Look around your home for supplies you might already have, or make a quick run to the dollar store, with your face mask on, to buy some affordable materials. Many of the supplies needed for these projects can also be bought online and delivered right to your door.
Not sure what to make? Don’t worry! There are so many ways to upgrade things you already have around the house. Most of these DIY projects are pretty simple, but they can have a huge impact. Scroll through this list, pick out a few favorite projects, and get started.
By the time you’re done, your apartment will look like a brand new space. Once you’re able to host dinner parties again, your friends and family are sure to be impressed with your gorgeous home, especially when they find out you did it yourself.
To make it easier for you to find the perfect DIY decoration, we’ve divided our projects into a few categories: plants, kitchen upgrades, storage, crafts, and furniture improvements.
DIY Plant Projects
1. Upcycled Planting Pots
Whether you opt for bright colors or classic monochrome, a painted pot will elevate the space around it.
One of the best ways to decorate an apartment is with the help of some potted plants. Cacti and succulents make great choices for indoor houseplants, since they’re easy to take care of and don’t take up tons of space.
Elevate your space even more by decorating your choice of pot. I recommend terracotta pots for succulents. They ensure quick drainage and are easy to paint. For this project you’ll need a few pots and plants and some acrylic paint and brushes.
Note: it’s easiest to paint the pots before they have plants in them, but you can still carefully paint a pot that has a tenant. Just make sure you don’t tilt it too much and take your time.
Some ideas for painting a pot: thick lines, polka dots, faces, solid colors, and abstract patterns. Colors like gold, white, and black can create a more classy look, while primary colors are fun and bright and pastels can give your home a softer look.
2. Hanging Plants
Not only do hanging pots look great, but they also save space.
Another way to use plants to decorate your apartment is to create a hanging plant. There are several ways to create a hanging plant using macrame techniques. Below is an easy to follow tutorial for an easy hanging plant.
For this project, I recommend plants that don’t need to be water frequently. Air plants are a great choice for this, as well as many succulents. String of pearls and peperomia hope are other great plant options. They have long vine-like branches that will drape over the pot for a beautiful effect.
As I mentioned before, hanging plants are a perfect DIY project for small apartments, since they don’t take up any floor space or shelving space. Instead, they make a room feel bigger and brighter and much more beautiful.
3. Botanical Decorations
No green thumb? No problem. Single flowers or even fake flowers can still make great decorations.
For this next plant-decoration, all you need are some fun containers and individual flowers. If you love nature, like me, you may want to gather wildflowers on your daily walk or buy small bouquets of assorted flowers.
If keeping up with live flowers is too much, you can also use fake flowers for this. Stores like Michaels and Hobby Lobby have some incredibly realistic fake flowers, and smaller boutiques often have beautiful options as well.
For the containers, start by checking out your local thrift shops. The stranger the container the better. You want to find somewhere between five and ten containers. Make sure that no two are the same, and try to find a good variety of height and width. If you aren’t having much luck at thrift shops, you can also find affordable options in dollar stores.
Place one, or maybe two, flowers in each jar, and arrange them on a shelf to create a wide range of texture, height, width, and color. This is a quick, easy-to-do project that will instantly upgrade your apartment and bring a little bit of spring indoors.
4. DIY Vase
Nothing says spring like fresh flowers on the table.
During the spring and summer, fresh flowers are a great way to make your home feel fresher and happier. Of course, for flowers, you need a vase. While it’s not hard to find a clear, glass vase, there are some easy ways to upcycle a plain vase.
One of the easiest ways to upcycle a glass vase is to paint it. Find an acrylic paint that’s marked as suitable to use on glass. Since the flowers are still the star of the show, you don’t want to paint on too many patterns. Stick to solid colors and stripes for a more classic look.
You can also upcycle a glass vase with ribbon and a hot glue gun. Glue the ribbon to the vase, starting at the bottom and slowly working your way up, adding a dab of glue to the ribbon as you go. You can finish by gluing on a bow for an extra cute finish.
Finally, you can create a rustic or nautical vase by glueing manila robe and twisting it up the edges of the vase. You can glue on seashells if you want to create a seaside-inspired look.
5. Wooden Flower Box
This DIY project is more involved but well worth the effort.
Wood palettes are a favorite for many DIY enthusiasts, and for good reason! Palettes are affordable and easy to find. The wood is easy to work with and can be adapted to hundreds of unique projects.
Home depot has an easy-to-follow tutorial for creating a wooden planter box. However, don’t feel stuck to this tutorial. As with any project, creativity is key.
Make sure to paint the wood for a personalized affect. Also, as you can see in the picture above, you can add some special touches by adding drawer-knobs or creating layers of texture.
Finish off the project by making sure you have good drainage, adding soil, and planting your favorite flowers. These boxes will go great on a balcony or porch, or they can even hold flowers indoors if you don’t have any outdoor space in your apartment.
DIY Kitchen Projects
6. Mug Storage
Mugs are useful, but they can also be used as part of the decorations.
If you’re anything like me, you have at least a few special mugs. They may be pretty, or sentimental, or funny. No matter what kind of mugs you collect, storing them in a cupboard can be tricky. Mugs take up a lot of room! Plus, when they’re all squished on a shelf, it can be hard to find your favorite.
Instead, consider displaying your mugs on hooks on the kitchen wall. There are, of course, several mug stands and racks you can buy, but it’s also a great DIY project!
You’ll need a strip of wood, several hooks, and screws. Attach the hooks to the wood and attach the wood to the wall. You can have a line of mugs, a couple rows, or you can get a little more creative. You can try installing a curved rack like the one in the picture, or install vertical lines of mugs.
Not only is this project useful, it will also make your kitchen feel more personalized. I love decorations that work double duty!
7. Painted Glass
You can spruce up your wine glasses with paint or by glueing on ribbons and bows.
If you have some paint lying around from one of the other projects on this list, consider upgrading your wine glasses. There are several acrylic paints that work well on glass.
You can use wine glasses that you already have or find a collection of glasses from thrift shops. For this project, it’s better to have a variety of glasses. The more eclectic the better.
Consider creating a fun set of holiday glasses for special occasions, or you can personalize each glass for a member of the family. Paint on your names, funny sayings, flowers, or any other design you can think of.
Painted glasses make great decorations, but they can also be fantastic gifts. They’re useful, classy, and show that you put in time and effort to make something beautiful!
8. Coffee Cart
Turn everyday items into a form of art.
Apartment decoration, especially in small apartments, is all about doubling up. Can an item have two uses? Can your decoration be gorgeous and useful?
For me and my husband, coffee is an essential part of the day. Because of that, we have a lot of coffee equipment and supplies. We decided to make a dedicated coffee cart where we could display our tools and our locally roasted beans.
Depending on the equipment you have, your “coffee cart” might just be a shelf on the wall. It could also be set up in a hutch, on an end table, or even on a dresser. Display your prettiest objects and use drawers or baskets to hide the less aesthetic supplies.
I recommend using natural wood or white paint to decorate your coffee cart. The simpler the better, since a minimalistic look will bring back memories of all your favorite coffee shops.
9. Tiered Tray
Perfect for a tea party or useful for storing pretty items, a tiered tray is a great craft.
Another decoration project that serves double purpose is a tiered tray. Tiered trays may seem like a luxury reserved for high tea, but it’s actually a super useful decoration to have around and surprisingly easy to make!
You can make a tiered tray out of supplies from a dollar store. All you need is platters and dowels. Cut the dowels to the adequate length and glue to the top of one platter and bottom of the other. Use your second dowel to do the same thing and create your second layer.
This can be used to store jewelry, serve food, organize that junk drawer, hold plants, and more. Add some paint or glue on fake flowers for a perfect apartment decoration.
10. Upcycled Candle Jars
Candles are a decoration that just keep giving!
Decorating an apartment with candles can be a great way to elevate any space. They smell nice, create a nice ambiance, and are useful even when the wax is used up!
Cleaning out the candles is easier than you might think. Freezing the wax makes it easier to pop out the leftover bits of candle, and you can soak the container in hot water to loosen up any remaining wax and soot.
Use candle containers to store snacks, beauty supplies, and office supplies. There are a lot of great ideas for how to reuse these pretty glass containers long after the candle has blown out.
DIY Storage Projects
11. DIY Shelves
Think shelves are beyond your DIY skills? Think again.
Shelves are an easy way to start building your DIY building skills. Shelves are fairly easy to install, and they’re so useful! While it’s easy to find premade shelves, I suggest making your own to really personalize it and make a shelf that fits your exact needs.
Really, all you need to make a shelf is a plank of wood, shelf brackets, and screws. The plank is where you get to let your creativity shine. Will you paint the wood, leave it natural? Add stain to the unfinished wood?
If you don’t want a traditional shelf, invisible shelves are also a really cool option for decorating your apartment. DIY Pete has a great video detailing one way to make an invisible, or floating, shelf.
12. Rustic Ladder for Throw Blankets
Storage and decoration in one, blanket ladders are hugely popular for good reason.
While it may seem easy enough to throw all your blankets over the back of the couch, a DIY ladder can make your living room look cleaner.
You’ll need nice wood for this project. If you live in a wooded area, setting out to find the perfect branches could be a fun start to your crafting. Otherwise, you should be able to find some wood at your local hardware store.
You want to sand the wood down enough to avoid splinters, but make sure you keep your ladder rustic. This look won’t be the same with perfectly smooth and even poles.
13. Crate Bookcase
Crates are an excellent choice in decoration for any apartment.
If you can find crates, you have several options for how to turn them into decorative storage. One way, pictured above, is to fasten them to the wall and create some more shelving space.
If you don’t want to go through the trouble of hanging them on the wall, you could also create a crate bookshelf that sits on the floor. Stack some crates together and secure them. Fill them with books, movies, or games, and admire your handiwork.
Crates can also be used as baskets to hold toys, magazines, blankets. Just sand off the edges and apply a layer of varnish to avoid splinters. You can attach drawer knobs as handles to make these crate-baskets even more personalized.
14. Hanging Shelf
Hanging shelves can make your apartment feel like the trendiest spot in town.
To make your own hanging shelf, you’ll need wood planks and strong rope. Or, you can follow this youtube tutorial to see how to make a hanging shelf using only dollar store materials.
No matter how you decide to make your shelf, it’ll be the perfect apartment decoration. You can use the shelf to store plants, as shown above, to store your coffee supplies, or just to display your favorite knicknacks.
One thing to note, take some time deciding on the best location for your hanging shelf. You don’t want it somewhere where it might get bumped or moved.
15. Key Hooks
Sick of losing your keys? When they’re part of the decoration they’ll always have a place.
If you’re one of those people who often find yourself chasing after keys, making a decorative hook could be the solution.
Of course there are a lot of ways to create a key-hook. You could install a simple hook or attach several hooks to a decorated board. One of my favorite DIY key storage ideas is to put your hooks inside of a picture frame.
The frame will make your boring keys look like a masterpiece, and they’ll always be right where you need them.
16. Shower Curtain Closet Organization
A shower curtain rod and curtain hooks can be the closet hack you’ve always needed.
While most closets already come with some kind of bar for hanging clothes, these don’t always do the trick. While shirts and dresses work well on a hanger, things like purses and scarves don’t always conform.
To solve this problem, all you need are shower curtain rings. You can attach them to the bar and use them to display hard-to-hang items. Place the strap of a bag through the wing, or tie a scarf around it.
Suddenly you’ll be able to find everything more easily, and can clear up some of the clutter that might be taking up space on shelves or even on the floor.
DIY Craft Projects
17. Upcycled Shirt to Pillow
Making a pillow is a great way to save a favorite t-shirt that no longer fits.
If you still have your favorite t-shirt from high school for sentimental reasons, here’s a great way to make that old t-shirt a little more useful. Whether the shirt is too big, too small, has stained armpits, or is starting to show some holes, it can be saved with this easy project.
Lay your t-shirt out flat and cut in a straight line from the bottom of the armpits across. Or, if you want a square pillow, you can measure up from the bottom of the shirt to determine where you’ll need to make your cut.
Sew inside out, leaving a small space. Flip right side out, stuff with cotton, and then sew the hole closed. Voila! Easiest pillow ever. And you get to keep that shirt you love.
Embroidery looks complicated and impressive, but it isn’t hard to learn.
If you’re new to embroidery, you can find several beginner kits that come with all the supplies you’ll need and easy-to-follow patterns.
Embroidery can make a pretty wall hanging, or you could sew your embroidered cloth into a pillow. It also makes a great gift if you want to show off your crafting skills.
Try to find patterns that match the color scheme of your apartment, since the finished product is sure to be an eye-grabbing piece of art in your home. Here’s a detailed guide with some beginner tips if you’re having a hard time getting started.
19. Weaving Projects
A beautiful woven piece will be even more special if you made it yourself.
Woven artwork is incredibly popular right now, but did you know you can try weaving yourself? You’ll need a loom and some high quality yarn in your favorite colors. Or, if you really want to dig deep in DIY, you can start by making your own loom.
As with embroidery, your woven artwork can be a centerpiece of your apartment or an excellent gift. A word of advice: start simple and work your way up to some more complicated designs.
20. Chalkboard Globe
Make the world your canvas with just a bit of chalkboard paint.
You may have already discovered chalkboard paint. If so, you’ll know why it’s one of my favorite DIY materials. Chalkboard paint is such a fun way to make your home more interactive. One way to incorporate chalkboard paint into your decorations is to make a chalkboard globe.
You’ll need a globe, but since you’ll be adding your own touches, it doesn’t have to be an especially nice one. You’ll also need chalkboard paint, of course, and I recommend some gold paint as well for the base of the globe. Black and gold just looks so classy, don’t you think?
Though you could separate the globe from it’s stand, I found it easier to paint while still attached, so I didn’t need to worry about resting the wet paint anywhere.
When you’re finished, you can write notes, inspirational quotes, or even try your hand at drawing some of the countries of the world!
21. Paper Flower Garland
Imagine decorating your home with flowers, but knowing they’ll last more than a few days!
In case you haven’t guessed from the number of suggested projects that have to do with plants, I love nature. For me, a well-decorated apartment is one that’s filled with cacti and flowers. That’s why I loved the idea of decorating with paper flowers.
Hey Let’s Make Stuff has some different tutorials for making the paper flowers. Once you’ve got your flowers made, you can secure them directly to the wall, as shown in the picture above. You can also attach them to string to make a flower garland.
Paper flowers are easy and fast to make, but they can work for so many decorations. Put them in your painted vase or drape them over a window. You can also make several strands of paper flowers for a beautiful wall hanging or door curtain.
DIY Furniture Projects
22. Reading Nook
Just a bit of DIY can make an ordinary space into a magical reading nook.
If you love reading as much as I do, you’ll know that it does make a difference where you read. Picking up a book in bed at night is nice, but it’s nothing like curling up in a dedicated reading nook with a warm mug of tea and a fuzzy blanket.
If you have a large enough window, this is a great spot for a reading nook. Make a simple wooden bench or sew a cushion to place over a wooden chest.
Add blankets and pillows made from old t-shirts or hand-embroidered. Include plenty of blankets and make a simple side table to hold your books and tea.
23. Pallet Bed Frame
Your bedroom can be just as unique and personal as the rest of your home. A palette bed frame can be the starting point.
Palettes are an awesome choice of material for many DIY projects. If you have access to enough palettes, you can make a unique bed frame like the one pictured.
There are several ways to make a palette bed, many of which give you the option to include under-bed storage or shelving space.
This bed frame fits especially well into bedrooms that have a minimalistic or natural theme. Balance out the look of the rough wood with macrame and plenty of plants.
24. Upcycled Rug
A rug can make a room feel bigger, warmer, and quieter.
If you live in an apartment, you may already know that a rug can be the missing piece in pulling together a room. There are tricks for using rugs to make a room feel bigger, smaller, and cozier.
However, you might also know that rugs can be quite pricey. If you want a uniquely decorated rug for your apartment, why not make it yourself? You can make a rug with latch hooking, copper piping, or braiding.
You can also buy a cheap and simple rug and paint a design on it yourself. You can even consider dying a pre-purchased rug.
25. Upcycled Chair
Even just adding a cushion to your chairs can elevate the look and comfort level.
While making your own chair can be quite complicated and intimidating, it’s a lot easier than you might think to fix up an old chair. Keep an eye out for chairs on thrift shops or online marketplaces.
You can repurpose old chairs by sanding and painting, adding a new layer of varnish, or recovering old cushions. Cushions are the quickest way to make an old chair look new with barely any effort on your part.
Now that you have some ideas, it’s time to get started. Which DIY projects will you attempt today? Choose a few and transform your apartment on the cheap. You’ll be amazed how quickly a few simple crafts can improve your space.