10 Tips to Spice Up Your Kitchen{Making Lemonade}

Hey friends!  It’s a beautiful day for a kitchen renovation, don’t you think?  I’m Carrie, from the blog Making Lemonade.  I’m brushing the dust out of my hair and popping up for air to guest post here today.  You see, we are in the middle of what I like to call a semi-DIY kitchen renovation– and you can see the latest progress (a.k.a: good, the bad, and the ugly) in my latest kitchen renovation post.  Here’s what our kitchen looked like before we began (oh, the humanity!):

old kitchen

Due to time {and skill} constraints, we hired the pros for the difficult and very time consuming stuff such as installing granite countertops, demolishing our tile floor, laying down hardwood floors, and painting our outdated cabinets.  The rest: tiling the backsplash, adding new light fixtures, painting the walls and more are on our list… and will remain there, until the cabinets get painted!  But we are so close to being done, just waiting for those cabinets to get a much-needed few coats of white paint before we can add in the rest.

In the meantime, I’m here to share 10 DIY projects anyone can do to spice up their kitchen.  In fact, all but two items on this list were done in just one {whirlwind} weekend!  Whether it will be awhile before you can renovate or you want to go semi-DIY like us, these 10 easy ideas will spruce up your kitchen and give it that kick of spice we all love to look at and enjoy.

{if not directly linked here, tutorials and additional photos for each project will be posted within the next few weeks over at Making Lemonade}

1.  Add frames as your backsplash.

10 DIY Kitchen Ideas

I ripped this idea right from this season on Design Star.  Actually, the designer got skewered by the judges for putting frames up as a backsplash because they might get dirty.  But I thought the idea was pretty brilliant if you use them in a section where you don’t do much food prep.  I happen to have such a space, so I used two extra black frames I had hanging around and hung them on the wall.  One contains a recipe handwritted by my mom– she gave it to me when I got my first apartment.   The other is a map of my beloved North Carolina.  Happy memories, happy kitchen!

2.  Hand stamp some tea towels.

10 DIY Kitchen Ideas


10 DIY Kitchen Ideas

If you can sponge paint onto a stamp, you can do this project.  I used a 5-pack of flour sack towels ($4.99 at Walmart) and went to town using fabric paint and stamps.  It’s a good thing I only had 5 to play with or I would have kept creating more designs.  This was so fun and easy to do!

3.  Create a “menu” chalkboard wall.

10 DIY Kitchen Ideas

I know, I’m preaching to the choir.  Half of you probably already have a chalkboard wall.  Can you believe I had the supplies sitting around for this project for over two years?  It took awhile before I decided to go from dreams of a framed menu board to just painting the entire section of wall with the paint.  And oh my, I’m in love!  Truly, I wanted this wall for the practical application of reminding me what’s for dinner each night.  But the shock of black (which I think will look great once we paint the adjoining cabinets white) gave a crazy good modern touch to this space.  Plus, my kids love creating masterpieces on there; even better, they do it while I’m cooking dinner.

4.  Hang plates on the wall as art.

10 DIY Kitchen Ideas

All you need is a plate and a porcelain pen to create your own dish design.  Here’s a tutorial for my Eat, Pray, Love Plates and the “Wish” Plate I created for Thanksgiving.  There are so many creative ideas, words, and motifs to add.  Plus, plates on a kitchen wall are just cool.

5.  Change out the cabinet hardware.

10 DIY Kitchen Ideas

$100 and one hour is all it took to make a major change in our kitchen last year.  I knew that if we renovated our kitchen it would be nice to have upgraded hardware, so I went ahead and changed it out.  Now that we’re painting our cabinets, I’m glad we don’t have to buy upgraded drawer pulls and door handles.  It’s going to look nice with the white paint, I think– though I’ve learned that this particular style isn’t great around toddlers because my poor wiggly son keeps getting snagged by them!

6.  Shop thrift stores and vintage shops for unique and inexpensive pieces to repurpose.

10 DIY Kitchen Ideas

This old food storage jar was calling my name when I found it in an antique store a few weeks ago.  Sure, I could go to Walmart and buy a new one but there are so many reasons why purchasing an old one made sense– not the least of which is that I love the color of the lid.  Filled with faux lemons, it’s a perfect companion piece to the modern style going on in our new kitchen.  There’s several other cool things I found thanks to scouring flea markets and such; be sure to stay tuned on my blog for more ideas and the final reveal!

7.  Add pretty painted furniture for additional utility and space.

10 DIY Kitchen Ideas

Practical and pretty?  Perfect combination!  Find an old piece of furniture and make it your own.  I painted this hutch years ago, so now it’s ready for a new paint job– perhaps a soft gray, or bold turquoise.  In the meantime it provides tons of storage for cookbooks and other odds and ends that can be neatly organized in it’s shelves.  I covered the back of one shelf with cork board for hanging notes and such.  Your piece doesn’t have to be this big– I’m always on the lookout for cute kitchen carts to paint, especially at places like IKEA.  Creamy white, sunny yellow, a pop of red– painted furniture can also be a great way to add color or oomph, as needed.

8.  Hang new light fixtures.

10 DIY Kitchen Ideas

While these pendant lights are only semi-DIY pieces, they make my heart go pitter patter thanks to the beautiful styles and ease of installation.  What I love about them is they have a conversion kit.  You simply screw them into existing recessed lighting and they create an instant update!  Though you all are CSI-ers, so I’m sure you could whip up something totally new… but if you are semi-DIY like me these are a cinch.

9.  Paint glass canisters with chalkboard paint.

10 DIY Kitchen Ideas

Don’t you love the Pier One chalkboard jars?  I do, but don’t have any counter space for them.  No worries, I simply shopped my cabinets and found an old honey jar.  You can add chalkboard paint (or  premade chalkboard tags) for a similar look.  They sell large glass canisters at Walmart if you want to knock-off the Pier One version.

10.  Create teeny tiny succulent terrariums.

10 DIY Kitchen Ideas

Or big giant ones, whatever you’d like!  It’s as simple as adding a bottom layer of gravel, then some soil, planting a succulent, and adding a top layer of sand or stone.  Be sure to use a wide-mouth jar and keep the top off so they don’t collect moisture.  These are so cute on open kitchen shelves or on counters.  I have them all over my house at this point; there’s just something lovely about succulents snuggled in that tiny glass!

Thanks for letting me stop by and chat about all things DIY and kitchen related.  Hope you’ll visit Making Lemonade over the next few weeks and see the latest as we {finally} move toward acompletely renovated kitchen!  And of course I’ll be checking out this week’s challenge to see all your amazing kitchens and DIY ideas.  Bon Appetit!


I am a craft lovin', Diet coke drinkin' kind of girl! I love glitter and anything leopard print. My passions are crafting, fitness and living a healthy lifestyle and of course my family. The CSI Project believes in the mission to Create, Share and Inspire. When you create and share, you are sure to inspire! Hope you come away from The CSI Project inspired and come back anytime!!!

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