In many ways, being a renter curbs the potential of DIY-lovers. You can’t just decide to disassemble and repaint your cabinetry (maybe you could purchase some new cabinet designs with landlord permission), nor can you one day decide that you’d really like to take down the wall between your dining room and kitchen. Even the lack of a proper workspace can impede DIY projects. But some handy geniuses have figured out how to make crafts and improvement projects work for small spaces, so we’ve compiled a list of our top 10 blogs to help you make your apartment and everything in it as unique as you are.
This website is kind of a one-stop shop for all things apartment, from lifestyle articles to design tips and — you guessed it — DIY. These project ideas will help you resurrect a chair destroyed by your precious cat, make your IKEA furniture a little more useful, and make your dining set into something Instagram-worthy.
Supremely girly but informative nonetheless, this blog focuses on smaller projects that can either improve your apartment or serve as gifts for friends. (Think: homemade jewelry boxes, decorative pillows, photo frames, and sparkly calendars.) The instructions are simple and photo-rich, so it’s a great starting point for those who aspire to craft.
The best part of this blog — aside from all the innovative ideas, of course — is the variety of filters for finding your next project. You can sort by difficulty level, materials, cost, and technique, so you should be able to find a match for whatever you’re looking to get your hands dirty with. Whether you’re planning a New Year’s Eve party or need to unify a set of mismatched vases, you’ll find your inspiration on Design Sponge.
A minimalist website filled with minimalist projects, Almost Makes Perfect has DIY ideas for every renter, such as making a homemade mixture to keep your sweet little kitty from utterly destroying all of your plants. Make coasters, wall pouches, or add pizzaz to some everyday objects, like your phone case, drinking glasses, or plant pots. It’s not frequently updated, but there are a plethora of old posts if you’re desperate for ideas.
On top of providing ideas, Sugar and Cloth also goes a step further and offers downloads, so you can print designs to frame or use as patterns. Many of these ideas are pretty chic (boob macarons aside) and will make your apartment look like a walk-in Pinterest board. You can also find some simple recipes here, sometimes paired with projects, in case you’re also looking to cut your chef chops.
OK, so, you likely won’t benefit immediately from much of the expertise this blog offers — but later down the road, it can be a great asset for learning how to do simple home tasks, like tiling your shower or fixing a leaky washing machine. Even before you reach that point, Jeff Patterson still offers projects even renters can appreciate, like making a tabletop firepit or a rustic cooler that can join you on your patio.
This blog offers tons of homemade decor ideas and ways to reuse old maps, canvas art, wobbly furniture — and discarded gutters. The woman behind the magic, Brittany, presents projects that range from light crafts to home improvement as well as a series that teaches you how to use power tools.
Largely a personal blog for interior and event designer Kerra Michelle, Apt Envy still includes great tips for how to temporarily personalize your apartment. She’ll walk you through creative uses of removable wallpaper and ways to hang your most cherished photos. Kerra understands renter life, so she also throws in posts about thriving in a small space, such as hosting Thanksgiving meals on a small scale.
There’s an interesting mix of ideas on this blog. On one hand, you learn how to make a fun headboard, wall cubbies, or personalized gifts for friends. On the other hand, you get tips on organizing your medicine and … set up automatic replies in Gmail. It’s a mixed bag, but a useful one.
Decor, crafts, yard inspirations — Big DIY Ideas has a little bit of everything, and the majority of them can be used in apartments. They focus on pulling in beginner DIYers with simple projects like bookends or shoe makeovers, and then guide you through larger projects as well.