Mum does DIY home transformation using YouTube videos – for less than £500
10th April 2022

A mum managed to transform her family home for less than £500 – learning DIY skills from YouTube videos.

Carrie Kline, a stay-at-home mum from Minnesota, US, bought a four-bed detached home for $387,000 (£295,775) in June 2021 with her husband.

She fell in love with the open layout, seeing the space as a blank canvas.

This gave plenty of opportunity to turn the house into a ‘happy, airy and colourful’ place.

However, she was a DIY newbie and turned to YouTube and women on Instagram to learn new skills.

Firstly, the 32-year-old started by working on the living room, where she spent $12 (£9) on shiplap boards for wall decoration and $20 (£15) on pieces of pine wood to build a picture frame and floating shelves.

‘I purchased a giant canvas from a thrift store and made my own art over it by mixing paint and spackle together,’ Carrie said.

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‘I built my own frame using pine and hung this on the wall as a statement piece.

‘The shiplap was pre-primed MDF and I attached this using a nail gun, followed by painting it white.

‘[Finally] I built my own floating shelves which hold my cookbooks and cutting boards.’

In total, she spent $62 (£47) on transforming her living space into a cosy area.

In the master bedroom, she spent three days revamping the space with a few simple steps.

She said: ‘I primed and painted the entire room, with white on the top half and tan on the bottom.

‘I bought some lattice strips to do picture moulding around the bottom of my walls, which I cut to size using a mitre saw.

‘I nailed these on and painted them tan to match the wall.

‘Using a pine board, I built a trim piece that went around the room and served as a divider between the tan and white.

‘On the wall behind our bed, I used faux brick panelling and screwed these onto the wall, before painting them white.

‘I built a very simple shelf out of poplar wood with some brackets and all of this completely transformed the room.

‘In our powder room, it felt dark and small, so I painted this white and added a colourful floral mural on the wall.

‘I built some more floating shelves and kept the existing vanity mirror, but changed the look by covering it in cement, using lattice strips and painting it pink.

‘I painted [the kids’ bathroom] and added faux herringbone tile backsplash by using paint.

‘I used a Sharpie pen to draw out the grout line, so that people think it’s real tiling.

‘For the mirror, I used lattice strips again and painted them black, as well as the light fixture and water faucet.

‘I made a gallery wall using thrifted picture frames and painted another floral mural on the other wall.’

On the bathroom, she spent just $100 (£76) turning it into a light, fresh space.

Carrie’s favourite area is her front porch, as she always wanted somewhere to relax and watch her kids play on summer evenings.

She decided on a floral design and painted and stencilled the area.

Next she refinished second-hand furniture, as well as hanging some lights and baskets to make the space feeling homely.

It took just a few days to finish. She said: ‘I really value my time with the kids, as I know how quickly time can pass.

‘I started DIY as a creative outlet for myself, so I made a goal to work on projects while they’re sleeping.

‘They’ve learned to sleep through most noises really well, so I don’t need to try and work quietly.

‘There has been plenty of times when they’ve woken up mid-project, but I’ve learned to accept that things don’t always go according to plan.

‘I’ve transformed my laundry room into a mini workshop, where I created storage space for all my tools and paints.

‘Having my tools accessible means I can get started much quicker as soon as they fall asleep, as well as making clean up time easy.’

In total, Carrie estimates that she’s spent $559 (£427) transforming the property into her dream family home.

As she’s worked on a budget, she has many tips which help to keep costs low without having to sacrifice on quality.

Carrie added: ‘I don’t let any material go to waste as I’m always saving every bit of wood I have and finding ways to use the scrap for my next project.

‘I often purchase paint from the “oops” section in stores, or even mix my own colours using paint I have on hand.

‘Always shop thrift stores or build yourself before buying anything new.

‘I’ll always choose the route of saving money, even if it takes more time.

‘We’ve added so much more function to the house, so I definitely feel we’ve added lots of value in appeal.

‘I have zero plans for slowing down and I’m participating in an online event where I have eight weeks to complete my bathroom on a budget.

‘For me, DIY is so much more than the finished product and there’s not much I’d rather do than build and create something.

‘I share my projects online because I hope to inspire and give courage to other women who also want to learn, because it’s been so life changing for me.

‘You don’t have to wait for a full remodel before you can make a significant impact.

‘Start small and learn to enjoy the process.’

Cost breakdown

Master bedroom – $200
Kids’ bathroom – $100
Powder room – Free
Front porch – $147
Living room – $62
Hallway – $50
Total spend – $559.00 (£429.40)

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