11 Family-Friendly DIY Projects for the New Year

A new year is a great time for your family to set new goals—like spending time together freshening up your home space! Here are 11 DIY projects to get you started.

Cheryl Butler
6-minute read

New Year’s resolutions aren’t just for individuals, it’s also a terrific time for families to set goals. If freshening up your home space is one of them, make it a winning combo by creating DIY projects you can dive into as a family. You’ll get to spend time together with the added bonus of completing creative projects you can all feel good about.

Organize your home, family, and style

Welcome January with projects that will help tame your clutter and keep your loved ones organized. Gather your family together and sort out which areas of your home need attention. Think about the high-traffic areas like your home’s entryway, laundry room, kitchen, and family room and figure out how you can all reduce the extra stuff that clutters up your daily life.

Remind your family that by investing time now in getting these problem areas in order, you’ll all have more free time to do fun things because you won’t be living in cluttered chaos.

Pinterest has hundreds of ideas and projects for every area of your home. Check out this list to help you get started.

Create bird feeders and bird baths

Creating bird feeders and bird baths is an easy way to add some really cool elements to your yard. There are many benefits to feeding birds, including the sheer enjoyment of watching the wonderful world of nature right outside your window. The National Bird-Feeding Society provides a free illustrated guide with everything you need to know about feeding birds.

Water is one of the most important things birders can add to their backyard to attract birds. Here are some adorable bird bath ideas from Morning Chores to inspire you.

Create a family art gallery

Surrounding your environment with favorite family photos is a great way to personalize your space. Get your family on board with one of these ideas to create a family art gallery.

Architectural Digest shares more ways to make artful presentations in 16 Photo Display Ideas for Family Pictures.

Revamp your family’s bedroom space

When was the last time you took a good look at the bedrooms in your home? Do they reflect your kids' spunky personalities? Bedrooms should be a cozy, safe haven to retreat to after school or when you want to escape from the hustle and bustle of busy family life.

A bedroom makeover is a fun and important way to make a statement. A fresh paint job can easily change the vibe of a room and isn’t expensive. New curtains and linens can also offer an instant facelift to a tired space. Let your child in on the experience of picking themes and colors. And make sure to organize as you go—you won't regret it.

Don’t forget the master bedroom! Mom and dad need a calm, welcoming place to retreat to.

RELATED: 7 Ways to Organize Kids' Bedrooms for the New Year

Add some curb appeal this spring

Curb appeal is an area that we easily overlook. Many of us (myself included) arrive home exhausted from work and mindlessly ignore the outside appearance of our home because we’re rushing to get dinner on the table in time to run back out the door for soccer practice.

My colleague, Laura Adams—Money Girl—discusses the importance of curb appeal for making sure your home is marketable if you should ever decide to sell it.  

Walk out into your street and look—and I mean really look—at your home to see its shortcomings. Is it attractive, clean, and well-kept, or does it need maintenance that you’ve been putting off? After you’ve been in a home for a while, it can be difficult to see it objectively.

Laura Adams, 6 Tips to Sell a House Fast in Any Market

We're often oblivious to things like crooked shutters, beat up screen doors, or peeling paint. We tune those things out as we go about our busy lives. But our friends and neighbors don't! 

Take Laura’s advice and have your family stand in the front of your house and see what needs attention. Freshen up your yard with a new mailbox or colorful container gardens. Simple things like trimming overgrown shrubbery or repainting your front door can instantly transform your home’s curb appeal. Better yet, they can be a family effort.

Plant a family-friendly garden

If your family has never had a garden, this could be a terrific project you can all take part in. Have a pow-wow about the type of garden you’d like to have, given the space you have to work with, and sketch out a plan including what type of veggies and flowers you’d like to have. Family members can be assigned jobs such as preparing to plant seeds, watering, or transplanting seedlings.

If your short on space, there are vegetables you can grow in containers such as juicy tomatoes or fresh herbs to cook with. 3 Easy Ways to Start a Family Garden can help you get started.

Make an outdoor fort or family shed

Building forts will always be a favorite pastime for kids. Indoor forts using pillows, sheets, and hideaways under the dining room table allow kids to use their imagination and problem-solving skills. Take the love of fort building outdoors and construct a fort or treehouse in your backyard. She sheds, a woman’s take on the popular man cave, are all the rage now. Why not embrace this concept and create a family hideout where you can all escape the daily grind?

Clearly, this is more of an involved project than creating a bird feeder, but there are many helpful tutorials and resources available to assist. And think how satisfying it will be for all of you when the project is completed and you all have a new place to hang out!

Construct a water feature

You can have this spa-like experience every day if you add a water feature to your family’s DIY list.

Pinterest is overflowing (sorry, couldn’t resist!) with ideas that are easy and elaborate. This spring, my family is excited to be installing a pondless waterfall in our backyard. We’re designating a weekend for the project. Then, we'll invite neighborhood friends for a cookout a few weeks later to enjoy the fruits of our labor.

Brighten up with a furniture paint makeover

One of the best bangs for your DIY buck is paint. Color not only changes the esthetics of a room, but it also affects your mindset. The Surprising Effect of Color on Your Mind and Mood shares how different colors and tones play on our emotions. The bottom line is that we need color in our life.

Look at the furniture in your home. Do you have some bland pieces? Wake them up with a paint makeover. A drab, beige chest of drawers will pop in a vibrant teal or tangerine. Liven up your dining room table with a sleek shade of blue or cranberry. You can transform nearly any object in your home, including outdoor patio furniture, with spectacular colors of spray paint. This detailed “how to” article from Lowe’s Home Improvement store can help you get you started.

Design a statement wall   

If you want to create an incredible wow factor in any room of your home, designing a statement wall will definitely deliver. A statement wall is an accent wall—the focal point of your room. This artistic project will offer a great opportunity to experiment with textures, shapes, colors, and patterns. It’s a quick and easy way to liven up the space, and depending on what material you choose, it can be very low cost. Removable wallpaper is a great choice for this project, particularly in a child’s bedroom. For more creative ideas check out DIYS.com 15 DIY Ways to Make An Awesome Statement Wall

Repurpose household items

We all have household objects that are broken, no longer needed, or disposable. Put your creativity cap on and brainstorm ideas with your family for ways to repurpose these items so you won’t be wasteful.

One popular item that comes to mind are jelly and Mason canning jars. Once empty, wash them out and remove the labels. They make great flower vases, candle holders, bacon grease containers, and piggy banks, to name a few.

If you need some inspiration, you can find it in 100 Ways to Repurpose and Reuse Broken Household Items.


All content here is for informational purposes only. This content does not replace the professional judgment of your own mental health provider. Please consult a licensed mental health professional for all individual questions and issues.

About the Author

Cheryl Butler Project Parenthood

Cheryl L. Butler was the host of the Mighty Mommy podcast for nine years from 2012 to 2021. She is the mother of eight children. Her experiences with infertility, adoption, seven pregnancies, and raising children with developmental delays have helped her become a resource on the joys and challenges of parenting. You can reach her by email.