Summer’s finally here. You’ve updated your wardrobe and maybe even your haircut—but don’t forget about your living space. Research shows that rearranging your dwelling every once in a while can actually have mental and emotional benefits. Maybe you don’t have the time or energy to move your couch or overhaul your closet, but by doing a few of these fun do-it-yourself projects, you can improve your home and your attitude.
1. Mellow yellow. Remember how happy you used to feel at the site of a fresh-squeezed lemonade stand? Well, you can feel that same rush of happiness at home with this simple craft. Head to your local Michael’s or Hobby Lobby to find inexpensive yet funky vases that are big enough to hold several lemons. Next, glide on over to your local supermarket and purchase a bunch of lemons (which are usually about 50 cents each) and fill up your fabulous vases. Not only is this project incredibly easy—you could have the whole thing completed in mere minutes—but it is also inexpensive and eye-catching. Whether you place the lemon-filled vases in the center of your dining room table or on your fireplace mantle, they are sure to brighten up any space. Hint: poke a few holes in those lemons for a cheap and easy air freshener!
2. Flower power. Nothing says summer like a bundle of brightly colored fresh flowers. But why not put a creative spin on this classic decoration? You can create fabulous vases out of a few old mason jars and some acrylic paint. Pick out a few of your favorite colored paints that complement your apartment’s color scheme. Mason jars are available online for about a dollar each; all you have to do is paint your jars and distress them with a nail-file once they are dry. Voila! You have yourself chic, yet functional jars that you can fill with bright-white flowers to create striking contrast.
3. Lighten up. Looking for some fun candles for a summer dinner party? Stop looking and start crafting! All you’ll need is five or six candles in clear vases, some tape, and neon paint. You’ll want to go for the acrylic kind because it works best on glass surfaces. Tape a few stripes of varying widths onto the glass and use your paints to fill ‘em in. Easy and chic.
4. Ex-shell-ent. If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, try your hand at recreating this beach-chic mirror. This project may look intimidating, but you could easily complete it on a rainy Sunday. All you have to do is find a mirror at a thrift store or estate sale and spend an afternoon shell-hunting on the beach. No beach nearby? No problem! You can order over 50 shells for under seven bucks on Amazon. So grab your glue gun and a couple of friends and make yourself the perfect summery mirror for your pad. No one will guess that this jaw-dropping decoration is homemade.
5. Add an accent. Maybe you are itching to make a BIG change to your space. The easiest, most effective way to drastically transform any room is to paint a wall. We know that painting can seem like a daunting task—covering furniture, taping off the corners, making a mess—but with an accent wall, you only have to paint one small area. Pick a bright coral or sassy yellow and instantly make your pad brighter for summer. Pick a latex paint (which dries faster than oil-based) and you could be done in a couple of hours!