12 Top Sources for DIY Design Plans, Ideas & Inspiration

How do you  make a pendant lamp out of string? Where can you find plans for a buffet table/hidden cat box compartment, or patterns for armchair slipcovers? No matter what kind of projects you’ve got lined up around the house, you can find tips, ideas and inspiration at these 12 incredibly useful websites – from step-by-step instructions to seemingly endless photo galleries.


If you’ve got an idea for your house but just don’t know how to make it happen, Instructables.com is the first place to look.  Invisible book shelves, glass etching, wind chimes, coasters, chandeliers, holiday decor – it’s all here in step-by-step tutorials packed with pictures. User-generated content means there’s something for everyone, especially if your’e of the geek persuasion (where else can you find instructions for making a Death Star tree-topper?)

The DIY Network

Just like the cable network of the same name, DIYnetwork.com is a font of practical tips and advice for DIY home décor, improvements, and furnishings – with an emphasis on the word practical. Learn how to stain wood furniture, make a chair slipcover, install wire shelving, replace kitchen countertops and more with videos and written instructions.


Virtually anything that you need done in your home, from the foundation to the attic, can be researched at DoItYourself.com. Learn how to handle the less fun stuff – like identifying the parts of a toilet tank – or get more creative with DIY decorations, party planning and green home tips.


Make is more than a magazine. At Makezine.com you can access dozens of videos, fun  interior design projects and a blog packed with even more creative, amazing and sometimes off-kilter designs and creations. Projects are as small as a ‘Hankie Tissue Box Cover‘ and as large as a ‘Solar Hybrid Hot Tub‘, so it seems the sky’s the limit when it comes to finding ideas for home improvements.


Makezine’s little sister Craftzine is an equally inspirational source of DIY ideas and how-to’s, but takes it in an artsier direction with unconventional projects that call upon your inner craft maven, whether you think you have one or not. Find out how to make a colorful ‘rag shag rug’, cute cuckoo clocks or create an industrial-style pendant lamp out of a wire hanger.


Threadbanger is mostly known for its hip and easy-to-follow videos showing you how to make everything from circle scarves to ninja Halloween costumes. But it’s not all about fashion. Every Wednesday we get a new how-to in the ‘Décor it Yourself’ section. Lampshades, throw pillows, wine racks and more are demystified, though it helps to already have some experience with a sewing machine and household tools. Check out ‘Upcycled Pendant Lamp’ (above) for a fun, easy project.


If you’re looking for more DIY tips & ideas related to tech and electronics, check out Lifehacker.com. Find out the best ways to wrangle all those cords and wires, how to fix bad wi-fi coverage in your home, or make a huge bean-bag sofa. Just search for ‘DIY’ to pull up all these inventive and tech-savvy projects.


How can I successfully cram a comfortable home office into my bedroom? What are some quick and easy ways to make a guest room more inviting? Where can I just browse beautiful photos of home design to get my own ideas? If these are the kinds of questions you’re asking yourself, Freshome.com is a great place to start. Packed full of eye candy and useful information, it’s perfect for those with a passion for fresh, modern design.

Design Sponge

Who would have thought to arrange a pocket watch on the wall, or use rope tied in a sailor’s knot as a doorstop? Design Sponge, that’s who, and they’ve got a treasure trove of such ideas in their ‘DIY’ section. Sometimes minimalist, often pretty and feminine, Design Sponge’s projects are oh-so-bookmarkable.


From Better Homes and Gardens comes DIYideas.com, an online compendium of crafts, ideas, inspiration and how-to’s. It’s easy to get lost in room-by-room photo galleries, and the ‘Quick Projects‘ section offers easy design makeover ideas like using stencils or adding pizazz with flea market finds.


When it comes to sustainable design, there’s simply no better source of ideas and inspiration than Inhabitat.com. This carefully curated online collection of all things green and beautiful has evolved far beyond any need to prove that eco-friendly design can be modern and sophisticated – it’s a showcase highlighting the best of the best, from cheap and simple beer bottle pendant lamps to chic upcycled wine barrel flooring.


If wall décor made from cardboard toilet paper tubes aren’t your thing, perhaps your tastes lean a bit more to the minimalist, modern – and outrageously innovative. At Dornob.com, you’ll find architectural, interior and furniture designs that are sustainable, creative and beautiful, but far outside the box.

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