Home DIY Projects While Sheltering-In-Place

Sheltering-in-place during the Covid-19 pandemic . . .  I’ve got time on my hands . . . There’s no better opportunity to look around my place and do a few frugal home DIY decor upgrades! Here’s a few of the projects I’ve completed so far:

My DIY Living Room Project

I felt that it was time to bring a bit more teal into my life. Teal adds a splash of color to the neutral beige and tan colors that dominate my living room. Ever the frugalist, I looked for ways to add teal accents to my decor without spending much money. A few frugal purchases from Dollar Tree, Goodwill thrift store and Walmart, and a bit of DIY did the trick!

DIY Project Chalk Paint Vases
DIY chalk painted vases

The larger glass vase was purchased second-hand from Goodwill Thrift for the princely sum of $5.00. It was painted with Waverly Chalk Paint from Walmart ($1.79 2 ounce bottle). Chalk paint adds a velvety matte finish that mimics pottery. The smaller glass vase is from Dollar Tree ($1.00) and was also painted with the same chalk paint as the larger vase mixed with white acrylic paint to create a lighter shade.  The dried cotton branches were also purchased from Dollar Tree for $1.00. These painted vases now serve as the centerpiece of my coffee table. Total cost? Only $10.00 and about an hour of my time!

Waverly Chalk Paint
Waverly Chalk Paint

But wait, there’s more!

I now was emboldened to see what I could do with a bit of creativity and a few cheap glass vases from Dollar Tree! Here are three projects: In each of these I started building up layers of very lightly applied acrylic paint mixed with baking soda (a 50/50 mix) to my Dollar Tree ($1.00 each) glass vases. This mixture adds both texture and layers of color.  The results are shown below:

DIY Project - Dollar Tree

DIY Project - Dollar Tree - #2

DIY Project - Dollar Tree #3

DIY Projects

I now had a palette of southwestern colors (teal, tan, yellow and brown) in my decor that were introduced simply with a few inexpensive glass vases and acrylic paint colors. Plus, I had developed a new skill that can be used around my home while saving money. Cool!

Here is the technique for my textured vases (above) in detail: I’ll do two coats for the base using acrylic or chalk paint mixed with baking soda to add texture ( I do a rough mix of 50/50 baking soda and paint so that it dries rough and bumpy. You want lots of texture! That should dry fully. Next, I’ll add a layer of secondary color using a nearly dry brush so that the paint streaks and does not cover fully. You paint lightly so that the paint covers the raised texture only (it’ll take a bit of practice to master). Before it has a chance to dry fully I will add a fourth coat, lightly blending it randomly to create depth to the texture. It took me about 5 or 6 failed tries before the technique began to work. The key is to build up thin layers to accentuate the texture created with the baking soda. Also, use acrylic matte or chalk paint. Satin or glossy paint is too shiny and does not work well.

You can find a how-to guide for every DIY project imaginable in a YouTube video!

Apple Barrel Matte Acrylic Paint
Apple Barrel Matte Acrylic Paint purchased for .50 cents each at Walmart.
DIY craft brush
This inexpensive craft brush works best (in my experience) for this type of project.

My DIY Dining Room Project

I wanted to carry that glass vase DIY theme to my dining table as well. So, I purchased three more glass vases (1.00 each, Dollar Tree) and painted them in colors that coordinate both with my table cover and the overall color palette in my apartment. By adding baking soda to the acrylic paint colors used, subtle texture and depth were created. The hanging light fixture seen here was originally clear glass. I decided to give it a pop of color by painting it as well (acrylic paint mixed with baking soda for texture). It gives the glass fixture the look of an earthen ware clay pot that coordinates well with the painted glass vases.

DIY Project - Glass Vases, Chalk Paint
My dining table centerpiece – DIY painted glass vases.

A little bit of frugal creativity goes a long way! The price of one glass vase of similar size from home decor retailer Pottery Barn starts at $35.00. I paid less than half that for eight glass vases, paint, and brushes. Also, I was not limited to the range of colors offered by any retailer.  Plus, the DIY process is a good workout for our creative skills!

Try it yourself! Nowadays, one of the first questions I ask myself before any purchase is: Can I make that? Most often, someone already has and gives the DIY directions in a Youtube video. A few inexpensive craft items combined with a bit of knowledge gleaned from Youtube (and a bit of practice) can go a long way! -SplurgeFrugal!

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