7 Furniture Items You Can DIY in Your New Home

From our collaborators at Zoocasa.

So you’ve looked at houses for sale for months, spending every weekend scouring the MLS listings and rushing to open houses. Finally, you found a new home. Congratulations! The only problem is, it was expensive. We’re talking serious cash here. (Have you seen sold house prices in Toronto lately?)

And after spending so much on your down payment, Land Transfer Tax, lawyer fees and a moving truck, you kind of don’t have any savings leftover to splash out on furniture. 

But no worries. We have a great way for you to save on decorating costs: Do-IY. When you DIY your own furniture not only do you save money but you also get something unique, something that you can be proud of. You can also get exactly what you want

Furniture is crazy expensive these days — it can easily costs thousands of dollars for a dining room table, for example, never mind the chairs. Even a simple rug is usually a few hundred at a minimum.

Now, unless you’re a carpenter or have a looming weave in your house you won’t be able to DIY everything – but, we’ve compiled seven hands on projects that are easy for the beginner and will add flair to your new property. 

First, seven basics you’ll want around to help you get started:

  1. A drill
  2. Wood glue
  3. Screws and nails
  4. Spray paint
  5. Sanding paper
  6. Staple gun
  7. Tape Measurer

That’s pretty much all you need to get started and we bet you have most of those materials already!

DIY

1.Throw pillows

Throw pillows can be a major rip-off. We’ve seen pillows for $300 at fancy homeware stores, but these decorating basics don’t need to be so pricey. All you need is a sewing machine, or even a needle and thread, some fabric and stuffing and you can have a pillow in the exact style and colour you want for under $20 (or even cheaper). You can even use the pillows you already own as an insert, and just make the fabric cover (or tear them up and reuse the stuffing). On top of that, they’re super easy to make and will take you less than an hour once you get the hang of it. Head to the textile district in your town and have a browse through the hundreds of fabrics on offer. Check out YouTube for exactly how to make them. You’ll never buy a pillow again!

2. Reupholstering chairs

All you need for this project is grandma’s old ugly chairs (or free ones you found at a garage sale or Bunz), a staple gun (an investment if you’re serious about DIY) and fabric (head to the aforementioned textile district — it’s your new home!). All you do is rip out the previous fabric and staple the new one on. Now you have stunning chairs that will match any room. You can take an ugly paisley print and have them be a crushed red velvet for your dressing room, or a soft pink for a nursery. This project will take under an hour.

You can also extend this project to making an entryway bench. 

You need someplace to take off your shoes and toss your purse so why not make that place yourself? All you’ll need is a cheap bench from the flea market or kijiji. Anything will do. Then you should spray paint it in the colour of your choice and reupholster it as above. Done and done.

3. Marble and gold end table

Marble is all the rage now and nothing says classy yet edgy than a sleek marble and gold end table. It also goes with absolutely everything. All you need is a piece of marble from your local countertop and cabinet store (ask if they have any cast-offs or leftover material in the back) and some type of legs. You can buy hairpin legs, a cement block or even a piece of wood from your local hardware store or online. First spray paint the legs gold and wait a day or so to dry. Then you’ll want to glue a piece of wood to the back of the marble to stabilize the piece and so you don’t accidentally poke any holes. Then drill holes into the wood to attach the legs of your choice. This takes a bit more skill than our previously described project, but not much. And you’ll save a few hundred dollars from buying it new. 

4. Bed frame and headboard

You may be shocked to realize that you can create your very own bed frame from nothing more than wood sourced from your local hardware store. If you’re into Scandinavian design, you don’t even have to paint it — it will look rustic and hipster — but feel free to stain it in the colour of your choice. Take a weekend to complete this project, but you may only need four hours depending on your level of expertise You’ll need lumber for the sides and lumber for the supports, along with glue, screws and paint. That’s pretty much it! Find measurements for your mattress size on Home Depot — they also have a great video tutorial. 

Once you have your bed frame, why stop there? It’s time to make a headboard. Depending on your style, it can cost as little as $35 to make. For a reclaimed wood headboard ( to match your bed frame) head to a lumber yard or hardware store. Ask them to cut the cheapest wood they have. Then simply attach four pieces together for the frame, then fill in the middle with slats.

5. Building an outdoor table

Wouldn’t it be nice to sit outside in your new home with friends and family grilling some meat? We bet it would. And wouldn’t it be great to eat all that meat at a table you built yourself? Imagine those bragging rights. Since an outdoor table is basically supposed to look rugged and imperfect it’s a great place to start your DIY adventures. Even if you mess up, no one will know, they’ll just think it was the latest trend. (that’s probably how live edges got started).You’ll need five wood boards that you just need to drill,nail and glue together. (Your lumber yard will cut them to the desired length). You basically make a box then add legs. 

6. Hack flatpack furniture

Let’s say DIYing from scratch is just not your scene — why not take flat pack furniture from the inexpensive Swedish store we all love, that rhymes with Panea, and hack it? The possibilities are truly endless there. Why not buy a $50 Lack coffee table, the one everybody has, but glue wooden planks on top? Now you have a farmhouse coffee table that normally retails for $500 or more and it’s totally unique.

Or why not buy a barebones $60 Rast dresser; stain it white, swap out the pulls, and add a cut a glass sheet for the top and now you suddenly have an incredibly chic dresser that everyone will think you paid thousands for.

7. Crate nightstand

For this super-straightforward DIY project, all you need is a few cheap wooden crates. You can buy these from any home furniture or decor store for under $20. Stain them white and glue or nail together about three of them — all with the open side facing out — and you now have incredibly functional nightstands that have a rustic-farm vibe. Joanna Gaines would be proud. They hold a ton so you can store your extra books there too. 

In fact, you don’t even have to limit yourself at nightstands. They also make perfect toy-storage holders, and since they’re wood, you don’t have to worry about your kids coming in contact with any nasty plastic chemicals like BPA. 

Overall, there’s nothing to be scared of when tackling DIY furniture projects. It may seem intimidating at first, but once you start you’ll likely get addicted. You’ll see just how easy it is and how little skill you really have to have to make some basic furniture using wood and fabric. If you need inspiration check out Pinterest or some DIY blogs like this one. Spend a bit of time and save a lot of dough. 

And who knows? You may get so good at making DIY furniture that it could turn into a side-hustle when you start selling them to other homebuyers. 

About Zoocasa

Zoocasa is a full-service brokerage that offers advanced online search tools to empower Canadians with the data and expertise they need to make more successful real estate decisions. View real estate listings at zoocasa.com or download our free iOS app.

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