Interior Kitchen & Dining

12 Inventive Ideas for a Budget Backsplash

When it comes to kitchen backsplashes, most people assume you have to spend a lot of money to get amazing results. But these low-cost DIY projects are a testament that with a little creativity and DIY enthusiasm, you can craft a backsplash that adds charm and personality to any space—without a steep price tag.

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Peel-and-Stick Patterns

You may not think wallpaper and kitchens go hand in hand, but this pretty peel-and-stick product will prove you wrong. Whether you opt for a floral, geometric, speckled, or lattice design, wallpaper can serve as the basis for an exceptionally clever and inexpensive backsplash. Not only is this project simple to assemble—measure, cut, stick, and press—but you can also choose from a seemingly endless variety of colors and patterns to create a backsplash that’s perfectly suited to your kitchen’s style.

Related: 12 “Off the Wall” Places to Put Wallpaper

Painted Planks

Mandi Johnson for

If you’re trying to cover up an unfortunate textured wall without going broke, or if you just want to infuse your kitchen with old-school charm, then a plank backsplash may be an easy and inexpensive solution for you. To create her crisp-looking backsplash, this resourceful blogger chose lauan plywood, which she cut to size and and attached to the wall using construction adhesive. Some waterproof caulk and a few coats of semigloss paint were all she needed to finish up this genuine showstopper. 

Related: 9 Simple DIY Ways to Reinvent Your Kitchen Cabinets

Patterned Plywood

Plywood itself may not be pretty, but with a little DIY inspiration, you can create something spectacular. In the low-cost solution featured here, painted plywood has been attached to the wall with a few strips of Velcro. Perfect for renters, this temporary upgrade adds pattern and style to your space at minimal expense. 

Related: Renovate Your Rental—9 Kitchen Upgrades You Can Make

Decoy Decals

If you’re not quite ready to commit to a style, or if you’re a renter, let a roll of vinyl be the secret ingredient in a colorful and creative faux-tile backsplash. Not only is this project inexpensive, but it’s also easy to implement. Use either scissors or an electronic machine to cut the pattern of your choice down to size, peel off the backing, and stick—simple! Plus, if you make any mistakes, you can reposition the decals as needed without worry. Keep in mind that the vinyl will adhere best to smooth, painted walls. 

Related: 10 Ways to Unleash the Potential of Your Blank Walls

Bright Bottle Caps

If you’re an old-school soda lover, chances are you’ll love this eclectic backsplash idea that puts unique bottle caps on display. To try this in your own kitchen, simply adhere the caps, then grout and seal for a colorful backsplash that adds a bit of whimsy to any kitchen. 

Related: Just Floored! 15 Totally Unexpected DIY Flooring Alternatives

Mason Jar Mosaic

This mosaic marvel crafted from mason jars is a backsplash smash hit—literally. After dyeing the inside of the jars with a water-based solution, use a hammer to break the blue beauties into pieces of varying size. Sort out the usable sections, then carefully apply them to your wall using tile adhesive. Once set, grout the entire backsplash and polish the glass with a sponge and soapy water. 

Related: Recipe for Success—10 Easy Kitchen Storage Hacks

Beyond-Basic Beadboard

Beadboard makes for an elegant and easy backsplash—just witness its cozy, tidy appeal in this classic kitchen. An economical alternative to tile, beadboard is also relatively easy to install. Start by measuring and cutting the panels. Once you’ve made sure they fit, press them into place with adhesive, and finish by securing them to the wall with nails for a minimalist look that makes a huge impact. 

Related: 16 Gorgeous Galley Kitchens

Markdown Tile

Tile has a reputation of being a pricey material, which is why some homeowners avoid it. While tile can come with a big price tag, that’s not always the case. Savvy shoppers know that shops like the Habitat ReStore offer deep discounts of donated tile. No matter where you source your tile, you can save a bundle by installing it yourself. If mortar and grout seems intimidating, consider a mess-free solution like the SimpleMat, which makes install faster, cleaner, and less of a hassle.

Related: 11 Style-Setting Tiles Destined for Your Backsplash

Wine Time

For all the wine lovers out there, we’ve found your perfect backsplash match. Whenever you pour yourself a glass, save your cork—and enlist friends, family, and local stores to save corks for you too, until you collect enough to cover the surface area of your kitchen’s backsplash. Cut corks in half vertically, then adhere them to plywood board templates that you’ve measured and fit to your backsplash area. Finish with a clear sealant for an offbeat kitchen accent that’s full of personal charm. 

Related: 9 Ways to Use Cork Around the House

Savvy Stencils

Stenciling is a great way to add some personal flair to walls, furniture, and even backsplashes. While there are plenty of ready-made stencils available, you can also purchase versions that allow you to fashion a custom design. Working in one small area at a time, paint your pattern in the colors of your choice for a finished product that’s guaranteed to boost the style quotient of the busiest room of the house. 

Related: Personalize Your Home with 10 Foolproof Stencil Projects

CD Show-Off via upmade

In our world of iPods and MP3 players, CDs have become a thing of the past. But there’s no need to toss those Technicolor disks! Instead, consider repurposing your favorite tunes into a decorative DIY project, just like the clever creators of this
mosaic backsplash did. Use plastic-cutting scissors to break the CDs into pieces, glue them in position, and then grout. You’ll love how the finished product bounces colorful light around your kitchen. 

Related: 10 Trash-to-Treasure Ways to Reinvent Old Tech

Fabric Fake-Out

This DIY temporary faux-wallpaper is a great alternative for renters, or for those who can’t quite decide on a tile. All you need is lightweight fabric, liquid starch, and a paint roller or sponge. Measure and cut your fabric of choice, wipe the walls with liquid starch, then apply, smoothing as you go to get rid of any bumps for a seamlessly stunning result.

Related: 9 Temporary Options for Commitment-Phobes