then print a cute vegetable-themed design onto iron-on transfer paper.
Download free printable vegetable graphics online. Cut the design out around the graphics, then iron the design onto one side of the bag following directions on the iron-on package. Once the bag cools, peel the iron-on paper away to reveal your design. Now you’re ready to hit the market for fresh foods.
The total estimated cost for a veggie-themed shopping bag is $16.44. Here’s what you’ll need:
Plain canvas bag: $5.95
Package of iron-on paper: $10.49
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Potato-Printed Table Runner
Create your own custom-themed table runner for spring using the ultimate inexpensive stamp material: a potato. Design*Sponge suggested choosing a plain table runner made from a natural fabric such as cotton or burlap, then spreading it out on a plastic tablecloth or sheet of cardboard.
Cut a potato in half, then carve a simple design such as a tulip bulb using a paring knife, removing the potato area around the tulip to create a stamp. Brush fabric paint over the surface of the stamp, then dab the potato stamp onto the table runner, repeating the process as often as you’d like to complete the design.
The total estimated cost for a potato-printed table runner is $7.66. Here’s what you’ll need:
Burlap runner: $4.29
Fabric paint: $3.37
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Typography Throw Pillow
Create your own customized pillow by upgrading a throw-pillow cover with a favorite saying, monogram or simple graphic design. Print out the desired lettering or design on paper, cut the design out, then trace around it onto the pillow cover using a chalk fabric pencil, according to the blog Love, Pomegranate House.
Paint inside the lines with acrylic craft paint or fabric paint, placing cardboard inside the pillow cover to prevent bleed-through. Place the cover back on the pillow after the paint dries. This technique can also be used to customize pillowcases and bed sheets.
The total estimated cost for a typography throw pillow is $14.35. Here’s what you’ll need:
Throw pillow cover: $4.99
Chalk fabric pencil: $5.99
Fabric paint: $3.37
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Thrift Store Table Makeover
Upgrade a thrift-store table or bench with a fresh coat of paint and a vintage design such as an antique key advertisement, suggested Art Is Beauty. Gently sand the table, wipe the dust away, then paint it in a spring color such as Pantone’s Greenery.
Create a transfer of the vintage ad design by printing it on an inkjet printer in reverse on the waxy side of freezer paper. Set the image wax-side down on the table, then burnish it with the edge of a spoon or a gift card, being careful not to let the paper move. Carefully peel the paper away once complete.
The total estimated cost for a thrift-store table makeover is $9.26. Here’s what you’ll need:
Fine grit sandpaper: $5.77
Freezer paper: $3.49
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Stenciled Raindrop Bench
Transform a boring bench or even a wooden porch table with an adorable raindrop theme, just in time for spring. Design blog The 36th Avenue suggested painting the bench or table in your favorite acrylic or latex spring shade, such as a cheery green or sky blue.
Once the paint dries, place a large raindrop stencil on top of the project piece and tape it down with painter’s tape. You can make the stencil yourself by drawing designs on card stock and cutting out the raindrop shapes, or purchase a premade stencil from a site such as Handmade Charlotte. Dab white acrylic craft paint over the holes in the stencil, then remove the stencil and tape once the paint dries.
The total estimated cost for a stenciled raindrop bench is $15.32. Here’s what you’ll need:
One half-pint of latex paint: $9.25
Painter’s tape: $2.97
Acrylic craft paint: $3.10
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Giant Water Blob
If you want to beat the heat but don’t have a pool, DIY blog Homemade Toast showed a unique way to cool off by creating a giant leakproof water blob. Purchase a 4-millimeter or thicker painter’s plastic sheet twice as long as you’d like the blob to be. Spread the plastic on the floor on a sheet of cardboard, folding the plastic in half. Fold a large piece of parchment paper in half, crease it and mark it at two inches from the fold line.
Slide the sheet of parchment paper along the open edges of the plastic, then iron on top of the parchment paper on the highest heat setting — no steam — to seal the plastic. Continue sliding the parchment down the edge of the plastic and iron until you’ve created a seam. Then, seal the sides, too.
Take the plastic outside to a rock-free area of the yard, spread it flat, then cut a small slit in the folded edge large enough to insert a garden hose. Fill the plastic with water while holding the cut end up. Add a capful of bleach, seal the slit with duct tape and the blob is ready to use.
The total estimated cost for a giant water blob is $15.22, assuming you have a small amount of bleach. Here’s what you’ll need:
4-millimeter plastic drop cloth: $6.77
Parchment paper: $3.48
Duct tape: $4.97
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Jelly Bean Door Monogram
Create a one-of-a-kind monogram to display on your front door or mantel using a craft store cardboard monogram letter and your favorite color of jelly beans. This display is great for Easter, but it’s also seasonal enough to bring smiles to your guests’ faces all spring long.
Better Homes and Gardens suggested painting the letter in a backing color similar to the jelly beans of your choice. Once the paint dries, hot-glue jelly beans to cover the surface of the letter completely. Take the piece outdoors and set it on a plastic tarp, then spray an acrylic clear coat over the jelly beans to preserve them. Hot glue a loop of ribbon to the back of the monogram to hang it from a nail on the door, or prop it up on a mantel shelf to display indoors.
The total estimated cost for a jelly bean door monogram is $18.10 assuming you have a hot glue gun, hot glue and a small piece of ribbon. Here’s what you’ll need:
Cardboard monogram letter: $1.97
Bag of jelly beans: $5.99
Craft paint: $3.36
Acrylic clear coat spray: $3.96
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Solar Fence Lights
Upgrade your fence with a series of lanterns that look expensive but aren’t, using this idea from Running With Scissors. Lantern-shaped solar lights from a discount store serve as the sources of light. Attach decorative metal plant-basket hangers on fence posts for even spacing. Hang the solar lanterns from the plant hooks.
The total estimated cost for solar fence lights is $24.17. Here’s what you’ll need:
Set of two solar lanterns: $18.39
Two plant hangers: $5.78
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Old Rake Tool Hanger
Old metal garden rakes with lost or broken handles aren’t completely useless, according to DIY blog Art Stuff. Give that old rake head new life as a holder for small garden tools such as spades and weed pullers. Hammer two nails parallel to one another on the side of a shed or on a board in the garage to hang the rake head. Hang each garden tool from a tine or prong on the rake, using loops of leather shoelace material to hang each piece.
The total estimated cost for an old rake tool hanger is $5.75. Here’s what you’ll need:
Spool of natural leather cord: $5.75
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If you’re planting a budget-friendly garden this year, you’ll want some equally frugal planters.
Store-bought planters tend to either be boring or too pricey if you need a number of them. Make your own, completely unique planters out of cement instead, using this idea from Remodelaholic. Disposable plastic containers, bowls or even milk cartons serve as the molds for your planters.
Mix Portland cement in a bucket according to directions on the bag, then pour a layer at least 1/2-inch thick into the larger of your mold-making materials. Place plastic wrap over the outside of the inner mold form, and then place the inner mold form on top of the wet cement, then pour in more cement until it nearly reaches the top of the outer mold form. Once it dries, remove the inner form and smooth the cement with a rock or sandpaper.
The total estimated cost for cement planters is $9.99. Here’s what you’ll need:
One bag of Portland cement: $9.99
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Hand-Painted Plant Markers
Spring is the time to get that garden started, but once the plants start to sprout, it might be difficult to remember which vegetable is which. Solve the problem with a set of hand-painted stone plant markers, according to handmade toy blog Adventure in a Box.
Find and clean several smooth stones, opting for ones that resemble the shapes of carrots, eggplant or other vegetables you’ve planted. Paint their tops to resemble the planted vegetables, or paint the name of each plant on each stone and set them in the garden immediately after planting the seeds or seedlings.
The total estimated cost for hand-painted plant markers is $12.40 for four different colors of paint, assuming you have or can find stones. Here’s what you’ll need:
Acrylic craft paint: $12.40
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Repurposed Chandelier Planter
Transform a thrift store chandelier into a cheerful planter to hang on the porch or in the sunroom using just a few inexpensive supplies. Remove all the electrical wiring from the chandelier plus the candlestick-style light sockets and holders, according to home improvement blog DIY Show Off.
Purchase plastic plant pots and trays — one set for each arm of the chandelier — in a size that fits on each arm. Glue the plant trays and pots to the tops of each chandelier arm, then spray paint the entire assemblage in your favorite cheery spring color once the glue dries. Add potting soil and plants, hang the chandelier from a sturdy plant hook and your work is complete.
The total estimated cost for a repurposed chandelier planter is $28.07 assuming you already have an old chandelier. Here’s what you’ll need:
Colored spray paint: $3.86
Six plastic planters: $6.30
Potting soil: $2.73
One half-flat of flowering perennials: $15.18
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Melted Crayon Art
Perfect for a rainy spring afternoon, Decoist’s DIY melted crayon wall art is a project that’s fun for all ages. Arrange new crayons at the top of a clean art canvas, tips pointing down, or in any pattern you prefer. Hot-glue the crayons to the canvas one at a time.
Once the glue dries, set the canvas on a plastic tarp and aim a hair dryer set to hot at the crayons until they begin to melt. Feel free to angle the canvas different ways to achieve the desired drip effect.
The total estimated cost for melted crayon art is $17.08. Here’s what you’ll need:
120 crayons: $7.18
Three-pack art canvas: $7.08
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Create a fun — and functional — addition to your garden or yard with a tic-tac-toe stepping stone set using this idea from homesteading blog Northwest Edible Life. Purchase nine square pavers and set them in your yard in a three-tile by three-tile square, leaving an inch or so between pavers.
Dig out some of the dirt beneath each paver to make the pieces lay flat. Find and clean 10 smooth stones of similar size, then paint an X on half of them and an O on the rest using acrylic craft paint. The kids can find the rocks, paint them and put the tic-tac-toe board.
The total estimated cost for garden tic-tac-toe is $23.29. Here’s what you’ll need:
Nine square pavers: $21.33
Two colors of acrylic craft paint: $1.96
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Floral Fairy Lights
Transform a string of plain outdoor party lights into a festive floral display by adding silk flowers to each LED light. To create the look, seek out silk or fabric flowers such as cherry blossoms at your local craft store, buying enough to fit one flower per bulb on the light strand.
Pull the flower portion off its stem or faux leaves, then slide the hole in the center of the flower over a light bulb, pushing it down past the bulb as far as possible. If the flowers seem loose, apply a dab of hot glue to each to secure them to the light strand.
The total estimated cost for your DIY floral fairy lights is $17.95. Here’s what you’ll need:
Outdoor party lights: $11.29
Silk flowers: $6.66
Alan Levine / Flickr.com
Rainbow Beaded Wind Chimes
Spring brings with it plenty of breezy weather — perfect for enjoying the sound of wind chimes. DIY blog Garden Therapy suggested making your own beaded chimes by drilling holes one inch apart through a found driftwood stick or a dowel, making one hole for each strand of beads you wish to use. Purchase a bulk pack of colorful, translucent beads in assorted colors and styles.
Tie a small bell on one end of a strand of fishing line or beading cord, then slide beads of one color onto the cord, repeating the process for as many chimes as you wish to make. Push the top end of the string through the bottom of the hole in the driftwood, then tie a bead to the top to keep the chime strand in place. Repeat for each strand, then wind colored twine to create a hanger for the chimes.
The total estimated cost for rainbow beaded wind chimes is $9.26. Here’s what you’ll need:
Bulk pack of assorted beads: $4.24
Beading cord: $1.24
Three-pack small jingle bells: $3.78
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Faux Painted Rug
Making use of outdoor areas is a popular way to entertain — or just relax — in spring. Add some color and interest to your concrete patio with the addition of a painted rug. Better Homes and Gardens suggested measuring the size of the area you want to paint. Mark the outer edges of the rug with painter’s tape before beginning to paint. Roll two coats of white concrete paint onto the concrete in the taped-off area as a primer. Allow the paint to dry.
Mark color bands and blocks with painter’s tape inside the original tape border. Paint each section as desired. After the paint has dried, you can use stencils to decorate the color bands and blocks to add more dimension. Once the entire rug is dry, spray it with concrete sealer.
The estimated cost for a faux painted rug is $26.56. Here’s what you’ll need:
Painter’s tape: $2.97
Two 8-ounce cans of white concrete porch paint: $9.38
Three colors of acrylic paint: $5.22
Clear satin concrete sealer: $8.99
Click to find out how you can increase your home’s value with these DIY remodeling projects.
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Cynthia Measom contributed to the reporting for this article.