No sewing machine required! Interior projects to save you money

DIY craft projects often sound good but they can end up being expensive. Here are our three money-saving DIY projects that will look great and that you can do today without breaking the bank. Best of all, you don’t need any special equipment beyond a power drill and Stanley knife.


Terrariums are one of the simplest craft project ideas for brightening up a coffee table or windowsill. When choosing plants, go for one that won’t have large leaves or grow too tall.

Here are the basics required:

  • An interesting glass jar, vase or bowl.
  • Small plants.
  • Potting mix.
  • Moss.
  • A feature rock, figurines and sticks.
  • Pebbles and gravel.
  • Activated charcoal.
  • A spoon.
  • Scissors.
  1. Ensure the jar is very clean.
  2. Layer in pebbles for drainage; a light covering of charcoal to fend off bacteria and enough potting mix for the roots.
  3. Arrange a feature rock and surround with plants and moss.
  4. Trim long roots from the plants and ensure that the leaves don’t touch the glass.
  5. Compact the soil, add water and place smaller decorations.

Ensure you monitor the moisture of your soil. Closed terrariums must be aired if moisture builds up on the walls. Between watering, use a spray bottle to maintain moisture. Remove dead leaves and plants, and keep out of direct sunlight.

Home-installed curtains

Professionally installed curtains and blinds are surprisingly expensive, so look at DIY options. An IKEA curtain rod set will cost anywhere from $36* for a double rod, right down to $2.99 for its most basic set. A bright patterned print curtain, complete with eyelets will set you back $40, while plain material is even cheaper. You’ll need:

  • Power drill
  • Screwdriver with drill bit
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Hem tape
  • Steam iron

Simply follow the included instructions to install. Trim if necessary and hem with hemming tape and an iron.

Invisible bookshelf

An invisible bookshelf is a design feature that’s merely an old book screwed to the wall with an L-shaped bracket, that supports the weight of further books stacked on top. With the bracket supporting the books hidden behind the book, the end result is that the books look like the are floating. Here’s everything you’ll need for each ‘shelf’:

  • Stanley knife.
  • Drill/screwdriver bit.
  • Wall screws.
  • Wood screws.
  • Old hardcover book.
  • 10cm L-shaped bracket.
  1. Insert one end of the bracket at the centre of the book, inside the back cover. Mark its location where it meets the top cover and over the pages.
  2. To ensure the shelf sits flush against the wall, notch out a gap where the bracket meets the front cover.
  3. On the underside, open the back cover to reveal where the bracket sits and fix it to the book with wood screws then use additional screws to secure the back cover to the book.
  4. Optionally cut out sections of thebackpage so that the bracket sits flush inside the back cover. Finally, fix the assembly to the wall with wall screws and screw plugs.
  5. In addition to literary classics, don’t be afraid to go the novelty route with books such as The Margaret Fulton Cookbook or Shane Warne: My Autobiography.

Now just stack a small pile of books on top. For larger bookshelves, use two brackets.

*Prices correct at time of publishing

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Chuck Kolyvas

Chuck Kolyvas is an Australian writer and photographer. Drawing on broad world experience gained from living and working in Australia, Japan, the UK, the Netherlands and New Zealand, Chuck particularly enjoys investigating technology, design and lifestyle and how they impact our lives.


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