Solid cutlery trays: country Kitchen by Maple & Gray

Low-cost home improvement ideas

Amy Buxton Amy Buxton
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Have you ever looked around a pound shop and been pleasantly surprised by some of the amazing items in there? We have, but we don't want to start filling our homes with things just because they're cheap, so we wanted to come up with some bona fide reasons to invest. 

We've taken a look at how interior designers like to make homes more organised and fun for their clients and guess what? We think we've figured out some great ways to up your home's practicality and style without you needing to spend more than a few pounds!

So, if you love a bargain, come with us now as we show you some great home improvement projects to try. Oh, and don't forget to come back tomorrow for part two.

1. Discover the value of coffee filters

Miele CM7300 Coffee Machine: modern Kitchen by Hehku
Hehku

Miele CM7300 Coffee Machine

Hehku

You can grab a packet of coffee filters from a pound shop and put them to fantastic use! We like to use them as makeshift drawer divides, which you can replace when they get dirty. 

homify hint: Another great use is to place them between your good plates so nothing gets damaged!

2. Use plastic baskets as drawer organisers

modern Bedroom by e15
e15

Chest of drawers IMARI

e15
e15
e15

All pound shops have multi-packs of cheap but cheerful (and often colourful) plastic mini baskets. which are perfect for popping in a drawer to sort all your belongings. 

Nobody will see them unless they snoop but, even if they do, they'll be blown away by your organisation.

3. Add contact paper to your utensils

Wild Flower Utensil Set: eclectic Kitchen by bojje ltd
bojje ltd

Wild Flower Utensil Set

bojje ltd

Contact paper (or sticky-back plastic) is a great craft supply and you can use it on the ends of your kitchen utensils to jazz them up a bit. 

homify hint: If you prefer something even easier, grab a set of poster paints and simply dip the handles.

4. Glue Mason jars together to create a desk tidy

Ok, so you won't get branded Mason or Kilner jars in the pound shop, but own brand versions are just as good.

If you pop them on their sides and use hot glue to join them all together, you can have a beautiful, unique desk tidy that's perfect for stashing pens and pencils.

5. Bargain spray paint can add style to any pot

Tunisia Made Vases and jars: mediterranean Kitchen by Hend Krichen
Hend Krichen

Tunisia Made Vases and jars

Hend Krichen

How do these pound shops manage to sell things so cheaply? 

Standard spray paint can cost you up to £10 a can, but buy some from your pound shop and you'll be shocked at what you can upcycle and improve. 

You might need a couple of coats, but what a great idea for eye-catching plant pots and utensil holders.

6. Stick jewels to a mirror to give it pizzazz

Glass beads are a staple in craft sections of pound shops and if you've always wondered what you could do with them, now's your chance to try something super cool. 

Stick the glass beads around a plain mirror and create something really dazzling and fun that will perk up any room.

7. Use drawing pins to achieve a vintage look

Birley Brown Leather Chesterfield Sofa: rustic Living room by Modish Living
Modish Living

Birley Brown Leather Chesterfield Sofa

Modish Living

We love this idea! If you have modern sofa that was a cost-effective purchase, it probably doesn't have much detailing, but you can imitate a classic Chesterfield look with nothing more than a box of gold drawing pins. 

Tap them into place with a small hammer and marvel at your suddenly far more antique-looking sofa!

8. Organise toys in cheap plastic tubs

Activity Table & Toy Organiser CONSTRUCTION CENTRE: modern Nursery/kid's room by Finoak LTD
Finoak LTD

Activity Table & Toy Organiser CONSTRUCTION CENTRE

Finoak LTD

Pound shop Tupperware is as good as the real thing but, being so cheap, you won't mind sacrificing it for a more organisational purpose. 

Using plastic tubs to sort toys will help keep your little one's space far tidier and easier to enjoy. You'll never have to step on a Lego again!

9. Use a plastic cutlery tray as an art supplies organiser

A plastic cutlery tray or even plate drainer will make a terrific arts and crafts caddy for kids. If there's a moulded plate rack included, you can stack colouring books in it, with pencils and crayons in the cutlery sections.

It'll be so handy to have everything in one place, ready for rainy afternoons.

10. Use washable placemats as fridge shelf-liners

modern Kitchen by Créations Jean-Vier
Créations Jean-Vier

Placemat Ainhoa Sunset

Créations Jean-Vier

If your pound shop has plastic placemats, stock up on them as they make perfect fridge shelf-liners. 

Nobody enjoys cleaning the fridge but, if you come across a stubborn stain, with cheap wipeable mats you can simply throw the mat out and replace it.

11. Use felt-tips to make decorative wall plates

Tropical flowers: eclectic Kitchen by Katy Leigh
Katy Leigh

Tropical flowers

Katy Leigh

If you have some old plates that you're not doing anything with, grab some permanent markers from your local pound shop and make some amazing art. 

Once you're happy with your designs, pop your plates in the oven for a few hours at a low temperature and the image will be 'baked on' forever. What a way to make your walls more exciting!

For more DIY inspiration, check out this Ideabook: What am I doing wrong when painting wooden furniture?.

Are you feeling in the mood to get crafty?
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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