DIY on the go ideas?

Hi Hometalk, I need some of your creativity here! I am spending some time visiting my sister and I would love to create a DIY project for her while I am here. Any suggestions for me? I am looking for a project that requires minimal tools I was thinking of something for her kitchen counter-top.


  46 answers
  • Dysko7710 Dysko7710 on May 14, 2018
    Hey Wendy,
    If you are wanting something that might help her organize, I did this for my counter top with a box and some paint:

  • Darla Brown Darla Brown on May 14, 2018
    I made a collage for my daughter using copies of family photo and polyurethane. ..right over her existing counter..but u can use a wood cutting board also.. U lay it out however u like the poly it own..beautiful modge podeytype finish....

  • Landsharkinnc Landsharkinnc on May 14, 2018
    Decorate a basket -- could use for potatoes or onions, or wooden utensils ..

  • Joanne Joanne on May 14, 2018
    small spice garden fun containers small flower pots at the $store. Green houses will have the spices for your containers make fun labels.

  • Joanne Joanne on May 14, 2018
    Small Flower pots hooked together for a doll you can paint them .. lots of ideas on line for a window sill or counter top .

  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on May 14, 2018
    One thing I always loved which has disappeared from our kitchens is the BREAD BOX. I got so tired of trying to keep up with the bread, that partially used pack of crackers and opened cookies so I bought an open type basket and painted it a shiny red to match the red accents in my kitchen!

    Notice how the few coke cans wound up there too, ready for my guy to easily spot! (Guys have a way of finding a use for everything!)

    You can easily pick it up and move it to the counter if need be.

  • Linda Sikut Linda Sikut on May 14, 2018
    Hi Wendy,
    Does your sister have a lot of spices? Organizing spices was always a problem for me. I just couldn't find what I wanted, when I wanted it. One day, I put up a triple shelf spice rack, but that wasn't enough! I finally went to the Dollar Tree and found some bins that would fit in my cupboards. I put my most used spice on the rack, then I sorted the other spices into types, starting with baking spices, then cultural spices (Italian, Greek, etc). The last bin holds any misc. spices that don't fit elsewhere. I labeled all of the bins with an alphabetical list of what spices were inside. I just wrote on masking tape pieces, however you could make nice ones on a computer. I put the bins in my cupboard with the baking ones on the right (easiest to find for me). Now when I need a spice, I know exactly where to look. Have fun with your sister! Wishing you the best.

  • I think a chalkboard near the fridge is great to list a rough grocery list. As you use items, make a note, or if a family member wants something special, write it on the board. Then you can take a snapshot on your phone to reference when you are at the store. You can make one yourself from an old picture frame and blackboard foam core board (available at craft stores) or buy something at the dollar store and dress it up.

  • Bijous Bijous on May 14, 2018
    Make a cardboard box a little bit longer and wider than your hand. Use duct tape on all seams. It needs to be 2 inches deep. Use a thin layer of petroleum jelly over the entire inside of the box, then fill with plaster-of-paris. Grease your hand and lay your hand (slightly cupped) in the plaster palm side up. Once the plaster has slightly hardened (it's fast), remove your hand and let the box dry overnight. Remove cardboard (use knife along duct taped seams), paint and seal with spray sealer. Clean with mild soap and water, just not dunked in water. It is a Sister's Helping Hand Spoon Rest for cooking.

  • Sweet Image Sweet Image on May 14, 2018
    I think it would be GREAT to pick up 2 or 3 crystals...colors have meaning...and screw them under the window pane...when the sun shines through it's gorgeous and she'll always think of you when she sees the mini rainbows!

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on May 14, 2018
    If there are windows in the kitchen, you can never go wrong with small pots of flowers on the windowsill. Mine make me smile every time I see them. If no windows, how about a low light plant? You can hang it, too, to keep it off the counter.

  • Betty Betty on May 14, 2018
    I read all of the idea they are all great . I love the crystal idea most of all .I don't think I can beat that one . Lost my sister last year .really miss her .

    • Wendy Wendy on May 15, 2018
      I'm sorry to hear that, my sister is my everything!

  • Janet Janet on May 14, 2018
    Maybe if there is space enough you can make a small coffee bar. Who doesn't drink coffee or tea?

  • Kim Kim on May 14, 2018
    How about a quick storage solution for your cutting mats? You can use up one of those cloth bags that are advertising give aways!
    A few upholstery tacks, basic sewing supplies and a small hammer are all you need!
    First, find a bag that is not quite as wide as your cupboard door and a little wider than your cutting mats. Trim off the handles just below the top edge so they don‘t show. Choose the side that you want facing out and trim the other side leaving a 1-2” edge. Trim each corner a 1/4 inch diagonal cut. Then turn under hem and stitch or glue down. You actually don’t really need to do that step as most bags won’t fray, but it makes me feel better to have the hem. Use upholstery tacks, Velcro, or whatever you like to attach bag to inside of cupboard door. Remember not to put heavy objects into your new storage space because the hinges aren’t made for heavy weight.

  • Laura Cooper Laura Cooper on May 14, 2018
    This would be more for the kitchen window instead of the counter, but I absolutely love this idea. I was thinking it would be a great party craft, too. Oops, wrong link

  • Cheryl A Cheryl A on May 14, 2018
    if you don't have a basket you can get one at the dollar store, use Mod Podge and really pretty napkins- you can mod podge the napkins to the basket and it is beautiful you can also use a box or storage container. If the napkins have white lining, take that off - you use it adhere the napkins to the project then once all napkins are on you mod podge once more over it - it looks like fabric

  • Teacup8885 Teacup8885 on May 14, 2018
    Get a few rocks from outside some paint n hot glue n maybey some googly eyes n create little critters to put allover! My sister just made 1 for her garden outside!

  • Shore grandmom Shore grandmom on May 14, 2018
    I don't like wooden cutting boards for cutting on, but this is a clever idea on how to use one. You can use it with a tablet or phone. Or even a thin cookbook.

  • Joanne Layton Woods Joanne Layton Woods on May 14, 2018
    One of my favorite trends right now is collections of cutting boards. It’s a cute way to decorate a counter top while still looking functional. The cutting boards can be chosen to suit her style.

    if your wanting a project, you could paint one, or cut a cute shape, or you could even repurpose an older piece of wood.

  • Leesa Osborne Leesa Osborne on May 14, 2018
    Maybe a piece of wood with mason jars across it to put on her cabinet or in her window seal.

  • Loneagle Loneagle on May 14, 2018
    Here are a few, I particularly like the message board, measuring cup holders, and curling iron holders.

  • Forget the diy project! Visit with your, hug, drink wine and eat. Get your nails done and go for a walk. Enjoy each other's is short!

  • Sarinasala1 Sarinasala1 on May 14, 2018
    Create a coffee and tea bar with all the goodies that go with it.Fill a basket with tea,coffee,sugar,some pretty cups and nibbles like biscuits,pancakes and scones and jam.Im sure she will like this.

  • How about a curtain rod for extra storage?

  • ☘️ TxBella ☘️ TxBella on May 14, 2018
    How about a photograph of the two of you in the shape of a heart ♥️ w / some old red buttons!

  • Becca Becca on May 14, 2018
    Hi Wendy, first I would look around her kitchen and the rest of her home (maybe her craft room). See if there are things you can recycle. Maybe some pie pans or cake pans and a couple of candle sticks. Make a three tier stand. She can keep it on her counter top or in the center of her litchen table. I have seen them in bathrooms too! Best of luck!

  • DD DD on May 14, 2018
    hand write each other's favorite recipe then
    decoupage each to a clear tray or serving dish do you will think of each other when ever you make the others favorites or whenever you use that tray or dish for anything ( since I don't have a great hand writing I would have my daughter do it or I would do it on the computer and print it on some pretty paper
    Decoupage how to just in case 🙂

    • Wendy Wendy on May 15, 2018
      How sweet and heartwarming! My sister is definitely the cook, not I!

  • Melissa LB Melissa LB on May 14, 2018
    Make a countertop herb garden. Recycle some cans. depending on her decor, you can wrap them in rope, use a pretty piece of cloth and hodge Podge, chalk paint, etc... the options are limitless. Have fun with it

  • Lina Splichal Lina Splichal on May 14, 2018
    I would get some fabric from the thrift store, cut it into strips and weave or braid placemats, potholders, a dish drying mat and/or a thick dishtowel that can be used as a potholder. I often end up using my heavyweight dishtowels to remove pots from the burners and pans from the oven. I can wrap them over my hands and prevent burns, but they are not as heavy and bulky as oven mitts.

    • Wendy Wendy on May 15, 2018
      Okay I think we have a winner! This is an awesome idea!!

  • Lsherbach Lsherbach on May 14, 2018
    I love this simple idea, that's very timely

  • Michele Pappagallo Michele Pappagallo on May 14, 2018
    How about something that is fun...AND healthy? Grow a batch of microgreens. They are quick (usually less than 2 weeks to mature), and very healthy for you. Plus, they are a perfect kitchen project. Pick up a couple of packets of seeds at your local garden center, home center, or WalMart, etc. Get a small plastic dish (I use Rubbermaid TakeAway containers). Put a piece of paper towel into the bottom of the dish, and dampen it with water. Sprinkle the seeds on fairly thickly...use 2-3 packets of seeds for a container that is 6x9. Lay another layer of paper towel over the seeds, then mist heavily to moisten. Cover with a towel and leave in a dark area for 3-4 days. Check each day and mist if needed to keep moist. When seeds germinate, remove the towel and move to a window with partial sunlight. Mist twice daily to keep moist and allow to grow until 2 sets of leaves appear. Then, just snip the greens, and add to salads, on top of eggs, sandwiches, potatoes, soup, etc. They taste fabulous and contain 4-10 times the nutrients of full-grown greens. Google for more complete instructions.
    For seeds, I love mustard greens, broccoli, salad mix and radish. Try it! You'll like it!

  • AM AM on May 15, 2018
    pound flowers that ourin her garden ,then frame them it’s so eas to do flowers are
    pounded on a white handkerchief
    will send more if need be

    • Wendy Wendy on May 15, 2018
      How sweet! I'm gonna look around for a nice frame!

  • Jcraw Jcraw on May 15, 2018
    Having lost my sister, I must vote with hugs, laughter, wine and trying an outrageous new soup recipe.
    We had some wonderful disasters as the wine kept pouring, adding “clever” new ingredients

    • Wendy Wendy on May 15, 2018
      These are some super ideas! My sisters are my everything! Really all I want to do is spend some quality time with them . :)

  • Lina Splichal Lina Splichal on May 15, 2018
    Thank you Wendy!

  • Sarah Barganier Sarah Barganier on May 15, 2018
    I purchased a magnetic tool strip and attached to my back splash for my favorite knives. I have not had to sharpen them as often and don't worry about reaching into a drawer and getting cut.

  • Phyllis Osborne Phyllis Osborne on May 15, 2018
    Make her a coupon book with redeemable coupouns from you that can also be used as a reciepe holder on the counter. Include positive inspiration notes as well. Enjoy your time together.

  • AM AM on May 15, 2018
    Will send u directions it’s fun I’m a Master Gardner we did it on a bus trip
    mine framed and hanging
    hubby did it for me

  • Sarinasala1 Sarinasala1 on May 15, 2018
    I always give gift hampers for special occasions, I make them myself.

  • Liv Liv on May 16, 2018
    I like DD's idea. It is classic and timeless, you could do that on a coaster also.

  • Yosig Yosig on May 17, 2018
    def a tyedye project! super easy

  • Yosig Yosig on May 17, 2018
    or maybe some sort sort of rack to hang keys by front door. materials are easy enough to be on the go

  • Yosig Yosig on May 17, 2018
    but tye dye is the way to go :)

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on May 11, 2022

    In my opinion it would be best to ask her what she would like!