Make a bulletin board from the drawer of an old dresser. Paint the drawer, then cut corkboard to fit the inside and glue in place. Cover with pretty paper. You'll have a place to pin favorite items as well as a new display shelf!
Put old wine corks to use in a clever message board. Choose a frame deep enough to house whole corks, or cut the corks lengthwise using an extra-fine razor saw (available at hobby stores). Attach the corks to the frame backing with wood glue.
Cans and paint add clever storage. Clean and spray-paint cans in coordinating colors. Arrange them geometrically or whimsically, attaching each to the wall with a single screw through the bottom or with heavy-duty wall-mounting tape.
Give photo mats a little flair with paint strips; they offer graduated shades of one color for a pretty
ombre effect. Muted purples, for example, blend well with black-and-white scenes. Using double-sided tape, attach strips to mats. Trim to fit. For the narrow top and bottom borders, we cut out individual
Reimagine an old globe as a new centerpiece. Split a globe in half and fill it with flowers or other collections—we used pinecones, acorns, seedpods, small pumpkins and bittersweet. Elevate on a short candlestick or small serving dish as a centerpiece.
For art that acts as a memory keeper, remove the glass of readymade frames and paint the backboard with blue chalkboard paint (this color is Benjamin Moore 2057-40 Ash Blue). Hot-glue on found vacation treasures. Label them with state names or personal notes written in chalk to identify where or how you found each item.
Personalize a party tray with decorative paper. Use scrapbooking scissors to cut a circle of gift wrap slightly smaller than the tray's bottom. Laminate the circle (or ask a copy shop to do it for you).
Highlight a favorite dish by adding some greenery for a fresh centerpiece. Cut green florist's foam to fit inside a wooden trough (or any dish). Cover foam with moss that's been soaked for about 15 minutes and then squeezed to remove excess water. To help the moss last longer, spray it with water every other day.
Create cute circular frames using old place mats. Choose a collection of photos to complement the mats. Glue or tape a photo to the center of each mat, and use removable adhesive squares to hang the finished pieces.
Create a curtain tieback with pretty gift-wrap paper. Cut paper to size, and then embellish the edges using scallop-edge scissors. Laminate the strip (or ask copy shop to do it for you), and scallop the edges wider than the paper. Punch holes at each end and, if desired, ad grommets. Use ribbon to hold the tieback in place.
A side table gets artistic with a mix of large chips on top. For a sophisticated neutral scheme, choose shades of beige, brown and sand. Mix in samples of techniques (like Venetian plaster) for one-dimensional texture. Attach with double-sided tape, leaving space (ours is 1⁄2 inch) between chips. Cover with glass to protect.
Paint (On table) EB24-1 Chestnut. Valspar Eddie Bauer Home collection. Lowe’s (800) 445-6937; lowes.comPaint chips Assorted neutrals from Valspar Waverly Home Classics; assorted Valspar Venetian Plaster chips. Lowe’s (800) 445-6937; lowes.comTable Ikea (888) 888-4532; ikea.com
For fun (and inexpensive) wall art, pick up some stylish place mats. Drill or punch two holes at the top of each place mat. Connect them with a ball-link chain or string for lighter mats. Two nails at the top offer almost invisible hanging.
Floral napkins create an inexpensive window treatment in this kitchen. Drape a series of colorful napkins, antique hankies or fabric pieces over rustic twine. Prop dishes or glassware along a window ledge for an extra punch of color.
Add whimsy to a plain piece of furniture with a simple button design. We used mother-of-pearl buttons to complement this nightstand's color. Use strong adhesive such as Liquid Nails to attach buttons in free form pattern or graphic shape.