7 DIY Furniture Projects That Are Actually Worth It

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Do-It-Yourself projects (aka DIY projects) are extremely popular among millennials looking to save money, do less harm to the environment, and create individualized pieces of furniture or decorations. Studies have found millennials are big DIY project enthusiasts, especially for anything focused on personalization and home improvement. Around 45 percent of older millennials have even sold DIY items they built or created according to one study. There's such a huge market for DIY projects, and often times, you have to sort through tons of ideas (just look at Pinterest) to find one that's actually worth your time to do. Some DIY projects are worth it, while others may be a waste of time and cost.

A typical issue I find with DIY projects is that the project’s materials end up costing more than if I were to just buy a finished product, or pay for professional labor. What seems easy enough to make can turn out to be difficult, requiring more skill than previously believed and ultimately, possibly costing you more money if you mess up. So how do you find projects that are worth your time and effort? Exploring tried-and-true DIY projects, given the internet’s stamp of approval, is a simple way to avoid DIY fails and wasting your money. So if you’re at least semi-handy and living on a budget, below are seven DIY furniture projects you may want to try.

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Refurbish an old coffee table

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Repurposing old furniture is by far one of the easiest ways for millennials to create a stylish space on a small budget. Anyone can find used furniture listed online, or at yard sales. Check out this list if you need DIY inspo for different ways you can paint or stain your coffee table.

Repurpose a wine crate into a garden for small apartments

This one-day garden DIY project is perfect for the millennial living in the city who wants a little greenery. The project repurposes wine crates (or use any crate, vase, or coffee tin you can find at your local thrift shop) instead of buying new vases or wood panels, which can get pricey. The instructions at LLH designs suggest using Danish oil to protect the boxes, which costs under $10. I completed this project this past summer, and I spent less than $20 for a substantial herb garden.

Eco-friendly furniture and decorations

Millennials are much more inclined to support sustainability-driven initiatives than older generations, so eco-friendly DIY projects are a must. This list from Brit + CO has some of the best easy, decorative, and environmentally DIY projects, including a kitschy coffee tine wine rack, and branch wall hooks.

Build this mid-century modern side table

While you can always buy a temporary or cheap bedside table from Amazon or Target, a DIY side table may be more practical if you are wanting something a little more elegant. These crate side tables with hairpin legs will cost you around $75 pre-built, but are much cheaper when you build it yourself. This DIY tutorial uses only four materials, screws, and minimal drilling that anyone can do successfully.

The easiest DIY headboard ever

Designer Kara Paslay created this older DIY tutorial with specifically college-aged people in mind. She fashioned a nifty headboard using only a slab of thin wood, paint, tape, and sticky velcro to hang it up — no painting or handyman skills required. Headboards are expensive (even the cheaper ones), so this DIY project is perfect for the broke millennial wanting to spruce up their dorm or apartment.

Upgrade an old lampshade to reflect your unique style

I never realized how pricey lamps can be, with the exception of IKEA's selection, until I moved into my own apartment. If you are trying to avoid the IKEA-chique look and make your apartment feel individualized, DIY-ing a lampshade may be a good option for you. The blog The Confused Millennial has a simple and cute DIY pom-pom lampshade instructional, or check out Twitter for more ideas.

Paint a plain rug to add color to your apartment

Rugs are one of the most overlooked pieces of furniture by millennials because they are not exactly essential, but often steep price-wise. This tutorial from Mountain Modern Life is a popular West Elm dupe. Even if you're not artistically talented, you can easily make a geometric rug with tape and paint!

Feeling inspired? Set aside a weekend, and start crafting. You might be amazed by what you're able to come up with.