There are lots of do-it-yourself projects that won’t break the bank but that will make your life as a student a little easier and even a little more fun. If you are itching for a creative project, or are just looking for ways to update your apartment, these projects are for you.
Build a Bookcase for Maximum Organisation
As a student, you can’t have enough organisation space for textbooks, CDs and movies, so why not build your own, custom bookcase? Building a bookcase is as simple as using a plank of wood for the back and then adding boards for the sides and shelves.
If you don’t want to build an entire bookcase, you can install some shelves on your walls. Use boards to create your own shelving system, or use things like crates or drawers to create different shelves that double as conversation pieces.
Use a drill to quickly assemble the pieces, and then paint the shelves any colour you want or get creative and paint accents like geometric shapes, words or flowers on the bookcase. The beauty of doing this yourself is that the end result will be custom designed for your needs.
(Hire a drill easily by visiting HSS Hire’s Drills Page: www.hss.com/c/1014417/Drills.html)
Give a Piece of Furniture New Personality
Another fun project that also gives you more storage space and adds an element of design to your apartment is to give an old piece of furniture new personality. Either redo a piece you already have or pick up a fun, retro piece at a thrift shop.
Then, use a random orbital sander to remove old paint or stain and smooth out any imperfections. Repaint the piece to give it a modern, fun look. Bright colours and retro patterns will add a bold statement to your apartment. Then, use a screwdriver set to install new hardware to update the piece of furniture.
If you want, you can even transform something old into something new. For example, with a few updates an old sewing machine table or typewriter table can become a nightstand. Or, with the drawers removed a dresser can become an entertainment centre with room for a DVD player and movies. Get creative and make an old piece of furniture work for you.
Design and Build Your Own Headboard
As a student, you may not exactly have the budget for a bedroom set, but you do have a budget to design and build your own headboard. There are so many ways you can make a custom headboard that fits your personality and the style in your apartment, and this project is fun and easy.
You can create an upholstered headboard with a piece of plywood, cut with a circular saw into any shape you want. Cover it in foam and finish it with a fun piece of fabric. Or, you can use slats of wood, or a single piece of wood, to form the headboard and then finish it with a stain or coat of paint.
Refinish a Desk Lamp and Shade
For a smaller project, refinish that old lamp and turn it into something glitzy and unique. A dressed up lamp is the perfect accessory for your desk, end table, bookcase or virtually anywhere else.
Start with a working lamp and remove the lampshade. Then, refinish the base with spray paint or by attaching things like twine, buttons, ribbon, twigs, faux gemstones or anything else. You can reuse the original lap shade, adding ribbon, lace or fringe or you can replace it with a brand new one.
Paint a Custom Art Piece
What if you could decorate your walls with custom pieces of art? Well, with some canvasses and paint you can! Even if you don’t consider yourself an artist, you can pull off this DIY project in just a few hours
If you are feeling creative, you can paint traditional or modern pieces from scratch. But, if you are looking for something a little easier, you can use painter’s tape or stencils. Use tape to create a pattern or geometric design, paint the canvas and when it is dry, remove the paint. Or, you can use stencils to create more intricate designs.
This project can take on a life of its own if you do several pieces and arrange them on a wall as a set to create a focal point. Or, you can make a major statement by covering an entire wall with custom pieces that all have the same theme and complement each other.
Make Tin-Can Lanterns
Start saving tin cans! With a hammer and nail you can punch holes into cans, in any pattern you want, and transform them into lanterns for candles. Create patterns, random polka dots, shapes, letters or anything you want to decorate a single lantern or a set of lanterns that go together.
These are perfect lined up in the centre of a table, in a windowsill or around the outside of your apartment during a party. You can mix and match several different sizes of cans for a collected look and scatter dozens of them throughout a room or outdoor area for some extra decor and ambience.
Create a Bottle Centrepiece
Another simple project that can add some interest to a table during a party is to paint some bottles bright colours and use them as vases for flowers. Use a variety of shapes and sizes and choose three to four colours of paint to tie the bottles together. Then, add a few buds to each bottle and arrange them together as a centrepiece.
Even on a student’s budget, you can take on some DIY projects to transform your apartment into something unique. Let your creativity take over and use some hand tools, paints and found items to create a work of art.
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