Whether you’re into crafting, fashion, home renovations, or even sustainable living, do-it-yourself projects are great ways to build a hobby, gain skills, and just have fun. This is especially true if you’re on a tight budget but have some time on your hands and want to explore your creative side. Here, some of the best books to amp up your DIY game.
No DIY book list is complete without including Martha Stewart. The DIY queen has packed this organizational manual full of simple projects and methods for organizing everything from your lingerie drawer to your garage. Yes, it’s a good thing.
Great for a school project or a fun weekend experiment on your own, this handy guide was put together by “Popular Science” magazine editors to show that DIYs don’t have to focus on clothes or home decor. You can also make your own fisheye camera lens, improvised sous-vide cooker, or even a solar-powered backpack.
Beauty and skincare products can be pricey, but with a few key ingredients, you can actually make many of them yourself — and they’ll be just as good as some of the priciest options out there. De Clercq shares dozens of recipes for homemade scrubs, acne treatments, lip balms, and lotions that you can customize to suit your needs. Use for yourself, or make them in batches to give as gifts.
4. Organization Hacks: Over 350 Simple Solutions to Organize Your Home in No Time! by Carrie Higgins
If you’ve ever tried to get your closet shelves organized, only to wince at the cost of buying all the boxes, hangers, and storage you need, this book is for you. Higgins packs this book with simple hacks and projects for keeping drawers, closets, and random spaces of your house beautifully organized on a tight budget. Some projects, like the magnetic spice jars, are just fun to make.
5. The Bust DIY Guide to Life: Making Your Way Through Every Day by Laurie Henzel and Debbie Stoller
If you remember “Bust” magazine, you might remember that each issue contained fun crafts and DIYs. Here, the “Bust” magazine founders Debbie Stoller (Stitch ’n Bitch) and Laurie Henzel have brought together 250 of their favorite projects. From beauty and projects to food and entertainment to career and finance, this isn’t your traditional craft book. It’s more a self-improvement guide that’s also a fun read.
Don’t have a lot of time and don’t know where to start? This quick guide has 20 easy projects to get your feet wet in the DIY space without spending hours flipping through pages. Simple projects include lampshade upgrades, bookshelf design, and ultra-cheap mug design projects for kids.
7. DIY Mason Jars: Thirty-Five Creative Crafts and Projects for the Classic Container by Melissa Averinos
Chances are you have a few Mason jars lying around, so why not put them to good use? This DIY book offers 35 innovative ways to use these versatile containers around the house. From making pendant lights to your own simple soap dispenser, those jars can stop collecting dust and start being useful.
Want a funny, friendly approach to crafting? Enter Mauda Madden’s Crafternoon concept: Think book club, but with crafts. The comedian started her afternoon crafting sessions with friends as a way to spend time together, and now she’s turned the concept into a book. She explains how to host a crafternoon, why spending time like this together matters, and some easy projects to get started.
For more natural, effective skincare recipes you can mix up with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen, check out Hello Glow. Gerber shares 150 recipes including whipped green tea moisturizer, creamy Marsala lip gloss, homemade fennel toner, and so many more.
If you’re a fan of easy-to-care for plants (aka succulents), you’ll love this creative guide. Packed with ideas like a living wreath, wall art, centerpieces, and even a necklace that use resilient plants like echeveria, sedum, and graptopetalum, this book is perfect for nature lovers.
11. Terrarium Craft: Create 50 Magical, Miniature Worlds by Amy Bryant Aiello, Kate Bryant and Kate Baldwin
For kids and adults alike, terrariums can be magical spaces. These miniature worlds can transport you anywhere: To the seashore, the desert, the jungle, or the forest. This book features 50 designs to help you create your own space. These ideas make for fun solo projects or creative crafting time with kids and friends of all ages.
DIY clothing doesn’t have to be boring — at least, that’s what Montano, author and TLC host, thinks. He shares 150 projects that add sparkle and joy to your wardrobe. He doesn’t just use traditional crafting materials, though — Montano teaches you how to upcycle things like newspaper and plastic bags to make amazing accessories. There’s something in this book for every style.
If you just moved into a new home, you want to make it your own. Whether you rent or own, you’ll probably have to adhere to a budget in the beginning. Thankfully, Vanderzeil has all kinds of projects that you can do to change the look and feel of a place without spending too much or annoying your landlord or neighbors. Most DIY projects aren’t designed for rentals, so we appreciate that this book includes ideas for renters who can’t make major structural or permanent changes to their home.
If you have some basic sewing skills, you may want to pause before you give away that huge pile of clothing that you no longer wear. Rather than dumping it or giving it away, look through it and try to upcycle and revamp some of it. You’ll save money, add style, and create a more sustainable wardrobe by actually using what you already have. Meyrich shares tons of useful advice for basic alterations and fitting tricks, in addition to ways to customize even the most basic pieces.
If you love a good weekend project, this book of one-day projects that you can start and finish on a Saturday is an ideal read. The projects are legit: You’ll get a lot done and make serious progress on your home. But you won’t over-extend yourself and end up with a half-renovated bathroom where nothing works. Bonus: The projects in this book don’t require you to be super handy. They’re laid out in easy-to-follow guides and walk you through projects like building wall shelves, installing new faucets and toilets, and even putting in a backyard path.
For next-level DIYers, even those not actually considering building their own tiny home, this book can serve as inspiration for future projects. Highlights include ideas for adding storage and life to tiny spaces in your current dwelling, and providing ideas for using reclaimed and salvaged materials for any project.