DIY Projects for a First Apartment (That You’ll Use For Years)

DIY Projects for a First Apartment (That You’ll Use For Years)

Adrienne Breaux
Jul 28, 2015
(Image credit: Burkatron )

Moving into your first apartment (or your 50th)? If you're in the mood for DIY projects but want to put your time, energy and money into making items for your home you know you'll use not just in your first apartment but all your future homes, invest in these types of DIY projects (we include examples of each). They're small, accessible but most of all flexible — so they'll look good and function in your first home as well as be usable in many homes to come.

Hanging planter

Plants are one of the best ways to add life to an interior space, and a hanging planter is the kind of thing that will always be usable in just about any sized space (particularly small homes). We like the hanging planter found on Burkatron because it's simple, modern and could fit in with all kinds of home styles (and evolve with you as your tastes grow and change.)

(Image credit: Ohoh Blog)

Floor pouf

These handy cushions are great as extra seating when you invite folks over, and if made sturdy enough, can even be used as an extra side table when a tray is placed on top. We like the one we spotted on Ohoh Blog because it's higher than just a simple floor cushion. And as you can see, you can do things like add or subtract tassels to constantly change the look as you move from home to home.

(Image credit: HomeMade Modern)

Side stool

This concrete side stool is a favorite DIY project because it's so simple, and could be used as a side table in a living room, an extra seat in a pinch and even a nightstand. Easily paint-able, you could customize it to fit in any type of home. Spotted on HomeMade Modern.

(Image credit: A Parede Indecisa)


You're going to want to start using coasters in your first apartment, even if your furniture isn't "nice" enough yet; it'll get you in the habit for the future! There are tons of DIY coaster projects to pick from on the Internet; we chose this one today because it's easy, cheap and you can make a ton at once to replace the ones that get damaged as you use them. Spotted on A Parede Indecisa (not in English but photos seem clear enough to follow).

(Image credit: Adorablest)

Votive tea light holder

You might not consider a tea light holder as the sort of "must-have" DIY project to tackle for a first apartment, but you'd be wrong. Handy tea light holders can be incorporated into table top vignettes and on shelves or even on a dining table during a dinner party. This sturdy one made out of concrete found on Adorablest ought to last a few moves.

(Image credit: Home Depot)

Serving tray

Not only will a serving tray make you look like a total pro when you entertain in your first apartment, but you can use trays in all kinds of decorative and functional ways throughout all your homes. The easy and long-lasting DIY project we spotted on Home Depot is neutral enough to go with all kinds of decor styles.

(Image credit: eHow)

Small catch-all tray

Whether it's on a landing strip in your entryway or on your bedroom dresser, a small catch-all tray can help you organize the tiny parts of modern life that can sometimes cause clutter in your home. This easy one made out of leather will get better looking with age thanks to its material. Seen on eHow.

(Image credit: Brit + Co)

Pendant light

The lighting in most first apartments suck. So make your own! DIY light fixtures aren't as hard as they seem, and can be much more affordable to make than buying, especially on a first-apartment budget. We like the easy, neutral but attractive pendant light project spotted on Brit + Co.

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