Decorating feels like a chore for some people. After all, you may find the furnishings available in most stores to be a bit pricey, not suited to your personal taste, or even unable to fit the needs of your space. But you don’t have to resign yourself to the average home decor department. If you don’t mind setting a bit of time aside, and if you’re at all “crafty,” these DIY home decorating projects will inspire you to liven up your apartment with nothing but your own creative touch.
Bookshelves are somewhat cumbersome and often overflowing with a lot more than just books. We’re used to displaying so many of our prized possessions on shelves in our homes that things can’t help but get a little crazy.
A great DIY solution to this issue might be to buy a pegboard, on which multiple shelves can be attached (note that you can find standalone wall shelves sold without a pegboard, too). That way the space will remain open, and you can neatly arrange your things using as many shelves as you want.
Another way to cheaply save space while still having an attractive shelving unit is to create your own version of a bathroom linen closet. Simply buy or make a few square wooden boxes (baskets also work) and hang them on the wall, instantly creating space for towels to be folded and stored. Use your judgment as to what stylistic elements look best with your overall decor, and there’s no way you can go wrong.
Key or Coat Rack
It’s easy to misplace your keys, which inevitably leads to many a frenzied search throughout the apartment just as you’re trying to get out the door. Luckily, this is all super preventable — so long as you have own stylish key rack, of course. You can easily get a wooden slab from the craft section, drill a few holes in it for however many sets of keys you have, and then screw some hooks into it. Voila! A key rack that’s much cheaper than a store-bought one, and one that didn’t take more than ten minutes to construct.
You can further personalize your key rack by painting the wooden slab with whatever words, images, or designs you want. On the subject of keys: try painting each key in a different color, which can help you keep track of where exactly they’re all meant to go!
These same steps can also be followed to make your own coat or hat rack. Just buy a larger piece of wood and some sturdier, larger hooks.
Vases and Candle Holders
Before you splurge on store-bought vases and candle holders, head to your local arts and crafts store. Chances are you can make some that are just as nice for half the price. You can either buy plain glass containers in whatever size you need for flowers, candles, etc., or just repurpose old glass bottles, depending on what you have on hand.
While you’re at it, pick up some paints, tissue paper in various colors, and modge podge, which acts as a sealant and adds a nice shine to the finished product. Paint the containers themselves, if you wish, or break up bits of the tissue paper and glue them to their surfaces for a “stained glass” effect that’s especially dramatic when a candle is placed inside. Add a thin coat of modge podge on top, and you’ll be all done.
Why limit yourself to the boring lampshades found in stores? If you have an existing lamp that you’d like to update, consider some less expensive options before you go out and buy a new one. For instance, you can glue wallpaper, or even decorative wrapping paper, onto your old lampshade to give it an entirely new look.
This can also be accomplished with pieces of fabric in whatever color or pattern you like best. Even old silk scarves that you hardly wear anymore can be upcycled to serve this purpose. Another idea is to continually wrap some yarn around the lampshade until it’s completely covered.
The next time you need a place to put your drink, consider making your own coasters with some cork (cardboard can also work), glue, and pieces of felt or another sturdy fabric. Cut the cork into whatever shape you want, then measure and cut your felt or fabric accordingly. Glue it onto the cork, and presto: you’ve got yourself a brand new decor piece.
You don’t have to buy expensive art to display on your walls, so why not just make your own? After all, there are so many ways to add life to an empty wall. One nifty idea is a yarn wall hanging. Depending on your crocheting skill level, you can get as elaborate or minimalistic as you want with this. You can either go the simplest route and knot different-colored yarn onto a metal frame or ring, leaving the fringe to hang, or crochet the yarn into a woven wall decoration using yarn threads of your choosing.
If you’re really in an artistic mood, you can also buy a pad of some plain Bristol paper (sturdy and suited for a range of media) and sketch out your own art in colored pencil, watercolor, or marker. Once you’re done drawing, you can either display it in a store-bought frame or create a simple wooden slat frame yourself.
To do this, you’ll need four long, rectangular pieces of wood to attach in pairs to the top and bottom of the Bristol paper. Drill two holes into the top pair to allow twine to run through it for future hanging. Then insert the drawing itself in between the two pairs, sealing it with some strong glue as you go. Hang these anywhere in your home to give it a truly personal feel.
You can also use markers or paint pens to draw on ceramic or porcelain plates. These plates can then be glued onto a picture hanger and hung up for yet another interesting wall decoration.
With just a little ingenuity and a healthy dose of determination, you can complete these unique, budget-friendly DIY decorating projects in very little time. All of them are as functional as they are stylish, and all of them are sure to wow your friends and family.