Oh, hey sexy bathroom! …3 easy bathroom updates even I can do.

DIY, Lifestyle

Affordable Bathroom DIY Fixes

I am no DIY pro (if you haven't noticed). However, I am getting the itch to start updating and refreshing a few things around my house (is anyone as excited for April's Focus on Change month as I am?). So I enlisted the help of Jay Harris, who works and writes regularly for Home Depot, to show us how to easily and affordably update your bathroom in no time. Take it away, Jay!

Thanks Jordan! Although you may desire a deluxe bathroom renovation where cost is no object, once you wake up and come back down to reality, you acknowledge the everyday financial obligations that make remodeling on a budget necessary.

Fortunately, you don't need a bottomless budget for decorating in order to have a modernized bathroom that you can take pride in. Often, you can update your bathroom using items you already have on hand or that can be purchased for a minimal amount of money!

Here are 3 DIY bathroom updates you can do on any budget:

1. Self-Made Storage

Affordable ways to update your bathroom

If you have an antique chest or an unused cabinet collecting dust in the attic, pull out one of the drawers and convert it into a custom wall shelf.

Paint it in bright shade to add a pop of color to the room or paint it in a neutral tone and allow the colorful bathroom accessories (you can now set out for display or simply store off the floor) speak for themselves!

Turn it so that the side with the handle is pointed down to provide the most solid surface for resting items upon and secure it to the bathroom wall in all four corners.

2. No Sew Shower Curtain

Affordable ways to update your bathroom

Just because you aren't a super seamstress, don't be afraid of creating a custom fabric shower curtain – all you need is washable fabric glue and your “stitches” are set.

If you can sew, you can build your curtain entirely from scratch: measure your shower space, purchase fabric yardage and hem the edges yourself. However, you can achieve comparable results (with less expense and time investment) by selecting a basic fabric shower curtain in a neutral color or pattern and simply adding custom embellishments.

Affordable ways to update your bathroom

In addition to the curtain, you'll need:

  • Decorative trim or fabric ribbon
  • Washable Fabric Glue
  • Measuring tape
  • Sharp Scissors
  • Drafting triangle or Quilting triangle – basically, a straight edge to create a 45° angle miter cut
  • Straight pins
  • Ink pen or fabric chalk for marking

1. Lay out the curtain on a completely flat surface with the outside facing up (the side you are going to embellish) – this is the “top”

2. Mark the measurements for the inner ribbon border: measure 8″ in from the outer edge of the top all the way around (all 4 sides) and mark the corners and a few spots with straight pins.

Affordable ways to update your bathroom

3. Take the trim or ribbon and mark a 45° angle about ¼” from the edge with your chalk or ink to prevent fraying when you cut just along th

e inside of the mark so it isn't left on the finished ribbon

4. Pin down the mitered edge and roll out the ribbon (so that it is flat but without pulling it too hard) until it reaches the opposite corner

5. Create an opposite direction mitered angle and use a mirror or picture frame as a guide to be sure the angles are facing the correct direction – the goal is to end up with smooth, seamless edges that fit perfectly

6. Follow the process all the way around until you have created a border around the entire top

7. Apply fabric glue to the underside of each mitered angle and press firmly for a few seconds to ensure proper adhesion

8. Follow with a bead of fabric glue along the under edges of the ribbon, every few inches or so, all the way around

9. Make sure that all sides of the ribbon are even and thoroughly secured to the curtain and that the fabric glue is completely dry before hanging

As a fun finishing touch, complete your newly customized shower curtain with unique hooks or rings.

3. Happenin' Hardware

Affordable ways to update your bathroom

An easy way to dress up your bathroom vanity or cabinets is to swap out your existing knobs, handles and pulls with updated pieces to coordinate with the rest of your bathroom accessories.

For replacement knobs, make sure to purchase screws that are long enough to extend through the width of the cabinet into the knob on the front.

Measuring for replacement handles is easy when you know the proper technique to ensure an exact fit every time. Don't measure the handle itself; rather, remove the existing handle and measure the holes in the cabinet from center to center (the middle of the holes as opposed to the outside or inner edges).

What are some of your fun, cheap or free secrets for updating a bathroom?

Jay Harris, a Home Depot sales associate in suburban Chicago, is a regular contributor on DIY bath projects for vanities and sinks for the Home Depot website. Jay also provides advice to homeowners on bathroom cabinets and other storage fixtures.

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Thanks for sharing, Jay!




  1. Gerard

    I was curious if you ever considered changing the structure of
    your blog? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.

    But maybe you could a little more in the way
    of content so people could connect with it better. Youve got
    an awful lot of text for only having 1 or 2 pictures.
    Maybe you could space it out better?

    my web page – Gerard

    • FunCheapOrFree

      Gerard that’s great feedback! So you mean shorter posts, more pictures? Definitely something I’ll work on!!

  2. Kandie

    A drawer for a wall shelf! Paper the inside with scrapbook paper for instant decor background. My goodness, what a great and simple idea. Thank you!

  3. lisa demitis

    I love your blog! You have such awesome ideas. Could you tell me what color the greenish/blue paint is in the first bathroom picture?
    Thank you,

    • FunCheapOrFree

      Thanks Lisa! Unfortunately I have no idea, that picture was provided by Jay. Use DesignSeeds.com though, I’m sure you can find what you’re looking for there!


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