How I Created A Home Office For (Almost) Nothing

This is a guest post from Aaron Couch, a good friend of mine who’s been reading CIG since the early days. Since I haven’t done any DIY content in a while, this post mapping out his process of building a home office on the cheap is very welcome. Oh, and you should follow him on Twitter.

While Thomas has written before about finding great study spots, some of us like to work in the comfort of our own homes – which leaves us with the challenge of building a suitable home office.

As a writer, I’m constantly at my computer, but I really never had the ability to “build” my own office when I graduated from college and moved back home last year. Moving out, recently, gave me the opportunity to do so.

I moved 1,400+ miles from home and was immediately faced with the realization that I would need to find a way to put together something that I could work at all the time without putting strain on myself.

Now there are a lot of options for building a home office. The only problem for me is that I am pretty low on funds, so I can’t afford to buy a brand new desk, chair and anything else that comes with a proper workspace.

Instead, I turned back towards my frugal nature, which has helped me time and time again. Read More…

How to Create Custom Dorm Lighting with Christmas Lights and a Dimmer

If you live in a dorm, I can probably guess exactly what you see when you look up: a big, boring industrial overhead light.

That’s just what most dorms come with. They’re cheap, they light the room sufficiently, and that’s about it. The certainly won’t win any points for looks.

When I moved into my first dorm, I took one look at that overhead light and decided that it just wasn’t enough. Over the next few weeks I experimented with other lighting solutions. In the end, my favorite one was simply stringing Christmas lights all around my room. I didn’t just use them for the holidays; those bad boys were up all year long.

However, I had one problem with the Christmas lights – namely that I had to plug or unplug them from the wall whenever I wanted to turn them on or off. Well, now that I’m in apartment, that setup just isn’t going to fly.

The other day, I got the urge to put up Christmas lights again. This time, however, I wanted to be able to control them without ever touching the plug. Here’s how I did it! The solution is incredibly simple, but I wanted to share it anyway for anyone who hadn’t thought of it. Read More…

How To Create Your Own Jaw-Dropping Business Cards

Back in September I posted a pretty extensive guide on how to succeed at a career fair. One of my tips on how to prepare for career fair success was to have business cards – not just any business cards, but beautiful business cards. Beautiful business cards a like glue that goes between a recruiter’s brain and your name.

Beautiful business cards aren’t the boilerplate ones you can get printed at your schools. While there are nice-looking templates out there that you can use, I believe the best way to make an impression is to design your own. That’s what I’m going to teach you how to do today. I’ll first go through a tutorial on how to actually design the card using Photoshop, and then show you how you can get it printed for cheap.

Note: Before you start this tutorial, I highly suggest making your own website first! That way, you’ll be able to put your URL on your card and give people an awesome way to connect with you. Get started with my complete website building guide.

Read More…

How To Build The Ultimate Hanging Loft Bed

Back in May, I put up a cool little tutorial on how to build a hanging desk. Basically, I attached chains to the four corners of a sturdy board and hung the board off my loft bed.

While it was a pretty simple project, the outcome was pretty cool – all the floor space that would be taken by desk legs is freed up, giving me more room to store things or to stretch out my legs.

Unfortunately, I’m back in school and the standard desk that comes with my room cannot be removed. Therefore, I had to go looking for other ways to free up floor space. Gotta make room for a couch, right? Read More…

How To Build A Hanging Desk In 15 Minutes

My dorm-design philosophy is this: things that touch the floor are bad. Now, while that’s not to say you should attempt to create a Swiss Family Robinson-style treehouse in your room, it’s pretty easy to agree that anything that sits on the floor takes up valuable space that could be used for yoga, stationary cycling, or counting laundered money. Therefore, things like combination refrigerator-microwaves and stackable containers are a godsend to the college student who’s been forced to get in touch with his inner sardine. Read More…

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