Now that I have an apartment all to myself that I don’t plan on moving out of as soon as possible, I’ve decided it’s time to be a real person who has a well-decorated apartment. However, because my new apartment has high rent, I didn’t want to spend a fortune on decorations. Solution: DIY!

Project 1: The Bedroom Wall

Well, I say bedroom, but really it’s just the wall by my bed since I live in a studio. Still.

I wanted to do removable wallpaper, but it would have cost at least $200 for me to do this wall. I considered faking it with wrapping paper, but I couldn’t find a pattern I liked (except for some absurdly expensive stuff on Zazzle—it would have cost about $80 just for the paper).

So instead I spent $30 on polka dot wall decals from Walls Need Love—half silver, half dark gray—then spent yesterday afternoon carefully measuring them out with the help of some yarn, painters tape, and a measuring tape that came free in a ModCloth box. I still have 11 silver dots left that I’ll probably use above my bed or something.

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Total cost: $30
Total time: Maybe 4-5 hours? But I was texting New Boy throughout, so it probably could have gone a lot faster.

Project 2: The Living Room

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(Please disregard the pile of laundry/random crap on my couch and the still-packed pile of things in the corner.)

This one was vaguely inspired by a variety of things I saw online, especially this project. It took a little more effort to gather the supplies for this one: A 12-pack of canvas panels and some half-inch painters tape from Amazon, a bottle of silver acrylic paint from a local art supply store, and a sample-sized can of dark purple paint and some foam brushes from ACE Hardware. I know it looks black in the picture, but trust me that it’s dark purple.

It also took longer, since the paint needed to dry. Thursday night: 1st coat of paint (2 purple, 4 silver). Friday night: 2nd coat of paint (same). Saturday morning I taped out some random lines and did the first coat of the other color (4 purple, 2 silver), and Saturday night I did the second coat of the top color and peeled off the tape. Then today I stuck them on the walls with some mounting tape.

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The only thing I can’t decide on this one is whether or not I want to make it bigger. I still have six more panels and plenty of paint, so I might turn it into a 2x4, 3x3, or 3x4. Thoughts? Eventually I plan on having something in front of the couch, either a wide media center-type thing or an armchair and a small table for the TV.

Total cost: $44, but I’ll use the rest of the supplies for other projects
Total time: 2 1/2 days, but less than 3 hours of active time

My next project is a set of small brown shelves I have. I’m trying to decide if it’s going to be worthwhile trying to paint them purple or if I should just cover them in black contact paper so that they match the rest of my furniture. I already have silver contact paper for the shelves, but I don’t have enough to do the frame too.

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I’m so excited, you guys. My apartment is actually starting to look like my place, instead of just a random white studio!