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DIY

DIY Projects & Craft Ideas For 2020

There are many different types of DIY Enthusiasts.
There are many different types of DIY Enthusiasts.

Updated July 20th, 2020

FYI…BTW…SOS…MIA.  Those may be the most famous three letter acronyms ever created - but none of them have their own group of enthusiasts. 

When it comes to DIY, it’s a different story.  Pretty much everyone knows that it refers to the building, modifying or repairing of something on your own.  In other words, doing it without the help of experts or professionals.  It’s come to refer to everything from improving your living room or staining your coffee table, to constructing your own wall mount, to taking a tutorial then making your own light fixtures and creating your own smart home. 

The term has been kicking around since the early 1900s, but it really took off in the 1950s when people started getting into home improvement and decor projects and doing their own crafts.  This subject truly does run the gamut, from creating their own wall art, to using spray paint or acrylic paint to brighten up their blank walls to adding their own personal touch to a bedroom wall.  Little known fact: one of the best-known magazines has its roots in do-it-yourself – “Popular Mechanics” – so in a lot of ways, improving your home décor, living space or old piece of furniture is truly part of the fabric of American life.  DIY projects are a great way to bond with family members, whether you all band together and make a new home office, or take a piece of fabric and decorate small spaces, like rooms in a doll house.

As the definition of is so broad, it’s not a shock that there are millions and millions of these Enthusiasts not only on theTUNDRA, but all over the world.  One of the beautiful things about the term is that it means so many different things to so many different people.  Whether you’re creating a planter out of a plastic Coke bottle or constructing a homemade Billie Eilish Halloween costume…whether you’re using your woodworking skills to construct a birdfeeder or you’re a crocheting savant and making a beautiful Christmas blanket…whether you’re making your own face mask or using contact paper and stencil to help spruce up your kitchen backsplash, it all falls under the grand umbrella of do-it-yourself.

So, assuming that you’ve ever made or fixed something on your own or been even a tangential part of a renovation (you know you have), even if you’re not currently one of these Enthusiasts, you’ve been one at some point.

The real question is, based on your personality, what kind of project are you?  This requires taking a hard look at yourself.  Are you ready for that?  Ok, let’s do this.

Log Planter with Summer Annual Flowers

The first of our DIY ideas, this project is so simple and yet, so brilliant.  It falls under the general category, “Gardening” one of our favorite subset groups.  The beautiful thing about a log planter with summer annual flowers is that it also falls within the classification: “anyone, even you, can make this.” 

All you need to do is:

                                                                                                       

1) find yourself a log;
2) hollow it out;
3) fill the hole with soil; and
4)
plant some flowers. 

Voila, you’ve got yourself a log planter.  Like we said, anyone can make this.  “Elegant,” “natural” and “attractive” are three adjectives that perfectly describe this gardening project.  Are you elegant, natural and attractive?  Are you a fan of the outdoors?  Do you love to combine the best that nature has to offer?  If so, then this easy-to-complete Gardening Project is you.

Face Mask

Even if it’s not Halloween, making your own DIY face mask can be so fun, rewarding and these days, not only a good idea but essential.  You don’t have to be from a home of healthcare workers or be employed by the CDC for a face mask to be your next project, seeing as we all need them.  So put that gallery wall, kitchen backsplash, kitchen wall, contact paper, stencil and gallery wall on hold and make your own face mask.  You can use a coupon for colorful fabric with a pattern on it and get to work.  So if you’re not afraid to “face the music”, this might suit you.

TV Wall Mounts

Yes, people, you can construct your own TV wall mounts, although when it comes to this project, it’s not recommended for people with no carpentry experience.  Also, be extra sure to unplug all the cables.  All you need are two pieces of plywood, some nails and some screws and voila, you’re in business.  So if you’re adventurous and somewhat experienced, go for it and become the neighborhood expert in TV Wall mounts.

Faux Thick Baseboards

You don’t need much of a tutorial or even a little bit of expertise in interior design to make your very own faux thick baseboards.  First, you start with a small amount of trim.  Then, in a corner, place a two inch thick block of wood on top of your baseboard.  Then, position the thin piece of trim and paint it to match your baseboards.  When you’re ready to attach the trim to the wall, grab either a nail gun or some wood glue, that you can get affordably at the Dollar Store.  If you’re feeling ambitious, you could paint the wall area in between to match the trim and the baseboards.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, this falls under the general category of “House Projects,” which, obviously, is one of the bigger groups.

Close cousins of this project are installing wall mounts, which allow you to use upper space to de-clutter an area and give it some “stylish storage.”  Add painting the bedrooms, painting your air vents, installing glamor lights above your bathroom mirror, and glamming up your front door as closely related House Projects.  If you just can’t get enough of House Projects, check out these great ideas on how to spruce up your living room, bathroom, kitchen, kitchen backsplash, and dining room.

Back to faux thick baseboards.  Are you slim and trim?  Do you sometimes “fake it” (faux is French for fake).  If the answers are yes to both of those questions, then maybe this House Project is you?

While we’re on the subject, it just wouldn’t be right for us not to mention these fun House DIY projects that span the dwellings of your life, from sprucing up you dorm room, to making your first apartment sing, to fixing up your first house and giving it brand new life. 

There are as many House projects as there are shades of Sherwin Williams paint – over 1,500.  Actually, come to think of it, there are waaay more house projects and DIY home décor than that.  But a fresh coat of paint truly can work wonders.

The Camper Trailer

Camping is fun.  Glamping is even more fun.  And camping with your very own DIY Camper Trailer, which we classify in the general category, “Projects For The Great Outdoors,” is the most fun. 

There are all kinds of different camping trailer kits.  Some of them even cost under $1,000 and fit on a truck bed.  Others are made from cedar wood and inexpensive plywood and all you need are some basic tools and screws.  You can use commercial truck caps and use things like pull out trays to store your toiletries.  Some of the higher end ones even have portable washing machines. 

And take a look at these teardrop camper kits.  These types of campers first appeared in the 1930s, but they really exploded in the late 40s and early 50s.  When we see one, we get that warm, nostalgic feeling and feel like throwing on an Elvis tune and having a malted at Pop’s Soda Shoppe. 

Once you’ve got yourself a camper trailer, it’s time to hit the road…but the question is, where do you drive?  There are so many possibilities, it’s mind boggling.  Don’t worry, the team @ theTUNDRA has your back.  Our suggestions include Yosemite, the Great Smoky Mountains, the Upper Peninsula, Lily Bay State Park in Maine, Seminole State Park, the Cove Palisades State Park and Hatton Canyon.  What, that’s not a long enough list for ya?

Felt Heart Garland

You only get one guess in which general category this project belongs.  Hint: it rhymes with “drafting.”  Ding ding ding!  That’s right, you guessed it, it’s crafting!

For the next Valentine’s Day, rather than the usual bottle of wine, candles, chocolate hearts and roses (can you say booooooring), push yourself creatively and make this garland of hearts using felt.  While it’s not as easy to make as a log planter, it’s pretty darn close.  So, if you’re a lover, if you’re someone who wears their heart on their sleeve, your personality is a perfect fit for this particular project.  And you don’t have to stick to red, go ahead and use a different bright color or your favorite color.

Crafting is yet another massive category.  Some estimates peg it as a $36 billion industry.  It’s not just your grandmother and Aunt Peg who love to knit, millennials love it too.  With the explosion of sites like Pinterest, crafting is only gathering more steam.  Interestingly, crafters are the youngest they’ve ever been, with the largest percentage falling between the ages of 18 to 34.  Factoid alert: in order, the top creative crafting hobbies are: edible arts, painting and drawing, kids crafts, sewing and fabric and paper crafts.

A Loonie Vest

Your eyes aren’t deceiving you.  You read that correctly.  Someone actually sewed 75 Canadian dollar coins (called loonies) onto her vest, which is a loony idea if we’ve ever heard one #sorrynotsorry.  If you’re not afraid to flaunt your riches and love when people stare at you, then a loonie vest project fits your personality like a glove.  

On first blush, it might seem that a project like this should fall within the crafting category, but we @ theTUNDRA submit that it does not.  Clothing projects are their own animal.  There are all kinds of amazing ways you can alter clothing, other than using cute Canadian money, to give it a new and improved feel.  For example, you can take scissors to your old jeans and create some Daisy Dukes.  You can make sock monkeys out of old socks.  You can make napkins out of that denim skirt that no longer fits.  You can make sweater socks from old, beat up sweaters.  You can make a bunch of scarves from an old flannel shirt that’s seen better days. 

You’re catching our drift here, right?  The sky is the limit!


A Six Panel Hat

We know what you’re saying to yourself.  Wait,  A Six Panel Hat is a clothing project.  We agree, it most definitely is…but it was so groundbreaking, it belongs to a subset of projects, “Hall Of Fame Inventions.”

The Six Panel Hat was invented by a man named Stormy Kromer (a Hall Of Fame name too) all the way back in 1903.  Frustrated because his hat kept blowing off his head, Stormy went home and got his wife to sew an ear band onto one of his old wool baseball caps.  And that was all it took.  His invention took off and soon, the “Six Pointer” was known as the hat of choice for railroad workers in the Midwest. 

So, if you’re a one-of-a-kind and incredibly resourceful, this super cool project that turned into a life changing invention best suits your personality.

A Leatherman Multitool

Another entry in the Hall Of Fame invention category, the Leatherman Multitool was invented by Tim Leatherman, who cut pieces of cardboard in his garage in 1983 to make a pattern for his first prototype.  Since then, it’s become the iconic American multitool.  If you’re complex and have multiple facets to your personality, if you refuse to be categorized, then this is the project for you.

Honorable mention Hall Of Fame inventions include: the first portable electric drill, which was inspired by the inventor seeing a Colt automatic pistol, the Maglite flashlight, which is the standard for flashlights, Weber Grills and the Ames Tools shovel.

Snow

Yes, you can actually make your own snow foam in the comfort of your own home.  All you need is some shaving cream and some baking soda!  That’s it.  Snow foam belongs to the smaller general category, “Wild And Weird Projects.” 

Other undertakings in this category include lava lamps (Alka Seltzer, vegetable oil, food dye and a nice glass bottle) succulent planters (kids plastic dinosaur, soil, and succulents), and DIY teeth whitener (charcoal and baking soda).

Honorable Mentions in this category are: the Upside Down Tomato Planter, Yogurt Cheese, Lipstick, Old Drums As Shelves, Light Bulbs As Spice Containers, Bottle Cap Garden Flowers, and the Suitcase Dog Bed.  Get wild and weird, people, maybe you can come up with your own entry in this category?

Is putting your personal touch on snow foam the project that best fits you?  If you’ve ever been described as “a cold person who melts when touched,” then the answer is yes. 

And now, for something completely different…

Celebrity Do-It-Yourselfers

theTUNDRA headquarters are located in LaLa Land, so of course, we always bring everything back to celebrities.  If you’ve ever read a gossip rag while waiting in the supermarket checkout line, you know that they’re JUST LIKE US!  Celebs love improving their diy ways just as much as you and I.  In fact, they may even like them more, because they tend to have more time on their hands.  Have you ever been on a TV or movie set?  We have and it felt like, 90% of the time, we just sat there, hanging out, waiting for something to happen.  It was super boring, but that’s a story for another article.  Suffice to say that famous people love doing DIY wall art or coming up with creative DIY wall art ideas, using yarn bought at the Dollar Store or Home Depot or Hobby Lobby perhaps even more than you do.

The momma bear of celebrity crafters has to be Martha Stewart.  From cooking to crafts to home projects to clothing, Martha corners the market.  Check out her site for hundreds and hundreds of craft ideas.  No, she didn’t pay us to give her that shout out, it’s just that we have the utmost respect for The Royal Queen of this category.

Martha’s not the only famous person who’s made a handy name for themselves.  Did you know that Taylor Swift is known for her homemade jam, embroidery, snow globes and Christmas cards?  You do now!  We bet that you weren’t aware that Nick Offerman has his own woodshop in Los Angeles.  In fact, we may even pop by later today.  Before he made it big as an actor, Nick used to build sets, decks and cabins.  Talk about handy. 

One of our favorite Oscar winners, Daniel Day-Lewis, prepared for his role as a dressmaker in PHANTOM THREAD by creating a dress from scratch.  Of course he did.  He’s known for staying in character even when he’s not on set, so no surprise that he threw himself into the role in that way.  We’re glad we didn’t encounter him when he played Lincoln.  Other celebs include William H. Macy, who (when he’s not attending court with his wife Felicity Huffman) is into woodworking.  Harrison Ford famously was a full-time carpenter before he made it big as Han Solo.  In fact, Francis Ford Coppola even hired Harrison to build out his office.  Finally, Gabourey Sidibe, who burst onto the scene in the movie PRECIOUS, dreamed of being a seamstress when she grew up.  As a kid, Gabby used to sew dresses for her Barbie dolls.  Other celebs who love to craft include Zooey Deschanel, Lauren Conrad, Tori Spelling and Cara Delevingne.

DIY To Your Heart’s Content

If you weren’t into this subject before you started reading this, you must be by now.  How do you become even more of an expert?  By immersing yourselves here, then going to the best DIY Instagram accounts!  Accounts like: @psimadethis, @studiodiy, @vintagerevivals, @kailochic, @handmadecharlotte, @fallfordiy, @ispydiy, @houselarsbuilt, @liagriffith, and @thecraftedlife.  You get the idea.  Also, check out this site, for some of the best Youtubers.

And we’ll say it again.  Making a face mask should be one of the first projects on your list.  Maybe you could even donate them to some local healthcare workers?  And, though we didn’t extensively explore it here, consider converting your abode into a smart home.  Just because you have a smart home doesn’t mean you can’t make it beautiful by inputting fantastic DIY home décor ideas.

And remember, the best way to further your expertise is by doing.  That’s right, jump in.  Get your hands dirty.  Broaden your horizons and try new projects that are out of your comfort zone.  And when you do, let us @ theTUNDRA know.

We can’t wait to see your new creations.

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