It’s been said time and time again that human beings have trouble relaxing without the presence of nature in their homes. Whenever we have a creative block or feel frustrated, we’re advised to go outside and take a walk. Why? Because nature is cathartic. It helps us focus and think about the bigger picture, often inspiring us to both feel and do better. By placing elements of the outdoors inside our homes, we harness that inspiration and maintain healthy, happy living spaces for ourselves.

Wanting to do something more than just stick a cactus in the corner or hang a few baskets from your balcony? You’ve come to the right place. Try out one or all of these DIY hacks to bring your humble abode a little closer to the natural world.

Wall Hangings and Dreamcatchers

A DIY dreamcatcher hanging on a wall.

Whenever I go down to the beach or lakeside, I always seem to find myself collecting shells, bits of driftwood, and uniquely shaped rocks that might look cool on my shelf. Once I’ve actually brought them home, however, I’m never sure of what to do with them. If this sounds like you, don’t worry — there are actually a few ways to expertly incorporate these finds into your home. Many crafters have created wall hangings and dreamcatchers using the twine, wood, shells, and stones they find on their walks, hikes, and general travels. Lucky for us, dreamcatcher tutorials have been around since the internet was invented, and a hanging can entail anything from a horizontal branch with weavings coming off of it to more complex geometric patterns made by tying twigs together.

Indoor Hanging Plant Terrarium

Indoor Hanging Plant Terraria

 

You can find these Pinterest favorites in most interior design stores, but where’s the fun in swiping a credit card for a premade plastic version when you can just source your own DIY kit and have a ball designing it yourself with real plants? Get your hands on a hanging glass bauble or jar and get creative with the arrangement. Common layouts see antique cacti-containing mason jars bolted to driftwood planks and baubles hanging from the ceiling with colored twine or ropes engulfing them like baskets. You can also work small stones, gravel, and potting mix into the containers to create a bedded terrain for your little buds to sit on and help with the drainage of water.

Plant your small shrubs or cacti into the potting mix, water them, and watch them grow. For added visual interest, layer in some precious stones or colored shrubs. Before you know it, you’ll have created a mini fairy garden for your living space.

Air Fresheners and Reed Diffusers

DIY Reed Diffuser

Love the smell of freshly-cut grass, spring meadows, flowers, and damp tree bark after it rains? Why not craft yourself some scented air freshener bags or a natural reed diffuser for your bathroom? To make the bags, you’ll have to upcycle a few clothing scraps, stitch them into little sachets, and fill them up with your favorite herbs. Muslin, organza, and cheesecloth are popular choices for fabrics here, while lavender, rose petals, chamomile, mint, sage, and rosemary all make for delightful indoor smells.

If you’re more interested in making a reed diffuser, just find a small glass bottle or jar (you especially want it to have a small opening at the top) and pour in some carrier oil (safflower oil is ideal) and an essential oil of your choice. Then place either bamboo skewers or rattan reeds into the container and swirl them around to unleash delicious aromas. Potpourri can also be easily made if you have some petals, fruit, and an oven on hand.

Carpentry Projects

A coffee tabel made from "natural" wood, with a vase of flowers and small ceramic bird visible on top.

Found some old pine lying around in a friend’s garage? As long as you’ve got the tools, you don’t necessarily need the know-how. You can easily YouTube a step-by-step guide on how to create furniture using wood that would have otherwise ended up as compost. It’s super eco-friendly, and it looks amazing when placed in a home in the form of a coffee table or grand dining set. A lot of natural wood still has its weather indentations and growth marks from when it was a tree, too, so be sure to play those up to create some very unique points of interest in your house!