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5 Easy Do It Yourself Projects for Living Rooms

Updated on January 18, 2012

Do it yourself projects on a budget

Your looking at your living room and it's feeling a bit drab, a bit cold, a bit unloved and you really want to do something about it. But you don't have $1,000's to do something about it, well this article will give you some ideas and tips which could help you make the most out of you limited budget by using some of these 5 easy do it yourself projects for your Living room.

We'll look at 5 things which can make a living room: Art, sofas, curtains, furniture and lighting.

Art of Mounted Fabric You decide.

Do it yourself project 1 – Art: Framing fabrics

So that wall is looking a bit bare and you want to fill it with something, until you find that perfect family portrait or saved up for that perfect piece of commissioned art work. There is a inexpensive, stunning and simple way to fill it: A framed piece of fabric.

It can bring a room together, fabric and frames are relatively cheap and the best is that it can be easily changed to suit your mood or feeling or atmosphere. This really is a simple but great solution:

What will I need:

  • Staple gun

  • Stretched canvas (in Uk look in The Works can get very cheap ones)

  • Fabric (cotton or heavy linen in a pattern works best)


  1. Cut fabric so that it 5” longer and wider than the frame you are using

  2. put the material pattern side down on the surface, floor or workbench

  3. Place the canvas face down on top of the fabric

  4. Put one staple in the centre of the right side

  5. Pull the fabric tight across the frame and place a staple in the left side

  6. Continue stapling alternating between right and left pulling the fabric tight between each staple

  7. Repeat this process with the top and bottom

  8. Make the corners neat as if wrapping a present and staple

Voilà a perfect piece of do it yourself artwork for your living room.

Slipcover + Pillows = Easy Beauty

Do it yourself Project 2: Sofa: Breathe new life into your living room

So your looking at the room and your sofa is looking a bit worse for wear, it's only got a couple of years left so isn't ready for the dump yet but as it is, is just depressing, so what to do? Well you could cover the sofa with a fabric pre-made slip cover and some new pillows it will feel almost as good as new. It will change the whole feeiling of the room, especially if the sofa is the centre piece of your room, as it is in most living rooms.

What will I need:

  • Premade slipcover

  • wooden spoon (you'll see why in a moment)

  • some foam quilting (optional can be brought in most fabric shops)

  • nonslip carpet padding (optional)


  1. If the sofa is leather then lay the non slip carpet padding on the seat cushions to prevent the cover moving and annoying you.

  2. Place the slipcover over the sofa

  3. If arms are thin and don't look right then pad them out using some foam quilting

  4. Now to get that tight fit use a wooden spoon to work the fabric into each and every crevice you can find till it is tight and even with no wrinkles.

  5. Place your newly chosen pillow on the sofa, maybe match this with your framed fabric.

Now you have an inexpensive new looking sofa and it will have completely transformed your room.

Hanging Light Fittings brightens any room

How to Change a light

Easy DIY project 3 – Lighting: Perfectly hung compliment.

Is your living room looking a little on the drab side, if the answer is yes then you should turn it into a lounge that dazzles with a new hanging overhead light fixture. A new light will make the room feel completely different, it can be subtle or the centrepiece of a room, that is a personal choice. It is quick and easy and hanging fixtures can be very reasonable. The best thing you don't have to be a DIY god to do it.

What you'll need

  • 4-in-1 screwdriver

  • Needle-nose pliers

  • Voltage tester

  • Stepladder

  • Pliers

  • Non-contact voltage tester

  • Wire stripper/cutter

  • Electrical tape

  • Wire nuts

  • 10-32 ground screw

  • Light fitting


Note/ I am not an electrician, if you are unsure about what you should be doing, then it may best to call in an electrician. Always ensure power is off.

  1. Turn off the power at the main circuit box

  2. Remove old fixture by removing nuts from fixture.

  3. Carefully lower the old fixture

  4. remove screws securing the crossbar to the electrical box

  5. Test that the power is off

  6. Disconnect the wires from the light fixture and leave other wires in electrical box

  7. On the new fitting, align the back of the canopy (the side that fits against the ceiling) with the crossbar.

  8. Adjust the length of the pipe until about 3/8 in. of the threads on the screw collar loop extend through the canopy.

  9. Lock the threaded pipe in this position by tightening the locknut against the crossbar.

  10. Position all the wires to one side of the crossbar

  11. Screw crossbar to the electrical box (you may need someone to hold the new fitting whilst you do this)

  12. Connect the wires in the correct way, follow manufacturers instructions, failure to do so could lead to a shock hazard.

  13. Fold all the wires into the ceiling box and slide the canopy of the new fitting over the threaded support.

  14. Tighten with decorative nuts to complete.

  15. Test and enjoy

Enjoy the warmth of your new light and if you haven't already think about adding a dimmer switch for maximum effect.

Window treatments will make your lounge look a treat.

Easy do it yourself project 4 – Window treatments: No sew curtains

If like me you have absolutely no ability with a needle and thread but your curtains are looking moth eaten and tatty, then this could be the solution for you. This is not so much of a guide as ideas. The method is simple,find material you like, decorate it and hang.

  • Get whit semi transparent material and use ribbons which compliment your living rooms colouring and then run it across the top and bottom of your curtain and create ties for the pole

  • Use 3 X's running down the length of your curtain, choose bold colours. Glue them to the curtain.

  • Putting ribbons if you use Roman blinds can just give them that lift

  • Cut out your favourite fabric patterns and attach them to your curtains using fabric glue, these can look great.

Just making a change to your curtains can alter the way light enters the room and lift it's whole mood, this is a great place to start. You won't regret it.

Change the table; changes the setting.

Easy Coffee Table Do It yourself Project

Do it your self project 5 – Furniture: Coffee table make over

So you have an old coffee table in your living room and it's looking a bit boring, or outdated, well now is the time to liven it up, add a bit of spice into your room. What do I mean. Well you have three options, if it is a lovely wooden piece of furniture, you could sand it down,varnish it or give it a coat of wood paint in a colour which would suit your lounge. Or you could get a bit more creative:

Stencilled image or painted Coffee Table

What you'll need

  • Various grades of Sanding paper

  • matt base paint or varnish

  • self adhesive image stencil

  • ruler

  • paints (otional)


  1. Sand down the old coffee table if it is wood to get a plain wood surface getting finer in grade.

  2. If you are going to leave it as a wood then now is the time to varnish, if you are painting it then do this

  3. apply even coats and you will most likely need two.

  4. Find centre of the table using a ruler

  5. Place image in the centre and stick stencil to table. If you are very artistic then painting your own image can make a very personal table.

Wallpaper Coffee Table

What you'll need

  • Various grades of Sanding paper

  • metallic paint paint

  • metallic glaze (optional)

  • Scraps of wall paper

  • decoupage glue

  • sealant spray


  1. Sand down the old coffee table if it is wood to get a plain wood surface getting finer in grade.

  2. Paint the table with two coats of metallic paint and a coat of metallic glaze for extra shimmer

  3. Leave to Dry

  4. Cut a scrap of wallpaper to fit the top

  5. Coat table in decoupage glue

  6. position paper

  7. cover with 3 layers of decoupage glue, leave to dry between each coat

  8. Spray with sealant

Both these tables make an excellent addition to any living room and you will love the feel that it gives.

Final Thoughts

If you need a change of the living room, you don't need to spend huge amounts of money, with a little bit of creativity and time you can make a room look entirely different. Good luck with whatever you try and be sure to let us know how i went, I'd love to hear.


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    • dipless profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Manchester

      @Melovy, Indeed they really do look so great, i often find that the most simple ideas can often be the most effective. Thanks for your comments

      @Msora, glad you appreciate it and you think the instructions are straight forwards.

      @savingkathy, you are very welcome, if you do send me a pic and i'll include it in the hub :)

      @Maralexa Thank you very much for your kind words, I hope they make your home look even more beautiful.

    • Maralexa profile image

      Marilyn Alexander 

      7 years ago from Vancouver, Canada

      This is a beauiful hub! Your instuctions and images are clear and exactly what I need to make some changes in my own home.

      You have given me an idea to use framed fabric behind some pictures that don't look as good as they could on a bare wall.

    • savingkathy profile image

      Kathy Sima 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Wow - these are great decorating ideas. I think I have been inspired to try the framed fabric idea for a wall that's looking a little bare. Thank you so much for creating this useful and interesting hub!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      7 years ago from The Caribbean

      Wonderful suggestions, and your instructions make them seem easy. I appreciate this hub!

    • Melovy profile image

      Yvonne Spence 

      7 years ago from UK

      Wow! Wonderful idea. I used to design fabrics so I have a few painted designs on our walls, but I never thought of using fabric itself. It looks fantastic, as do the coffee tables. Your hub has made me want to get creative with crafts again. I shall be bookmarking this, and sharing it. Thanks for a beautiful hub.

    • dipless profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Manchester

      Thank you very much for your kind comments sholland10. Indeed they appear to be firm favourites of all who have read it. Indeed share away, it's always nice to make a room look special. Haha one can always hope. Send me something too if they make more spares.

    • sholland10 profile image

      Susan Holland 

      7 years ago from Southwest Missouri

      I am so jealous of your creativity!! These are wonderful ideas. I love framed fabric and the coffee table ideas. My sisters-in-laws can do all these things. I am going to have to share this with them. Maybe they will make me something... ;-) Great hub! Up, useful, awesome, and interesting!

    • dipless profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Manchester

      Thank you very much :)

    • dipless profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Manchester

      @Shelly thank you, glad you liked :)

      @Simone Yeah those two are definitely my favourites two so simple but effective. Your welcome glad you liked :)

      @Tams R Thank you for commenting :)

    • Tams R profile image

      Tams R 

      7 years ago from Missouri

      Love all your ideas especially the coffee table. Thanks for sharing.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      7 years ago from San Francisco

      Such fun ideas! I especially like the framed fabric and wallpaper coffee table ideas. Thanks for sharing the cool DIY collection!

    • Shelly McRae profile image

      Shelly McRae 

      7 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Great ideas and lovely pics. Thanks for sharing this.

    • dipless profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Manchester

      @Tlpoague, thank you very much. Glad you think they are explained well, making things easy to read and easy to do is important. If i'm honest with you I'm not the most talented with a hammer and screwdriver but these really are pretty easy do it yourself projects. You are very welcome,thanks for the comments.

      @stephhicks68 Thank you, glad you like them. I know what you mean I often think then information out there thinks you have an unlimited supply of money, tools and creativity. But you really can get some excellent results, by just being a little creative with the equipment you have around the house. Thank you, have a great day :) Nathan

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 

      7 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Wow - these are all so beautiful and creative! And I love that I don't feel like I need to be Martha Stewart to complete these DIY living room projects. Rated up across the board. Best, Steph

    • tlpoague profile image


      7 years ago from USA

      What an awesome job on this hub. I love the easy to do tips and the way you explained the instructions. I wish I was this talented when it comes to doing home repair, but the best I can do is dream it up. To execute the idea is a whole other idea. I am just not that cordinated. Thanks for sharing these helpful tips!

    • dipless profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Manchester

      @Michele Travis, you are very welcome, Glad that they have helped confirm what curtains you are after,hope they look lovely in your room. Glad I could be of service.

      @ElizaDoole Thank you, I know I think that and the fabric frames are my favourite too, let me know how it goes and send me some pics I could include them in the hub :)

      @K9keystrokes I know I totally agree, think they could transform it, I especially like the fact that you can change the fabric based on mood :) I change moods like I do trousers :p Let me know what it looks like, They are all very simple ideas so you'll be fine good luck hope they look great.

    • K9keystrokes profile image

      India Arnold 

      7 years ago from Northern, California

      The mounted fabric and coffee table projects are fantastic ideas for any living room! I will be trying the wall fabric idea in one of the home office areas, you make it seem so simple and it looks just terrific! Nice job!



    • ElizaDoole profile image

      Lisa McKnight 

      7 years ago from London

      Great hub. I might try out the coffee table one.

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 

      7 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      Thank you for this hub! I want new curtains for the windows and was thinking about the ones you showed. Not exactly like that, but close to it. This is going to help me a lot. I am glad I read this.

    • dipless profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Manchester

      Thank you very much, glad you thought it was easy to follow.

    • suzzycue profile image

      Susan Britton 

      7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      You did a good job on this hub. It was easy to read methods with good results to your living room. Well done.


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