From the Archives: Our Easiest, Affordable Home Projects

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How to Make a No-Sew DIY Window Valance From Canvas Dropcloths | 11 Magnolia Lane

Photo courtesy of Better Homes & Gardens Kitchen + Bath Makeovers

Hi everyone and happy Wednesday!

One of the things Christy and I discussed while we were together this summer is that we have so many posts now in our archives, having been at this blogging thing for almost 8 years now {seriously?}, so many of our projects have been lost in the pile– so to speak.

Today I thought I’d pop in with some easy ideas that we’ve done in our many homes, most of these cost less than $50 and are a perfect project when you just have a few free hours  {moms with napping children, we feel you 🙂 }. Over the last eight years we’ve seen the decor blogging world evolve from projects like these {ones that take an hour or two, some paint, and maybe worst case– a drill} to the full-blown incredible room reveals we see nowadays. I love those fancy makeovers as much as anyone but we know not everyone has the budget or time for them, so today we wanted to feature some of our easiest ways to improve your home.

Don’t forget that we offer our Whole House Home Decor Planner for free so download {sign up in our sidebar} that to keep all your home projects going, even if you rent {like Christy is in the MCC house} there is always something that needs to be done, isn’t there?

Project #1–Burlap Window Valance

This is always a popular post, probably because it is a great way to dress up a plain window for almost no cost. A few simple tacks, some inexpensive fabric like burlap, and jute twine and you have a nice little window covering–no hardcore DIY skills necessary. See the how-to HERE, also see this version with canvas dropcloths HERE.


burlap valance three ties


Project #2–DIY Polka Dot Walls {perfect for a kids’ room!}

My daughter’s room was just plain, builder white when we moved in and in order to quickly personalize her space while we tackled all the other projects ahead of us in our new home until we could fully decorate her room, I added these gold vinyl polka dots to the wall. No measuring, or complicated formula, I just added them randomly and we love them so much, we still haven’t changed them! See the room post HERE.


Project #3—DIY Board & Batten

This is a beginner friendly DIY project that you can do with pretty much paint, caulk, a ruler and a miter box {if you don’t have a miter saw}. It is a perfect wall accent pretty much anywhere, but we’ve both have added this update in our kids’ bathrooms at one time or another. Here is Christy’s below, the post is HERE.



We added it in our boys’ bathroom in our former home on the Virginia Coast, see the post HERE.



Project #4–DIY Skirted Desk/Table


I love this project because this skirted table is so versatile, more information is HERE.  To create a skirted table you can use any type of long top, mine is a desk top from IKEA. I simply pleated and stapled the fabric to the underside of the desktop using a staple gun. It provided a ton of storage in this office {which was in a magazine a few years ago}, though we now primarily use this for entertaining as you see below. A few years ago I added a black and white ribbon trim to the bottom edge and love it even more.



Project #5—Add corbels or molding to your kitchen island

Another easy update that doesn’t have to cost a lot of money is to add corbels {or decorative trim} to a standard builder island. I have done this twice now, the first time way back in our early blogging days, you can see it below.

And in our current home below {see our kitchen reveal and corbel source HERE}.


Project #6– Curtain your bathtub

Spa-like bathroom in aqua and grey | 11 Magnolia Lane

This is such an easy way to upgrade a builder bath with a large tub. Simple sheer curtains hung from a rod add ambiance and soften the space, you can see how Christy did this HERE.

You can see more projects in all our homes by clicking on our home tours, but it was fun to take a look back and some of the simpler home projects we’ve done over the years. These didn’t cost a ton of money, but still improved our living spaces and certainly didn’t call for major DIY skills! Thanks for stopping by everyone, I’ll be back Friday with part 2 of last week’s fashion post with the fun fall upgrades you can make to your wardrobe.



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Our posts contain affiliate links.  If you make a purchase after clicking on these links, we will earn a small commission, which helps to keep our content free.  You don’t pay a cent more than you would otherwise, since that would be tacky! Please see our full disclosure policy here.

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  1. I have a plane to make Polka Dot Walls. I think my kids will love it. Thanks for a great idea!

  2. You’re right for all that has been written by you two, doesn’t hurt to ‘dust off’ these creations and pull them out every once in a while. For what was shown here, I plan to try the corbels under the kitchen island. I think I can do this!! =)

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