$100 DIY projects: 10 low-budget, high-impact ideas to slot into a weekend

They cost less than $100 to do and won't take up much of your time. Yes, even cheap DIY projects can have an awesome impact on your home surroundings

DIY projects under $100
(Image credit: Brooke Waite x Future)

If you're looking for a quick refresh but don't have a lot of cash to throw around, or time for that matter, then you'll want to get creative with cool but cheap DIY projects for your home.

Whether you are in your forever home and just feel like using up the remainder of your best paint for furniture from a previous project, or if you rent and want to make a minor edit to bring more of your personality to your space, rest assured, there's a DIY project or two within your reach, and more importantly, budget.

Simple to copy, and easy on the bank balance, these cheap DIY ideas are sure to add design interest to your surroundings in just a few painless hours. Most of these are power tool-free, so no matter what DIY skills you possess, you will be able to create something you love or upgrade a small pocket in your home. 

1. Paint a polka dot wall

Creating a DIY Polka dot accent wall with sponge and gold paint

(Image credit: Jo Lemos)

If you've got any leftover paint samples, like blogger Jo Lemos did, get creative and add a little detail to a neglected space by painting a polka dot wall. If you've got quite a large room, go all out to decorate every wall, while if you want to add interest to a small room, start off with a simple but effective solo feature wall.

Cost: Less than $10 (the cost of a basic round sponge from Amazon if you have leftover paint to hand!)

2. Warm up dead space with wallpaper 

Wallpapering projects around the home

(Image credit: Ruth Jackson)

Blogger Ruth Jackson, added interest all over her home using cast-off wallpaper. The difference she made to her small entryway by simply investing in a single roll of leopard wallpaper by Schumacher on Ebay for a mere, $25, is impressive.

Choose a thrifted print you like and you could literally save up to 90 per cent on retail costs, then simply hang wallpaper in a neglected corner of your home to elevate the space without spending a ton of cash or time on a decent upgrade. There are plenty more wallpaper projects where that came from.

Cost: $25

3. Add a unique finish to thrifted vases

Ceramic vases on a coffee table with living room painted arch in the background

(Image credit: Brooke Waite)

Take basic (and fairly ugly) thrifted vases, then use either spray paint, chalk paint, plaster of Paris – or all three – to add a unique finish to this simple home accessory. These designer duped vases will not only add cool, contemporary appeal to a rented home but they make great gifts too...

Cost: $42

4. Upcycle a vintage mirror

DIY vintage mirror upgrade

(Image credit: Brooke Waite)

Brooke Waite's simple $50 mirror upcycle is definitely beginner DIYer-friendly and such a simple edit that's sure to add interest to a bathroom, lounge or bedroom space. You do need to use a wood stain or the best paint for wood, but you get into the swing of it pretty quickly and then within five hours, you'll have gorgeous results.

Cost: roughly $100 depending on the cost of your vintage mirror

5. DIY a bamboo blackout blind

DIY Bamboo blind in nursery

(Image credit: Jasmine Gurney)

Whether you've got a newborn or just can't sleep through the sun peeping through your drapes in the morning, follow in Jasmine Gurney's footsteps to create a DIY bamboo blackout blind and impress your entire household in less than an hour... You'll likely need a couple of must-have DIY tools for this one so get clued up on how to use them properly before you start.

Cost: $25

6. Freehand a herringbone design on your stairs

Stenciling an entryway wall with a herringbone pattern

(Image credit: Dori Turner)

Dori Turner decided to break up the white paint color on her staircase by painting a freehand wall stencil design. It took just an afternoon and cost next to nothing, as it only requires basic supplies – grey paint and tape – which you might even have to hand!

Cost: $12

7. Refresh existing bathroom tiles

bathroom with yellow walls, painted patterned tiles and patterned floor tiles

(Image credit: Geri Alessi/overatno18)

Painting tiles in a bathroom is super quick and a cheap DIY to do. Incorporate it as part of a bigger remodel to save on your overall budget and you're golden. DIYer Geri Alessi of @overatno18 used this trick and painted her tiles green to add more dimension to her small bathroom space and it worked a treat, for hardly any cash.

Cost: roughly $80

8. Make a bamboo headboard

bedroom with patterned and printed interiors - a striped wallpaper and yellow bed frame by farrow and ball

(Image credit: Farrow & Ball)

Headboards are really grounding in bedrooms and some would say a must for a balanced sleeping space. Many DIY headboard designs come up so budget-friendly and simple to make. Fake it with paint or choose bamboo as your base material for a super cheap design that's simple to recreate in a day or two max.

Cost: roughly $100 depending on bed size/project

9. Create designer-esque oversized art

DIY wall art by Brooke Waite

(Image credit: Brooke Waite)

A gallery feel in a home is a surefire way to create a high-end, elevated space. Brooke Waite shows us how she custom-made extra-large pieces of art for a fraction of the cost of a store-bought piece. Learn to DIY oversize wall art in an afternoon, you will need some power tools for this but otherwise, it's a quick and cute project to take on. 

Cost: $61 a piece

10. Give basic wall sconces a glow up

DIY glass kitchen wall sconces

(Image credit: Brooke Waite)

Waite again, shows us how to get a designer look for way less in your home by upgrading basic $35.08 wall sconces from Amazon for her kitchen. This 2-step wall sconce glow-up is stunning and so clever. Plus, if you have any spray paint leftover you can use it to finish so many drab pieces of furniture and home accessories around the home too. 

Cost: $100 

Camille Dubuis-Welch
Former Deputy Editor

I'm Cam, the former deputy editor of Real Homes who worked on the site from 2020 to 2023. As a renter myself, sharing a home with two friends (and my cat) in London, I know all too well the challenges that this can pose when it comes to creating your perfect setup. As someone who has always loved everything interior design-related, I cannot rest until a home feels right and I am really passionate about helping others get there too, no matter what their living situation, style, or budget may be. It’s not always the easiest to figure out, but the journey is fun and the results are so worth it.

After interior design, travel, art, and photography are my next big passions. When I’m not writing or editing homes content, I’m usually tapping into other creative outlets, exploring galleries in London or further afield, taking photos, scribbling, or drawing!