Summer is the season of home improvement, but all of those remodeling projects can get a bit expensive. If you’re already spending the money to hire a contractor for that fancy bathroom remodel or to build a new deck, maybe it’s time to try your own hand at some furniture projects?

Though DIY projects are popular right now, it can be hard to sort through the projects that are actually quick, doable, and inexpensive versus the ones that aren’t. From projects so complex you’d have to be a rocket scientist to follow the instructions to DIY ideas where the supplies end up more expensive than just buying a new whatever-you-were-trying-to-make, most homeowners don’t even bother trying anymore. But whether you’re an experienced DIYer or a DIY newbie, here’s a list of some of the best DIY furniture projects out there! They’re all fairly simple and with some attention to detail, you can create finished products that look professionally created. But the best part? Each of these projects can be completed for less than $50.00 (that’s not even enough to pay for family dinner out). Plus, many of them use extra materials from other household projects, so you’ll be recycling, too.

So what are you waiting for?

DIY Project 1: Bookshelves

DIY bookshelf that's easy to make and affordable
DIY bookshelf from

If you’re just looking for a little more storage for books, or you’d like to add some style to an empty room, consider building your own bookshelf. By using some bricks or cinderblocks and a few pieces of wood, you can create a totally customizable bookshelf that’s as wide and as tall as you’d like. Use light wood and cinderblocks if you’re going for a more open look, or try dark, exotic woods (leftover from a floor remodel?) and bricks for a classier, more mature look. When it comes time to move, the whole thing comes apart for easy packing/reassembly.

DIY Project 2: Leather and Wood Open Shelving

Wall shelving structures that hold up under pressure
DIY shelves from

If a bookcase isn’t in the floor plans, maybe you’d want to think about some open, floating shelving? Using two sturdy, leather belts, a few pieces of wood (stained or painted however you’d like), and some nails, you can create these beautiful shelves for anywhere in the house. If you’ve already got wood you’d like to use, the entire project shouldn’t take more than an afternoon.

Get full instructions here.

DIY Project 3: Wine Crate Coffee Table

This beautiful, intricate living room table is yours to create
DIY coffee table from

Maybe you’ve completely redone your living room but the budget didn’t quite leave enough for an updated coffee table to match, and you’re now looking for a cheap alternative. But why settle? Try out this classy version of a rolling coffee table made from crates to give extra storage below. You can either use thrift store vintage wine crates, left-over wine crates (if you’re a wine connoisseur and have a few laying around), or you can buy look-alike crates and stain them/stencil them to get that vintage look.

This blog gives great step-by-step instructions, though there are other versions out there that require fewer tools and less construction skill.

DIY Project 4: Pallet Vertical Garden

DIY outdoor pallet garden: landscaping isn't just for your lawn!
Hanging pallet garden from

As the summer is fast coming to a close, you may want a way to bring the greenery indoors, and a vertical succulent or herb garden is a great way to do that. Design Sponge provides a great DIY guide to creating this work of living art using a recycled pallet. Find a space to lean the pallet, or mount it on a wall (though you may want to check in with a contractor about where to put it, as wet soil gets pretty heavy).

DIY Project 5: Covered Sandbox

DIY sandbox for the yard and your young ones
DIY sandbox from

A sandbox can be a great addition to your backyard if you’ve got little ones, but between stray cats and inclement weather, upkeep can become too cumbersome to keep up with. Why not take the time to build a covered sandbox? You can keep this project under $50 if you’ve already got a sandbox or if you have access to spare pieces of lumber. You’ll also need some specific tools, but those can easily be rented if need be. You will want to talk to your landscaper to find a suitable (level) area of your yard that’s big enough for the sandbox when opened.

Find a material list and instructions here.

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