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DIY Kitchen Makeover Upcycle Ideas – 21 Ideas to Try

Many people describe the kitchen as the heart of the home, it can also be the heart of your creativity and a place to show of your unique personality and DIY skills. If you are an avid Upcycler then it is the perfect place to go crazy with your ingenuity. Here is a roundup of DIY Kitchen Makeover ideas that got us salivating to try ourselves.

Have you tried any of these ideas or have a suggestions we should add to our list? Comment below with your favourite upcycled kitchen ideas and tips!

Cutlery Hooks

We love this idea of using old cutlery as hooks. If you have a drill and an old plank of wood you should be able to do this fairly simply as lots of older cutlery is fairly bendy (if you use a hammer).

But we found this video from The Badger Workshop that shows a step by step guide of how to do this if you have a fully stocked workshop of clamps, saws and precision drilling tools.

We don’t think you have to be this precise to have a go at this but we found this video strangely calming to watch – probably something to do with the background music – a bit of voyeuristic upcycling chill out time anyone?

Even More Hook Ideas

Will you ever buy an ‘off the shelf’ hook rack again? We think not!

Kitchen Cabinet Door Makeovers

No DIY Kitchen Makeover is complete without having a crack at upcycling your kitchen cabinets is it?

Above are some gorgeous examples of what you can achieve and below is a link to the How to Guide provided to Upcycle My Stuff by the lovely Beverley Wilde at Revamped.

The guide includes the step by step process and materials needed to complete your own DIY Kitchen Cabinet Makeover!

Kitchen Island Upcycles

Can’t afford to buy a brand new kitchen island? We love these examples of kitchen islands made from repurposed doors and dressers.

The dresser idea in particular provides handy storage and is probably a more practical size for most kitchens. The only thing you have to put more thought into is the top.

Will you use it for cutting and food prep? Are you willing to re-oil and sand it once a year? If so, and your dresser or door is wood, you can leave it as is and refinish it as needed.

If you’d rather not deal with that hassle you can source a new or new from old marble top for your dresser like the second photo to give yourself a durable surface that just needs wiped clean.

kitchen trolley before and after

Kitchen not big enough for even a dresser sized island? Could you fit an IKEA Bekvam Kitchen Trolley?

We’ve got a How to Guide for how to turn your basic IKEA trolley into a stylish butcher’s block piece with stained wood top and white legs.

Our writer liked it so much when she was done she started referring to it as her Kitchen Island! You can find the guide here.

DIY Kitchen Backsplash

We think this chalkboard kitchen wall is a super simple but effective idea if you have open shelving like this coffee bar. But you could also do the same for just a backsplash area with cupboards above.

You can use it to keep a note of groceries you need to remember to pick up! Use Chalkboard paint or Chalkboard contact paper to achieve the look.

DIY Kitchen Makeover Cork Backsplash

We wouldn’t recommend this one for a backsplash behind a sink unless you are going to coat it with an epoxy resin when your done to protect it. But for areas of the kitchen that get less moisture this is a cute upcycling idea!

If you want the look of the kitchen in the photo you need to slice your corks lengthways and use an adhesive to stick the flat side to the wall.

If you don’t have enough corks for this you could try slicing them horizontally to create circular disk shapes that would be much thinner and therefore you’d get more coverage from them. You can find tips on using corks for craft projects in our wedding centrepiece post that uses corks in two different ways.

Unfortunately we couldn’t source a how to guide for this one, but in terms of a found object upcycle we think it looks super cool. We reckon the countertop lip up the back of the sink would need to be pretty deep for this or you’d have to have a stone cutter to get a flat surface on the back of the stones so they could be glued effectively.

We presume the weight of the stones support each other as opposed to relying on adhesive to take the weight. Probably not the most practical idea on this list but it looks stunning!

If you manage to achieve something similar we’d love to see it and hear how. Comment below or join us over on Facebook in our Upcycle My Stuff – Share My Stuff Facebook Group.

We love the trend for copper in the kitchen, including backsplashes.

We found a peel and stick copper backsplash here, but you could also paint another material (or your existing backsplash in situ) with a kitchen friendly copper paint to achieve a similar look.

Vintage Items as Kitchen Wall Art

We love, love, love this use of old and otherwise unusable vintage kitchen items as wall decor. We think it brings that cozy cottage/farmhouse chic style to life.

The pie dishes as recipe display holders would be great for old handwritten family recipes that you want to make sure you don’t loose and the picture frame display piece is our definition of an easy peasy beginners upcycle project – hammer in a few nails, tie your objects on with some twine and hang your window as if it were a picture!

This upcycled vintage tray however takes a bit more explaining. Thankfully the lovely Rachel Gray from Bramble and Berries has written us up a tutorial on how to turn an old unused vintage silver tray into an original piece of wall art to finish off your kitchen makeover.

Add to your Kitchen Makeover with Unusual Objects

Need to clear out an old study or library? See if you can reuse any of those old items in the kitchen.

These one’s aren’t everyone’s style but that’s the beauty of upcycling, you can make it your own.

If you like the book knife stand idea but you don’t have any books that quite suit your decor what about making book jackets from wallpaper or gift wrap offcuts to make a design statement that suits the rest of your kitchen?

Wooden Spoons

Okay so this one isn’t about reusing your wooden spoons as something else, its just about making your wooden spoons a bit more fun.

We have seen versions where the actual spoon end was painted – but that makes them totally impractical.

We also wanted to highlight the opportunity of doing something like this as an easy start upcycling or craft business. Many people think they need lots of space to start an upcycling business but you don’t need much space for this and we think they make great gifts. And great gifts are a pretty good recipe for business.

So maybe your next DIY Kitchen Makeover will spark a future business? Or maybe you’ll just have some pretty spoons!

Looking for more upcycling inspiration? Check out these posts:

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Monday 7th of March 2022

This was really interesting & inspiring. The ads made reading the article almost impossible. Even trying to write this it was blocked by ads.

Kristen Hubert

Friday 11th of March 2022

So sorry - I will look into this! Thanks for letting me know!


Wednesday 28th of July 2021

Love these ideas! I had a cabinet refinisher update my kitchen cabinets a few months ago, and ever since then, I've had the itch to redecorate my kitchen- on a budget of course! I'm totally going to try out some of these ideas.

Kristen Hubert

Monday 2nd of August 2021

Fab, glad you found some inspiration!

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Saturday 20th of June 2020

[…] Turn mason jars into bathroom storage, money boxes, or kitchen organizers. […]


Monday 16th of December 2019

Hi, Lovely post I would like to share this beacause its very helpful for me keep it up please don’t stop posting, Thanks for share nice information with us.

Kristen Hubert

Monday 16th of December 2019

Thanks very much, so glad you found it useful.

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Tuesday 19th of November 2019

[…] to upcycle some more vintage kitchen items? Check out our DIY Kitchen Makeover Ideas for […]

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