#1 Budget lights
Are you permanently scared of switching on the lights due to your newly settled electric bill? Never fear, you can easily make lights at home for pennies. Take large old jars, the best ones are big, flat bottomed pickle ones, and wash them with hot water and soap, before scouring off the label. When they are suitably polished and clean, pack in LED battery fairy lights, they cost a max of £2.50, you can usually find them in Primark or online. Batteries can be found at places like pound stretcher, Pound land or Home Bargains. Then switch on and enjoy the glow! You can also paint the jars to add more colour!
#2 Photo washing line
If you are looking for a cheap, easy way to display your photos, that also doesn’t risk the chance of blue tac staining the walls, then this a great idea. Take some twine, you can usually find it on eBay for a couple of pounds, and some small craft wooden pegs, once again these can be found online at a discount price. By hanging up the twine you can attach your photos using the pegs, to add more you could wrap some fairy lights around the twine as well!
#3 Blankets and throws
A great way to do up your living room and to take away the often-shabby look of student house sofas, blankets and pillows are a great way to go about this.
#4 DIY photo frames
You can often buy packs of cheap photo frames from pound shops or places like home bargains and pound stretcher. These are great to liven up with paint, you can colour theme them to the bedroom or the living room, you can even stick them all together to make a large photo frame collage.
#5 DIY candles
This one completely depends on how much yoghurt you eat, but if you manage to get hold of the ones that come in small glass pots, remember to keep them. After you have washed them out you can place small tea lights in them to make rather pretty lights to scatter around the house.
#6 DIY flower pots, make up brushes pots, pen pots
As a student, you will probably be having quite a lot of pasta, so this is a great idea on what to do with all those empty cans. First, give them a good wash in soap and hot water, before scouring off the label and leaving them to dry. When they are completely dry, get decorating. You can get metallic spray paint off eBay for a cheap price, you can also wrap the cans in wrapping paper and tie ribbon round them. They make great small vases, pen pots or holders for makeup brushes.
#7 Cork board
Cork boards can be a great way for displaying jewellery, keeping it from getting all tangled up. You can push decorative pins into it to hang necklaces from. You can also paint it to make it fit in with the rest of the room.
#8 DIY book shelf
Need somewhere to store all those university books? Wooden crates can be brought from a variety of stores, here are some from IKEA. Take the boxes, you will need at least seven, and arrange them into a book shelf, by placing the boxes on their sides. Four at the bottom, two on top of them and finally one on top. You can also paint the boxes, adding tape or glitter to them. Then, place your books on, you can also add trinkets or some of your DIY pen or flower pots.
#9 Quilted ribbon notice board
This involves getting yourself a cheap corkboard again. You will also need a small amount of your favourite fabric. Take the fabric and stretch it over the board, you can usually secure it with a high-power wall stapler. Then, using pins, push them into the quilted board to create the illusion of a studded quilted board. Next, you will need ribbon, cross this across the board, both ways, securing again with the stapler to create a checker board affect. This can then be used to slip notes, reminders, invitations and cards into.
#10 Wall art
A great way to add character to your student house is to make cheap wall art. Shops such as Paperchase offer larger sheets, which are apparently used as wrapping paper?! They detail maps of the world, maps of Britain, London and Europe. They are detailed, colourful and bold and can be brilliant to frame in cheap large frames that you could also paint, to put around the house.
#11 Ladder book shelf
This one might sound a little outlandish. But if by any chance you are up for a big DIY project, then this one is for you. What you need are two old small ladders, the ones that only come up to your shoulders and that your Dad pulls out to change a light bulb. Once you have these, you will need some planks of wood, these will need to be cut progressively smaller as you will essentially be placing them between the two ladders, making a tiered effect. Next, paint, you can either opt for the rustic look or decide to add some colour to the equation. Finally, add your books, photo frames, flowers, anything you fancy!
#12 Photo frame key holder
If everyone in your student house are always losing their keys, this is the one for you. Take an old photo frame and give it a paint, including the card backing that is usually placed behind the glass. Then, remove the glass, you won’t be needing it. Attach these screw hooks, they are cheap from offline, find them here. There you have it! No one will lose their keys again.
#13 Make your own wicker effect basket
You will need for this one a cardboard box, a roll of rope and a cream pillow case. Using super glue, attach the end of the rope onto one of the outside bottom corners of the box, then start wrapping it round and round, until you get to the top! This should give it the look of a rope bound basket. To finish it off, line the inside of the box with the cream pillow case, attach the corners of the case using super glue to the corners of the box. This is great to store toiletries such as toilet roll in.
#14 Fairy light curtains
You will need a simple curtain rod for this, along with self adhesive hooks for the lights, pack of fairy lights and some sheer, light fabric/curtain, preferably cream. Hang the curtain rod and brackets high up on your wall, next line the space between the two brackets with hooks before attaching the fairy lights to them. Finally, hang up the curtain.
#15 Chalkboard paint board
All you will need for this is a flat wooden board, usually you can get a piece of laminated flooring off eBay, find one here, and chalk board paint, find that here. Paint the board and voila, you have a chalk board, simply add some chalk, which you could store in you DIY tins, and there you go! You can leave passive aggressive messages for everyone about cleaning the kitchen!