Do It In A Day – 15 Simple Home Projects

When I was re-doing the website in the spring, I spent time reviewing all of the projects I’ve shared here on the blog, and I tried my best to figure out categories that would make the most sense for my audience. After noticing lots of simple home projects that can be done fairly quickly, I came up with the category of “Do It In A Day”. I went through many old posts and added them to this newfound category. You can see them all here.

Finding time for DIY projects in Ask Casey No. 14
Picture Frame Molding

Today, I thought it would be fun to take a trip down memory lane and share some of my favorite simple home projects. I know lack of time is a hurdle when it comes to doing projects around the house. And now, as a busy mom of two, I understand that more than ever! But there are so many things you can do to your home that won’t take a weekend or month to complete. And if you’re still struggling to make time for home projects, this post has lots of great tips!

Time-Saving Tip

Be sure to buy your supplies ahead of time before tackling simple home projects

If you only have time to tackle projects on the weekend, I suggest doing all your prep work during the week. That means getting familiar with what goes into the project, buying all of the supplies at the hardware store (trust me, it will be way less crowded!), and prepping the space. That way, you’re all ready to dive in on Saturday morning!

15 Simple Home Projects

15 simple home projects that anyone can tackle

The reason I love DIY projects is that they give me such a feeling of accomplishment and pride. Whether it’s a huge DIY built-in project or a small organized drawer, I get that same amazing feeling! And I want you to feel it too. So let’s take a look at this list and maybe something will spark your interest to try in your own space.

Make a Bathtub Tray

DIY bath tray is a simple home project that anyone can do

We’re taking it super old-school with this DIY project that I completed in our old condo. I’m a big bath person and I love taking baths, especially in the winter. Instead of shelling out big bucks for a custom bath tray, I made my own with some scrap wood. Here’s the full tutorial.

Estimated Time: 1 hour

DIY Abstract Art & Canvas

DIY Canvas frame

Last year, I took an old canvas that my mom was donating and created a special piece of art for Ellis’ nursery. I have zero experience when it comes to painting, so abstract was the way to go! Once it was dry, I built a simple frame to give it a high-end look.

Estimated Time: A full day if you’re tackling both the painting and the frame.

Use Rub ‘N Buff

How to use Rub 'n buff

Oh my goodness, this little tube is pure magic. I first used this when I wanted to take my bedroom curtain rods from black to gold. The name says it all – you rub it in and buff the color. Boom, your item is instantly gold. I often get asked if the curtain rods have held up. They still look perfect, even with daily use! Have something in your house that you want to make gold? Give this little product a try with my tutorial.

Estimated Time: 30 minutes

Paint Your Vanity

How to use the cabinet transformations kit

Since moving into this home, I’ve painted three vanities in three different ways. After trying out different methods and techniques, I recommend this step-by-step tutorial because it takes the least amount of time and the finish came out the best. You use a cabinet paint kit and there’s no sanding or priming necessary!

Estimated Time: One full day

Hang a Gallery Wall

Tips to hang a nursery gallery wall

I love a good gallery wall and I have multiples throughout our home. My favorite is Rory’s gallery wall because it has so many special pieces. Gather your favorite art, photos, and mementos, and have some fun creating a beautiful arrangement. This blog post outlines my best tips when it comes to the actual hanging part!

Estimated Time: 30 minutes

Paint Your Outdated Tile

My best tips to paint floor tile
Our Basement Bathroom Floor Tile

Here’s another project that I tackled not one, but three times! Ha! I painted three of our bathroom floors and stenciled them all. Can the full stencil design be done in one day? No, that’s more of a weekend project because of dry time. But, if you want to just paint your tile one color, then that can be done in a day. If you’re looking to take it to the next level, you’ll need one more day of work!

Estimated Time: One full day

Make a Dry Erase Board

How to make your own DIY acrylic erase board

I adore the acrylic dry-erase board I made for our office. However, I will admit that I don’t use it nearly enough! But it sure is pretty. I like the idea of using something like this for a family command center.

Estimated Time: 2 hours

Organize Something!

How to create drawers for a kid-friendly kitchen
Organizing Our Kids’ Food Supplies

I’ve done countless organizational projects around our house, from my small makeup drawer to our entire upstairs! Each project leaves me feeling happy and motivated. I encourage you to find a space that’s been bugging you and give it a good refresh. This post has some good tips and my fave organizing supplies.

Estimated Time: From 10 minutes to a full day

Add Some Wood To Your Walls

DIY wood wall treatment in the bathroom

I think the best way to make a home look more high-end is with a wood wall treatment. I’ve done so many of these projects over the years – from chair rail in Rory’s room, to picture frame molding in Ellis’ room, to molding in our bathroom. The time it takes will definitely depend on the difficulty of the project and the space you’re tackling, but small spaces can absolutely be done in a day! We were able to add the molding to our bathroom in one day and it’s my favorite feature in that space.

Estimated Time: One full day

Install a Light Fixture or Ceiling Fan

How to change a light fixture

Swapping out old light fixtures and ceiling fans are simple home projects. Trust me, you don’t have to be an electrician to get the job done. And new lighting will instantly update your space! This blog post walks you through the exact steps to install a new light fixture, while this one has the ceiling fan tutorial. Oh, and while you’re at it, go ahead and swap your light switch for a dimmer switch!

Estimated Time: 2 hours

Paint Your Front Door or A Full Room

Our fall front porch

If your home’s curb appeal could use a boost, I highly recommend painting your front door. Ours is the color “Blue Note” by Benjamin Moore and I even painted the door to our garage the same color! This blog post has all of my best tips for painting a door.

As for your home’s interior, the easiest and most budget-friendly way to update a room is through paint. It’s a beginner DIY project and a fun one at that! I break down all of my dos and don’ts when it comes to painting in this blog post.

Estimated Time: 2 hours to a full day

Hang Wallpaper

How to wallpaper a closet
Wallpapering Ellis’ Closet

Ohhh, wallpaper, I used to be so afraid of it! Now that I’ve installed it in our home four times (!!!), I actually look forward to using it in a space. It can add so much pattern, life, and excitement to a space.

How to wallpaper a ceiling
Wallpapering a Ceiling

Just take a look at our bedroom ceiling! (Although, I probably wouldn’t start with a ceiling for your first wallpaper project. Ha!) And if you’re afraid to use the “real” stuff, this blog post walks you through the steps to install peel and stick wallpaper.

Estimated Time: Half day

Hang Window Treatments

Installing solar shades

A lot of the design questions I get revolve around choosing window treatments. And that makes sense because every home has windows and everyone needs privacy! I walk through my best tips to choose window treatments in this blog post. As for installation tutorials, here’s how to hang curtains, how to install solar shades, and how to install bamboo shades. So you should be covered!

Estimated Time: 2-3 hours

Hang Something From The Ceiling

how to hang items from the ceiling

This is a recent project that I tackled in my home office. I wanted to add some more greenery and found this gorgeous brass planter. If you’re looking to hang a planter or anything else from the ceiling, this blog post walks you through the exact steps for a secure hold.

Estimated Time: 20 minutes

Seal Your Marble or Porcelain

Steps to seal porcelain tile

Don’t forget about home maintenance. These are very important simple home projects! If you have marble anywhere in your home, I recommend following the tips from this blog post to seal it. If you have porcelain tile, this blog post will walk you through the best tips to clean and seal your tile and grout.

Estimated Time: 5 minutes to an hour

Taking A Little Break

I’ll be off of the blog here for the next two weeks. I always schedule a quarterly blogging break but needed even more time this season. I hope you’re able to tackle one of these projects while I’m gone. I’ll see you back here on Monday, September 12th (Ellis’ first birthday)!


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.