13 DIY Kitchen Projects from Our Favorite Bloggers is an iVillage article discussing a baker’s dozen (pun unintended) of great homemaking ideas on a shoestring budget. The ideas range from making more affordable versions of great recipes and drinks, to redecorating cabinets and recycling things to make into something both decorative and useful.
One of the best beginner-level projects described in the article is highly recommended for those who are still renting a home. Most apartment-dwellers are caught in that limbo between wanting to create a cozy home, and feeling apprehensive because they know they will move out any time. But if your kitchen cabinets look decrepit, you have to do something about it, especially if it has become an eyesore.
It’s also a great way to add character to your home, rented or otherwise. You can stencil some pretty images of flowers or birds onto the wood of your kitchen cabinet to cover up minor scratches and cracks. Or you can paint a “frame” on the cabinets (see image above) to lend an interesting visual punch to an otherwise drab paint job. If you are not confident about handling paint and a brush, consider gluing wallpaper border on the cabinet doors, instead.
If you need a bit of organization and a reminder to stay organized, why not come up with a creative project that does both at once? Part of a wooden wall in the kitchen can serve as your daily reminder board as to which pantry items you are running low on, and be an organizing board to hang things on, as well. You can simply drill hooks onto the the wood (make sure they’re in a row at just the right height so you can reach for kitchen things easily) so you can hang ladles and measuring cups and chopping boards and small pots on them. Then you can use some blackboard paint below the hooks and buy a box of dustless chalk for you to write the day’s menu, and what needs to be on the grocery list.
As for food, you may have gone through the vexing situation of having produce spoil because of different reasons. Greens and bread are some of the grocery items with the shortest shelf life. In the case of spring onions (which are sold in a bunch and have to be used right away or they will wilt), you can chop them up into tiny pieces and put them in a sealed plastic jar or bottle, then refrigerate it. This way, you can simply reach for the jar whenever your dish needs spicing up, and the spring onion bits will stay fresher for longer. Bread can keep longer by refrigerating the loaf, especially if the weather is humid.