Got some free time this weekend and want to do something productive? Now is the ideal time to shake things up in your kitchen with these five quick, easy and budget-friendly DIY kitchen project ideas that you can achieve this weekend.
DIY is all about making the most of the materials you have on hand and fitting in. The following ideas are just a springboard to provide great inspiration for your next small kitchen project. They are designed to be designed to suit any space and style, using any materials that are sitting, unused and forgotten, in that bottom drawer.
1) Create an indoor vegetable garden
A number of studies have shown that indoor plants reduce stress and improve productivity, concentration, sleep patterns and general well-being. So why not bring some life into the kitchen and reap the additional health and culinary benefits too?
There are many herbs that thrive indoors for you to choose from. Basil, chives, parsley and oregano are among my personal favourites. Impress your friends and family with cheese and chive scones, pesto or Margherita pizza made using fresh home grown ingredients!
Indoor herbs do best sitting on windowsills where they get plenty of sunlight. Depending on the space available, you can divide each plant into individual pots or keep them all in one trough.
Those old terracotta pots in the garden shed (or new ones) are among the best for drainage – spruce them up with a lick of paint or varnish. If you’re handy with a hammer, build your mini-garden from scratch from plywood, which allows you to design a shape and size to best suit your kitchen. Alternatively, if you are one of those people for whom hammers should be treated as a hazardous substance, individual pots can be created from cans, glass bottles, mason jars, two liter upside down plastic bottles downstairs, cookie tins, tea cups or kettles.
2) DIY shopping list
Have you ever discovered at 7am that a beloved family member used cereal and forgot to mention it? After you’ve done your weekly grocery shop? It is infuriating. A DIY chalkboard shopping list is both a solution to lost lists and a quirky way to repurpose dull, empty wall space. Most paint and hardware stores stock chalkboard paint that dries with a classic chalkboard finish in a variety of colors.
The fun begins as you choose your background surface, from a simple piece of plywood or an ornate frame to a wooden cutting board, an old flat-bottomed tray or a clipboard for something a little more unique. Paint a cupboard door or an entire wall if you dare! For a less messy alternative, you can use self-adhesive blackboard paper. This usually comes in rolls which you can then cut into shapes, peel off the backing and stick.
If you are one of those talented people who don’t lose track of their shopping lists or have perfect recall, consider creating a chalkboard calendar, message center or quote board instead.
Handy hint: remember to attach a chalk holder, such as a pot or tin, build a ledge, or even keep an old, chipped cup nearby to make sure the chalk is nearby when you suddenly remember something to write!
3) Sort out that overflowing utensil drawer
Before you dismiss this suggestion with a roll of your eyes and a horrified groan, consider these quick, ingenious and yes, even fun DIY storage solutions to help organize your kitchen.
a) On the counter: Sort your most used utensils into containers. Consider upcycling jars, large mugs, plant pots, tins and vases. Customize these or create a matching theme using paint, labels or stickers.
b) On the hair: Coat hangers, an old rake, a piece of driftwood or a broomstick can all act as hangers for those difficult pots, cups and spoons. Your chosen item(s) can be easily attached to the wall using nails, picture hooks and/or string.
While you’re at it, be brave and throw away, reuse or donate unused utensils. Your future self will thank you for it.
4) Design a new lighting scheme
See your kitchen in a whole new light. Lighting is especially important in the kitchen so it may be time to install bigger and better fixtures. Try something more sleek and modern, or turn back the clock a few years and try something vintage or retro for a more classic and homely feel.
Simply switching the light shade on dangling fittings can have dramatic effects. A light shade of the upside down colander creates star patterns on the ceiling. Mason jars, cake tins or even graters can also be used to great effect and introduce a whole new vibe to your workspace. Before you begin, please be aware that this type of project may require a little more experience than others on this list, as it may involve metal or glass work and some electrical knowledge.
5) Paint something
For those looking for a more drastic change.
Fresh paint on the cabinet doors can leave your kitchen feeling clean and new, without requiring expensive tiling or new tapware. Feature walls have continued to be a popular choice in recent years, so be bold and paint that back wall fire engine red, or add accents with contrasting boards.
If you want a more subtle je ne sais quoi, hang a new painting, a picture or an artistic arrangement of old cutlery. Landscapes, nature scenes and silhouettes are particularly effective in creating a relaxed atmosphere in the kitchen. A vintage metric conversion table is both useful and stylish while a quote can make you smile. “Don’t be afraid to take whisks!”
Alex Kennedy is the digital marketer for Plumbing Plus, Australasia’s leading supplier of plumbing and bathroom supplies, offering a wide range of products from shower enclosures, toilet suites, basins, and sinks, to water heaters, gas heaters, and other accessories. You can check out their collection of products from leading brands in one of their stores around New Zealand, or shop online at their website.