12 Fabulous DIY Projects Costing Less Than $50
When you're feeling a little strapped for cash, there's no need to completely hold back on your DIY projects. Check out these amazing DIY projects that cost less than $50.
Family Handyman Project: DIY Cabinet Wine Rack
Love wine but lack the storage space? Then why not convert a cupboard or shelf into a handy wine rack? This clever design comes complete with space for storing glasses underneath, so you have everything in one spot. You can use existing shelves if the dimensions work, but it’s easy to fit new ones to adapt the space for wine storage. Then use 1x2s, rounded off with a router for a smooth finish, to create the bottle storage dividers. Leave 2 inches between each one, and a 5-inch clearance between shelves to make removing a bottle safe and easy. Paint or stain the rack to match your kitchen.
And don’t despair if you’ve lost your corkscrew; here are 10 ways to open a wine bottle without one!
Clamp down on the clutter with this benchtop organizer that’s quick and easy to build. The perfect storage solution for small DIY items, this little organizer is ideal for a bench, a craft area, workshop or garden shed. Start with some plastic bins from the hardware store (make sure they have sturdy rims because they will slide on runners), and then build the plywood case to fit.
This organizer looks great left with a natural finish, but you could also paint or stain it. Even a beginner could build this DIY Family Handyman project, and once you’ve started tackling the clutter, see 11 more ways to keep your workshop neat and tidy.
Kitchen Cabinet Makeover
Remodeling a kitchen is a major (and costly) DIY project, but it’s easy to breathe new life into your old kitchen cabinets with updated hardware. This handy guide has all the information you need, including how to use adhesive putty to decide the best positioning, how to use templates for drilling, using an awl to start the holes to avoid the drill slipping, and clever hacks like using wood putty, superglue and nail polish for the finishing touches.
If you’ve got the time and want a completely new look, repainting your cabinets is ambitious, but very DIYable.
Reupholster Dining Chairs
Reupholstering a worn dining chair is a fabulous budget-friendly DIY project. It’s amazing how a new seat and a lick of paint will make an old chair look brand new. First, select your fabric. This is where you can spend a lot of money if you’re not careful. Look at remnant tables for bargains—you don’t need very much fabric per seat. Also, make sure the fabric is sturdy enough to handle the type of wear the chair will get. You’ll also need neutral fabric batting as a lining, and foam padding to make a soft seat. If you’re reupholstering several chairs, measure each one separately as the seats may not all be exactly the same size. Each chair will take about a day to fully restore, and you only need basic tools, although a staple gun makes the task much easier.
Keep your drill(s) and accessories organized and close at hand to make your DIY projects run smoothly. By investing just two hours, you can build this wall-mounted drill dock to house everything you need. There’s a top shelf for accessories, a wider lower shelf for larger items such as battery packs, and the clever use of 3-inch PVC piping makes hanging holsters for different drill attachments. Here’s our guide to five must-have attachments.
The instructions for this drill dock include advice on how to customize the dock to fit your drill and you can even add a power strip to the bottom shelf to keep everything charged and ready to go. In addition to basic tools, you’ll need a circular saw, a jigsaw and a clamp to complete this project successfully.
This affordable DIY project makes a perfect little table for enjoying drinks or snacks, either indoors or out on your patio. It can also double as plant stand for showing off accent plants, like an orchid. The frame is made from 1×2 and 2×2 oak and construction is straightforward. If you make a matching pair, a jig will speed things up even more. The top could be made from a slate, granite, limestone or marble tile, or choose a decorative tile to add a pop of color.
A great beginner’s project, this table will take around three hours to make, using basic tools, a miter saw and a caulk gun. If this table style doesn’t suit you, here are five more outdoor tables you can make.
Stud Space Cabinet
The space behind a door often gets wasted, but with a little ingenuity, you can turn it into a handy storage area. Use it for storing cleaning products (here’s a handy kitchen cleaning checklist), storing small utensils mini bakeware items, or even as extra space for small food storage containers. And because the back is made from pegboard, you can hang items as well.
The size can be modified to fit your available space, and you need to be careful to avoid any obstructions within the wall, like wiring or pipes. But don’t worry, our instructions go through that in plenty of detail! You can complete this cleverest of DIY projects in a day.
You can never have too much shelf space in your home (see our easy shelf ideas), but sometimes ugly brackets or supports can spoil the look. These stylish floating shelves look as though they’re held up by magic, but they’re simple to make and mount, and deceptively strong. Once installed, they’ll hold photos, vases and more, while looking effortlessly elegant.
The trick is to use half of a hollow-core door for each shelf (so you get two shelves for the price of one!). Buy a hollow-core door from a home center, or repurpose one from a remodeling project.
Like many simple DIY projects, you’ll need basic tools—a table saw is best, but a circular saw will do. And it will only take you a day to have two gorgeous shelves installed.
Fed up with rummaging through a crowded toolbox for your DIY essentials? Then build yourself this simple workbench in a morning, and you’ll never lose a tool again. The clever design includes a high and a low shelf, and a pegboard for hanging small tools. There’s also space on the sides of the bench for longer tools such as saws and levels. There’s even a strip-light for detail work.
You need just a few 2x4s and a single sheet of plywood (see our guide to understanding plywood grades), as well as basic tools, a miter saw and a circular saw.
Kitchen Cabinet Rollouts
The lower cabinets in your kitchen often waste space, as they’re deep and it’s hard to bend down to reach right to the back. But custom cabinet rollouts use the space more efficiently and also save your aching muscles from all that bending and reaching. By choosing affordable materials, you can build rollouts to house pots and pans, bakeware, food items like cans and boxes, and even your waste and recycling bins. And check out our other kitchen storage and organization tips to save even more space.
This project was made with 1/2-inch Baltic birch plywood, but other wood will do, and you might be able to find suitably sized offcuts to reduce costs even further. You can build a pair of rollouts in a morning, using basic tools, a table saw and a miter saw, and we’ve also included instructions for adjusting the measurements to fit your cabinets.
Drip Irrigation System
DIY projects aren’t limited to indoors! If you love your garden, you know how important proper watering is to its success. For less than $50, you can install a drip irrigation system that will keep raised beds and containers watered for at least two weeks. For larger areas, the system uses plastic supply pipe, studded with emitters that are simply pushed into the pipe. The container system uses 1/4-inch pipe with built-in emitters. Both can be used in combination.
You’ll also need an outdoor faucet and a battery-operated timer to give everything a good soak every 2 to 3 days. Best of all, the whole system can be coiled and stored away when you don’t need it.
Check out our guide to starting seeds indoors.
This wall niche is both practical and beautiful, and it’s surprisingly easy to build and install. In a bathroom, it makes a great place for keeping toiletries, toothbrushes and beauty essentials handy, or put it in the kitchen for keeping storage jars and spice containers. It also works well in the bedroom or living room as a way to highlight photos or mementos.
The oak frame is built first, and finished with stain. (Choose pine if you’d like to save some money.) Then, it fits neatly into a stud wall. See our comprehensive guide to cutting into drywall. As well as basic tools, you’ll need a circular or table saw, a miter saw, a router and a dry wall saw. A brad gun makes nailing easier.