Saving money year-round is a goal that many households hope to achieve, but it’s not always so easy when you finally try to get to it. One of the top ways to save money is through a new crop of online do-it-yourself sites, known as DIY sites, which help consumers save big with hands-on projects on a small and large scale.
DIY sites help save money by counteracting extra retail fees that stores and merchants tack onto products. Additionally, many of the materials needed to execute DIY projects are items already in your home and garage.
Despite these obvious pros, however, a common misconception is that do-it-yourself sites are only for frilly, impractical crafts. In truth, the gaining popularity of DIY sites has opened the door to do it yourself sites of all kinds.
Whether you’re hoping to spruce up your home décor or planning an overhaul of your kitchen, we’ve listed five popular DIY sites to suit anyone’s fancy.
Instructables.com is a user-submitted do-it-yourself site that shares how-to and DIY articles on a variety of subjects. A great aspect about Instructables is that it offers easy-to-do projects that are inexpensive and useful.
For example, instead of going to a pricey retail store for $13 organic orange scented candle, an Instructables.com user shared how to convert a simple orange peel into a fully-functioning orange candle. The outcome was an equally organic scented candle for under $1.
Photo credit: Instructables
IKEA is known as being a cost-effective furniture and household supply retail store. To get even more bang for your buck, IKEAhackers.net is a goldmine of “hacked” (i.e. repurposed) projects using IKEA products, letting you can save even more.
Users on the site are dubbed “hackers,” due to their creative revamps of America’s beloved IKEA items. Projects begin with hackers posting a hack on the site, and providing step-by-step instructions on how to modify the IKEA product.
This DIY site is especially nifty if you find that your old college dorm room’s IKEA “Billy” bookshelf needs a facelift. Among the projects involving this standard bookshelf, one hacker ingeniously repurposed it into a multi-story reptile terrarium–a comparable reptile housing unit of its size could easily cost over $100.
The website is also very easy to navigate and the most popular hacks are categorized based on difficulty level:
- “Easy-peasy done in an afternoon” hacks (e.g. cheese graters transformed into light fixtures)
- “It gets messier” hacks (e.g. converting a standard coffee table into a dedicated LEGO play table)
- “Bring it on: hacks (e.g. converting a studio apartment into a 1-bedroom apartment)
Depending on how daring you feel and how skilled you are with a hammer, jigsaw or crazy glue, saving money on projects of all sizes is much easier with IKEAhackers.net.
For the inner-nerd in all of us, Lifehacker.com comes to the rescue as a do-it-yourself site that is technology-focused, but also provides eager DIY-ers with a variety of other types of projects as well. In addition to user-submitted hacks, Lifehacker also shares the latest trending DIY projects from other sites, including IKEAhacker.com.
Due to the quirky nature of the site, Lifehacker.com has a rather interesting collection of how-to projects. From simple projects like using photo negatives as creative lighting–to more labor-intensive hacks like creating ceiling storage in your garage–Lifehackers has just about anything to satisfy your MacGyver instincts.
Hautenature.com is a DIY site dedicated to sustainability without sacrificing style. Each project is designed to lend your home a touch of beauty without breaking the bank. Say goodbye to overpriced home furnishing store chains.
Some ideas from Hautenature.com enable do-it-yourself enthusiasts to transform an old wooden pallet into a fun lounge chair. With so many pallets carelessly tossed to the trash, crafty individuals can create a whole patio furniture set for free.
Photo credit: Hautenature
If practicality and thorough instructions are what you’re looking for in a DIY site, then Doityourself.com is just the place to carry out successful home improvement projects.
Homes are among the most costly investments Americans make, which is why getting hands-on with everyday improvements and major renovations can help save big, especially after repairs and fees start to stack up.
DIY projects showcased on the site include “How to Install Molding” and “How to Install a Bathroom Exhaust Fan.” In addition to outlining steps and materials needed, Doityourself.com also provides detailed diagrams of each step to guide readers through the process.
The savings homeowners enjoy with Doityourself.com can be monumental by skirting unnecessary expenses for design, landscaping and remodeling consultants.
When planning a DIY project, it’s necessary to gauge how far your skills and expertise can take you first. While there are certain situations that merit professional supervision, a lot of standard items can be done for less money and with your own personal touch.