In need of colorful new decor but haven’t pulled the trigger yet because it’s outside your budget? Arm yourself with a staple gun and transform your space in a snap

When someone tells me I can’t do something, it makes me want to do it more. That’s actually how I got into running. My friends and I signed up for the Great Aloha Run, where I planned to alternate walking and running for each mile. A friend remarked that I wasn’t “racing” at all because I couldn’t run the whole thing. I determinedly trained, forcing myself to run a little more at a time each day. When the race came around, I was able to run the entire 8.15 miles. Later that year, I ran my first marathon — also without walking.


Now, I still find motivation in doing things that might otherwise seem unfeasible. One task in particular is reinventing our apartment without spending a lot of money. My savior in this venture: the staple gun. It’s an inexpensive tool that is fairly easy to use, and it can help transform furniture with little cost. If you want to get creative around the house, too, here are four projects you can tackle using the staple gun.

1. Make your “own” art.

Find fabric you love and cover plain canvas from the craft store. Cut the fabric to leave about 2 inches of excess around the perimeter of the canvas, and wrap it around the back. Pull it taut and secure it to the back with masking tape. Staple it down with your gun, then remove the tape and hang it up.


2. Add flair to a chair.

Reupholster dining room chairs with festive fabric. Un-screw the seat from the bottom of the chair. Drape your new fabric over the seat to see if the existing fabric shows through. If it does, remove it. For your new fabric, choose some meant for upholstery that will hold up to extended use. Follow the steps above, cutting the fabric to size leaving some excess to wrap around the seat and taping it around before stapling it down.

3. Texturize shelves.


Cover the top of the shelf completely by wrapping the fabric over the top and underneath. Remember, you don’t have to cover the sides because you won’t be able to see those anyway. Staple the fabric directly onto the shelf, toward the back so the staples aren’t too visible.

4. Decorate your bulletin board.

My friend Jenny taught me this when we worked in a cubicle together, but there’s no reason this same technique won’t work for your at-home board. Simply cover the cork with fabric and staple around the perimeter.

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