Have $20? Update Your House in a Weekend!

Weekend House Projects

Under $20

You don’t have to spend big bucks to improve the functionality of your home. Try one or more of these projects this weekend to make your home look and feel its best.

Replace a window treatment.

Has the window shade above your kitchen sink been marred by repeated exposure to splashes and cooking liquids? Replace a stained window covering with an inexpensive fabric treatment and see your kitchen in a whole new light.

Brighten a bookcase.

Give a bookcase an exciting backdrop by applying contact paper, scrapbook paper or fabric to its back. If you don’t want to commit to a particular design or color scheme, measure the piece’s back panel and mount the background material on poster board, cut to the size of each shelf 

 Tackle trimwork repairs.

You might not be able to install new trimwork in your home for $20, but you can make improvements to what you already have. Replace mismatched, missing or damaged moldings, end caps, quarter rounds or baseboard. Curved areas might require a special piece or trim made of an alternate material.

Create a charging station.

Construct a mini charging station for your family’s devices with this simple, inexpensive hack. Cut small slits in a basic ledge shelf to enable cords to run behind and inside the hollow shelf before being plugged in below. Mount the station to the wall to keep countertops clutter-free.

Organize the entry.

Keep dirt and mud contained with a boot tray near your home’s entryway. Buy one that’s easy to clean, or create your own from a jelly-roll pan. If storage space is limited, tuck the tray beneath a slim console table.

Mend your walkway.

Cracks and gaps in sidewalks and walkways can quickly expand throughout the year. Not only will a patch job make your pathway look nice, it’ll also make it safer for visitors and passersby. Fix your sidewalk with a patching compound specifically made for cement.

Get stylish underfoot.

Try your hand at a fun paint technique and update tired flooring with a custom rug. Using a vinyl floor remnant and paint, you can create a fun, personalized focal point. Varying the stripe widths creates a cool, casual look.

Add a cheap backsplash.

Turn a large vintage map into a distinctive backdrop that makes a statement. This map of Paris is a fun addition to an otherwise-neutral kitchen.

Tip: If you’re a renter or have boring ceramic tiles in your kitchen, use peel-and-stick decals to add less-permanent flair in a flash.

Replace switchplates.

Replace a plastic switchplate with a wood, metal or ceramic cover to make a visual statement. Some switchplates are even textured to blend in with marble, tile or stone surfaces. Do this for light switches, electrical outlets and phone and cable jacks. 

Organize your closets.

Coax function from a messy closet with thoughtful accessories designed to elevate organization. Categorize hanging garments by type, day of the week, or family member with colorful tags. Slim, slip-free hangers look uniform and maximize space.

Recaulk the bathroom.

If the caulk in your bathroom is looking dingy, discolored or cracked, it’s time to remove it and start fresh. Whether it’s around your sink, bathtub or shower, old caulk can grow mildew and cause damage by leaking water—especially between the tub and bathroom floor. Remove the old caulk, clean the space well and replace it with a new layer. A good caulk seal will last up to 10 years.

Add a divider.

Drawer and cabinet dividers are a must when it comes to keeping kitchen tools in their respective places. Secure a wire rack inside a cabinet to provide sturdy storage for cookie sheets, muffin tins and cooling racks. Some units match your kitchen cabinetry design for a completely integrated and customized look.

Step up your storage game.

Plastic bins are a versatile and inexpensive way to restore order in almost every in-home trouble spot. Using clear bins for storage in a pantry or for a closet gift-wrap station, for example, is an easy way to take inventory and identify items at a glance. Use labels to ensure everything stays tidy and easy to access.

Designate a drop spot.

Enhance the style and storage of your entryway with a designated place for important drop-zone items. Create a mini hang-up station for house keys and outgoing mail on the back of a cabinet door. Use magnetic strips, pegboard or an old ceiling tin, and add hooks to store items in one convenient location near the door.

 

Update your house numbers.

All it takes is a screwdriver and few minutes to give your front door a personality-filled facelift. Change out poorly operating door hardware or make house numbers more readable for a pretty, practical update on the cheap.

 

Put towels and robes within reach.

Bid floor puddles goodbye by keeping after-bath accessories within reach. Add a towel bar or robe hook near your shower or bathtub, or move the one you already have to make it more accessible. Find bars or hooks that match or complement existing hardware in your bathroom.

 

 Add hanging storage.

Free up valuable floor space in your garage or entryway with hanging storage. Seasonal items, such as bikes and sleds, are difficult to store and take up lots of space. Add hooks to an unused wall or ceiling area and discover space you didn’t know you had.

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