100 Incredible Projects By DIYers Like You
From jaw-dropping remodels to crazy automotive creations, these real-life projects are as unique and inspiring as the DIYers who built them. Prepare to be floored!
Photo: Courtesy of Juan Zetino
Family time is important to Juan Zetino. He has served our country with numerous deployments to Afghanistan, Iraq and Japan. So he wanted to build an oasis to reconnect with his family. “My inspiration came from reading The Family Handyman and other publications. It took me about six to eight months to complete this project, with planning being the most important aspect.” — Juan. Click here to check out more amazing photos of this backyard transformation.
Photo courtesy of: Mike Gratzer
Arts & Crafts End Table
Reader, Mike Gratzer, built this beautiful end table for his home. He followed the “Simple Rennie Mackintosh End Table” plans that from the December/January 2015 issue of The Family Handyman. Click here to see several more photos from Mike during the step-by-step process of building this table.
Photo Courtesy of: Todd Johnson
Solid Cedar Mailbox
Reader Todd Johnson needed to replace his mailbox, so he went to his local home center to get inspired.
“I went ahead and started the project and then realized I should have taken some measurements. So I called an associate at the store to help me. Unfortunately, the measurements they gave me were incorrect, so my posts were too far apart. Instead of starting over, I decided to add the cedar boards to fill it in. I then stained it and finished it off with metal house numbers.” — Todd.
Cool Copper Cupola
Photo: Bruno Bucci
New Twist on a Classic Workbench
Photo: Charles Brown
Photo Courtesy of: Carlo Pelandini
Bright, Beautiful DIY Kitchen Remodel
Carlo Pelandini was never satisfied with the design of his kitchen. So he naively started a six-month renovation that resulted in a beautiful modern kitchen.
Outdoor Wood-Fired Oven
Green Garage Storage
Photo: Jeanne Waggoner
Photo: Courtesy of Christopher Rings
Mobile Flip-Top Workbench
The Family Handyman reader Christopher Rings sent us photos and drawings of his incredible workbench. We just might need to build one of these for The Family Handyman shop, too. Check out Christopher’s amazing how-to photos and project illustrations here.
Photo: Bob LaBelle
Photo: Courtesy of Cathy Abene
Trash to Treasure Sewing Table
Cathy Abene and her kids have gotten very good at keeping an eye out for trash. It also helps that the city she lives in offers curbside collection for anything and everything on every trash day of the year.
“One morning we came across a nice old wooden table base that had obviously been abandoned in someone’s garage for years. The finish was literally flaking off. I was in the process of redoing my daughter’s room and wanted to incorporate a sewing station. After I cut it down to size and glued a couple of pieces back on, my daughter (with gloves, glasses and a mask) sanded, primed and painted the base in pink. We added a tabletop from IKEA and a sewing station was born.” — Cathy
Private Studio Space
Customized Showcase Wall
Photo: Mike Farron
Photo courtesy of Al Gingrow
When Al Gingrow saw the Grill Gazebo plans in The Family Handyman May 2016 issue, he knew he had to build this project in his backyard.
“We have had several pool parties and the bottom line is—The Grillzebo is a hit! Everyone loves the setup of the Grillzebo and it’s comforts, especially the delicious grilled food prepared in front of them. I am looking forward to many years of fun and memories.” — Al.
Amazing Marble Tracks
Dream Shed Spinoff
Photo: Greg Reierson
Backseat Drivers Wanted
In Memory of a Woodworker
Photo: Becky Christensen
The Ultimate Dog House
Reader Corey Hosick built the ultimate shelter for his two German Shepard dogs. It’s equipped with so many bells and whistles for his fur babies. Check out all of the great photos from Corey here!
Step Stool to the Rescue
Photo courtesy of Denise Boyd
Amazing Kitchen Remodel
Denise Boyd, avid DIYer and The Family Handyman fan, recently completed a remodel job in her 1960’s ranch-style home. Check out the jaw-dropping before and after photos and learn all that Denise did to complete her amazing kitchen remodel here.
Interested in more kitchen remodeling ideas and tips? Here are some of our favorites.
Closet to Cabinet
Open-Fire Brick Barbecue Bar
Lakeside Shed Plus Shelter
Photo: Jim Reitenbach
Hidden Staircase Drawer
Jeep Bed for Kids
Elevated Vegetable Garden Planter
Photo courtesy of Denise Boyd
Before & After Bathroom Remodel
“I started with ideas in my head, pencil and paper in hand, and went straight to my most valuable resource, MY DAD! My dad is a man of all traits. Without a doubt, everything I know is because of him. Together, we have amassed countless hours of blood (yes, true blood from my dad and myself—we can never seem to make it through a remodel without some bumped knuckles), sweat (many, many sizzling hours) and tears (a few sad, but most happy) along the way. Both of my parents have helped me in rehabbing my home. It has been a family affair! My mom being the painter, cleaner and forever organizer in the family and my dad, the genius behind the scenes helping me make all of my dreams a reality.
Our first remodel was the half bath off of the kitchen. We decide to start with a smaller remodel to get our feet wet, and to find out what the house was truly made of. The peach wall tile, peach sink, and peach toilet, although having a nice monochromatic feel, had to go! As you can see from the pictures included, some demolition and modernizing was just what the half bath needed.” — Denise Boyd.
Drill Dock to Declutter
Photo: Carle Davis
Bookcase Entertainment Center
Modular Pet Ramp
Backyard Stone Fireplace
Photo: Courtesy of April Lesho
Custom Vanity Drawers
April Lesho maximized her vanity storage with these custom drawers. “I noticed the wasted space above each drawer in our bathroom vanity and decided to make custom drawers to take advantage of this space. Every square inch matters in our 920-sq. ft. home!” — April
Reclaimed Lumber Decking
Safe, Stylish Railing
Custom Truck Bed Drawers
Home Office Cabinetry
Photo courtesy of: Richard Rowe
Simple Miter Saw Stand
The Family Handyman reader, Richard Rowe, built the Convertible Miter Saw Station that was featured in the November 2015 issue.
“I followed the plans to build the miter saw station. It took me a few days, but I got it done. I made it all out of 1x4s, except the wings. Than I added the top guides on both wings with a tape measure on the top. On the back, I attached a permanent 50-ft. electrical cord. When I turn on the power to the table the vacuum comes on. To make the station mobile, I plan on adding 4-in. casters that will also lock the stand in place.” — Richard
Pirate Ship Tree House
Wood Fireplace Surround
Twin Adirondack Chairs
Photo: Billy Keith
Above-Cabinet Wine Rack
Old Barn-Wood Bed
Skinny Workshop Cart
Better Than New Pontoon
Dorm Room Spinning Storage Unit
DIY Window Seating and Storage
F-14 Play Set
Patio Chairs with Storage
Grand Garden Shed
Wall Teardown Hidden Fireplace
Restored Farmhouse Dresser
“This dresser was in an old farmhouse. My wife wanted me to restore it, but as you can see, one of the top drawers was missing. I could not figure how I was going to bend a piece of oak to match the other drawer.
Then my wife suggested that I cut the remaining drawer in half horizontally and flip one half of it over to make a new drawer. This meant that I had to remove the dresser top and cut the height down to compensate for the reduced drawer height (and of course, build a drawer to put the new front on). All in all, the result was worth it!” — John Susil. Click here to see the before photo and the amazing transformation.
Backyard Putting Practice
Amazing Yellow Shed
New Use for Old Cabinets
Envious Tree House
Kitchen Remodel on a Budget
Photo courtesy of: Daniel Cork
Boat Bird Feeder
The Family Handyman reader, Dan Cork, created the perfect bird sanctuary in his backyard.
“We like to watch birds and have had bird feeders for years. However, the birds are pigs and dump bird feed everywhere! There were all types of grass plants popping up in the yard and our garden bed. So I decided to make a bird sanctuary out of an old boat and now we can watch the birds and all the bird seeds are contained inside the boat. The front navigation light and the lantern in the back, are set to come on with my other landscape lights. I named the boat after my granddaughter and the registration number is my street address.” — Dan
For plans from The Family Handyman to build your own bird house, click here.
Garage Doors in Disguise
Garden Tractor Made of Junkyard Parts
Rebuilt Swing Set
Ben Hoyle wanted to build a swing set in the backyard of his house for his daughters. So he found a used swing set that someone was giving away and decided to rebuild it.
“I looked at building something new, but the ones in my price range were not so great and were made with treated lumber, which I don’t enjoy working with. I struck gold with a used swing set. The top beam and most of the decking was too rotten to be used and I decided to go a step further and get all new cedar wood and redesign the swing set configuration. I had a fun weekend of building and a summer full of my daughters playing on my great-looking swing set, all for a lot less money than buying new. On top of that, I used the old cedar 4x4s and some scrap plywood to build a workbench in my garden shed.” — Ben
North Woods Bench in White
Photo: Keith Simpson
Photo courtesy of Steve Christakis
Handy Plywood Storage System
The Family Handyman reader Steve Christakis came up with this great storage idea to maximize the limited space in his garage.
“My garage is my workshop, and space is tight, especially for squeezing two vehicles in. I used to have plywood sheets and scraps stacked against the wall, and they always had a way of creeping outward, taking up more floor space, especially as more material got added to the pile. This outward creep made for even tighter parking space.” — Steve.
Classy TV Cabinet
Getaway from the Getaway
Vintage Chair Gets New Life
Carla Phillips loved her vintage oak office chair, but the base was broken and it was the wrong height for her desk. “I bought an adjustable office chair for a few bucks at a thrift store; the seat and back were ruined, but the adjustable base worked fine. I attached it to my oak chair with lag screws, and now I have an adjustable vintage chair.” — Carla
Photo: Courtesy of Tyler Ferguson
There were a lot of interesting architectural details on this house, but the entry was probably the most challenging. The ledger, ribbon and drop beam were all made from laminated layers of plywood, and the joists were all LVLs. We sheathed the roof with two layers of 3/8-in. sheets of plywood. The whole thing was held up with four 6×6 posts, which we boxed in for the stone guys. To complicate matters, the structure needed to be held several inches away from the wall so the stone could run behind it.
A woodshop milled the cove and the cantilevered fascia, and we trimmed the rest in cedar. All the flashing was copper as was the entire roof (installed by others). From start to finish, the entry took about 140 hours. I love projects like this, ones that require more than just a framing gun and a level. Luckily, I get to work on a bunch of them. — Tyler Ferguson.
Outdoor Bench with Storage
Harold Gibbons made this armoire from dumpster finds in California and from the original Dreyer’s Ice Cream factory in Berkeley, California, during the 1980’s. The crown molding was bought at a garage sale, but everything else was free. He made the doors with shelving from the Dreyer’s workshop. The knobs were from an old 1880’s drug store in Elmer, Oklahoma. The Latin word on the knob was the name of the drug, which was stored in a common wooden drawer for filling prescriptions.
Fancy DIY Fire Table
Classic Garden Bench Doubled
Photo: Dan Kemper
Playhouse That Grows with Kids
Photo Courtesy of: Kevin Rusch
Modified Viking Table and Bench
The Family Handyman reader Kevin Rusch wanted to build a dining room table. When he saw the Built-to-Last Viking Long Table and Heavy-Duty Viking Bench, he knew with a few modifications, these plans would work. Click here to see more details about how Kevin built this project.
Andrew Wilson, being a family handyman and living outside of the city limits, refused to hire a private trash hauling service. He would use his trailer to take his refuse to the county dump.
“I am always trying to get my sons to help me, to no avail. On one occasion, my oldest son, to my amazement, decided to take a break from his music to tag along with me to the dump. When we got to the dump, we saw one of the workers removing two guitars from the trash heap. We jokingly asked if there were any more guitars where those came from. To our amazement, the worker pulled another discarded guitar from the trash heap. While the guitar looked to be in good shape, the pickups were not working. We decided to make the guitar into a lighted wall piece for the kids’ playroom, using a rope light attached with clips to the back of the guitar.” — Andrew
DIY Basement Remodel
Incredibly Organized Workshop
Over the years, Randal Monceaux always kept his screws and parts in portable storage containers, and when it came time to use them, he would have to look in various places for the items he needed. So he created these versatile portable storage bins.
“In this first photo are bins for the parts that I use for fabricating and gluing up my picture frame projects, and this keeps all of the parts and screws needed in one location on my work table—I have mounted on the sides the glue-up jigs that I use, and the whole unit is on small casters to allow it to be moved on top of my work table,” Randal says.
Starfighter Play Set
Photo courtesy of Steve Christakis
Slick Miter Saw Stand Accessory
“I mounted a little picture frame hanger as a holder for my tape measure. I simply clip my tape measure on to the holder with the clip mounted on the back of the tape measure. Now, it’s always at hand and in the same spot, so that I don’t have to look around for it. These hacks have made my shop time easier and more enjoyable.” — Steve Christakis.
Photo Courtesy of Kurt Schmatzhagen
Cedar Garden Shed
Reader Kurt Schmatzhagen sent us photos of this shed that he built in his backyard. He used the plans from the Ultimate Garden Shed, which was published in our July/August 2014 issue of The Family Handyman. Click here to see the fire pit Kurt added next to this garden shed.
Faux Stone Accent Wall
Reader Chris Galiyas, an elementary art teacher in West Mifflin, PA, created this faux stone accent wall in his living room. The wood pieces that frames the fire place are old floor joists that he got from a salvage yard. First he sanded down the wood, applied a faux finish and than finished the wood off with a clear coat. “I love to see the wood come back to life in a new way.” — Chris
Photo: Courtesy of David Smith
Reader David Smith and his wife bought a house in an adult community that needed some upgrades. Being a retired general contractor, David’s first project to tackle was the kitchen.
“I did all the work myself, from 20 in. diagonal tile on the floor to new lighting. My wife helped with the design and the granite countertops. The “bridge” above the sink has gotten a lot of compliments. Now I am handyman for a lot of residents in our community.” — David Smith.