This post shares cheap DIY furniture ideas, specifically 40 projects that cost less to build yourself instead of buy. There’s something for every room in the house.
Hey all, today I’m sharing a big ol’ roundup of 40 projects that cost less to build yourself instead of buy. I love DIYing for this very reason—that and the fact that you can make something that’s exactly what you want for your space. So let’s jump right in.
Cheap DIY Furniture Ideas: 40 Projects That Cost Less to Build Yourself
1. West Elm Knockoff Bookshelf by Two Feet First
No roundup of cheap DIY furniture ideas would be complete without a West Elm knockoff, so let’s kick this off with one. This awesome bookshelf cost only a fraction of what the inspiration from West Elm cost. If you’re like me and like to window shop at West Elm while you leave your credit card at home, this project is for you.
2. Boxy modern shelving by Rain on a Tin Roof
Another great shelving idea that cost significantly (I mean SIGNIFICANTLY) less to build rather than buy. Jenna did a fab job on these shelves. I think I’d probably do them with a light stain on the unfinished wood areas and black painted squares.
I also think my cats would really enjoy hopping around these shelves and slinking through the little squares, so it would probably be more of a cat tree for me.
3. DIY Photo Ledge Shelves by me
These DIY photo ledges are in our basement. They were inspired by Ikea’s mosslanda line of photo ledge shelving, which we have in Ramona’s nursery. I modeled mine after their shelves using just a few pieces of wood from Home Depot.
They aren’t really that much cheaper than the ones at Ikea, but for me they were a better use of my resources. I hate paying Ikea’s shipping prices, and it would take me several hours to get to, shop at, and return home from our closest Ikea. Plus, when you DIY, you can make them any size you please!
4. Simple wooden cube coat rack by Lemon Thistle
Is it me, or are these painted the exact same color as the accent squares in the modern open shelving a few projects up?! They’d look nice in a room together. This cube coat rack is a cute way to maximize storage space in a small entryway. I love the peek at that wallpaper, too!
5. How to Build a Shoe Cubby by me
This is another DIY of mine modeled after the Ikea cubby and shoe storage solutions. I designed this specifically for the wall in our small entryway.
6. Junk drawer organizer by me
Did this project take more time than buying a cheap drawer organizer at a store? Yes. But not that much more time. And the materials were cheap cheap cheap. Just a few skinny hobby boards from Home Depot and some wood glue I already had.
In fact, I loved this so much that I have versions of it in two drawers: this drawer and our spice drawer.
7. Storage Basket Side Table by House by the Bay Design
What’s not to love about a cute side table that also has storage? Casey loved this style of table and decided to make her own when she saw the basket for sale without the top.
LIVING & DINING ROOM IDEAS
8. Large Modern Coffee Table by House on Longwood Lane
I love the style of this coffee table! very similar to the one we have on our downstairs patio. It gives you a lot of surface area for not that much in materials, either. And easy to customize based on your space.
9. Space-Saving Sofa End Table by me
I have been eyeing tables like this forever. I finally decided to make one myself using pieces of scrap wood we already had in the garage (from our murphy bed DIY a few more down the list).
This was a really simple build that we have used every single day since I finished it up. It’s great for small spaces but would make a great addition to any space if you want a convenient place to put a drink, remote, or computer.
10. Modern End Table by Girl, Just DIY
Toni’s awesome end table was inspired by a $300+ end table at Crate and Barrel. She made hers for about $30 in supplies, and she’s sharing the full plans.
11. Live edge table with steel base by Lemon Thistle
There is no way that Colleen and her family would have been able to buy a table this stunning for anywhere near what they paid to make it! Wood slabs can be expensive, but if you can spruce them up and finish them yourself—and find appropriate legs—it is so much cheaper than the markup you pay when you buy a finished product!
I would love a table like this in my house. We have a live edge wood slab, but it isn’t quite big enough for a dining table. We’re still trying to figure out what to do with it.
CHEAP DIY FURNITURE IDEAS: BED & BATH
12. Simple Nightstand for Under $40 by DIY Dreamer
This simple nightstand is adorable and easy to build. It would make an awesome beginner woodworking project, and given its size, you might be able to swing it as a scrap wood project. Especially if it’s a nightstand for a kid.
13. Murphy Bed and Shelving by me
One of my favorite money-saving big DIYs in our house. Our murphy bed with built-in shelving. The bed we modeled this after was almost $2,000 when we built ours. It’s now on Overstock for over $1,700. We spent somewhere between $600 and $800 to make ours, AND it’s made of all real wood.
I’m really proud of this project and think it just goes to show how much you can accomplish when you see something you like and decide, “hey, I can do that.”
14. Open Storage Sink Vanity by H20 Bungalow
This open storage sink vanity could be adapted to fit so many different spaces and styles based on changing up its size and finish.
15. Built-in Bed With Drawers by Simplicity in the South
Those drawers are old cabinets! I love how this setup could help maximize space in a small kids room, a guest space, or a vacation house.
16. Geometric Barn Door by House on Longwood Lane
Kourtni really nailed this DIY. Not only would you pay more to buy this, you’d probably not even be able to find something exactly like this. She did base the idea off of something she saw in a restaurant in California.
ACCESSORIES AND DECOR
17. Chic Round Stool by Just Measuring Up
This stool was inspired by a similar one as West Elm, and it was made using only $15 in materials! Honestly though…is there anything at West Elm that costs that little? Maybe like one napkin ring?
18. Wooden Bench With a Woven Fabric Seat by Toolbox Divas
Love love love this project! She saw it for $800 in a magazine and decided, “hey, I’ve never done anything like weaving fabric, but I bet I can learn how to.” Her finished product looks so polished and professional! I also love the boxy look of the legs. $800 to DIYed? That’s like the queen of cheap DIY furniture ideas.
19. Small wooden bench by Sawdust Sisters
Another fun little boxy wooden bench without the woven fabric seat. This one would be a project to tackle if you aren’t up for fabric weaving.
Plants and Gardening
20. Modern Planter With Hairpin Legs by me
Large planters can be EXPENSIVE. Would you believe I made this out of about a half sheet of plywood, a bucket, and some hairpin legs I got off of Amazon?
(Yes. I said a bucket.) Definitely check this project out if you’re in the market for a large, chic-looking planter that won’t break the bank and requires only basic woodworking skills.
21. Simple redwood plant stand by Sawdust Sisters
Another great plant stand that is probably even easier to build. You could use this indoors as well or with a variety of different pot types and sizes. A cute little plant stand like this has been on my project list for a while. I bet I could make it with 2×2 scraps from various projects, too.
WORKSPACES & DESKS
22. Chippendale desk by Rain on a Tin Roof
This Chippendale desk is absolutely stunning. You’d pay a fortune for something this beautiful in a store for sure. This would also be a neat concept to do for the back of a desk if the back of the desk faces out into the room.
23. Easy monitor stand by me
I made this quick and easy monitor stand years ago and still use it every single day. I used a piece of wood left over from another project and glued on a few Ikea peg legs.
24. Plywood double desk by Lemon Thistle
This is adorable, and I love the combination of the light wood and black on the cabinet. (Btw, I have those cabinets in my workspace to store craft supplies. They are from Ikea and are amazing!)
DIY PET FURNITURE IDEAS
25. Ikea hack cat condo by me
Ikea comes to the rescue in a lot of cheap DIY furniture ideas like this one. I did this fun little Ikea hack years ago. Cat trees can be really expensive, so I made one using two cheap Ikea Lack tables. The little one is just glued on top of the bigger one. I added embellishments like scratchers, sisal rope, faux fur fabric, and a dangling toy. Our cats spent many, many hours on this piece until they got a major upgrade to…
26. Cat Tree Made Out of Real Branches by me
…this cat tree made out of real branches! We made this completely from scratch, literally from branches we pulled out of the woods. I modeled it after a similar cat tree that cost well over $1,000. My grand total to make this was about $75. And a lot of time. 🙂
27. The ultimate DIY cat condo by Lazy Guy DIY
Adam has a ton of fab building projects you can do, and this one is one of my favorites. It’s always nice to see people who love their kitties this much 🙂 He’s sharing the full build plans over on his page.
28. Modern Raised Dog Feeder by me
Modeled after a similar feeder on Etsy that was listed for over $75, this modern raised dog feeder hits all the marks: practical, pretty, and cheap. I don’t have a dog, so I ran a giveaway for this one, and it’s now being enjoyed by a pup in Idaho.
29. Retro Indoor Cat House Build Plans by me
Another kitty build, because I just can’t stop myself. I built this piece for the basement by the murphy bed. It usually functions as a plant stand, but it can be a nice end table or nightstand when we have guests over using the murphy bed.
Oh, and the hole is the perfect size so that even chubby bunny Blanche can squeeze through and feel invincible in her cat cave.
DIY PROJECTS FOR KIDS SPACES
30. Kids Play Kitchen by Abbotts at Home
This seriously looks store bought. Like, it’s even better than the Melissa and Doug wooden play kitchen. It’s so, so good. If Ramona didn’t already have a play kitchen, I would definitely be adding this one to the project list. I love all of the little details, too. Awesome work.
31. Modern Dollhouse Bookcase by me
I modeled this after the small Ikea dollhouse bookshelf and the large Pottery Barn dollhouse bookshelf. I made mine somewhere in between those two—a bit longer and leaner. This way, it can sit in front of a window and not block too much, but it can still store lots of toys and goodies.
This project lives over at grammy’s house now, and it’s the perfect fit for the corner of Ramona’s “room” over there. I really wish we had room for it here, because I really love how it turned out!
32. Water Play Table for Toddlers by me
Another project I made for my daughter—this water play table. It didn’t cost a whole lot and is so much easier to clean than the plastic ones. I just take the two tubs out to clean them.
The actual play table is made of pine and is finished with an opaque gray stain meant for outdoor use. So, as a bonus, it looks great sitting on our balcony too!
33. Modern outdoor kids table and chairs by me
I made this modern outdoor table and chairs set for my daughter after I made the water table. I felt like being a bit extra and stained them in the same outdoor gray stain to match—plus a white dipped effect on the legs!
I’d say this was about on par with buying any old outdoor kids set at a store, but I modeled this set after the Land of Nod kids line, which is SUPER expensive. I honestly think I nailed it. I love this set.
OUTDOOR DIY FURNITURE & PROJECTS
34. Outdoor Coffee Table With Concrete Top by me
Outdoor furniture in general can be pretty expensive, especially if you want something that isn’t plastic. So outdoor furniture can be great cheap DIY furniture projects. I decided to make an outdoor coffee table for our small deck using a few pieces of 2×2 pine and some cheap concrete pavers.
We’re on our second summer with it, and it’s holding up great. I loved it so much that I made a matching side table, which you can see in this pic too.
35. Chunky Modern Outdoor Dining Table by me
The bigger the piece of furniture, the more expensive. So if outdoor coffee tables are expensive, outdoor dining tables are even more expensive. I made this chunky outdoor dining table using pine.
36. Outdoor Wood Chairs by DIY Danielle
My friend Danielle made these easy stained chaired for her porch, and they look comfy! Her biggest expense for these wasn’t actually the chair but the cushions.
37. AC unit screen by me
Want to hide an eyesore? Building a screen is a great solution because you can make the measurements fit your space perfectly. We did that for our HVAC unit and utilities area in our tiny backyard.
38. Midcentury modern trellis panel by PMQ for Two
If I have ever had heart eyes for anything, IT’S THIS. I absolutely love this trellis by my friend Ariel! Its big and bold and beautiful, which is definitely Ariel’s style. I love how much privacy this would provide with some beautiful vining plants.
39. Modern Trellis for Vines by me
Speaking of DIY trellises, I wanted to make a modern-looking trellis for our back fence. I made it out of a few pieces of 1×2 and thinner trim pieces. I finished this with the same can of opaque outdoor gray stain I used on a few projects I mentioned in this roundup. That stuff is great—a little goes such a long way.
I definitely wouldn’t have been able to buy something like this for $20, which is what I spent on supplies. And the best part is that I only used a hammer and nails to construct this, not a nail gun. So if big tools intimidate you or you don’t have them, you can still make this!
40. DIY potting bench by PMQ for Two
And for the final project, another beautiful bold one from my friend Ariel (the same person who did the giant trellis above). I love this potting bench so so much.