2020 was the year everyone stayed home and worked on DIY projects. Here are the most popular DIY projects of 2020 at The Handyman's Daughter, and a look back at how this crazy year influenced my own projects!
Wow, what a year 2020 has been! I'm certainly not sad to see this year end, but there were some bright spots that made all the stay-at-home orders and social distancing bearable.
We spent LOTS more time together as a family, and we explored our own neighborhood and the beautiful Pacific Northwest instead of traveling to far-flung vacation spots (although I'm still bummed we had to cancel our trip to Japan in April).
Surprisingly, this was the highest traffic year for my website since it started in 2015! It was interesting to watch patterns develop over the course of the year. My own projects were influenced by the situation as well, and you can see how things changed as the year went by just by looking at my posts!
Spring of 2020
When schools and offices shut down, we quickly realized that our house wasn't set up for more than one person working from home! My son had the smallest bedroom, but a large playroom in the finished attic space. I moved his bed upstairs so my husband could have an office, and it's changed the way we use the entire house!
As an incentive to move upstairs, I built my son a climbing wall in one section of his new bedroom. His climbing gym has been shut down for most of this year, and it's been wonderful to have his own training area at home!
When it was announced that the new school year would start remotely, I decided to make a dedicated work area in my son's new room that would also house his vast collection of Lego pieces. This giant Lego desk is the perfect spot for both school and play, with 15 bins that somehow are still not enough storage!
I also built him a laptop stand to keep his school supplies organized, and made a skylight shade so he could see the screen without the glare of the sun beating down on him!
Winter of 2020
Finally, it's time to give my own workshop a little attention! I've already started working on the space with a table saw stand that gives me a ton of storage, and a spray paint rack to keep all those cans organized.
The beginning of 2021 will feature lots more workshop projects, as I give the entire miter saw stand area a complete overhaul to fit more tools into my tiny space! I'm also debating whether to start remodeling the kitchen with custom cabinets I can build myself. Subscribe to my email newsletter so you don't miss any of these projects next year!
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So without further ado, here are the top 10 DIY projects from The Handyman's Daughter for 2020!
Cornhole is the perfect socially-distanced game for family and friends! You have to stand far apart to toss the beanbags, and you switch sides after each round so you don't have to pass the bags back and forth between teams. And it all takes place outside in the fresh air!
The free woodworking plans for these DIY cornhole boards were one of the most popular downloads of 2020. All you need to make your own are a couple 2x4s and a half sheet of plywood!
Staring at all those cans of stain at the hardware store can be intimidating and confusing! Will the color on the can look like that on my project? How many coats should I apply to get good coverage?
I took the guesswork out of finding the perfect grey wood stain with this set of samples. I tested six grey wood stain colors on five different wood species, so you can see all the shades side by side. I still refer to this post whenever I'm staining a new project gray!
This year, I went through the same process with black wood stain colors. You would think that black is black, but there's a lot of variation between stains and wood species!
When the thrift stores and donation centers reopened after the stay-at-home orders were lifted, the line of cars wrapped around the block! It seemed like everyone had spent their time at home reorganizing and purging unwanted items.
Once the junk was hauled away, they were left with bins and boxes that needed to go back in an orderly fashion. These inexpensive storage shelves are perfect for all those bulky items! I keep all our Christmas decorations, camping and skiing gear on these shelves out in the shed.
If you need shorter, shallower shelves, check out these DIY garage shelves instead! They're perfect for smaller bins that you need more regular access to. I made three different versions to fit along the walls of our furnace room off the garage!
Over the summer, people started to miss the office air conditioning when they were working from home. If you don't have central A/C and your windows crank out, you might think you're out of luck. A regular window unit won't work, and portable units will leave huge gaps around the vent for bugs to come in.
Our upstairs bedrooms get unbearably hot in the summer, and I was determined to make our portable A/C work in our casement windows. I found three solutions that looked promising, and this inexpensive window seal was exactly what we needed to keep those rooms cool!
I've had this chunk of live edge spalted maple sitting in the workshop for ages, just waiting for the right project. It was a little too narrow for a piece of furniture, but it was perfect for these floating shelves! You can take any piece of wood and turn it into a shelf with the help of these simple brackets.
Pea gravel patios are an easy and cost-effective way to create an outdoor living space in your backyard! This tutorial shows you how to make one properly so you can keep the rocks where they belong and prevent weeds from growing through it!
Outdoor living was the only way to socialize while staying safe in 2020! This list of backyard ideas was super popular this year, and for good reason! It has everything from DIY outdoor furniture to gardening ideas, and fun things for the kids.
Year after year, this is my most popular post! I never thought putting sticky paper on my countertop would be such a hit, but it's a great option for renters or as a temporary solution while you save up for a full kitchen remodel.
In the coming year, I'm finally going to start renovating our kitchen (by MYSELF!) It'll be a gradual process, since I'm going to build the cabinets from scratch, but it'll totally be worth it! We cooked a LOT more in 2020, and there are a lot of small changes that will make a big difference in how we use the new kitchen.