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20 DIY Apartment Decorating Ideas That Won’t Break The Bank

by Leanne Arnold on February 15, 2014  in Category_How To...Category_Wall Decals

Whether you’re moving into a new place or you’re getting bored with your current digs, decorating can be a great way to liven up your home and make it your own. However, fancy furniture and décor can be too expensive for the average budget. Still, with some creative ideas and some DIY projects, you can dress up your apartment for pennies. Check out these DIY apartment decorating ideas for some inspiration for your apartment.

1. Get Thrifty

Purchasing furniture brand new is often out of reach for many budgets; however, there are many places you can find used or vintage furniture that will look amazing in your apartment. Check out garage sales or check out websites like Craig’s List to find people selling off pieces at low cost. Flea markets can also be a great place to find eclectic décor pieces that will add a unique flare to your apartment.

2. Break out the Paint

Need chairs for your table but can’t afford a complete set? Go ahead and buy mix and matched chairs and then tie them together with some paint. Pick a bright shade of paint and coat those chairs. The color will make the look cohesive while the different styles will add visual interest.


3. Keep Your Paint Chips

Anytime you paint something, keep those paint chips! Used creatively, paint chips can be a work of art all by themselves. Adhere your paint chips to a canvas in a rainbow pattern, and just like that, you have a brilliant piece of art for your walls.


4. Dress Up Your Glass

Turning everyday items into decorative pieces is the key to cheap DIY art, and anything made of glass has lots of potential for becoming décor. Keep your glass bottles and old jars for creating centerpieces, candle holders, and flower vases. Pouring some craft paint into the glass can paint the inside and bring brightness and color to any room.


5. Don’t Just Hang Art

Even if you aren’t allowed to make any holes in the walls, you can still display your pieces of art. Do you have a beautiful canvas? Set the canvas on a table or on the top of a bookcase and lean it against the wall. This method of displaying art has a chill, relaxed vibe with the added bonus of not needing to purchase a frame.


6. Turn Old Items into New

Decorating on a budget takes a creative eye and innovative ideas, especially when it comes to recycling your old belongings. Before you through something away, take a moment to brainstorm what you could transform the piece into. One of the best items to recycle? Old ladders can become beautiful shelving units with a little paint and some simple boards placed between the steps.


7. Recycle Your T-Shirts

T-shirts are another belonging that we are constantly throwing out, but t-shirts are great material for DIY projects. Check out a weaving tutorial to turn your old t-shirts into colorful kitchen rugs to dress up your eating area.


8. Invest in Some Chalkboard Paint

Chalkboard paint is the newest fad in DIY projects, and for good reason: it’s one of the easiest ways to turn everyday items into your favorite decorations. Do you have some plain flower pots? Dress up the pots with some chalkboard paint and then add your own designs. The best part is that you can change it whenever you want.


9. Go Green

With only seeds, dirt, and water, you can add some bright colors to your space. Flowers and plants can bring new life to a space, and you can add even more to their decorative power with some creative containers. Use some glass bowls for a transparent view of the growing action or some old tins for a rustic look.


10. Break Away from the Traditional

DIY decorating means thinking outside the box in areas as simple as a magazine rack. Instead of cluttering up your coffee table or purchasing a traditional magazine rack, try building or recycling a wooden frame and run some string across it. Draping your magazines across the strings will create a simplistic but hip look.


11. Visit the Dollar Store

Dollar stores are for more than just cheap soap and toys, and they can be a great place for those who are decorating on a budget. Dollar stores often have inexpensive options for glass vases, cups, storage bins, and even canvases. Go ahead and go crazy.


12. Make a Collage

Many of us have a variety of favorite memorabilia tucked in our closets. Instead of storing those memory-filled items out-of-sight, display them on your walls in a collage. Combine a variety of items, posters, pictures, magazine covers, tickets, art, and mirrors, and bring them together with geometric placing or similar colored frames.


13. Wheel in the Cocktail Cart

Cocktail carts don’t seem like a necessity, but these small, wheeled carts can add some extra storage space to even the smallest apartments, and they can serve as a stylish beverage serving space when you’re entertaining.


14. Dress up the Walls

For those who can’t paint the plain walls of their apartment, there are still some ways to add some color and style to your walls. Wall decals can be perfect for an apartment space as they are easy to apply and easy to remove. You can even custom design your decal to fit with your other DIY décor.


15. Create 3-D Art

For those of us who aren’t painters, canvas art can seem like a nice, unattainable idea, but there are some ideas that even non-artists can do. Use a cheap canvas or a construct a wood frame yourself and wrap it in brightly patterned fabric. Go one step further and sew on buttons to spell out your name or an inspirational message.

16. Fill Your Empty Frames

If you have some frames, but no pictures, your frames are far from useless. Recycle the beautiful wrapping paper that covered your favorite gift for your birthday and preserve it in your frame. It’s a shame to throw such pretty paper away, isn’t it?


17. Add Some Curtains

Windows have so much potential for changing a space, so don’t leave them plain and undressed. While curtains can be expensive to buy, you can find instructions for DIY curtains online, even if you don’t sew. A little hem tape and some punch grommets and your windows can wear some fancy curtains for a low cost.


18. Display Your Dishes

For the renters who aren’t allowed to paint the walls, adding some color can be as simple as displaying your dish set. The lovely colors and patterns of your dishes are wasted when hidden in a cupboard. Instead, store them on an open shelf and let their color add some spice to your kitchen.


19. Repurpose a Bookshelf

Bookshelves are great at their primary purpose, but they can also be excellent space dividers. If your apartment has an open floor plan, you can create separate spaces by using bookshelves as walls. Use them to hide your bed or separate the couch from the kitchen, all while still using them to store your books.


20. Visit Your Grocery Store

For those on a budget, food is mainly something you want in your kitchen, but there are many food items that can be repurposed as decorative items. Place your candles in a glass jar and then use your groceries to dress them for the season. Surround the candle with coffee beans in the fall, try some rock salt during the winter, and liven it up with split peas during the spring.