19 Fun, Cheap Projects to Try This Weekend


By Wednesday, we're grateful to be over the weekday hump. On Thursday, we can sense the impending joy of Casual Friday. And then, it finally arrives: the weekend! Two blissful days free from work. Sure, there are some chores and errands to be done — but what about "me" time, or "we" time? Here are 19 fun, cheap weekend project ideas.

1. Create a Pallet Headboard

Wooden pallets have become incredibly popular for building all kinds of stuff. My personal favorite is the pallet headboard, which really shows off the rustic look of the pallet wood. This The Thinking Closet has excellent instructions for selecting, building, and even lighting your headboard.

2. Anything Involving Washi Tape

Have you seen this stuff? Basically, it's a Japanese decorative masking tape, although maybe it's a little sturdier. Washi tape decorating and project possibilities are pretty much endless: Decorate the keys of your computer keyboard, cover the outside of your notebooks, use it to beautify the inside and outside of your lampshades, make your own gift wrap, label your power cords, make your own cute coasters, etc. I am currently obsessed with covering clean, empty tuna cans and making cute containers for paper clips, and loose change.

3. Start Your Own Podcast

Have something to share or teach? Why not make your own podcasts? Apple makes it easy to get started with their app, and here is a great tutorial for making it your own. It's time to share your wisdom with the world.

4. Make Mosaic Tiles

Have old dishes around that you hate to part with? How about bits of jewelry? If you want to "upcycle" them, consider making mosaic tiles for your garden. First, learn to smash plates properly. Then, watch this video to learn more about what materials work well. Finally, this lady will show you how to make the stepping/paving stone. My husband and daughter made two and they are a great addition to the garden.

5. Whip Up Some Wine Jelly

You needn't be an experienced canner to make wine jelly. It is very simple and can easily be made in an afternoon. If you don't eat it all yourself, it makes a great hostess gift.

6. Make Energy Bars

Like a snack with your mid-morning coffee? Whip up a batch of these energy bars and you will be set for the week. Hint: Wrap them individually in waxed paper and twist the ends. They will stay crispy and chewy.

7. Learn Meditation

I had one heck of a time learning how to meditate (I usually just fell asleep), until I took a meditation class. There are many other classes available online, too. It will help with your stress levels and it may also help you learn to focus. I find that I feel refreshed afterward, but not groggy like after a nap.

8. Make Lip Balm

Make sure to round up the ingredients for this project during the week so that on the weekend, you can focus on actually making the lip balm. You'll need tubes, labels, the ingredients, and these handy instructions. Any you don't use can be given as gifts.

9. Learn to Crochet

I have given up on knitting — it's just not in the cards for me. But as it turns out, crochet is very easy to learn and you can actually make a scarf in one weekend. Here's a video to get you started with single crochet, and once you've mastered that, move on to double crochet for the scarf.

10. Build a Terrarium

If you have a desk job, a terrarium is a good way to bring some nature and tranquility inside. They are an inexpensive craft, especially if you find your container at a second-hand store or use something you have around the house. Since you will probably end up buying bags of pebbles, charcoal, and moss, make several terrariums and ask with your kids or friends to help. Here are some easy instructions and a list of materials you will need. This video shows an easy way to build terrariums using paper plates. Chopsticks are also helpful for moving things around.

11. Knot Up Some Macrame Plant Holders

These aren't your mom's tacky yarn plant holders. These macrame plant holders use jute string, and are really rustic and beautiful. They are also incredibly inexpensive.

12. Bake Bread

Even if you own a breadmaker, there is just something about the process of mixing, kneading, and baking your own bread that gives you such a feeling of accomplishment. Taking a bite of warm, fresh-from-the-oven bread with butter is a great incentive. I like this recipe for whole-wheat bread because it is very uncomplicated and makes three loaves. And there's no need to be flummoxed by the kneading process — here is a video showing how easy it is.

13. Make a Lamp

Real talk: I have some weird items kicking around that I probably should have tossed, but I want to make lamps out of them. And as DIY Debbie explains in this video, you can make a lamp out of just about anything.

14. Try a Rag Rug

Have any old sheets around? If not, don't despair. You can buy them at a thrift store and make one of these neat rugs.

15. Construct a Fire Pit

One of our favorite things to do on a starry night is to have a fire in the backyard. It's relaxing for two or for a group. As a precaution, check first with local authorities to make sure you can have a fire pit in your yard. (We are allowed to under the classification of "cooking fires.") You also need to make sure that your pit is located away from other structures. Here are some step-by-step instructions from Lowe's, using pavers.

16. Create Homemade Fruit Liqueurs

Oh, these homemade fruit liqueurs are fun. Right now we have cherry, strawberry, peach and apple. After extensive taste-testing (don't judge), we found that we preferred using vodka over the brandy, and vanilla bean over cinnamon. If you want to give them as gifts, pour them into cute mason jars.

17. Make Your Own Soap

I am afraid to work with lye, so I was pretty excited to find that there are no-lye soap recipes out there! This one looks easy and I like her suggestions for additions to the soap, such as lavender and peppermint.

18. Build a Garden Path

A meandering path around your yard adds charm and can also be very practical. These instructions are extremely helpful. While it points out that mulch is the cheapest material, it does break down over time. So prepare to do a lot of shoveling! The results are really nice, though, and assuming your path isn't too long, it can be accomplished in a weekend.

19. Learn a New Language

Of course, you can't learn a whole language in a weekend, but you can learn some of the basics. There are many resources online to help you. I am proud to say I can now ask where the bathroom is and order a Croque Monsieur in French.

Some of these projects will require some pre-planning and purchasing of materials beforehand, so make your selection and start planning before the weekend arrives.

What are your favorite DIYs or weekend hobbies?

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