5 Handy DIY Tricks

A women in a home that uses upcycled furniture.

Learning new DIY tips and tricks can really speed up projects and result in better-finished products. Not only do these tricks save you time and money, but they can be adapted for other projects. From upcycling tips to finding materials on the cheap, here are a few of the handiest DIY tricks.

1. Upcycling Tips

One of the best tips for upcycling is choosing your materials wisely. Some materials, like chipboard, are not good for upcycling projects and will cost you more time and money than you originally intended. Instead of settling for whatever comes your way, pick materials that are sturdy and can be worked on without breaking down.

2. Finding Work Pieces

A garage sale sign.

Speaking of working with good materials, it can be difficult to find pieces at affordable prices. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to find materials for future projects at huge bargains.

Online classifieds are a great place to start, and you can often find lumber or dirt cheap — or even free — depending on where you live. Other good spots to check for recycling or upcycling ideas are flea markets, nonprofit organizations (like Habitat for Humanity), and garage sales.

3. How to Take Apart a Pallet

A man deconstructs a pallet.

Pallet wood is great for woodworking projects. Not only is this lumber affordable, but you can pretty much build anything you can dream up. The difficult part about using pallet wood, however, is breaking it down.

Luckily, you can break down any pallet in a few minutes with only a reciprocating saw and a rubber mallet. Start by placing the saw in-between the boards to cut through the nails.

If the nails are too tight to get the saw in, just give them a few whacks with the mallet. Repeat this for all of the boards and the pallet will be dissembled in no time.

4. Painting Tips

A woman paints furniture.

A good paint job can be a real game changer, especially when upcycling old furniture. To get the best paint job possible, invest in quality brushes. Cheap brushes can leave behind bristles in the coat, which is not a good look and could ruin a project.

Although they may cost a few extra dollars, purchasing the best paint brushes will pay off in the long run. You can increase the longevity of the brushes by cleaning them after each paint job and storing them properly.

5. The Art of Minimalism

A minimalistic design.

You do not have to go all out to enjoy the benefits of living a minimalistic life. You can start by decluttering your home and examining the things you actually use on a regular basis.

For example, decluttering your kitchen is a great way to save space and get things organized. If you have plastic lids that no longer fit any container, recycle them. The same is true with small appliances you never use and all of those outdated cans of vegetables.

Follow the same method for every area of the home until you are fully decluttered. You may even find enough items to host a garage sale and make a little bit of cash for your next DIY project.