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12 DIY Design Items That Look Better Than Those From IKEA

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Owning a home nowadays is getting more and more difficult and furnishing it only adds to the mountain of expenses. Whether it’s a table or a sturdy mattress or just a table lamp, knowing how to make those things can save you a couple of bucks. And that’s not even counting the brownie points you are sure to score if you can show off your handy-man or handy-woman skills. (But before you read on it is important to note that the above image is not a DIY household project, rather it is a mini air humidifier in the shape of a lemon.)

But you don’t need to be an expert carpenter or professional log cutter to know how to make some simple yet elegant household items.

Here are 12 Do-It-Yourself design items that you can make at home.

First, trace out three distinct shapes on a solid piece of plywood. You want 3 identical triangles and one triangle with blunt edges. Remember to add in notches into the sides, more on those later. The triangles (and the blunt sided one) should all be around the same size. Now you just have to fit the 3 triangular pieces together using the notches that you chiseled out.

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The triangle with the flattened points should be used as the base. The 3 conjoined triangles should be placed on top of the base and then nailed into place with a piece of wood that fills the gap of the 3 triangles.

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Now all you have to do is flip it over and you have yourself a brand new wooden table top. Spray paint it any color of your choice to give it some flare.

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For this design all you need is an old lamp stand and some unwanted action figure toys, toy cars or maybe some animal figurines. Get yourself a hot glue gun and glue the big toys onto the base of the lamp and then continue gluing the smaller figurines all the way up the lamp.

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Put some scotch tape around the ring of the light bulb base. Spray paint it with a base coat of white. And then apply any other color you want. This is not just limited to He-man or Hercules, you can also use Barbie dolls, mermaids or ponies.

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Get yourself a handful (and by handful I mean a whole bunch) of wooden clips. Hot glue gun those clips together back to back but in alternating fashion.

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Stick them together up to a desired height and then create 4 individual sides of the wall. Make sure they are about 2 columns thick and the walls should be about the length of your forearm.

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Get a small piece of plywood as your base and then glue those walls around each other to form a square at the bottom. Place some candles inside and voila! You’ve got yourself a distinct homemade lampshade.

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This one’s unique in that it’s a nightlight but it also requires some utensils that may not be so commonly available around the house. Purchase some hydrogel and mix it with water. Let it sit for some time and it should harden and become bubbles.

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This gel-like substance will become solid and now your next step is to stick a small light or a mini flashlight into the center of the gel and you have yourself a homemade night light.

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Get a whole bunch of pencil crayons and hot glue gun them to the outside of your lampshade. Continue doing so until you cover the whole surface area of the lampshade. Make sure you glue the length of the crayon onto the shade so it doesn’t fall off. (Heat resistant glue works best since there will be a bulb inside.)

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The next design item is a feathered lampshade. This one might be a little more time consuming but it will certainly be worth your while. Get an empty water bottle jug (preferably a gallon jug.) Proceed by removing the bottom of the jug.

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Next, get a whole bunch of plastic spoons and cut off the handle. Place some hot glue on the broken handle of the spoon.

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Glue it onto the water bottle with the spoon facing upwards (if the bottleneck were to be standing on the bottom as shown in the picture.) Glue it all the way around and voila! You’ve got a feathered lampshade!

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This one is fun if you like to get your hands dirty! You need glue, starch and water and mix it together in a large basin. Get a long (5 to 8 feet) string and soak it into the mixture.

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Get a large balloon or an unwanted ball and trace a large circle (with a cup if you want) around the north pole of the ball.

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Take the string, that should be dripping with the mixture, and wring it around the ball. String it all around the surface area of the ball leaving gaps along the way.

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Make sure the string gets stuck to the ball and after you let it sit and harden, pop the ball inside and remove the remnants of the ball. String a bulb through the north pole and you have yourself a brand new lamp shade.

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Using a large sheet of plywood create a stencil by tracing out your favorite animal. If this is your first time, trace out a simple animal, maybe that of a cat, small dog or even a Batman symbol. Take a table saw and cut out the intended shape and then spray paint it a suitable color if the wooden look isn’t doing it for you.

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Drill a U-hook into the back of the shape and then hang it in front of a light source. This should create ominous yet creative lights and shadows. Play around with different stencils until you find one that you like the most.

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Find an old tattered lampshade that you want to replace and renew. Remove the beaten up lampshade and replace it with a piece of construction paper. Wrap it around the metal ring of the lampshade and then glue the ends together.

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Print out an image that you want replicated on your light source. Whether it’s a landscape or an animal or space, it doesn’t really matter. Using a tiny pin, poke the holes around the landscape. In essence, create the landscape or scenery by poking tiny holes around the image/stencil.

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Remove the image that you placed around the construction paper and now when you go to turn on the light of the lampshade you should get an illuminated desired scenery.

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This next design requires a whole bunch of plastic cups. Drill a hole into only ONE of the plastic cups.

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Create a ring of plastic cups by stapling one to the other. Now, make two hemispheres. In essence keep making these rings of plastic cups until you get a dome like shape. (More precisely, half of a dome.)

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Now you want to make some additional holes around the first hole that you drilled. Get some Christmas lights and stick the lights into the individual holes.

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Find a light that is composed of a strip of wire. Taking that wire that acts as a light and a light switch and stick it into a large empty gallon jug. Make sure the switch is at the mouth/neck of the bottle. Now put some glue on one surface of the bottle.

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Attach some cotton balls to the side with the glue and now when you hang this design up on your wall it looks like an illuminated floating cloud!

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