Furnishing your home can be expensive, especially when you factor in the cost of new furniture, decorations, and potential renovations. That’s why we love good DIY; not only are custom furniture and decorations unique and personal, but they’re also so much cheaper than ready-made items from Ikea, Amazon and other retailers. Unfortunately, many innovative DIY ideas can be very difficult to replicate, especially for beginners at crafting. That’s why we’ve come up with a list of the best DIY furniture projects that are both inexpensive and pretty simple to make. Read on for 20 inspiring custom furniture ideas that will help you save money and add character to your space!
Wall Storage Bins from Old Crates
If you’re looking for a neat way to organize your things – whether books and decorations, towels and rags, or perhaps craft supplies – these DIY wall storage bins made from old crates offer an easy and stylish solution that complements practically any style. Best of all, they’re incredibly customizable as you can make them as compact or large as you like, and paint them in colors that go best with your existing décor. They’re a breeze to make as well, as all you need are some screws to secure the crates together. We also recommend anchoring them to the wall so the entire thing is as stable as possible.
Nailhead Side Table
Spice up your plain side table by adding a trim of gold or silver nailheads along the edges of the table. An easy to replicate yet highly effective decoration hack that can really elevate the look of your side table and add some personality to the room. And like all DIY projects, it’s highly customizable – you can add nailheads wherever you want to, including only along the top edge of the table, top and bottom edge, or along the edges of the entire table; the choice is entirely yours! But if your side table is really old and frail? No problem. Replace the nails with thumbtacks – gentler on the wood and even easier to use.
Mismatched Chair Bench
If quirky and shabby chic styles make your heart beat a little faster, you’ll absolutely love our next DIY furniture project. Repurposing old and mismatched chairs to make one long bench is not only kind to the environment (and your storage space) but it can also look fabulous, not to mention unique. This one-of-a-kind bench would look fantastic on your porch, perhaps even in the living room, depending on your décor. The project is also relatively easy to make, but you do need some craft tools, including a drill and bits, screws, sandpaper, paint, plywood, etc. If you want your bench to have some cushion, you’ll also need some foam sheets and upholstery fabric.
Rediscover your inner child by creating Lego-inspired furniture! DIY-ing Lego-like furniture is a great way to have fun while also doing something useful for your home. The icing on the cake here is, you can go as bold or subtle, small or big as you like. For a more understated touch, we recommend painting your (or your kid’s) small dresser in Lego colors: a grey frame with red, yellow, green, and blue drawers would look great. For a louder and more adventurous effect, go for full-on Lego furniture; our favorite is a coffee table with the top surface made of Lego brick blocks.
Tree Branch Rack
A coat rack is essential if you want to keep your entryway neat and tidy. But since most coat racks are either mass-produced and therefore look incredibly similar, or are expensive, how about you built one yourself from a tree branch? Not only does this nature-inspired rack look totally unique, but it’s also cheap and pretty simple to make too. You can go about creating it in several different ways, but two of our favorite types are a shelf rack made with sticks with branches that serve as hangers (great for small entryways), or a full-on tree-shaped coat rack stand that can hold practically anything, including scarves, hats, purses, and coats.
Green Lacquer Desk Makeover
Bring some color into your life by painting your plain brown desk a brilliant green. Emerald, juniper, olive, sage or any other shade of green can perk up your study or craft room, making it look more personal and inviting. While any desk can benefit from a fresh coat of paint, we find that most shades of green look the best on old, vintage desks. Granted, green is a head-turner so it might not be for everyone. If you’re looking for a more subtle effect, you can keep the drawers in their original brown color (or give them a fresh coat of warm brown paint) and paint the frame green. Green and brown are both earth tones so they pair wonderfully together.
If your house is blessed with tall ceilings, consider taking advantage of the wall space by installing a DIY track shelving. A wall-mounted track shelving can not only hold a bunch of books, decorations and trinkets in a nice, organized way, but it does so without taking up much of your space. Because it’s mounted on the wall, it saves you precious floor space, making it perfect for small rooms. This type of shelving is also really simple and quite cheap to make as the main supplies needed for its construction are a few wooden shelves, twin tracks, and shelf brackets. Of course, certain tools and accessories are required as well, but overall, this is a relatively easy DIY furniture project.
Weathered Door Bar
If your outdoor area could benefit from having a nice, big beverage station but you don’t want to pay for a brand new, mass-produced outdoor serving cart, might we suggest making your own rustic bar? And no, it’s not complicated at all; as long as you have an old (preferably weathered) door, some shelves and a few tools, you’re good to go. A weathered door bar not only looks chic and goes great with rustic décor, but it’s great for the environment too as you’re repurposing old discarded items. It’s also quite big – perfect for when you have friends over as there’s plenty of space to serve drinks for the whole crowd!
Screwdriver Coat Rack
This DIY furniture project is perfect for craft rooms and garages, although it can definitely be displayed in entryways as well as long as you like quirky industrial style. A screwdriver coat rack is super-easy to make as all you need is one wood shelf, various screwdrivers, and some accessories and working tools, such as an L-bracket, sandpaper, some screwdrivers, and paint (optional). If you’re a fan of multi-colored décor, leave the screwdrivers as they are. If you prefer something more uniform, consider painting them all one color; a brown shelf with black screwdrivers can look fantastic.
Cinder Block Bench
Cinder blocks are highly versatile; not only can they be repurposed in numerous ways (they make fantastic planters!), but they can also be used for DIY furniture projects. Our favorite? A custom cinder block bench. Super-easy and cheap to make, a cinder block bench can also look fantastic with a bit of effort and an eye for details. For a classic city bench look, paint the cinder blocks black or dark gray and wooden posts brown; for a natural and warm effect, paint the whole thing in light brown. Add some nice cushioning in whatever color you like, maybe throw in a pillow or two as well, and voila – now you have modern-looking seating for your patio or backyard!
Drop Cloth Headboard
If you love the look of upholstered headboards but are not willing to shell out more than $300 for one, we have some great news: you can make your very own upholstered headboard using drop cloth or quilt batting. While not the simplest DIY furniture project out there, this hack can really help elevate the look of your bedroom. Aside from the headboard and drop cloth, you’ll also need some foam, adhesive, and a staple gun. For a complete look, add a nailhead trim along the edge of the headboard. And there you have it – a gorgeous upholstered headboard that costs a fraction of the price of one in Pottery Barn.
Log Lounge Chair
Got some extra logs in your backyard? Why not repurpose them into a sturdy piece of furniture for your porch or patio? A homemade log lounge chair not only pairs well with practically any style – especially rustic, farmhouse, and natural modern styles – but it’s also incredibly sturdy and durable, guaranteed to last for years if not decades. As a big bonus, it’s both affordable and sustainable as you’re recycling waste materials that would otherwise end up somewhere in a landfill. Granted, it’s not the easiest furniture project out there, but it’s not extremely difficult to make either if you have the right tools (chainsaw, drill and bits, brackets, and screws are all must-haves).
Vintage Suitcase Nightstand
Vintage furniture and décor have charm and history that most modern pieces lack. In fact, just one vintage piece can transform an otherwise plain room into an interesting, rich-looking space. A beloved suitcase that has survived years of traveling and the wear and tear that comes with it deserves to be incorporated into your home décor and we have just the use for it: a nightstand or a side table. You can either use one bigger suitcase with a flat hardtop or several suitcases of different sizes for this DIY project. If you only have one, add four furniture legs on the hardtop and use it as a nightstand, and if you have several suitcases, stack them on top of each other for an easy high side table.
Tree Stump Side Table
Folks with extra logs in their possession, we have another useful DIY furniture project for you: a tree stump side table! If you like natural wood elements in your home, you’ll love this little side table as it has wonderfully natural and rich tones that pair well with most styles. To make it, you’ll need some craft supplies such as a flat tip screwdriver for removing the bark, sandpaper to polish the wood, and some polyurethane for that protective, shiny finish. Of course, before you polish the stump, you’ll have to let it dry for quite some time (a few weeks to a few months, depending on how dry it was in the first place).
If you like the idea of using your well-traveled suitcase as furniture but you already own nightstands and side tables, we recommend recycling it into a unique chair. Whether it will be used as a casual perch in your living room or as comfy seating for your patio, there’s no doubt the chair is going to bring charm and character to your space. Even if you don’t have a vintage travel bag of your own but you’d like this one-of-a-kind chair for your home, you can easily find a cheap suitcase in second-hand stores. This project does require quite a bit of craft supplies, including cushioning, upholstery, and furniture legs among other things, so it may not be ideal for complete beginners at DIY-ing.
Chevron Hook Rack
A pretty coat rack can greatly improve the look of any entryway. If you, like us, are not a fan of mass-produced furniture that tends to look the same no matter the brand, we highly recommend making your own chevron hook rack. Relatively simple to make yet useful and stylish, this DIY furniture hack can do wonders for your entryway. To make it, you’ll need some wood boards and plywood, hooks of any style you like, wood glue, and of course some tools, including a drill, miter saw and measuring tape. If you want that extra personal touch, consider painting the rack in a unique color as well.
Our next DIY furniture project is tailor-made for literary-minded folks. A book headboard not only helps fill empty wall space but can turn and plain-looking room into a unique and stylish space that displays your interests. There are several ways to go about this project: you can build a simple shelf that attaches to your headboard and fill it with books, place a narrow console table behind the bed and arrange the books on top, or create a literal book headboard. If you opt for the latter version, remember to use only copies of your books or really old books you know you won’t want to read again.
Make a unique and rustic bookshelf for your office or bedroom using– crates! Cheap and sustainable, wooden crates make fantastic storage units and shelves as they’re completely customizable; you can go as big or small, simple or bold as you want. For those with small to medium book collections, four or six wooden crates will be enough to create a simple yet stylish bookshelf. If you’re a serious book addict, you’ll likely need a bigger bookshelf, so get anywhere between six to ten wooden crates. Don’t forget to paint the bookshelf in a color that best complements your existing décor.
If you like vintage suitcases as much as we do, you’ll love our next DIY furniture project: suitcase shelves. Chic and charming, suitcase shelves will add a touch of old-world sophistication to any space. If you have old, weathered suitcases, you should naturally use them for your shelves, but if you don’t, no worries – vintage-looking travel bags and suitcases can be found at most antique stores at affordable prices. And if you can thrift them, that’s even better! These shelves are easy to make too as long as you have basic tools and supplies, such as a saw and a drill, some screws, and of course, suitcases and wood.
Pallet Coat Rack
Every entryway needs a proper coat rack to help keep things organized. If our Chevron Hook Rack is not your cup of tea and you’d prefer something with a bit of an edge that goes great with natural, minimalistic, or industrial style, this simple coat rack made of pallets might be exactly what you’re looking for. Stylish and fully functional, this DIY coat rack can help your entryway look more put together. Best of all, it’s pretty simple and cheap to make as the main materials needed are a pallet, some hooks and steel for the brackets, and of course some screws, nails and a bit of paint.