Budget-conscious ways to D.I.Y.

Annie Payne’s customized bathroom, before and after.

Five houses on my street have the same floor plan as mine.

Little by little, on a limited budget, I have added personal touches around my house to make it feel more like a custom home and less like Plan No. 2440.


Many do-it-yourself projects can be accomplished on a limited budget, and they can add personality and style to an otherwise standard-looking home.

With 20 minutes to spare before the kids came home from school, I added a frame to my bathroom mirror.

I purchased the mirror framing kit from Lowe’s. The kit included the frame and corner pieces. The mirror glue was sold separately.

The overall cost was less than $20. The overall look is awesome.

Next, I turned my D.I.Y. eye to the kitchen.

My dad and I added a backsplash to my kitchen in one afternoon and for less than $100.

What looks like a metal backsplash is really plastic/vinyl panels.

The panels are easily cut to fit with a razor blade and adhered to the wall with glue.

Knowing my tendency to change my mind, however, I opted to attach the panels to the wall using project-grade double-stick tape sold with the backsplash materials.

The backsplash is secure, until I am ready for it to come off and it cleans up easily with a damp cloth.


A great way to add character or update the look of a room is right above your head.

Light fixtures are like earrings. A great pair of earrings adds personal style to an outfit. Similarly, light fixtures can show off personal style in a room.

Light fixtures come in innumerable styles and price points to fit any style and budget.

To make my bathroom feel more luxurious, I hung up a mini chandelier.

I never dreamed I could feel like the Queen of Sheba while brushing my teeth, but I do.


You wouldn’t have a door without a handle, so don’t deny your cabinets the practicality and character of knobs.

Lowe’s and Hobby Lobby both have great selections of knobs and drawer pulls, from the practical to artsy-craftsy, starting at a mere $2.

Aside from being inexpensive, adding knobs is easy. How many do-it-yourself projects can you think of that only require one tool?

All you need is the quick zing of a drill to take your cabinets from plain to just plain great.


Paint is an inexpensive way to make a big change to a room.

Plan No. 2440 came with one choice of paint color for the whole inside of the house.

Room by room, I’ve added more colors, usually when my husband, Secret Agent Man, is out of town. He loves me, but he hates painting.

My next project is to paint our front door. A punch of color at a house’s entrance is an easy way to set your house apart from the others.

I’m doing an about-face from my previous front door color, which was Victorian rose red.

This time (completely uninfluenced by the Rolling Stones), I am painting the front door a clean, sleek, sophisticated black.

Which one of these Plan No. 2440s is not like the others?

It will be the one with the black door.

To read more about Annie’s budget-minded DIY projects and other topics, check out her blog at Anniethology.b logspot.com.


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