8 Easy Budget Friendly DIY Hacks to Transform Your Apartment

Kaite Clinton

A cozy apartment living room with repurposed wooden crates used as afeat

Decorating your apartment can be an exciting journey, but it often comes with a price tag that can be daunting, especially for those on a tight budget. However, the good news is that you don’t need to spend a fortune to create a beautiful and personalized living space. In fact, with the right DIY approach, you can transform your apartment into a cozy and inviting haven without breaking the bank.

Throughout this article, we’ll explore eight easy DIY hacks to help you breathe new life into your apartment without draining your wallet. From repurposing everyday items into unique decor pieces to maximizing the potential of small spaces, these tips and tricks will empower you to express your creativity and create a home that truly reflects your style.

So, whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or a beginner looking to dip your toes into budget-friendly home improvement, get ready to be inspired and prepared to roll up your sleeves. Let’s dive in and discover how you can turn your apartment into a masterpiece on a shoestring budget!

Repurpose Everyday Items

One of the best ways to add personality to your living space without spending much money is by repurposing everyday household items. You can create a stylish and sustainable environment that reflects your style by transforming common objects into unique and functional decor pieces.

The beauty of repurposing lies in its affordability. Instead of purchasing expensive decor items from stores, you can use items you already have at home, giving them a new lease on life. Not only does this save you money, but it also helps reduce waste by giving new life to objects that might otherwise end up in landfills.

So, what kind of everyday items can you repurpose for your apartment? The possibilities are endless! Mason jars, for instance, can be transformed into vases, planters, or even stylish storage solutions. Wine bottles, on the other hand, can easily be turned into candle holders or unique vases. And old books? When covered with fabric or paper, they can be decorative boxes, shelves, or picture frames.

Budgetfriendly and serene apartment living room

Consider using materials you already have at home to make your repurposing projects even more budget-friendly. For example, try using chalkboard paint instead of buying paint to revamp furniture or walls. You can also explore free online resources for inspiration and step-by-step tutorials to guide you through the process.

Did you know that the average American household contains over 300,000 items? Many of these objects can be repurposed for decor, reducing clutter and adding character to your space. Moreover, repurposing promotes sustainability by diverting waste from landfills and conserving natural resources.

Repurposing everyday items is a creative and cost-effective way to decorate your apartment. Simple DIY projects allow you to breathe new life into common household items while promoting sustainability and your unique style.

Maximize Small Spaces

Decorating a small apartment can be a real challenge. Still, with the right approach and some clever DIY hacks, you can transform even the most limited living space into a functional and visually appealing oasis.

One of the biggest hurdles in small apartment decorating is the lack of floor space. However, you can make the most of every square inch by incorporating multi-functional and space-saving furniture designs. Think about pieces like sofa beds, extendable tables, and storage ottomans that serve multiple purposes, providing both seating and storage solutions.

But it’s not just about the furniture – DIY projects can also play a crucial role in maximizing small spaces. For instance, building a custom storage bench or ottoman allows you to tailor the storage options to your specific needs, whether incorporating drawers, cubbies, or a pull-out tray.

DIY cardboard headboard in a small bedroom

Another clever DIY hack is creating wall-mounted shelves. By using vertical space, you can free up valuable floor space while adding extra storage for books, decor items, or even plants. And don’t forget about the creative use of wall space—hanging floating shelves or installing pegboards can provide additional storage without taking up any floor real estate.

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Did you know that the average size of a new apartment in the US has decreased by over 100 square feet since the 1970s? Proper space planning and organization can make a small apartment feel much more spacious, helping to overcome these shrinking living spaces.

By focusing on thoughtful space planning and incorporating creative DIY projects, you can transform even the smallest apartments into a functional and visually appealing living space. Maximizing vertical space and investing in multi-purpose furniture are key strategies to maximize your limited room.

Upgrade Rental-Friendly Decor

Decorating a rental apartment can be a unique challenge, as you often face restrictions on making permanent changes or alterations to the space. However, with the right approach and some creative DIY projects, you can still personalize your living space without violating your lease agreement or risking your security deposit.

One of the most popular rental-friendly decor solutions is temporary wallpaper and peel-and-stick tiles. These products allow you to add color, texture, and pattern to your walls without causing any damage. They are easy to install and, more importantly, remove when it’s time to move out.

Try using removable wallpaper or washi tape to create a stunning accent wall in your rental. Measure the area, choose a design that complements your existing decor, and carefully apply the material, starting from the top corner and working your way down. The result is a transformative feature wall that can be easily removed.

Fairy lights in an apartment dining area

But it’s not just the walls that can be upgraded – you can also transform basic furniture pieces with temporary contact paper or fabric covers. This adds a personal touch and protects the original surfaces from wear and tear. Covering a plain table, chair, or shelving unit allows you to seamlessly blend it into your apartment’s aesthetic without making any permanent changes.

Over 36% of Americans live in rental housing, and many seek creative ways to personalize their space. With the help of rental-friendly DIY projects, you can customize your apartment on a budget and make it feel like a true reflection of your style while adhering to your lease agreement.

Lighting Upgrades on a Budget

Lighting is crucial in creating a warm and inviting atmosphere in your apartment, but it can also be one of the most expensive aspects of home decor. Fortunately, numerous affordable and easy DIY lighting hacks can transform your living space without breaking the bank.

Proper lighting enhances a room’s visual comfort and affects our perception of colors, textures, and patterns. By incorporating the right type and amount of light, you can create a cozy and welcoming environment while highlighting your apartment’s best features.

One budget-friendly DIY lighting project transforms a basic table lamp into a stylish pendant light. With a few simple supplies, such as wire, hooks, and a lampshade, you can easily create a stunning focal point in any room. Additionally, you can breathe new life into a plain ceiling light by adding a handmade paper shade or fabric diffuser, which improves the lighting and softens the harsh glow.

Hanging plant in a bedroom

If you’re looking for even more cost-effective alternatives to expensive lighting fixtures, consider swapping out traditional incandescent bulbs for energy-efficient ones. These can save you up to 75% on energy costs while providing ample illumination. Another budget-friendly option is incorporating string lights, which can add a warm and inviting ambiance to any space.

For those who want to experiment with advanced lighting options, you can also integrate smart lighting systems into your DIY projects. Several cost-effective smart bulb options can be controlled via apps or voice commands, allowing you to adjust brightness, color temperature, and schedules remotely.

By implementing these DIY lighting hacks and utilizing budget-friendly alternatives, you can significantly improve your rental apartment’s overall aesthetic and functionality without breaking the bank.

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Personalize with Wall Decor

Wall decor is crucial in transforming your apartment into a space that truly reflects your style and taste. Whether you’re a renter or a homeowner, adding unique and personalized wall art can instantly elevate the look and feel of any room.

The importance of wall decor in apartment design cannot be overstated. It adds visual interest and personality, can help camouflage imperfections, and can make a small space appear larger. And the best part? You don’t need to be a professional artist to create stunning wall art pieces.

Indoor plants in an apartment living room

One of the easiest and most budget-friendly DIY wall art projects is creating an abstract or geometric painting. All you need are basic acrylic paints, a canvas, and a little creativity. By experimenting with shapes, colors, and patterns, you can craft a one-of-a-kind piece that perfectly complements your apartment’s aesthetic.

Another trendy option for personalizing your walls is the gallery wall. By arranging a collection of framed photos, prints, or even postcards visually appealingly, you can transform a plain wall into a captivating focal point. Gallery walls have the added benefit of drawing the eye upward, creating the illusion of a larger space.

But what if you’re a renter and can’t permanently change your walls? No problem! There are plenty of budget-friendly and rental-friendly alternatives, such as adhesive hooks, command strips, or removable picture hangers, to display your wall art. You can also explore DIY textile projects, like creating wall hangings using macrame, yarn, or fabric to add texture and personality without drilling holes.

Remember, wall decor is all about expressing your unique style and making your apartment feel like a true reflection of your personality. So, get creative, experiment with different DIY techniques, and let your walls be the canvas for your masterpiece.

Refresh Furniture on a Dime

Furniture is often one of the most significant investments in our homes, but that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank to keep it looking fresh and updated. With a little DIY know-how, you can breathe new life into your existing furniture pieces and transform your apartment’s overall look and feel.

Furniture plays a crucial role in a living space’s overall aesthetic, and by updating your pieces, you can completely change the vibe of a room. Whether you’re looking to give a tired dresser a new coat of paint or turn a thrift store find into a one-of-a-kind decor piece, plenty of budget-friendly DIY projects can help you achieve your desired look.

Removable wallpaper in a rental apartment

One of the great things about furniture makeovers is the potential for significant cost savings. Refurbishing old furniture can save you up to 75% compared to buying brand-new pieces. With the rise of DIY finishes like chalk paint, even beginners can confidently tackle furniture refinishing projects.

But what about renters who cannot make permanent changes to their furniture? No need to worry! Plenty of DIY projects can help you upgrade rental-grade pieces without causing any damage. The possibilities are endless, from adding removable accents like throw pillows or blankets to covering surfaces with temporary contact paper or fabric.

For example, you can transform a basic dresser by giving it a fresh coat of paint that complements your apartment’s decor. Or, if you’ve found a unique thrift piece, you can turn it into a one-of-a-kind decor accent by upcycling it with a DIY touch, such as adding casters or repurposing it as a mobile side table.

By embracing DIY furniture makeovers, you can significantly upgrade the look and feel of your apartment without breaking the bank. So, don’t be afraid to get creative and breathe new life into your existing furniture pieces – the results might surprise you!

Textiles and Soft Furnishings

Textiles and soft furnishings play a crucial role in creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere in your apartment, and the best part is that you can easily incorporate them into your decor through budget-friendly DIY projects.

Whether you’re looking to add a touch of warmth with some throw pillows or transform the look of your windows with a DIY curtain makeover, textiles offer a versatile and affordable way to personalize your living space. The beauty of these DIY projects is that they don’t require advanced sewing skills—you can achieve stunning results with simple techniques and creativity.

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Creating your throw or bolster pillows is one of the easiest and most impactful DIY textile projects. All you need are some fabric scraps, some stuffing, and a basic sewing machine (or even no-sew techniques like fabric stiffener). By experimenting with different colors, patterns, and textures, you can easily transform your seating area and add a cozy, inviting touch to your apartment.

Repurposed wooden crate furniture in a living room

But it’s not just about the pillows – you can also breathe new life into your existing curtains or blinds with a DIY makeover. Something as simple as adding fringe trim or tassels to plain curtains can instantly elevate their appearance while painting wooden blinds in a bold color can turn them into a statement piece in your room.

For those who are no-sew projects, T-shirt yarn and fabric stiffeners have made DIY textile crafts more accessible than ever. Using these innovative materials, you can create decorative accents like wall hangings, baskets, or even headbands, all without the need for advanced sewing skills.

Studies have shown that textiles can significantly enhance the coziness and personality of living space, even in small apartments. By incorporating DIY textile projects into your decor, you can add warmth, texture, and a touch of style to your home.

Greenery and Plant-Based Decor

Bringing the beauty of nature indoors through greenery and plant-based decor can transform your apartment, and the best part is that you can do it on a budget with some simple DIY projects.

Indoor plants add aesthetic value to a living space and provide numerous health benefits, such as improving air quality and reducing stress levels. The great news is that plenty of low-maintenance plant varieties are perfect for apartment dwellers who want to enjoy the benefits of indoor gardening without the hassle of high maintenance.

One budget-friendly DIY project you can try is creating your hanging plant holders or macrame plant hangers. These add a touch of natural beauty to your apartment and help maximize your vertical space, which is especially important in smaller living areas. You only need basic materials like rope, hooks, and planters to craft your custom plant displays.

Reupholstered sofa in a living room

Another easy and affordable DIY project is transforming basic glass jars into stunning terrariums or mini indoor gardens. Adding a few plants, some soil, and a touch of decorative elements can create a beautiful and low-maintenance piece of living art that will instantly brighten up any room.

Did you know that studies have shown that indoor plants can improve air quality by removing harmful toxins like benzene and formaldehyde? Additionally, they can help reduce stress levels by providing a calming presence in your living space.

By incorporating greenery and plant-based decor into your apartment, you can enhance the aesthetic appeal of your home and enjoy the many benefits of bringing a little bit of nature indoors. With these budget-friendly DIY projects, you can do it all without breaking the bank.


In conclusion, these eight easy DIY hacks provide apartment dwellers with many opportunities to transform their living spaces without breaking the bank. From repurposing everyday items into unique decor pieces to maximizing the potential of small spaces, the possibilities for budget-friendly home improvement are endless.

Wall decor with family photos and artwork

By tapping into your creativity and embracing a DIY mindset, you can personalize your apartment, add warmth and character, and create a living environment that reflects your style and personality. Whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or a beginner looking to dip your toes into budget-friendly home decor, these tips and tricks will empower you to create a space you’ll love coming home to.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab your tools, get inspired, and transform your apartment into a masterpiece on a shoestring budget. Remember, with some resourcefulness and imagination, you can turn your living space into a true reflection of your unique style and personality. Happy decorating!

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Kaite Clinton

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