15 Ingenious Home Improvement Hacks Under $50

15 Ingenious Home Improvement Hacks Under $50

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It’s easy to bite off way more than you can chew when you’re overhauling your home. It’s even easier to spend way more than you intended.

The truth is, though, that you don’t have to spend much at all to make a big difference. $50 can go a long way—here’s proof.

$50 home hacks

1. Paint boring linoleum or vinyl flooring

What you’ll need: paint, painter’s tape, polyurethane floor finishing
How much: $40-50
How long: 1 day
Rather than pay a pretty penny to tile over your dull linoleum or vinyl floor in the kitchen or bathroom, make it look like you did by giving the surface an interesting painted pattern. Once you’ve settled on something, mock it up with painter’s tape, and paint in your colors of choice. Once dry, give it a coat of polyurethane to keep it protected and easy to clean. [See more]

$50 home hacks

2. Paint outdoor planters with glow-in-the-dark paint

What you’ll need: Glow-in-the-dark spray paint, clay pots, plants (optional)
How much? $30-50, depending on quality of pots
How long? 1 hour
Outfitting your backyard with enough lighting fixtures to keep the whole place glowing is expensive and involved. Instead, cover clay planters with a few coats of glow-in-the-dark paint. [See more]

3. Add faux black wainscoting to a wall

What you’ll need:1′ x 3′ sheets of wood, nails, paint
How much? $30-50 depending on size of wall
How long? half to full day
This one’s a little more involved, but it has the power to truly transform your entire room, and make it look like you spent a whole lot more on it than you actually did. First you’ll need to measure the wall(s) you’d like to deck out, and figure out how many planks of wood you’ll need to achieve the faux-latticed look. Cut and mount the pieces of lumber uniformly along the wall, and once the basic structure’s in place, give it a coat or two of dark paint. [See more]

4. Create a mirrored backsplash with decals

What you’ll need: Self-adhesive mirror tiles
How much? $15 per 20-pack
How long? 1 hour, or longer if you have unsteady hands
Brighten up and add the illusion of space to your kitchen by lining the walls beneath your cabinets with mirrored tile. Only, instead of going all-out with grout, pick up a pack of peel-and-stick mirrored tile sheets, which will cut down on both cost and mess. [See more]

5. Paint a designer area rug

What you’ll need: Plain solid color rug, painter’s tape, fabric medium, paint
How much? $50
How long? 1-3 hours
Don’t even think about spending hundreds of dollars on that kickass CB2 area rug. Buy a blank one, mock up a cool design outline with painter’s tape, and paint it like a pro. Let the design dry almost completely, remove the tape, and then give it an overnight dry before placing it in any trafficked area. [See more]

6. Update your cabinet or drawer hardware

What you’ll need: Cabinet or drawer pulls
How much? Between $1-5 per drawer/cabinet
How long? Depending on size, anywhere between 30 mins to one hour
Rather than rip out and replace your entire kitchen or bathroom’s cabinetry, give them a quick and inexpensive renovation by replacing their drab door and drawer pulls. If you’re feeling extra ambitious, why not slap a coat of paint on them too. [See more]

$50 home hacks

7. Create a pass-through from the kitchen to dining room

What you’ll need: Lumber (2″ x 4″s), joint compound, drywall, beaded paneling (optional)
How much: $50
How long: half a day
Before you dive in, you’ll want to ensure the wall you’re going to be opening up isn’t load-bearing, otherwise you’ll have a disaster on your hands. Then, measure out the opening, sledgehammer through, and cut the edges clean. You’ll want to frame the opening with the 2″ x 4″s, then cover them with drywall. If you’re looking for a more refined finish add some beaded paneling or even a faux stone counter/shelf. [See more]

8. Hang mirrors along your fence or enclosed patio

What you’ll need: Repurposed window frame and a mirror of equal size
How much? $30-50
How long? 30 minutes
Just as mirrors create the illusion of open space indoors, they can do the same in your open-air backyard. Once the mirror is adhered to the backside of the window frame, mount it to your back fence or in an enclosed backyard area you wished were bigger. Add more, spaced out at different heights, to amplify the effect. [See more]

9. Create a self-draining boot/shoe tray

What you’ll need: Plastic pet crate tray, bag of pebbles
How much: $45
How long: 30 minutes
Do away with those aggravating snowmelt puddles at your entryway and fill a flat plastic tray with decorative stones. When you come in from the rain or snow, kick off your shoes or boots on top and they’ll naturally drain the muck, and the moisture should evaporate on its own. [See more]

$50 home hacks

10. Turn a boring door into a paneled one

What you’ll need: One .25-inch piece of plywood, wood stain or paint
How much? $20 per door
How long? 2-3 hours
Nothing screams “cheap” like ultra-thin and lightweight doors around your house. Remedy that by adding wooden 1′ x 3′ planks around the edge and across the mid-section to create the illusion that you’ve splurged on a salvaged or paneled door while also adding heft. [See more]

$50 home hacks

11. Turn wine bottles into tiki torches

What you’ll need: empty wine bottles, plumbing brackets, citronella lamp oil, torch wicks
How much? $40-50
How long? 1 hour
Further reap the benefits of your lush lifestyle by repurposing all those empty vino bottles into classy wall-mountable tiki torches. Once you’ve mounted the appropriate hardware along your fence or deck, slip the bottles in, fill them with citronella oil and a thick wick, and get ready to enjoy your sweet, sweet, bug-free backyard. [See more]

$50 home hacks

12. Create a kitchen utensil/note center hybrid

What you’ll need:pegboard with locking hooks, chalkboard paint
How much? $45-50
How long? 1-2 hours
Keep your clutter out of the way and post important reminders at the same time. Once you’ve painted and mounted the board, it’s as simple as arranging the brackets to suit your specific array of utensils. [See more]

13. Class up your closet doors with mirrors

What you’ll need:door mirrors, paint
How much: $20-40 per closet
How long: 1 hour
Add some imagined extra space to your bedroom by tacking one or two long, thin door mirrors to the exterior of your closets. Once they’re mounted, paint their frames to match your room’s colors. [See more]

$50 home hacks

14. Build a Restoration Hardware-esque desk

What you’ll need: a variety of lumber, one 2×4-foot pine panel, wood stain
How much: $50
How long: 3 hours
Rather than spend a few hundred bucks on the retail version, put your tool belt on and create this rustic workstation from scratch. Once you’ve assembled the two sawhorses, stain them and the project panel, and let dry, then place along the wall, and you’re in business. [See more]

15. Install a succulent-lined windowsill

What you’ll need: aluminum gutter, soil, variety of succulents
How much: $40
How long: 1 hour
Find a window that gets enough light throughout the day for a succulent to flourish, then cut a piece of aluminum gutter to fit along the length of the bottom and mount it with screws. Fill it with soil and space out the succulents. [See more]