Cheap and Free DIY Updates for Your Home!

Once in a while, I get on a DIY kick. I don’t like buying something new if something old still works, but if it’s ugly, well… it becomes harder and harder to live with, especially if you are home All. The. Time.

Recently, it was Do-it-Yourself Time, Frantic Mama-style. 

Here are my 3 most recent projects.

1. The Hideous 1980’s Ceiling Fan Makeover

This is the Before Photo of our “rustic” porch fan:


Felicity Huffman's What the Flicka-Cheap DIY

I simply unscrewed the fan blades from the unit and cleaned them off.


Felicity Huffman's What The Flicka-Cheap DIY Stuff

Then I sprayed on a coat of of Rust-Oleum primer. An hour later, I sprayed two coats of Rust-Oleum Espresso Satin Finish (within an hour of each coat).


Felicity Huffman's What the Flicka-Spray Painted

I don’t like asking my husband to do extra chores around the house because he already devotes any free time he has to our family; I didn’t bother him with the electrical situation of unhooking the fan base (and heck no, I’m not doing it!). So for now, I’m leaving the base alone.


Felicity Huffman's What the Flicka-Ceiling Fan
It may not be perfect, but it’s less noticeable and way cheaper & easier than installing a brand-new fan!

2. Cover up the Nasty Old Armchair

I recently recovered the dirty old hand-me-down chair we have in our basement that I’m almost too embarrassed to show you (to my credit, I usually have it covered up with throw blankets, but I’m sharing it with you here in all it’s naked glory).

I ordered the Loose Fit Square Cushion Tailored Armchair Slipcover in Natural from for under $30. The slipcover is by a store that rhymes with Tottery Parn, but Ugly Sofa sells them cheaply (I don’t ask questions).

The trick with slipcovers is to iron out all of the wrinkles first and then just keep stuffing the fabric in between the cushions until it is tight. I also secured the tight corners in the back and around the armrests with corkscrew upholstery pins.


Felicity Huffman's What the Flicka-Cheap and Easy DIY
Again, it’s not perfect, but it’s for a basement after all! I also swapped out the extra [drab] white pillow for something we already had that has some color in it.

3. Update Old Mismatched Picture Frames

Last but not least, in under an hour, I updated 3 mismatched picture frames using this can of Satin Nickel spray paint I bought at Lowe’s.


Felicity Huffman's What the Flicka-Spray Paint

First you need to take apart the frames, which can be tricky if they were professionally framed (because there are nails on the back). Use a screwdriver to pry the nails up (or remove them) so you can remove the backing, the glass, and the photo (you’ll put them back together the same way when the paint dries; I also used masking tape to re-secure the photos and mats).
I placed the frames on cardboard outside, and sprayed 2 coats of the Rust-oleum on them (no, I didn’t sand them first– I live on the edge!).
Then I used off-white spray paint for all three mats (I had to use a few coats, as the spray paint was cheaper. It was on Clearance at Target for under 2 bucks!).
Felicity Huffman's What the Flicka-DIY Cheap and Easy
Voila! My mismatched frames now look custom-made for a few bucks (with plenty of paint to spare) and will look nice grouped together on one wall.*
Felicity Huffman's What the Flicka-Frames
Note: These projects were only doable when my kids were out of the house with my husband on and off over a few weeks time period.
Everything takes A LOT longer with little ones trampling about!
This post was originally featured on Ali’s blog. Featured image via.