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Pass The Time And Be Productive With These Home Projects

Hello friends. I hope this post finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy. It’s a crazy time in our world right now!

In our house we’re trying our best to keep spirits up despite spring going not quite as planned, and I’m sure you can relate. Our oldest son had his semester abroad in Prague cut short after only 5 weeks, the remainder of our daughter’s college semester in DC went to online classes and our youngest is missing the end of his senior year of high school (and potentially prom and graduation too). We’ve been hunkering down at home and while we are all eager for life to get back to normal, we are trying to stay positive and be productive!

Now that we’ve had some time to adjust to our temporary new normal, I thought I’d throw out some ideas to make the most of this time at home and knock some things off our mental to-do lists! Here are a few projects that you might be able to tackle with what you already have on hand in your garage or supply closet, without having to visit the hardware store or Homegoods! 

Paint Your Garage or Basement Steps

Do you have garage or basement steps that look something along these lines? Yuck, right?!

Use leftover paint in your garage to transform them!

Painted Garage Stairs

Floor paint or solid stain used on decking is great if you have it on hand, but you can also prime your steps then use regular latex paint, followed by a sealant like Minwax Polycrylic.  Either way, if your stairs get a lot of traffic like ours do, you’ll need to give the treads a fresh coat about once a year, whether you use floor/deck paint or go the latex paint + sealant route.  

Even with this yearly upkeep, the painted stairs are still one of my favorite inexpensive upgrades I’ve done through the years!!  Check out this Pinterest board for tons of painted stairs inspirations!! 

Make A Simple Wall Mounted Jewelry Hanger

If you have a scrap piece of wood (or a pretty branch!) and hooks, this project takes minutes to make! 

It organizes all of your long necklaces that can get all tangled up in a jewelry box! Find the tutorial for this easy DIY wall necklace hanger here!

Give New Life To Old Lamps

This is such a great way to update lamps! 

I found these lamps above at a thrift store – their cords and plugs were all in great shape and I plugged them in with a lightbulb in the store to make sure they worked. I don’t mind the blue and white floral but wanted simple white ginger jar lamps (which by the way are super pricey to buy brand new!!) So easy……

• ONE • Set up a spray painting zone outside or in a garage with the doors open.

• TWO • Give your lamp a very light sanding with fine grit sandpaper to ensure any polish is off of them, and wipe down.

• THREE • Tape off the lamp socket with painter’s tape.

• FOUR • Give the lamp a couple light coats of spray paint, holding the can about a foot away to avoid drips and over spraying.

Less than one can of satin white spray paint later, the perfect neutral lamp that works in any room! (You can go big with color too if you prefer!!)

Spruce Up Your Outdoor Lights For Spring

And while we’re on the spray paint subject….have your outdoor lights seen better days? It’s really easy to refresh them!

• ONE • Inside the light, gently bend back the tabs with a flathead screwdriver and remove the glass.

• TWO • Use painter’s tape to attach newspaper around the light. Depending on how windy it is today, you may want to cover a larger area of your house around the light. Use the painter’s tape to cut in around the edges of the light. Don’t forget to tape off the top of the socket.

• THREE • Lightly sand your light fixture and wipe down.

• FOUR • Give the light fixture a couple of light coats of spray paint, holding the can about a foot from the fixture to avoid drips and over spraying. 

Good as new!!

Spraypainted Outdoor Light Fixture

We had our house painted white since I did these. The light fixtures I spray painted TEN years ago still look pretty good! 


Make A Shell Mirror or Picture Frame

Do you have a ton of shells you’ve collected from your favorite beaches? Make something crafty with them! 

I know this one is not for everyone, but it’s a fun project and if a big mirror is too much for you then a picture frame might be just enough shell tkotchke for you. Great project to do with kids!

I made this quirky DIY shell mirror above while we’ve been waiting on a master bathroom remodel and working around almond bathroom fixtures.  It was so much fun to make I made an oyster shell mirror for our coastal bathroom remodel. It’s different – no one else I know has one – and a little interesting! 

DIY mirror with oyster shells by Shine Your Light blog.

Make A “Vintage” Wooden Sign

This is a great project you can use a piece of scrap wood for! 

Find the tutorial to make your own customized vintage looking wood sign here; this collage shows you the process. If you have a Circuit it would be even easier but I don’t and still use the chalk and trace method!

Since I sold the Art’s Market table, we miss having something with that signage in our house so this is on my list of projects while we’re social-distancing 🙂

Freshen Up The House With Spring Touches

If you’re feeling blue from the current state of affairs, bring in some GREEN!! 

Rhododendron bushes are great for providing a bit of leafy greens for your table all through the year, even through New England winters. Cut a few small branches from an inconspicuous spot on your bush to brighten up your home. A pink scarf brightens up a table as a runner and is cheery.

Forage your yard and look in your closet for pretty things you can use to brighten your home, and check out this recent post for a few more ideas for adding a touch of spring to your home!

Spring Living Room Refresh with Blush Pink

Change Up Your Bookcases

Color – or lack thereof – can greatly impact the look of your bookcases and the room they are in. 

Five tips to organize and make a bookcase aesthetically pleasing.

I recently tried the decorating trick of turning books around for a more neutral look using hardcover books I’ve collected that we don’t read often. I’m liking this look for a change! 

Living refresh for spring

Read this blog post for more tips on how to style bookcases!


I hope these ideas give you some inspiration for projects to do while hunkering down in your home! Wishing you and your family good health through the coming weeks and months. 



Weekender | Vol. 10
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