Although Scandinavian design is known for its simplicity and functionality, it also welcomes a personal touch. Scandinavian lifestyle concepts, such as hygge and lagom, emphasize the importance of tailoring your space to your personality, adjusting your surroundings to reflect what matters to you.
There are few more satisfying pastimes than being engrossed in a DIY project; whether alone or with others, DIY allows you to get away from screens and engage mindfully with what’s in front of you. Not only that but DIY allows you to breathe new life into your home—a space that’s become more important than ever in the past year. Here we’ve rounded up 10 of our favorite DIY projects. All can be completed in one day (or less!), so break out your toolbox and get to work creating distinct, personalized Scandinavian items for your home.
Transform Harsh Bulbs into Danish-Style Ambient Lighting
Danes are famed for their creative use of lighting to emulate the soft glow of candlelight or a flickering fireplace. Create Nordic-style tube lighting at home, using just a cardboard tube and black paint. For a DIY that looks high-end—without the luxury price tag—dress up your pendant lamps in handcrafted shades using only a bag of concrete and plastic bottles. Or combine two of Danes’ favorite things—soft lighting and wooly jumpers—and glue an old sweater onto a plain white lampshade. If you really want to go all-out on the Scandi aesthetic, try making a wooden lamp using a sauna bucket!
Make (or Mold) Candles for That Hygge Vibe
This twisted candle DIY couldn’t be simpler: soak candles in warm water for 20 minutes, press flat with a rolling pin, then twist into your desired shape. For a more involved DIY, make your own candles using paraffin, soy wax or beeswax. Beeswax wrap candles are the simplest and safest to make—even kids can get involved. To make container candles, heat some wax in an old pan, press the wick into your chosen container and pour. Never pour excess wax down the sink—wipe it off with kitchen towel or old newspaper, then throw it in the trash (or use the waxy paper as fire starters!).
Up-Cycle Plastic Waste to Make Wall Pocket Organizers
Sustainability is one of the hottest concepts in Scandinavian design right now—get in on the trend by up-cycling plastic bottles to make wall pockets. Paint them white or grey for that minimalist look, and bring them into the bedroom to house the book you’re currently reading before bed, your phone or your reading glasses. Their simple, functional look works seamlessly with our European linen duvet covers, solid colors, or prints.
Display Your Plant Cuttings in a Test-Tube Installation
Scandinavian living is all about getting out into nature—and sometimes bringing it inside, too. Ditch the unwieldy propagation bed and instead display your plant nursery in test tubes for a fun, interactive feature wall that goes perfectly with our organic linen duvet covers. If you’d rather not use a whole wall, create a wooden test-tube rack or simply hang them—they’re perfect for displaying cut flowers and a great complement to our nature-inspired Porse or Agern Scandinavian duvet covers.
Whip Up a Wooden Coffee Table
Woodwork needn’t be laborious—in fact, Scandinavian design’s simplicity makes it ideal for a first woodworking project. Put together a side table for your morning coffee, or try any of the other hundreds of DIY coffee table tutorials online. Keep it Scandinavian by sticking to light woods such as beech, ash or pine, and avoiding florid embellishments.
Show Off Jewelry and Mementos On a Miniature Display Column
Display columns are used in museums to showcase sculptures or priceless artefacts. Make your own at home to display what’s important to you, giving it a handmade Scandi look by using delicate white plaster. Make columns in different widths and heights for jewelry, souvenirs and ornaments.
Turn Ordinary Pots and Cups Into Extraordinary Ceramics
Danes have a reputation for high-quality ceramics that dates all the way back to Thorvald Bindesbøll and the Flora Danica. You don’t need to be a sculptor to have beautiful ceramics in your home, though—just white mugs and porcelain paint. Terracotta paint, too, is a great way to transform dated ceramics into something chic. If you’d like to create your own, buy some air-dry clay and get sculpting! Be aware that air-dry clay isn’t waterproof, so you can’t use it for outdoor pots or drinking vessels.
Create a Minimalist Clock
Cheap to buy, yet endlessly versatile, a clock mechanism can be added to all manner of ordinary household objects to turn them into a unique design feature. A chopping board becomes an ultra-minimalist clock, as does a cork board or even a bicycle wheel—if you can drill a hole in it, you can make a clock out of it.
Get Inspired with a DIY Mood Board
Once made, a mood board will provide endless inspiration, and may even be the jumping-off point for your next DIY project! Use steel mesh from the garden store to make an industrial-style board in 30 minutes—go for black or white coated mesh to get that sleek Scandinavian feel. If you’re after something more organic-looking, grab some wood, nails and string and put together a clothes-peg mood board in just 15 minutes. If you want to make a bigger project of it, craft a wooden pegboard for your clothes and accessories.
Get Handy with String and Thread
Embroidery is a common feature in Scandinavian homes, seen on everything from napkins to Danish bedding. Linen is a great choice for embroidery fabric—you could even stitch your design onto one of our European linen swatches! If needlework feels too fiddly, go bigger—blurring the line between Scandi and boho, this knotted macrame trivet is an easy DIY that you can make in a couple of hours. Finally, for that cozy hygge feeling, there’s always knitting. Arm-knitting is a fun, tactile take on this traditional practice—it’s like regular knitting, but super-sized and much faster.