14 Amazing DIY Backsplashes

Last week Hometalk emailed me that they loved my DIY painted faux tile backsplash and they wanted me to curate a board full of other inventive and DIY backsplash ideas, and I was super excited to do so. There are a zillion unique options out there, at a huge mixed range of prices, and even options for renters too!

14 amazing DIY backsplash ideas 1

 

 

There’s 14 great ideas all clipped here, but I thought I’d highlight my top 3 here on the ol’ blog.

1. Engineer Your Space created a backsplash with fabric stapled to a piece of plywood, then placed a piece of tempered glass in front of it for safety and protection (this idea looks to be about $100-$150…. so it’d be a great idea for a renter who can’t actually add a real backsplash). Read more about it here.

fabric and tempered glass backsplash

 

2. Sara at House Bella added whitewash wood paneling to her whole kitchen and it looks so, so neat.  She installed the paneling both as a backsplash and counter front update for less then $100… so I bet supplies enough for just a backsplash would be awesomely inexpensive. Read more about it here.

diy backsplash inexpensive whitewash wood paneling

3.  Betty from Oh Everything Handmade added these gorgeous clay tiles to her kitchen and gives a great detailed tutorial on it. I love the design of them, so different from the subway tile we all see (and love) everywhere! Tile is obviously the most expensive of your options, but if you’re in a home you plan to be in for a bit, or a home you plan to flip, I think it’s totally worth it. Read the how to here.

clay tile how to install

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Head on over to my my Hometalk board to scope out all the rest! There’s some awesome stainless steel and glass options, and of course some reclaimed pallet back splashes on there too.

What kind of backsplash do you have? And if you could have any kind, what would you install or create?

 

 

 

Lots of little updates

Today I’m sharing a few little things I’ve updated around the house. Things were feeling ultra neutral-y and not as unique as I wanted it to be, so these small changes really helped. Prepare yourself for lots of pictures….

First up, some decorative pillow I originally bought for the living room but ended up in the guest room:

nate berkus decorative pillows

They’re Nate Berkus for Target and they are pretty awesome… I bet they could easily be recreated with a drop cloth and some DIY leather tassels, but I didn’t have any inserts or fabric so I just bought them (the cost would have evened out).

guest room wide

The whole room is very bright and airy, which I really like since my built in closet office is opposite the bed with all my craft supplies.

Next is a little art update in the kitchen:

kitchen art with Silhouette DIY

A looooong time ago I updated this whole piece after I found it decrepit in the basement (see it here). More recently I switched out the art and pictures, added the day of the dead statue Matt picked up on a vacation, and used my Silhouette to add Mr Skull Chef to the mirror.

He originally didn’t look like that AT ALL, but I accidentally put the vinyl on crooked and had to recreate it by hand. It also used to have a quote with it (Many have eaten here, few have died). Oh well. If you’d like the original file send me an email, I’m happy to share (sandpaperandglue @ gmail . com)

kitchen wide

 

The  kitchen chairs are on my hit list because I desperately want 4 of these chairs instead, but they’re in perfectly good condition and I can’t sell them for enough to cover the costs so for now they’ll have to do. Otherwise, I’m pretty in love with our kitchen- honey oak and all.

Third on the list of ch-ch-ch-changes in our front entrance:

white and gray front entrance

I got rid of the chalkboard wall that used to be there (see here for the how to) and added the vignette that’s in it’s place with stuff I already had around the house. Then I decided to disguise the thermostat with some mirrors and an empty frame and pop the shark jaw bone onto the mirror. We actually don’t use the front door to our house at all, which is why there’s a litter box tucked in the corner there…. it’s a very out of the way spot.

how to hide cover disguise a thermostat

The mirrors and frame were from a gallery wall I took down, and I painted the thermostat with some gray craft paint I had on hand (no primer, just 2 coats of paint).

And attached to the front entrance is our living room, with it’s AWESOME AND AMAZING brand new 7×10 rug that I got from just $90 at Bed, Bath, and Beyond (this is my first rug! I am so excited!):

neutral gray living room

I have been crazy hesitant to invest in a rug because of our 3 cats, but we added  cardboard scratchers under each of the chairs and the cat tree along the back wall and they’ve been totally fine with it. You can see here we also have some double sided tape on the side of the couch. These are all things maybe I could have removed for the sake of staging a picture- but you know what, this is real life with 4 animals. And I think it still looks darn good :).

gray and white living room with zebra print

That empty slice of wall on the left used to have the gallery wall, but I’m on the hunt for something large and simple to replace it with. The black tufted bench is actually in rough shape (cat scratches, of course) so I have plans to reupholster it, I’m thinking with some white faux fur to break up all the black.

 

And that’s everything! What do you think? What’s your favorite update? Mine is 100% the living room rug- it looks SO much more grounded now.

Have you been doing any little updates in your houses? Tell me all about them. :)

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Want to read more? Here’s some other projects seen in this post:

DIY wood slice art || silver spraypainted and glazed end table || DIY faux tile backsplash

sharpie stencil wall || DIY sunburst mirror || painted faux door moulding

One Year Update: Faux Tile Backsplash

I painted a faux back splash in my kitchen about a year ago and thought I’d give a quick update on it.

After one full year with the back splash here’s where I’m at:

  • It is still one of my absolute favorite projects, and I’m so glad Beth from Sawdust and Embryos posted an awesome faux tile tutorial I fell in faux tile love and copied it immediately.
  • It has held up so well and I didn’t even seal it. My counters go up about 3 inches on the wall which has probably helped with the not sealing, and I also tend to do most of my prep work at the part that juts out from the wall, so if you’re nervous I’d recommend a coat or two of polycrylic (not poly-A-crylic… that one can yellow!).
  • Using colors from the rest of my house was key in making this work and keeping costs down. I’m  a sucker for a yellow kitchen, and the rest of my house has grays and dark blues so it really helps tie things together (we have an open concept floor plan).

To read all about how paint a faux tile back splash, check out the original post. It’s so so easy and anyone can do it.

Here’s the before:

THE HORROR!
And here it is today, still looking fly:
kitchen-faux-tile-backsplash diy painted backsplash

This project is not difficult, just time consuming. The tape itself took about two-two and a half hours and the painting probably another three. This is not our forever home, so a bigger money kitchen reno (even a few hundred for real tile) was just not worth it… but a weekend paint job totally was! What do you think?

And if you’re in the market for a  couple more budget kitchen projects, here’s 4 more:

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Quick & Easy DIY Key Hook

A little over a year ago some blog friends and I challenged each other to a “15/15 project”… we wanted to each do a 15 minute DIY that cost under $15. I chose to make a DIY key hook.For some reason I decided to super glue my hooks onto their base, instead of screwing them in, and recently one of them popped off. So I decided to revamp the whole thing a little and now it looks like this:

easy diy key hook refridgerator

 

Supplies for this project are super easy and still super cheap:

  • wood scrap
  • paint or spray paint
  • wall hooks (with screws this time!)
  • Velcro or magnetic strip
  • 2 shower curtain hooks
  • 2 tin containers

I used a piece of scrap wood from when I put up wainscoting in my half bath, the wall hooks are leftover from when I up-cycled some kitchen art, and I had the rest of the supplies on hand because I’m a hoarder. So even with the revamp, I spent $0. I think this whole thing could be done for under $20 though.

The first time I made this I just glued two hooks on the painted piece of wood and called it a day. Now that we’ve been living with it for a year though, I decided to beef it up a bit. I added a third hook (and screwed them all in this time) and two hanging containers. Two of the hooks are for dog supplies (collar, leash, harness), and the third is for our keys.

diy-key-hook

I apologize for the terrible pictures- it’s in an awkward spot in the kitchen and I had to use the can lights. Also, yes- the two old hooks have peeling spray paint on them and I did not bother to paint the new third hook. It’s like 30* out so I can’t spray paint, and really, this is just for keys. It took about the amount of time my pasta water took to boil, and I wanted to keep it that way. :)

The containers came from the dollar spot in Target a while ago, but they seem to always have them- I just used a power drill to drill a hole in each, then looped the shower curtain hook through the hole in and hung it on the wall hook.

I used adhesive Velcro to stick it on the fridge because that’s what I had handy, but you could use a magnetic strip if that’s easier or just screw it into a wall.

 

Any questions? Leave them in the comments!

Faux Moulding for Dummies

A little bit back my friend Kenz posted a tutorial about how to add faux moulding to your house, and I started looking all over my house for a spot to try this out. Then, in my last kitchen update post I started giving my basement door the stink eye and knew it was time to get my paint on.

IMG_2267

When we first moved to the house there was no door in that frame, so we went out and grabbed one for $10 at the Habitat for Humanity Restore… and even though it was a bit knicked up $10 is a steal for a solid wood door.

I spackled and sanded & spackled and sanded to fix the issues, then gave it two coats of primer and two coats of pure white Behr paint.

IMG_2274

But what kind of blogger would I be if all I did was paint a door white and leave it? Not a very good one. So now I’m going to teach you how to add faux moulding without doing any math. Because math is hard and makes my head hurt… unless we’re talking about money in which case I’m all over it.

ANYWAY, I had 2 inch thick Scotch Blue tape and 1 inch thick Frog tape. I put two strips of Scotch all the way around the door, then 1 strip of Frog Tape inside that. That way all my moulding would start 3 inches in from the sides and top. Then, I needed to divide the door in half so there’d be two sections of moulding. I took my level and added a strip of Frog Tape above the handle and below the handle.

IMG_2304

Now that I had my outline I had to give myself something to paint. Here’s where it’s time to get creative. You know those free paper Ikea rulers you can get at the door? Well, I carry one around in my purse all the time. For measurement emergencies. And it just so happens to be 1 inch wide. And I just so happened to want my moulding 1 inch thick. So I taped the measuring tape next to the Frog Tape border I had up, then carefully added another strip the the other side of it. I moved around the door doing this until I had two boxes outlined:

Even though you don't need to measure anything, do be sure to check everything is level as you work your way around the door.

Even though you don’t need to measure anything, do be sure to check everything is level as you work your way around the door.

IMG_2309

You could just stop here and start painting, but I wanted to be a little more fancy then that. I decided to use this inspiration picture (also supplied by Kenz) because I figured straight lines would be easier to work with then curves. Basically, I cut a little square out of each corner of my moulding so that it dipped in. Not so basically, it took me over an hour to do this. I had to stare at the door for a very long time to figure out how to do this because I’m an idiot and was trying to paint this inversely (as opposed to painting the whole door the color I wanted the moulding, then taping off the molding and painting the door color over it). Eventually I got it looking like this with the help of a cardboard square template:

IMG_2310I painted 2 coats of Behr Manilla Tint (the color of the kitchen) and took the tape off carefully while the paint was still wet. Voila!

ooooh! ahhhhh!

ooooh! ahhhhh!

It’s super subtle, but just gives a bit of dimension to a plain white door- without making it overpower everything else going on in the room.

Please let me know if you have any questions on this… also do be sure to check out Kenz’s post because she did it a bit different then me so maybe you’ll prefer one method over another. :)

faux moulding, painted door molding, door update

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Another swing shelf

A few weeks ago we hung a swing shelf in our bedroom, our friends Beth & Scott gave it to us when they moved and no longer needed it. Well, they gave us two others and I finally hung up a second one!

The shelf is just a piece of wood with two holes drilled through each end and rope tied through the holes. We bought hooks that get anchored into the ceiling (and can hold up to 50 pounds of weight): The hooks come in black, white, silver, and bronze and they’re under $5. Matt used a power drill to drill the spot for the anchor, then lightly tapped the anchor in with a hammer, then screwed the hook right into it. Super easy.

Here’s the area before we hung up the shelf:

We had open space above the bar cart, and I've hated staring at the phone outlet we don't use and the ugly red gas switch.

We had open space above the tea cart and I’ve hated staring at the phone outlet we don’t use and the ugly red gas switch. Also, I can’t get this picture to stop being crooked. I tried.

So then up went the shelf:

Ta-da!

Ta-da!

I know, it’s nothing groundbreaking, but sometimes you need things to be functional and not necessarily amazing. The whole reason we hung this shelf here is because I needed a spot the cats can’t get to so I could plant seedlings for spring.  If you follow me on instagram you’ve already seen this close up picture of what’s on the shelf:

I used wine corks and toothpicks to label what's in which pot- something I've seen all over Pinterest lately.

I used wine corks and toothpicks to label what’s in which pot- something I’ve seen all over Pinterest lately.

You know I’m forever on a budget so I actually got my seeds, pots, and potting soil at the Dollar Tree. It cost me $4 for everything, so who knows if these seeds will actually sprout- but if they don’t at least all I lost was $4!

starter herb garden

Once the seeds (hopefully) grow big and strong I’ll move them into the ground and pretty up the shelf, I’m thinking with some terrariums. And something tall, that shelf definitely needs something tall to balance it out a little better.

I wanted to get at least the basil started extra early this year because I’m hoping I’ll be able to cut it back at least once before it goes into the ground. Last year was my first year with an herb garden and I knew nothing at all and grew very little, now I’m hankering to make home made pesto and I need all the basil I can get. IMG_2249

Overall, I’m really digging the swing shelf look. It’s just a little bit more interesting then a floating shelf and I think it helps balance out all that blank space nicely.

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Sharing at: Liz Marie Blog & Housewife How To’s

DIY Faux Tile Backsplash

Let’s just dive right in, because this post has A LOT of pictures and instructions. We’re focusing on the kitchen today, so let me give you a little reminder of what the kitchen looked like the very first time I saw it:

and that's only the left side. YIKES.

and that’s only the left side. YIKES.

Sorry for the terrible picture, it’s before I even started a blog.

Then within about 4 or 5 months of us living here we had transformed it to this:

a world of difference!

a world of difference!

But here’s the thing- at the time we removed the wallpaper we had not yet learned what skim coating was, so we didn’t do it. That means what you can’t see in these pictures is a whole mess of dents and dings and unevenness within our walls. So, as with everything around here, I wanted an under $50 amazing solution- which knocked out the possibility of a tile backsplash immediately.

Then last week Beth from Sawdust and Embryos posted an awesome faux tile tutorial and I instantly had to have it. I feel in faux tile love. I asked her where on earth so found painters tape thin enough to stand in for grout and she directed me here. Then I checked with my friend Kenz, who imitated another one of Beth’s faux tile tutorials and she used the same tape. So I ordered it for $10 (cost + shipping).

Next I went through all my old paint and here’s what I decided to use for my tile colors:

  • Behr Manila Tint (the color our kitchen already is)
  • Better Homes & Garden Partridge Grey (colored matched to Behr, the color of the darker stripes in the sunroom)
  • Behr Wheat Bread (living room color)
  • Behr Sand Dollar White (bathroom and master bedroom color)

I also picked up 2 Martha Stewart textured paints, a silvery gray and a black for $7 each. So my cost for this project was $25 due to all the supplies I already had on hand. But actually, I had a gift certificate to Home Depot so I only paid the $10 for the tape. :)

Here’s the breakdown of how I got such a tedious project done:

  • Thursday I put up two coats of primer
  • Friday I painted pure white (my “grout”) and taped
  • Saturday I painted in all the tiles

Enough with the words though, here’s some pictures of how it went down:

I used my laser level to make the horizontal stripes, each two inches apart. Then I randomly placed the vertical lines, only making sure none of them were even but with no real pattern in mind.

I used my laser level to make the horizontal stripes, each two inches apart. Then I randomly placed the vertical lines, only making sure none of them were even but with no real pattern in mind. Once the tape was up I got my license and used it to run over all the tape to make sure it was pressed down real well. And no, I did not do my dishes first.

I had all my paint colors out at once and painted all the colors all at once- basically I went through and did 5-6 tiles of each to get a lay of the land. Then I went through and did that 4 more times, filling in as I went and making sure I didn't paint the same color next to itself if it could be avoided.

I had all my paint colors out at once and painted all the colors all at once. I went through and did 5-6 tiles of each to get a lay of the land. Then I went through and did that 4 more times, filling in as I went and making sure I didn’t paint the same color next to itself if it could be avoided.

Here’s the awesome afters:

sink before and after

stove before and after

Basically the tile does a great job at separating the eating area of the kitchen from the prep area of the kitchen. It adds all sorts of interest without being crazy, and for re-sale's sake... if the next owner doesn't like it all they have to do is sand and repaint.

The tile does a great job at separating the eating area of the kitchen from the prep area of the kitchen. It adds all sorts of interest without being crazy, and for re-sale’s sake… if the next owner doesn’t like it all they have to do is sand and repaint.

We decided to line the backsplash up with the cabinet, and not the counter. I think no matter where we chose our starting point that it would be a bit awkward, I might actually go back at some point and add a white outline around the edge. I haven’t decided on that yet.

The tile is not completely even everywhere so my OCD mind goes a little crazy, but I found out with my laser level that my walls aren’t completely level so that’s just how it is going to be. It does an amazing job at hiding our lack of a skim coat though.

painted tile spacksplash faux back splash kitchen

oooh! ahhh! The gray that looks uneven is actually textured and metallic silver, so it doesn’t photograph well. But it looks ah-mazing in person.

And once more, let’s just look at the very very before versus the now:

THE HORROR!

THE HORROR!

Love Love Love

Love Love Love

This project is not difficult, just time consuming. The tape itself took about two-two and a half hours and the painting probably another three. But the results are crazy worth it!

What do you think?

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