20 Cheap and Easy DIY Kitchen Improvements
Cook, clean, repeat. Making meals day in and day out is a lot of work! No wonder Americans dine out between four and five times per week. Are you ready to lighten your load a little, or cheer up your kitchen space? If so, here are 20 fun and easy DIY improvements.
1. Fancy Furniture to Kitchen Island
Google some of the images for "dresser into kitchen island" and you'll be as stoked as I was (and you'll be looking at dressers along with me, at yard sales!). Not only are these practical, but some of them are really great-looking.
2. Cutting Board Holder
Do you use separate cutting boards for raw meats and another for ready-to-eat foods? Safer, for sure, but storing multiple cutting boards can be a pain. Sleek sets of cutting boards aren't cheap ($30 and up), so instead try one of these wire step file organizers at a bargain for $11.75 (even less if used). It'll also hold some cookbooks and small baking sheets.
3. Ditch the Drawers
Ugh, my poor, aching, back. I have come to despise my deep cupboards (where is that darn yellow casserole dish?). Maybe I'll install these awesome DIY pullout drawers.
4. Make a Cheerful Rug
Love my hardwood floors, but rugs do "warm up" the room, and they are nice to stand on while doing dishes. Why not make your own?
5. Sharp Storage
I love my big knife block, but if your knives weren't all purchased together, consider this handy magnetic knife bar. At less than $25, it'll keep your knives easy to find. It's also easy to install.
6. Hang 'Em High
Pots and pans everywhere? I know, I had that problem, too, until my husband built me a hanging pot rack. This project takes only about 45 minutes and what a terrific space-saver it is.
7. Fun Retro Look
Putting ingredients into Mason jars not only looks neat in your pantry, but the clear glass is practical. Take it a step further with a label maker and go nuts organizing.
8. Shelf Space
Wall space with no cupboards attached? Lucky you — try your hand at building some floating shelves and store/display your stuff.
9. Peg It
Remember pegboard? Guess what: It's cool again. Pegboard is inexpensive stuff, and it's not just for the garage, anymore. Paint it, or leave it in its natural state, add hooks, and ta-daah! Instant storage. A 2' x 4' piece is only about $6.
10. Cover It
I have, like… zero... craft ability, but even I can run a hot glue gun. You can use twine, rope, or even raffia to cover an old coffee can; fill with spatulas, ladles, wooden spoons. Then, utensils are not only easy to find, but look great.
11. Hook It
Don't forget about cup hooks! For about $6, you can buy a package of 30 sturdy hooks. Just screw them in "wasted space" spots in your kitchen and voilà! Hang up potholders, aprons, and, well, cups.
12. Outdoors In
I love fresh fruit in a bowl, but it does take up valuable counter space. Solution? Snag an inexpensive plant holder on clearance in a big-box garden shop and hang it inside for a "hanging" fruit basket.
13. DIY Countertop
Building your own concrete countertop is not a project for a beginner or a weekend, but if you have the skills, it's pretty cool!
14. Spicy Solution
No built-in spice rack? Don't despair. Here is a spice-rack project that can easily be done in an afternoon.
15. What's for Dinner?
Like those big menu boards you see in restaurants? How about a place to easily write shopping lists, post family notes, or schedules? Try making your own dry-erase board — a project that is really fun and practical!
16. Plant It!
Fresh herbs make your cooking efforts so much better. Why not plant an indoor herb garden? It's a snap. I love having chives, rosemary, basil and cilantro around.
17. Rakishly Handsome
Watch for old rakes at yard sales. Cut the handles down, clean, and hang on a wall. A rake is, as it turns out, perfect for hanging wineglasses, potholders, or kitchen towels, and they have a lot of fun character.
18. Re-Purpose the Wipes Container
Love those handy pop-up wipes containers? Re-use by covering with pretty wrapping or contact paper, and fill with plastic bags.
19. Snack Extravaganza
Hanging shoe pockets aren't just for shoes. Hang one in your pantry and add snacks, tea and cocoa packets, gravy or sauce mix packets, etc.
20. Cookbook Character
Need additional cookbook storage? Why not try making a bookshelf out of a pallet? The instructions include super-helpful information about how to select safe pallet wood.
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