Friday, July 16, 2010

Frugal Fridays

I've been wanting to add a backsplash in our kitchen for quite some time now. The paint didn't cut it for me. We have wall outlets on either side of the stove plus a garbage disposal switch and these three unsightly boxes just stand out like a sore thumb against the blue.

I used large white architectural tiles to hide the outlets, two on one side and one on the other, but the one on the left broke after trying to reach the hidden outlet. So the longing for a back splash still persisted (:

A few years back a friend of my mother's was running for county commissioner and had mini wooden rulers printed with his info. Very cute, but one problem...the printer made a spelling error and needed to create an entire new batch. I was happy to save the rulers from the garbage and knew they could be used for day. (Do you see where I'm headed?)

Now, fast forward to the kitchen backsplash dilemma. I love white subway tiles, but as you know this is our No Spend Month so this makeover has to cost a whopping amount of $0. Time to get creative. This was my inspiration...

Since the project has a budget of zero, this is where our lovely free rulers come into play. They have a subway feel...I have tile adhesive left over from tiling the fireplace...extra paint from other projects...voila! Free backsplash! The wooden "tiles" measure 1 inch x 6 inches, they're easy to cut, are the perfect trendy size and resemble the subway tile look I so love.

They can be glued onto the wall with whatever medium makes sense in your situation. I'm using tile adhesive, but wood glue or liquid nails could work just as well. Just make sure you're wall is clean and the bonding agent being used is one that will give good adhesion. We're lucky because our apartment manager doesn't mind decor tweaks and has given permission to make improvements, with her prior consent of course (:

If you're renting and making a permanent change isn't an option, apply the "tiles" to a masonite board and use screws to attach it to the wall. When it's time to move, simply remove the backsplash and fill in the holes. You'll be able to find masonite in the lumber section of any Lowe's or Home Depot and they can cut it to size if you don't have access to power tools.

Here's the layout...

Because the wood "tiles" are only an inch tall it looks more like a basket weave than a subway tile, but anything is better than bare walls and the price is right (: It will give an added texture that's missing and I can't wait to see how it turns out! In another kitchen I think these would look great stained...maybe in different tones and then put together in a random pattern. Using a stain and embracing the wood grain would give a rustic quality to your kitchen. So many options!!

Once the "tiles" are installed, they'll get a few coats of glossy white which will make cleaning much easier. If you're thinking of creating a backsplash using alternative items, check out your local hardware superstore. Lathing strips are very inexpensive ($1.25 - $2.00 in 8 ft lengths compared to $1 white 4 inch square tiles) and many come primed to save you an extra step.

If beadboard is your style, they now have beadboard wall paper! It's about $22 per roll, covers 56 sq ft and no power tools are needed! Just cut to size with scissors and you're good to go! Here's the Home Depot link if you'd like to give it a whirl. I love this idea, but haven't tried it myself. Roeshell gives a great tutorial over at her blog The DIY Showoff. The results are amazing!

This is a pretty simple project, but one that can make a big impact. Be sure to stop by on Makeover Monday to see the results!

New to The Homesteading Apartment? Don't miss a post and subscribe here...

Related Posts with Thumbnails