Updated October 1, 2020 . AmFam Team
Renting your living space but want to get crafty? Here are 25 DIY projects for renters that you can do in a small space without permanently affecting your rental.
Whether you’re moving into a new place or want to spruce up your old surroundings, decorating your apartment is a great way to personalize your space. But if you’re on a budget, the cost of even a single throw pillow might seem like a hefty price to pay for personal comfort. Not to worry — decorating your space doesn’t have to break the bank!
There are a ton of crafts you can do yourself that are easy and fun, and you’ll be able to customize them to match your style exactly. Here are 25 DIY crafts you can make on your own to decorate your apartment.
How to Get Started With DIY Apartment Crafts
Easy Ways to Get Crafting in Your Apartment
Apartment Living Space DIY Crafts
Apartment Garden DIY Crafts
Apartment Kitchen DIY Crafts
Apartment Bathroom DIY Crafts
Find More DIY Projects for Your Home
Before you begin, be sure to check in with your property manager to learn about the types of materials you’re allowed when mounting art to your walls. Some don’t allow sticky materials, like putty or tape, while others are fine with low-tack adhesives, just not things like nails or screws that might leave holes in the walls. Every place is different — you may even be allowed paint!
Next, you’ll want to make sure you have all the tools and materials you need to make the crafts you want. You can find some crafts as full kits, which means you don’t have to go hunting for materials, while others provide a range of options to build with.
Starting a DIY craft project in your apartment might seem like a lot, but you most likely have many of the tools and things you need already. And if there’s an odd or end you’re missing — ordering it online is a snap!
Now that you know what your apartment allows and have an idea of the tools and materials you already have, let’s get crafty! Here are a few quick and easy ways to get into DIY crafts in your apartment:
Beginner’s crafting is made easy with all-inclusive kits. Usually you can find kits that are preassembled with all the hardware you’ll need in one complete package. Pottery, embroidery and painting kits are all popular options. Look for one that piques your interest and you’ll be more dedicated to completing it.
Making bead necklaces is a staple of summer camps everywhere, but you can take it to the next level from the comfort of your own home. Personalizing or designing jewelry like wire charm bracelets or earrings are often fun and easy crafts. Keep an eye out for jewelry kits, or try beginner-friendly projects like making a leather cord and jump ring bracelet (Opens in a new tab).
Have extra string lying around? Use it to design unique graphics or phrases. All you need are small nails, thread, scissors, a board and a hammer. Sites like Décor Home Ideas offer free, printable string art patterns (Opens in a new tab) you can follow that are ready to download. Check out this how-to from Club Crafted for an easy tutorial (Opens in a new tab) on string art to get started.
Knitting is a wonderful craft and hobby, but it can be time-intensive and require careful precision. A fun entry to different knitting projects is arm knitting. This is where you loop extra-large strands of yarn around your arm to knit cozy creations. Try arm knitting a giant blanket (Opens in a new tab) to begin.
Photo projects are great for beginner crafters because of the endless possibilities. One fun and easy craft is making a photo rail to display your favorite pictures. With a wood board, drill, screws and optional paint or stain, you can quickly make an affordable photo display shelf. Check out this tutorial (Opens in a new tab) to learn how.
There’s lots of crafting potential with your furniture and living space. We’ve highlighted some easy DIY crafts to help get those creative juices flowing.
Coasters are a great way to protect a table’s surface, and they can easily be personalized. You can make them out of a variety of materials, and sometimes things you may already have around your apartment. We recommend making these striking woven coasters (Opens in a new tab) or fabric coasters (Opens in a new tab) that require no sewing.
Need more space for plants, photos or knickknacks? Hanging shelfs are versatile and easy to make. Usually all you need is a plank of wood, a few lengths of wire or rope and a cordless drill. Check out this easy hanging shelf tutorial (Opens in a new tab) from Alice & Lois to get started.
Even though we can check the time anytime with our phones, a nice clock can really pull your living space together. Clocks are super customizable and can be made of a book cover (Opens in a new tab), vinyl record (Opens in a new tab) or just about anything. All you need to get started is an idea and a clock kit, which you can find online for an affordable price.
Few items in your home hold as much design potential as lampshades do. With some fabric and glue, you can easily have your lampshade match or stand out from the rest of your furniture. Making one out of a sweater (Opens in a new tab) can be a fun place to start.
No matter the holiday or season, a decorative wreath can really liven up your door or entryway. All you typically need to get started is a wire frame and Styrofoam. The rest is up to you. Check out this twine and berry fall wreath (Opens in a new tab) or mesh pumpkin wreath (Opens in a new tab) as examples.
You may not have an entire garden in your apartment, but there’s a lot of crafting potential even if you only have room for a few plants or limited outdoor space. Here are some gardening craft ideas:
Personalizing or making your own planter is one of the most popular DIY crafts out there. Terra cotta clay pots are cheap and can easily be decorated with stencils and paint. You can also make planters out of old teacups and saucers (Opens in a new tab), paint cans (Opens in a new tab) or other things you may have lying around.
Macrame is a way to knot rope together and it’s a fun craft in itself. However, combine it with a planter and you’ll get a striking display hanging from your ceiling. All you need is a pot and twine to get started. Check out this Halloween macrame hanging planter (Opens in a new tab) for inspiration.
A terrarium is a miniature garden you can make in a sealable container like a jar. There’s lots of ways to make these your own, just be sure to select a low-maintenance plant that does well in tight spaces, like a succulent. Follow these steps (Opens in a new tab) to make your own terrarium.
If you want to take your gardening to the next level, making your own miniature greenhouse is the way to go. You can make a greenhouse out of a variety of materials you may have around the apartment, like plastic bottles or CD cases (Opens in a new tab). Make sure you keep in mind how much space you have and where the greenhouse will go.
Want a simple, inexpensive gardening craft? Consider creating your own vase for the flowers you’ve grown. You can craft your vase out of a variety of materials like wine corks (Opens in a new tab) or plastic spoons (Opens in a new tab) and more things you may already have.
A lot of kitchen crafts look great and have the added benefit of organizing your food and utensils. Consider these kitchen crafts:
Magnetic spice racks can help make rummaging around your cabinet a thing of the past. You’ll need food-safe metal spice tins, a sheet metal wall plate, magnets and a hot glue gun. Simply glue the magnets to the spice tins and place them on your steel wall plate for quick and easy access. Read this how-to (Opens in a new tab) for a complete tutorial.
Just like the previous craft, a magnetic knife holder can free up counter space and make selecting the right cutlery you need a lot easier. It’s a little more time-intensive to create though, but this magnetic knife holding guide (Opens in a new tab) is great for beginners. A key tool you’ll need is a drill and forstner drill bit. This bit will allow you to make holes in a wood block snug enough for a magnet to fit in.
Personalize your wooden spatulas or salad servers with inspirational words or phrases. You’ll need a steel stamping set to press the letters of each word you want on your utensils. Once stamped, fill in the impression with a pen. Check out these instructions (Opens in a new tab) for more detail.
Make fumbling through your utensil drawer a thing of the past by making your own custom drawer dividers. All you’ll need is some is some craft or hobby board and wood glue. Follow this how-to (Opens in a new tab) and start designing your dividers based on the dimensions of your drawer.
Have some fabric scraps lying around from another craft project? Break out the sewing kit and follow a guide like this (Opens in a new tab) to make your own oven mitt and hot pad. Don’t forget to pick up some insulated lining!
Transform your bathroom into a cozier and more colorful space with these easy crafts.
Bring the spa to your home by making your own bath bombs. Pick up some Epsom salt, food coloring, essential oil, and a few more things (Opens in a new tab) to get started. You’ll be relaxing in the tub in no time.
Remove the hassle of rummaging through drawers by making your own rotating organizer. Get started by picking up wooden platters, adhesive, a candlestick and lazy Susan mechanism (thrift stores are a great place to find these). Follow these steps (Opens in a new tab) to put it all together.
Mason jar crafts are often quick and easy, and this one (Opens in a new tab) is no exception. Grab a mason jar and pick up some chicken wire to replace the lid. This makes for an easy way to separate your toothbrushes and keep them upright in your jar.
Give your bathroom a beach theme by making easy shell art. All you need are simple directions (Opens in a new tab), canvas, shells and craft glue. Don’t forget ocean blue acrylic paint to tie it all together.
A homemade bath rug isn’t as hard to make as you may think. You’ll need to pick up a rug hooking mesh canvas, but you may have an old towel or shirt to use as the material. Cut strips of your material, tie them to your canvas and repeat. Follow these directions (Opens in a new tab) for more detail.
Want to take on even more DIY projects? There’s plenty of home improvement tasks that can revitalize your living space and increase the value of your home. As a renter, there’s also a lot of DIY projects you can try that are a little more challenging than the above crafts, like building your own nightstand.
Before you get crafting, make sure your belongings are protected from the unexpected with renters insurance. Learn more about the benefits of having renters insurance and how it can go beyond helping you cover your belongings if they’re damaged or stolen.