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Finding the right apartment is often a stressful and expensive experience, especially here in Chicago. After months of tedious searching you’ve finally found the apartment of your dreams, but now you’re onto the next challenge. Decorating. Chances are that at this point you’ve maxed out your credit cards with several trips to Ikea and Bed Bath and Beyond, which means there probably isn’t a whole lot of money left to spend on apartment decor (at least if your living on a college student’s paycheck). To help you save some money and get into the creative spirit, I’ve gathered 4 easy home decor crafts that will brighten up your space and make it feel a little more like home.

Whenever I’m looking for DIY crafts, my first stop is always Pinterest, and usually, I don’t need to look anywhere else. It’s a rabbit hole of inspiration, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding innovative ways to create your own apartment decor.

 

Photo Courtesy of Gwyli.io

1. Frame Lantern

This first one is from Chai where she put together this beautiful frame lantern with items you can find at the dollar store.

What You’ll Need:

  • Four small frames

  • Paint

  • Hot glue

Directions:

  • Paint the frames

  • Let the paint dry completely

  • Glue them all together, forming a square

The lantern looks super modern at a fraction of the retail price. You can fill it with candles as pictured below, fake flowers or string lights.

Photo Courtesy of Industry Standard Design

2. Wire Wastebasket Side Table

This next one is just as simple and just as practical. Industry Standard Design posted this picture on Pinterest and I was blown away by how professional it looked.

What You’ll Need:

  • Wire wastebasket, you can find a similar one here

  • Spray paint of your color choice

  • An 18 inch round wood panel that can be found at Michaels or a Home Depot

  • Stain for the wood panel, again in your color choice

  • Wood staples

Directions:

  • Spray paint wire wastebasket, let it dry completely

  • Stain round wood panel, let it dry completely

  • Flip the wire trash basket upside down so that the opening is facing the ground

  • Use wood staples to secure the round wood panel onto the “bottom” (the part that should now be facing up towards the sky) of the wastebasket

In the end, you are left with a beautiful side table that will fit perfectly in either your living room or bedroom.

Photo Courtesy of One Little Bird Blog

3. Pallet Wall Mug Holder

No cabinet space? No problem. Don’t use up your precious cabinet space filling it with your mug collection, instead hang them up. Katelyn of the One Little Bird Blog posted this tutorial.

What You’ll Need:

  • A pallet (can usually find at any hardware or craft store)

  • Hooks

  • Screws

  • Sandpaper

  • Paint/stain of your color choice

Directions:

  • Cut your palette down to the size that works best for the area where you will be hanging it

  • Sand it down (don’t skip this step unless you want a splinter every time you make a cup of coffee)

  • Stain or paint the palette with the stain/paint you chose

  • Let it dry

  • Screw the hooks into the palette (use as many as you need and arrange them on the palette however you’d like)

  • Either mount to the wall or lay against the wall on top of your counter in a free area

  • Hang your mugs!

Photo Courtesy of NoBiggie

4. Floral Letters

This last one is a personal favorite that can go in any room in the house. It’s also the easiest of them all.

What You’ll Need:

  • Cardboard

  • Fake flowers

  • Hot Glue

Directions:

  • Cut a letter or shape out of the cardboard

  • Hot glue fake flowers onto the cardboard, arrange them however you’d like just make sure no cardboard is poking out

Literally, that’s it. That’s how easy it is to spice up your apartment. Home decor is an ongoing process but use it as your creative outlet to channel the pent up frustration you have towards your expensive rent.

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