This post marks the end of a series on our outdated kitchen transformation. There’s ten posts in all, some of them are just fun little things we did to add into the kitchen such as the Little DIY Sugar Bowl and others are larger projects such as a Built in Corner Simple DIY Pantry. This was a very 70’s kitchen with cupboards that had some nasty kind of finish someone had tried to apply and it didn’t quite work out. You might recall I caught a photo of my daughter’s face when she first saw it. Her expression pretty much summed it up. (She helped with a large portion of the make-over). It needed help badly. And me, being who I am, I wanted something fun and unique. And that’s exactly what I got.
Bear in mind, this transformation is not about a lot of new fancy appliances. Throughout everything, we kept an eye on cost. So the fridge is still the one we’ve had for over a decade and the stove is the one that was in the house when we bought it and badly needs updated. We wanted to show you how you can make what you have look beautiful without spending hundreds of dollars, even if you have to keep older appliances. We gave the stove a facelift and it looks very happy now with some flowers, a new back splash and bright towels on the front.
Never think that you can’t update your home because you have very little money. You’d be amazed at how far a gallon of paint will go! To prove my point, check out our Budget Living Room Makeover and Our Budget Bedroom Makeover. They are full of ideas on how to use what you have and then spend very little on extra’s to makeover a room. And if you’re the type that leans towards the whimsical, such as what we did below, you’ll love our Whimsical Living Room Series!
We start out with four rollover images, ’cause they’re so fun! You can see the room before, then when you rollover the image with your cursor you’ll see the “after” photo. Below that are the rest of the images showing the room from all angels. We did buy a new faucet. That was the only item we replaced.
Before Rollover #1
Hover cursor over photo to see “after” photo. (Page needs to load fully for those with slow internet.)
Before Rollover #2
Hover cursor over photo to see “after” photo.
Before Rollover #3
Hover cursor over photo to see “after” photo.
Before Rollover #4
Hover cursor over photo to see “after” photo.
Regular Kitchen Transformation Photos
Notice that framed photo on the right? That’s the original wallpaper. You can read the cute story about at “Kitchen Keepsake: If These Walls Could Talk”
We also have a DIY for that Unique Chicken Wire Frame Memo Board you see on the left.
As I had limited space for a garbage can Roy made that kitchen rash can on wheels you see and can get the instructions on.
The Eat To Live plaques are a Darling Kitchen Wall Decor item made from dollar store plates!
Yep, that’s just a wire basket I painted white and attached over my light fixture. Luckily it fit perfect!
Our kitchen isn’t all that big but when we did our outdated kitchen transformation, I felt like there was room for a small kitchen island. You know… like an islet. The extra room would be so helpful. I didn’t want to spend the bucks on one and Roy would have gladly built something for me but the first thing we did was look over our current “stuff”. Ends up we had the perfect thing staring us right in the face. Not everyone is that lucky I realize but what we used was something my dad had made me a few years back to hold appliances in a kitchen that was much smaller than what we have now. Ironically it was just the right height. It just needed a facelift to work in our current home. Sometimes it doesn’t take much to fix something up for another use. Below is what we did. If you need to build your own and like the rough wood look, you don’t need a lot of skill. Check out our Kitchen Trash Can On Wheels we made to go in the new kitchen. You might also want to check out our contact paper countertop in case you want to use the finish we used on that for the top of your small kitchen island.
Small Kitchen Island Photos
This is a few years back when my dad originally made the stand for me so I’d have a place to put some of my appliances. He made it to fit that spot exactly!
When I realized it would work for our small kitchen island the first thing we did was give it a fresh coat of white paint.
Next, some contact paper was purchased that matched the kitchen theme and it was placed on top.
To make it extra sturdy, I’ve decided once this wears out I will put on a new cover of contact paper and then give it 3 coats of water soluble varnish just like I did for our bathroom contact paper countertop makeover. It turned out beautiful and sturdy! Check out that post to see the tools you’ll need to do it. It’s simple to do and worth the effort.
I wanted a towel rack on the island, so rather than buy one Roy made one from wood and a dowel and two ends caps we had.
I panted it and added some bright towels.
On the other side I hung a white metal hook to hold one of my larger wood cutting boards since we use the island for cutting a great deal of the time.
It’s perfect and not so big that it gets in the way and it allows us the extra bit of space we need!
Evidently we make a lot more garbage than normal people because our kitchen trash can is always overflowing. I’ve tried my hardest to find a supersize rectangular trash can but to no avail. I’ve even tried using things like hampers but I can never find just the right one to fit the spot I need or else the bags won’t fit them. So, and here’s another minor embarrassing admission, I finally ended up using a large box. Now, before I hear those snide remarks of “taaaacky”, I did cover it with contact paper. But it was so large it needed those leaf bags to line it, which are black. That was tacky. The good part was we didn’t have to take the garbage out 5 times a day. (The older I get the more I’m amazed how many times utility wins out over aesthetics.)
Anyway, I used the same cardboard box for probably 4 years. In our current house we had moved our fridge and were able to put it in between the stove and our armoire pantry. Yes, you hear right and can read about that in our simple DIY pantry). But when we put in our new pantry the fridge had to go back where it initially was and we were left with no place to put our box trash can with the leaf bag. So we build a new one. It was super simple and filled the thin space between the stove and fridge. I also went on a search and found clear large leaf bags to fit it! Watch how we did it below. You might also enjoy the earlier part of our outdated kitchen transformation which this is part of.
Kitchen Trash Can Supplies
- 1/4″ thick Luan Plywood
- 1″x2″ cut in half for bracing pieces
- Table or Jig Saw
- Stapler that also does Brads (We own this manual one and its great!)
- Wood Glue
- Swivel Caster Wheels (ours took the 2″ size)
- Handle Any type you like. We used an old one we had.
- Clear Bags 100 33 gallons (or whatever fits your trash container)
This is my “box” trash bag covered in contact paper. I carried this through three houses, believe it or not. The black bag doesn’t help much.
When we redid our kitchen the fridge was moved back where it belonged to allow for our new pantry so we only had a small skinny place for the trash can. Roy measured it up and set out to design a trash can to fit that area.
The bracing pieces were glued on then a brad stapler was used.
Cutting the side pieces.
More gluing and stapling of brads into the container.
It went together fairly quickly once the pieces were cut.
The last side piece was placed on and then the bottom. The trash can was painted.
I had some old handles which and I painted one of them silver, as you can see, to use for the front of the trash can.
We used a 2″ set of swivel wheels.
Wheels were screwed into the bottom corners.
The handle was attached to the front.
Slide it into your space!
This is one of the most awesome upcycle projects ever and its incredibly useful and so cheap to make! All you need are some marbles and 2 cheap cake pans to make a Lazy Susan that works as well as the one’s you buy. With a little spray paint and some contact paper or scrapbook paper, it’s also quite pretty. Lazy Susan’s are pretty pricey so this is a way to make several for only a couple dollars each. This was part of our outdated kitchen transformation which included some other fun posts such as our Chicken Wire Memo Board and our Lovely Little DIY Sugar Bowl
This DIY Lazy Susan is one of the most awesome upcycle projects ever and it’s incredibly useful and inexpensive to make. Plus, it has all kinds of uses!
Lazy Susan Supplies
- 2 cake pans any size (we got ours for .88 each at Walmart)
- Marbles, normal to smaller size. They must all be the same size. You need enough to almost cover the bottom of the pan.
- Spray paint (optional)
- Paper or contact paper for bottom of one pan (optional)
Video in Action
Gather your items. IMPORTANT: You need enough marbles to COVER NEARLY THE ENTIRE BOTTOM OF THE PAN.
Spray paint your pans whatever color you choose. You don’t need to paint the inside of the bottom pan where the marbles will go.
Measure the inside of the pan for cutting your liner.
Cut out your contact paper or liner paper.
Place it in your pan.
Fill the bottom pan most of the way with marbles.
Set your top pan onto the marbles and your Lazy Susan is ready to use!
I’m not one to waste space, especially in a small home. After getting my simple diy pantry built in as part of our outdated kitchen transformation, the back of that pantry door was just staring at me all empty-like. So I asked Roy if he could pleeeeease make me a pantry door organizer. Being a sucker for my puppy dog eyes, he said yes. I just wanted it to hold some basic things like plastic bags, teas, jellos and other smaller items. He measured it up and before I knew it, my panty door was empty no more! Roy is not a professional carpenter and only recently started dabbling in building things. He claims anyone can build these things with a few basic tools. So don’t let the idea of wood work overwhelm you!
Pantry Door Organizer Supplies & Tools
- 1″x4″ for sides and shelves all cut to 2.5″ wide
- 1/4″ slats cut from left over pieces for cross pieces
- Luan 1/4″ plywood, 2″x4″ piece
- Wood Glue
- Saber Saw for Cutting Notch in Back for Door Knob
- Table Saw was used for everything else
I added some colorful contact paper to the back of some of the shelves. You can never have too much storage!
This charming kitchen wall decor cost us $1.00 to make. Dollar Tree carries these bright plastic plates and platters regularly. The set we did for our kitchen, assuming you have trouble with basic addition, was $3.00. I actually cheated a bit and used my Silhouette Portrait to cut vinyl letters for my kitchen set. But that’s just a perk if you have one.
These are so easy and fun to make and you can fill your kitchen with whatever words you choose! If you’ve been following along you know this is part of our Outdated Kitchen Transformation. Make sure you check out our last decor addition to the project. Our Chicken Wire Frame Memo Board with Faux Succulents. It’s pretty unique!
Kitchen Wall Decor Supplies
NOTE: If you own a Silhouette cutting machine you can of course easily make your own words easily out of vinyl. You can also buy ready made letters at the craft store. The most inexpensive way is to use colored paper and card stock and cut your own. You can use our patterns or make your own on a printer.
- Plastic plate or platters
- Card stock , colors of choice
- Precision Scissors (these are small scissors great for cutting details. This is the best set I have found.)
- Colored paper for text (you can use card stock, I just preferred the flatter paper)
- Glue stick, or other method of attaching letters to plates
Choose a plastic plate size, shape and color.
Print out your words of choice or create your own on a printer and print them out.
Place the letters on a colored piece of paper and carefully cut each one out.
Lay out the words as they will be placed for gluing.
A glue stick works very well for this project as it allows you to slide them for adjusting as you go along.
Coat the back of each letter.
Place them on your plate or platter. If needed, slide them with your finger to align.
For the flowers, print out the flower templates.
Cut out the size you need. We used the smaller two.
Cut the small slit into the middle that allows for overlapping two petals together to make a single petal and give the 3D effect.
Place glue on one next to the cut you made into the center of your flower, then overlap the petal next to it onto it completely, turning two petals into one.
Add a dob of glue and add your center circle. You can trim the double petal with scissors if needed.
Glue onto your platter. Add leaves if desired.
This is the set we did using vinyl cut from a Silhouette Machine to match our kitchen.
We supplied the same text so you could do something similar with your own flowers as flourish.
I’m kind of embarrassed to admit this but we were using a stand up clothes armoire as a simple DIY pantry in our kitchen because we didn’t have enough space to hold all our food stuffs. Hey, you do what you need to do. And I needed more space for my canned goods. Roy, who’s not a carpenter, finally decided he was going to make us a pantry as part of our outdated kitchen transformation. It would be small and in the corner, but it would be floor to ceiling. So he designed it using Googles free program SketchUp. Then he bought the materials and started building! I’m amazed at how much this small pantry holds. I was able to empty the “armoire” pantry and a couple of cupboards. You can watch him make it start to finish below. If you enjoy these do it yourself wood projects, you might also like our DIY Bed Canopy.
This is the corner it was going in to. Not very big is it? (FYI it has been painted)
This is what we were using for a pantry along with a couple of the kitchen cupboards.
Roy LOVES messing around Google SketchUp and he designed the new pantry.
The start of the framing now begins!
The outlet was on the wall which would now be “inside’ the pantry so Roy had to move it. Fairly easy job.
After the frame was up, the sheet rock was cut and put up.
Then wood strips were added for the shelves.
The sheet rock was mudded and sanded by our son Adam.
Roy began painting the inside.
Shelves were cut.
More sanding by Adam.
Shelves inserted and painted. The final step. The door!
The door and frame were painted.
Though this will be part of the decorating post you get a sneak peek. We added a label to the door.
Perfect! You’ll see more later!
Actually there was one more step. Roy added some shelving on the side so we could get rid of a bakers rack that held a variety of appliances. Now came the fun part. Filling the new pantry!
I can’t believe how much stuff we could fit into that small pantry. We opened up so much cupboard space in addition to getting rid of the old armoire.
I purchased a special container on wheels for Oliver’s dog food. We can now store paper towels inside rather than in the garage.
Items that are not used as much go on the upper shelf.
I don’t get all fancy with my organizing in here as there is such a turnaround. I just keep it neat.
I always wanted a chicken wire frame memo board and when we did our kitchen transformation, I decided to add one into my new kitchen. We’d used chicken wire once before in a really popular Dream Catcher Vision Board but this one was meant to be kitchen oriented, though I throw in a little twist using a pinecone craft succulent craft we did recently. It turned out gorgeous! I even made my own mail holder from a Malt-O-Meal box. The entire thing was a wonderful upcycle project. Fill yours with whatever pleases you!
Chicken Wire Frame Supplies
- Large Frame. We used an old rough wooden one we had lying around.
- 1″ size chicken wire to cover frame 24″x25″ roll
- Staple gun (I own this inexpensive stapler and brad nailer and its great. Manual but strong.)
- Mail Box Metal Label Holder
- X-acto Knife
- Spray Adhesive
- Glue gun
- Washi Tape
- Clips with Hooks These are PERFECT for using on your bulletin board and for a variety of other things! We used one to hold our notepad on.
- Pencil with tiny cup hook
- Small white clothespins
Please visit our Pinecone Craft post for details on making these.
- Pinecones of various shapes and sizes. You’ll be using bottoms and tops.
- Pruning shears or something to cut your pine cones with. They need a longer tip to get inside.
- Paint, acrylic or spray paint (after testing both, spray paint is much easier)
- Moss, if desired for containers
We had an old rough wood frame that we decided to use for our chicken wire frame. Roy cut some chicken wire to fit it.
Then he stapled it in place around the edges.
We did this backwards and painted it after we put the chicken wire on.
Next we made our pinecone succulents. It’s very easy to do and we have detailed instructions on our Pinecone Craft post here.
After our succulents were made and painted, we cut small circles out of felt to attach them to our chicken wire.
Place a large amount of hot glue on the felt circle.
Place it where you will be putting your succulent.
Push your succulent down onto the felt while pushing the felt with glue onto the succulent. Use something, if needed, to help push the felt so you don’t get burned.
This shows all of the succulents attached.
I decided to add moss in between the succulents.
I just poked it down in between and didn’t use any glue. It’s a messy job I suggest you do outside.
Next, I designed a note pad and pencil to hang on the board.
A tiny hook screw was twisted into the end of the pencil eraser.
I was painted silver and Washi tape was wrapped around the end.
We covered the top of our note pad with Washi tape to match.
I was originally going to use a binder clip and somehow rig a hook onto the chicken wire to hold the memo pad.
Then I remembered I had these awesome Clips with Hooks. They were perfect!
I wanted to have a pouch on my board to hold mail until we had a chance to open it. A Malt-O-Meal box was the perfect size.
I measured it and marked it how I wanted with a sharpie marker.
Then cut it with an X-acto knife.
I chose a color of scrapbook paper to cover it with.
I laid the box on the wrong side of the paper and carefully traced it.
Then I made two of the main folds.
At this point I pulled out my spray adhesive and gave the front and sides of the box a quick spray.
Then I pressed the paper carefully onto the box aligning the folds. I decided not to cover the back as it would not show.
I then proceeded to cut and fold the bottom paper.
I used stick glue to hold it in place.
Any extra was trimmed off.
On the top side I carefully decided where to make the cuts so I could fold the paper down and glue it into place while trimming away the excess.
I used a stick glue to do the seams.
For the finishing touch I added a metal label holder. It was bronze and I wanted silver so I used a little rub ‘n buff on it.
I glued it onto the front of the box and made a hole for the screws and pushed them through. Then I printed a label that said MAIL on my computer to insert into it.
I found a plastic hook and glued it upside down on the back of the box so I could hang it on the board. I could have also used felt to glue it on but I wanted the box to be removable.
I’m a keepsake person. Not to be confused with a hoarder, mind you. I’ve saved things from my own childhood and my children’s childhood through the years. I don’t keep every little scrap of paper they ever brought home. Only the best and most special things are kept and then filed away by year in a large plastic tub. My kids are all grown now and one of their greatest pleasures is going through those tubs. I even saved recordings of them talking when they were little. And I’ve done a post on How to Make a Keepsake Dog or Puppy Paw Print. Even with all I’ve saved, there are some things I wish I’d kept. Like the key for every house we ever lived in. I’ve seen people do awesome displays with those but that just never even crossed my mind.
My daughter did something for me recently that was such a unique idea I wanted to share it in case others might want to do it at some point in the future. As part of our kitchen transformation, she removed wallpaper that had been in the home I’m pretty sure since the 70’s. We’re talking retro-city. Wall to wall fruit and berries and such. She did all the work herself and stripped it off and painted the kitchen a lovely eggshell. What I didn’t know until the next day was that she had taken a swatch of the old wallpaper and framed it for me and hung it in the kitchen as a reminder. It almost brought a tear to my eye. So I wanted to share that little tidbit in case any of you have the same opportunity in the future and might want to do the same thing. Eventually the swatch will go in our family keepsake box but for now it will hang on our wall for several years at least, a reminder of years past.
See that look on my oldest daughter Jennifer’s face? That’s the unrehearsed snapshot moment she walked into my kitchen for the first time. When Roy and I purchased our 1st home in 37 years of marriage, (a unique story in itself), the kitchen was like a time warp back to the 70’s. I’m sure that wallpaper was all the rage back then but it was gonna have to go at some point. And the cupboards were some sort of attempted crackle mess from long ago. But hey, this was my very own house, and after years of rentals I loved every little pimple and wart it might have.Fast forward and my daughter makes yet another visit, this time with ulterior motives. She wants to give my kitchen a makeover. And now I’m more than ready for it.
We’re going to take you step by step through our process. We tried to be as frugal as possible and a good deal of it was just hard work. But you’re going to be amazed at the end result. As you know I lean towards the whimsical and unusual in my home and my kitchen is no exception. We also have a budget bedroom makeover plan that would be helpful for any room if you want to take a look at that.
So follow along with us the next few weeks as we show you what we’ve done. We’ll also toss in a craft and decor item or two along the way that we did just for the room. Our goal is to show you that you can redo a room without spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars.
First, here’s what the kitchen looked like in all its original glory!
KITCHEN TRANSFORMATION STEP #1
Stripping Wallpaper : Painting Walls : Painting Cupboards
The wallpaper came off much easier than expected. You never know how that’s going to go and it can sometimes be a nightmare. But it came off in fairly large strips as you can see. All Jennifer did was soak it using warm water and a sponge and let it sit for a few minutes then pulled it off in huge chunks. Any residue that was left came off with warm water and a sponge.
Next she worked on the cupboards. She removed all the door and drawer pulls and filled them in. Once dry she sanded them. Then she sanded the cupboards lightly.
She used a satin acrylic and gave it two coats.
The insides of the cupboards were as nasty as the outside so those got cleaned out.
Then she gave them a coat of paint.
Here’s a reminder of the cupboards before.
And here’s an after view with new hardware for the drawers.
Now it was time to start on the walls.
Two coats were given. As you can tell from the first photo I posted it’s already like night and day.
A Little Something Special
My daughter did something for special me that I thought was so clever and touching. View this great keepsake idea here or by clicking below.