30 days of beautiful: DIY

DIY: Revamp your apartment

undone

a messy, undecorated apartment a couple days after move in

When I moved to Saint Louis, it took my roommate and I weeks to decorate our rooms. Our living room, dining room, and kitchen walls remained bare all year. It took too much effort to invest in décor. This June, we moved apartments in the midst of summer classes and practicum. Thus, beyond moving our furniture and essential items into some semblance of order, our apartment remained untreated, unaesthetic. Then, I left to Kansas City to see my best friend Cassidy in her new place, a place with open windows and art on the walls. I told her the ambiance feels like her personality, and I drove home deciding to strip our apartment of its bare and replace the empty walls with some beauty.

The problem is that I could not afford décor, especially not full-priced picture frames, curtains, and everything that I dreamed would make our place interesting. So I set a budget and started with curtains. I walked into a fabric store, smack into the sale rack where I fabric for $1.99 for a yard. That night, I sat on the floor with piles of it around me, sewing lace into something that would quaver in the wind when our windows stood open.

smudge, my cat, peeks from the new curtains on the living room windows

smudge, my cat, peeks from the new curtains on the living room windows

Then GoodWill. I bought fifty cent mason jars, filled them with 96 cent pillar candles, picked a fifty cent glass vase, filled it with Trader Joes fresh cut flowers. I sorted through old record covers for pictures that would look good on our walls, fifty cents apiece. I found four posters, a large bulletin board, and tall sunflowers to lace into an entryway trellis, all for a dollar, fifty cents… total. I found two wood picture frames and five others, $12. I ordered a series of 25 cent prints. I googled DIY wall décor and it led me to buy corkboard and scrapbooking paper at a craft store, $8. I splurged on a wood and shell wind chime on sale, $7.

I used mounting tape to bring our pictures to life on our walls, twine to thread our curtains over the big bay windows, and tacks to instill mementos on our bulletin board. By the time I was done, our apartment walls were still simple but in some way, living. The best part was, it had did not break the budget and left me feeling accomplished. Oh, all the simple ways to trace home into the walls.

a finished living room

a finished living room

Budget DIY shopping list 

Mason jars (fifty cents apiece)
Candles (96 cents apiece)

mason jars, fifty cents in a thrift store

mason jars, fifty cents in a thrift store

Records (fifty cents apiece)

old record covers = crafty wall hangings

old record covers = crafty wall hangings

Bouquet of fresh flowers ($3 trader joes)
Picture frames – 7 (4 4×6, 2 8x 10, large w 4 4×6; $12)
Pictures – 4 + 2 large (twenty-five cents small, 2.50 large)

choose pictures you took yourself to add to the ambiance in your kitchen

choose pictures you took yourself to add to the ambiance in your kitchen

get your favorite travel photos enlarged and put them in a simple 8x10 frame

get your favorite travel photos enlarged and put them in a simple 8×10 frame

Dollar and fifty cents:
Posters – 4
Bulletin board – large
Sunflowers

Wind chime (splurge, $7)
Curtains ($4)
12×12 Corkboard (4 pieces) + scrapbooking paper ($8)
Ribbon
Twine

add a plant to your window for good measure and you are well on your way to a relaxing apartment feel

add a plant to your window for good measure and you are well on your way to a relaxing apartment feel

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