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No Cost Kitchen Upgrade with Free Kitchen Printables

Decorating my kitchen has been a challenge. Just about every inch of wall space under the cabinets is filled with small appliances and kitchen doohickeys, leaving no room for adornment.

Opposite the cramped counters lies one big, uneven wall with outlets right in the middle. When this house was first built, that wall had cupboards and counters, so it made sense to have outlets there. But when everything was gutted from the wall to create a dining space, the outlets remained. And not only are the two outlets smack in the middle of this blank space, but they are not even level with each other. Staring at the wall is a bit of a trip because from the ceiling line to the outlets, everything is just a bit askew.

Since those outlets are the only sources of power on that side of the kitchen, the outlets are actually used quite a lot, so covering them up is not an option.

When I first decorated that wall, I pinned up three red Ikea mirrors my mom had given me. I was never really crazy about this decor, but it helped fill in all that space until I figured out something better.

 Looking at kitchen decor online, I found a number of retro diner and kitchen signs I just loved, but splurging on them wouldn't have been very thrifty of me. Instead, I revamped the space without spending any money.

I created all of the wall decor myself. I was on a crafting craze this weekend.  
Check out the free printables at the bottom of the page.

➢For the word clouds, I used the free program, Tagul. The "coffee, coffee, coffee" is a reference to the best TV show ever, Gilmore Girls. The tree is made up of all of the fruits of the spirits from The Bible.

➢The punny song lyrics were inspired by the blog Yellow Bliss Road. You can find super cute printables at that blog, but I decided to make my own teal graphics to best fit my color scheme and limited frame options.  

Warning: You may find yourself singing these songs all day long. I've had Def Leppard in my head all weekend. In another life, "Pour Some Sugar On Me" would be my stripper song. Maybe not the most original choice, but a classic, nonetheless.

➢Rather than spend money on frames, I dug into my used collection. I decided that I didn't really need to have my college honor society certificates framed and stored in a box somewhere, so that freed up two frames originally from the 99 Cent Store. The frame with our pictures in it previously held an old collage of computer printed pictures from our 5-month dating anniversary way back in 2004, so I decided to update it with more recent pictures from our 5-year wedding anniversary photo shoot in 2012.

➢Re-purposing the top frame required a little more work. The frame originally looked like this:

I ripped out the glued-in mat, and then created the appearance of three separate picture slots by taping strips of black construction paper between my three graphics. I found the teal pictures by searching free clip art websites, and used Paint to create each complete graphic. In Open Office I stretched the images to the correct measurements for my frame.

➢For the grand finale of my crafting weekend, I created the EAT sign with cardboard, shelf paper, duct tape, Sharpie and a hot glue gun. I love that it coordinates with my sheer, polka dot curtains, cherry-print apron and DIY no-sew cherry-print window valance made from a skirt. Click here for step-by-step directions for the sign; it's simple, just a little time consuming.

➢Finally, the last kitchen upgrade came as a freebie from Craigslist: the microwave stand in the corner. Admittedly, the microwave stand was pretty dirty when we picked it up, but I bleached it back to sanitary conditions.

Our kitchen table is normally cluttered with all sorts of junk, plus at least one large bowl of fruit and sometimes two, so the stand is great for holding all of that stuff. When necessary, I can keep one bowl of fruit on the table and one on the microwave stand. The stand comes at the perfect time, too, because we are actually eating at the table more often now that we have a light teal sofa to care for. I may be going a little overboard on sofa-caution; Aaron had a nightmare he spilled mustard on it.

But back to my kitchen: I love my kitchen decor upgrade, and I especially love looking at my wall and knowing, "I made that!"

Click to enlarge.


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