Post by Stacey Walker. Stacey mostly works behind the scenes for Walker Woodworking, managing day to day operations, and marketing. Stacey has helped many clients create their dream space.

DIY Woodworking Projects for Rental Apartments

Transforming a rental apartment into a personalized and functional space can be challenging, especially when navigating the restrictions many landlords impose on permanent changes. However, woodworking projects offer a fantastic way to add personal touches, extra storage, and stylish decor without risking your security deposit.

Woodworking projects allow you to customize your living space and provide an opportunity to engage in a rewarding hobby. Depending on your skills and available tools, these projects can range from simple to complex. Moreover, working with wood can be incredibly satisfying, offering a tangible sense of accomplishment with each project completed. Whether you’re a seasoned woodworker or a beginner eager to learn, these projects are designed to be accessible and rewarding for all.

Here are some easy-to-implement DIY woodworking projects perfect for rental apartments that make your space feel like home.

1. Floating Shelves

Floating shelves are a renter’s best friend. They provide additional storage space and display areas for decor and can be installed with minimal wall damage. Using basic tools and materials like wooden boards, brackets, screws, and wall anchors (make sure to use ones suitable for your wall type), you can customize the size, shape, and finish of your shelves to match your decor. Plus, when it’s time to move out, you can easily fill in the small holes left behind.

2. Portable Kitchen Island

A portable kitchen island can offer extra countertop and storage space—luxuries in any rental kitchen. With some woodworking skills, you can create a custom island on wheels using plywood and timber. Add a butcher block top for a durable work surface, and include drawers or shelves underneath for additional storage. The island’s mobility means you can adjust your kitchen layout and take it with you if you move.

3. Removable Window Bench

A window bench not only provides extra seating but also creates additional storage opportunities. Design a simple wooden frame to fit your window space and top it with a comfortable cushion. Ensure the bench is freestanding so it’s not permanently attached to the walls or floor. For added functionality, include storage under the seat with a hinged top or pull-out drawers.

4. Plant Stand

Bring some greenery into your space with a custom plant stand. You can easily create tiered stands to fit any corner or window area, allowing you to display multiple plants in a compact footprint. Use dowels and plywood or reclaimed wood for an eco-friendly option. Plant stands can be designed to fit your specific space and needs, from small tabletop versions to larger floor-standing models.

5. Bed Frame with Built-in Storage

Maximize your bedroom’s storage potential with a DIY bed frame with built-in storage. This project can be as simple as elevating a platform bed and adding drawers underneath or as complex as building a fully custom frame with storage compartments. This adds valuable storage space and gives you the freedom to design a bed that perfectly fits your space and style.

6. Collapsible Desk

For those working from home, a collapsible desk can be a game-changer. This project allows you to create a workspace that can be folded away when not in use, saving valuable floor space. Use hinges to attach a wooden desktop to a wall-mounted frame, and add a fold-down leg for additional support. You can customize the size and finish to match your living space, and when you need more room, fold the desk back against the wall.

7. Modular Bookcase

A modular bookcase system is ideal for renters who need flexible storage solutions. You create a custom shelving unit that grows and changes with your needs by constructing individual boxes or cubes that can be stacked and rearranged. Use lightweight yet sturdy wood to make moving and reconfiguration easy. This approach allows for creativity in layout and design, and the individual modules can be utilized for various purposes beyond book storage, such as room dividers or display shelves.


DIY woodworking projects offer a creative and practical solution for renters looking to enhance their living space without making permanent changes. These projects can add functionality, style, and personality to any rental apartment, from floating shelves to collapsible desks. With some effort and creativity, you can transform your rental into a cozy, customized home that meets your needs and reflects your style.

Engaging in these DIY projects beautifies your space and imbues it with a unique character that truly makes it feel like home. Beyond the aesthetic and practical benefits, these projects can foster a deeper connection to your living environment, creating a sense of pride and ownership over your space. So, grab your tools and start making your rental apartment a place where every corner reflects your personality and craftsmanship.