Skip to main content Skip to header navigation

5 Things to make versus buy

As fun and rewarding as DIY projects are, they can be incredibly difficult and time-consuming to create. For those of us who aren’t very crafty, running to the nearest store to buy a wreath, basket or festive mantel garland sounds substantially more appealing than trying to make it.

Crafty woman

Trust me, I get it. However, don’t throw in the towel and grab your pocketbook just yet. Check out this list of items that are cheaper and easier to make versus buy!

These projects are easy enough that even the most novice crafter can finish them with ease. All you need are a few materials, some time (and maybe a little wine to get you through). Plus, these projects add up to less than it would cost you to drive to the store, shell out money for the item and drive back (or pay astronomical shipping costs).

Pretty vasePretty vase

Nothing perks up a room like fresh flowers, and nothing makes fresh flowers even prettier than a gorgeous, one-of-a-kind vase. However, some beautifully crafted vases can cost up to $100 at stores like Anthropologie and Pottery Barn. Instead of shelling out that much moola, make your vase for three-quarters of the price and in just an hour’s time. Plus, for all that money you save, you can buy yourself something you really want, like new shoes!

To make a gorgeous lace vase like the one pictured, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Lace fabric or doilies
  • Glass vase
  • Needle
  • Thread

For the easy tutorial, check out Country Living. Also, be sure to check out this DIY tutorial for a brightly painted vase.

DIY wreath

Photo credit: Mom Spotted


Wreaths are the perfect way to add some personality to the outside of your home, especially if you live in an apartment with uniform doors. However, don’t make the mistake of paying top price for a wreath at Target or Home Goods, as some can retail for more than $50. Instead, make your own unique, festive wreath for half that cost with just a few materials you can buy and some you can find in nature! What’s better than that?

To create a one-of-a-kind rustic wreath, here’s what you’ll need: 

  • Grapevine wreath (you can buy one here for less than $5)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Decorative accessories like bows, ribbon and artificial flowers

For a fun tutorial on how to decorate a grapevine wreath, check out Hostess with the Mostess.

Fabric-lined basket

Fabric-lined basket

Baskets make the perfect outdoor and indoor home accessory because they are so versatile. You can fill them with whatever you’d like, and they can instantly declutter your dining room, home office, bedroom or bathroom! However, standard baskets can be boring and store-bought fabric-lined ones can cost up to $50. Instead, save the cash and make your own fabric-lined basket with a few items you can find in your home.

To create the beautiful white basket pictured, here’s what you’ll need: 

  • Basket with a handle
  • About 1 yard of fabric  (I used two 41 cm x 41 cm napkins)
  • Needle and thread in the color of the fabric
  • Ribbon
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Glue (I used Elmer’s Rubber Cement)
  • Ruler (optional)

For the easy, step-by-step photo tutorial, check out the post here on SheKnows.


One way to easily glam up your bedroom is to add a fun, vintage or modern headboard. As chic as headboards are, they can cost up to $1,000 if attached to a bed frame — even $500 and up for just the headboard! If you’re not in the market for a whole new bed but want to spruce up your bedroom, you can make your own vintage, one-of-a-kind headboard with easy-to-find materials, like a weathered door or even couch cushions. Save the change you’d spend on a new bed for some fancy artwork instead.

To make a fabulous door headboard, here’s what you’ll need: 

  • Weathered or solid door
  • Paint of choice
  • Sander
  • Saw
  • Bar-holder brackets
  • Wood filler
  • Nails
  • Hammer
  • Sand

For the complete tutorial on how to make this unique headboard, visit Better Homes and Gardens.

Stenciled mug


Currently lusting after those amazing stenciled and monogrammed mugs from Anthropologie? Put your wallet and PayPal account away and grab some paint, stencils, a few white ceramic mugs and create some yourself! Stenciled mugs are incredibly easy, very cheap and a great way to spend a rainy afternoon. Plus, they make perfect gifts and won’t cost an arm and a leg.

To create the mugs pictured, here’s what you’ll need: 

  • Plain white ceramic mug
  • Glass enamel paint in your choice of colors
  • Bendable patterned stencils (I used this one)
  • Set of different-size and -shape paintbrushes
  • Duct tape

For the step-by-step photo tutorial, check out this craft post here on SheKnows.

More DIY home decor ideas

3 uses for vintage suitcases in home decor
DIY Painted stemware
4 Ikea hacks

Leave a Comment

Comments are closed.