You want to make your apartment as much a reflection of your style and personality as it can be without spending too much money, so have you thought of making cool apartment stuff yourself? Sure you can take on major DIY interior design projects that involve tearing down walls with heavy power tools, but you don’t really have to.
There are simple, cheap, or even free home improvement plans you can take up which can be done in a day, an hour, or even in less time than it takes to read this article.
To start you off, here are five easy but very cool things to add to your apartment’s personality. Remember to put on your safety glasses and other safety gear when it comes to handling cutters and other potentially dangerous tools and objects!
Potato chip can light shade – You can also use a milk can or any similar object that you would otherwise throw away, but a cardboard tube such as used for some popular chips brands will be easier to cut. Make sure that the can fits over your bare bulb light fixture, so go for the thicker sized cans, not the narrow tubes.
Cut holes in the can, such as random shapes, leaving only about half an inch of material between holes to give the shade some strength. The point is to have a lot more hole area than solid area, in fact the higher the ratio of hole to solid, the better.
Take black spray paint and paint the entire thing inside and out, then cover the entire cylinder outside with a nice-quality tracing paper, just spot gluing it on so it doesn’t wrinkle. If the hole patterns turn out particularly nice, apply the tracing paper to the inside. Experiment with colored cellophane if you want to get funky.
Then attach the entire rig to the ceiling with three or four small tabs of Velcro so you can remove it easily to change the bulb. Also, experiment with a hanging light.
Teabag air fresheners – Some people find the usual potpourri fresheners too overpowering. Try flavored black-teabags instead, like peppermint, orange cinnamon, and the like.
Depending on the size of the room, three, four, or more teabags can be spread around so their smell wafts in the soft air currents that are present in any room with activity and movement. This is especially good in the kitchen to cover oniony or fishy smells.
Trinket mobiles – Collecting small trinkets like seashells and pretty rocks, dime-store jewelry or even printed photos and drink coasters when we travel or to mark waypoints in our life, is a nice way to keep good memories.
Instead of keeping all the items in a drawer though, try hanging them with a string or a thin ribbon, each by itself or in a vertical column three items long, with the heaviest or biggest on top.
Then hang these like mobiles by the window where the shiny ones can catch the light, or in irregular bunches on a plain wall. You get a nicely eclectic accent piece which will bring a smile to your face every time you see it.
Soda can pen holders – Instead of throwing your soda or beer cans away, make pen holders out of them. Just cut out the top and sand the sharp edges. You can also try applying a bead of PVA glue to the cut edges to dull them.
I especially like to collect unique regional issues of cola cans and regional beers specifically to turn into pen holders.
Furniture socks – Old, shapeless thick socks still have life in them. Put them on the legs of heavy chairs and tables for a funky visual twist that also serves the purpose of making it easier to move them around when you’re vacuuming.
Try same-colored socks for that formal look, or go punk with colorful mismatched sport and knee socks.
Cactus terrarium – Just like a goldfish bowl but without the hard-to-care-for goldfish. Small cacti are cheap, easy to take care of, and come in a wide variety of interesting shapes.
Pick one that already comes in its own small pot, and put it in a clear goldfish bowl, burying the pot in decorative stones you can find at an aquarium supplies shop or in the hardware gardening section. If you have the space, go for a bigger aquarium and put more than one variety of cactus in it.
Let these simple projects get your imagination soaring! There’s virtually no end to the list of cool apartment stuff you can make yourself, all cheap or even free!