35+ Best DIY Kitchen Island Ideas and Designs On A Budget

Last Updated on June 4, 2022 by Kimberly Crawford

Kitchen is the part of the home where everything should be clean and organized. It is where food is put, prepared and served and a place where the members of the family sit together for a meal.

However, in some cases, homeowners find it hard to make space for preparations inside the kitchen because of the many things going on in the area. In this case, you need a kitchen island. 

We have been conditioned that any added fixture in the kitchen or home improvement in general, is expensive. But when it comes to kitchen islands, such is not always the case.

In this post, we shall give you a rundown of some of the most notable kitchen island ideas on a budget. 

Related: 35+ Best Kitchen Island Lighting Ideas and Designs (Photos)

cheap kitchen island ideas designs

35 Kitchen Island Ideas On A Budget

From repurposed materials to lowkey designs, this list shall give you some ideas to take inspiration from when it comes to kitchen island ideas on a budget. Thus, without much ado, let us dive straight into these kitchen island ideas on a budget.  

1. Kitchen Palette Island

1 kitchen island ideas on a budget
Source: Noting Grace

If you are looking for an affordable kitchen island idea, go for wood pallet kitchen islands. This one can either be purchased with a budget of $50 or you can do it yourself.

Gather all the unused wood in your homes or look for the cheapest ones and unleash your woodworking skills. This can take a while when making as a beginner but this is a nice project that is very cost effective. 

2. Dresser to Kitchen Island

Kitchen islands need not be always traditional looking. Make some innovations through the old things in your homes like unused dressers. Rather than putting it in a corner or completely decluttering your dressers, get creative and give it a different function.

Make your kitchen island dreams come true with this unused dresser. Give it a little color and it is ready to use. This one can have so little to no budget at all. 

3. Cabinets to Kitchen Island

3 kitchen island ideas on a budget
Source: At Charlotte’s House

Just like the dressers, you can turn unused furniture like this cabinet into a kitchen island. This one is better because you can have so many storages that allow you to store kitchen utensils that make a clean looking kitchen.

This one is so budget friendly that you do not have to spend anything. Thus, if you have so many cabinets, you might just have to have one in the kitchen by turning it into a kitchen island. 

4. Industrial kitchen island

Get creative and make your industrial cart into a kitchen island. As simple as having it repaired with a wood countertop and a little renovation on its sides, it can make a better kitchen island.

It looks industrial and old but still can serve its function inside the kitchen. If you are going on a low budget kitchen island, this one is also a great choice. 

5. Do it yourself (DIY) kitchen island

When you have little budget in your hands, give it a try and style and make your own kitchen islands.

In your kitchen layout, have a space for your kitchen island and fill it with cheap or recyclable materials that can look expensive for its final look.

It is always a good thing to invest in a good layout made by professionals but given a low budget, you can always make one that would look good to your kitchen. 

6. Gaby kitchen island

6 kitchen island ideas on a budget
Source: Old Paint Design

When you have little budget and little time to make your own, go for a Gaby kitchen island. As you can see it is very small and simple but it is very helpful inside the kitchen.

You do not have to make so much time making this one even for a beginner and needs little budget for just small materials used. For home owners who want it simple and affordable, this one is the best for you. 

7. Pottery barn inspired Kitchen Island

This one gives you an antique feel plus it is cute in size and it can fit in any kitchen size. Looking closely, it has wheels which means you can have it anywhere in the kitchen or home as long as it is needed to serve its purpose.

The size is so perfect for it makes you able to move without thinking of adjusting or the like. If you want a vintage vibe of Kitchen Island, this one is a perfect pick.

8. Little kitchen island

Kitchen island need not be big and large as long as it can help inside the kitchen. This little kitchen island requires so little materials and you do not need to put in a lot of effort putting colors into it is so small that it may only take a day to complete.

On the other side of you have furniture like this and it is probably just blocking the way inside the home, you might just turn it as a kitchen island for a better purpose. 

9. Farmhouse kitchen island

9 kitchen island ideas on a budget
Source: Ana-White

If you have a simple design in mind, go and have it made by woodworkers. When having a low budget, it does not mean that you are not allowed to seek the help of professionals but always keep in mind the budget you have.

In here, the look seems well made and it does not look like a cheap one. It has a farm style island from the colors down to its overall look. When wanting to have a farm style, this one is a great idea. 

10. 2 by 4 Kitchen Island

10 kitchen island ideas on a budget
Source: Mom in Music City

It is always good to have to make a masterpiece out of scrap lumber. if you have spare 2 by 4s, you might just want it to be used to form a kitchen island.

As you can see, this is one of the simplest ones but is looking very clean and classy because of the colors and how clean it is made.

This look can be played in a rustic house design but can also be in other different styles because it is made to fit in all colors and layout given the size and design of this kitchen island.

Related: 20 Rustic DIY Kitchen Island Ideas and Designs

11. From wash tub to kitchen island

There is nothing wrong when you turn things from the comfort room to that of the kitchen as long as it is well cleaned.

In here, the tub is used as the base of the countertop and added angle bars as the foundation and stand to make it a kitchen island. This stands and looks recycled as is but it provides storage area and a countertop that is meant for food preparation. 

12. An old door kitchen island

12 kitchen island ideas on a budget
Source: TC Designs

While it is good to buy new materials for a kitchen island, it is also recommendable to have one that can help you save money while giving an aesthetic look to the kitchen.

This door turned to kitchen island looks vintage, it has a long countertop and has a bottom space that is meant for storage.

13. Wood kitchen island

This type of Kitchen Island, although small, looks classy and is meant as a work space or even a dining area. It is also a DIY kind of Kitchen Island where all the woods are put together making it a perfect kitchen island in this kitchen layout.

The size is just perfect because it does not take a lot of space in the kitchen area. When going on a low budget, make use of the old or broken and have them assembled according to your liking and preference. 

14. Kitchen Island Cart

14 kitchen island ideas on a budget
Source: Deeply Southern Home

As the name suggests, this type of Kitchen Island is small and portable where it does not take a lot of space plus you can have it anywhere where it is needed.

Speaking of design, this kitchen island cart falls to the standard and looks expensive in a way. If you opt for a low budget kitchen island but can look otherwise, this one is a great idea for you! 

15. Kitchen Island with Pantry storage

15 kitchen island ideas on a budget
Source: MyLove 2 Create

Everyone needs additional storage for fruits, vegetables and other kitchen needs. That is why a kitchen island with a lot of box storage is a kitchen must.

This movable kitchen island is also DIY made. With a lot of storage, this maximizes space for other things inside the kitchen plus it is also stylish so this can add aesthetic in the total look of your kitchen. 

16. Kitchen island with trash storage

16 kitchen island ideas on a budget
Source: Shade Of Blue Interiors

A kitchen island that is not pricey but has a lot to offer is a homeowner’s bet. In this case, a kitchen island with a trash bin works best.

It is always good to have a trash bin inside the kitchen but a bin which nobody can see beside the food being prepared is best! So, when you are looking for the best affordable DIY kitchen island idea, you might be interested in making this one. 

17. Mobile kitchen island

17 kitchen island ideas on a budget

When you need a kitchen island that is very cheap and highly movable, go for this idea. Have wood as the countertop and put on aluminium bars as the foundation.

For the final touches, the wheels that make it mobile are installed. This kitchen island idea is perfect for those who have small spaces because it is easily moved when blocking your way. Hence, if you got one, make this idea your own and have it inside your kitchens. 

18. Sofa table into a kitchen island

When you have a table sofa that is not used or is just present as a decorative item, turn it into a more functional one and make it into a kitchen island.

In this kitchen island idea, the open shelves below can be a storage area and the drawers across the sofa table countertop is very much useful. This kitchen island idea can be seen like an ideal kitchen island that comes with an affordable price. 

19. A rustic kitchen island idea

This is a whole rustic themed affordable kitchen island idea from the lights to the wooden kitchen island present in the kitchen.

This is the final output of assembling wood boards into a kitchen island. What is good about a DIY project is that you can choose the sizes and materials that will be used.

You make it depending on the need of the kitchen, thus, in here a good size for a medium sized kitchen. 

20. Effortless kitchen island

20 kitchen island ideas on a budget
Source: Beyond The Picket Fence

As you can see, this idea is another that is made of scrap woods out together making a kitchen island. This one is effortless since it is what it is, no act or recoloring or design.

What makes it more effortless are the presence of the hooks available on each side making it a storage for rags and other cloth materials present in the kitchen. Such a ragged kitchen island but surely serves its function.

21. A bookshelf into a kitchen island

21 kitchen island ideas on a budget
Source: Little Glass Jar

A kitchen idea of a bookshelf is also one of the best ideas. It already has box spaces that are perfect for a kitchen island. In case you immediately need a kitchen island, this one is a primary choice.

An easy putting of a countertop on a bookshelf makes it a kitchen island already so when you are looking for the fastest and affordable way of making a kitchen island, look for an unused book shelf and easily turn it into a kitchen island. 

kitchen cart

22. Coffee table

22 kitchen island ideas on a budget
Source: Home Talk

It is always a good idea to transform a furniture into a new one. This coffee table turned into a kitchen island is very creative; two tables are put together to save space and give it more space.

A two-tier kitchen island can be very small but superb, stylish, affordable and is very usable.

23. A $15 Kitchen Island

23 kitchen island ideas on a budget
Source: Ana-White

Affordable Kitchen Island, as long as it works, is okay to use. This one comes in simple but has a large workplace to offer. It also looks good and best for small kitchen areas. 

Making a kitchen island as simple and as small as this one makes it compliment the whole design plus it can maximize space for other things and costs only for $15 dollars.

If you are interested in making this item, make sure to make it small and simple as the idea shows. Affordable but is very usable and stylish. 

24. Narrow Kitchen Island

When you are looking for a kitchen island that will not take a lot of space in the kitchen, this is the best pick for you.

It has a slim island and has an open storage area at the bottom. It is both stylish and functional and with the color, it matches all colors and design. With a little budget, you can perfectly make this kitchen island idea even in your own homes. 

25. A butcher Block Island

25 kitchen island ideas on a budget

When going for an affordable one, go for those that can be used two or three ways, durable and can have a classy look.

In this case, a butcher block is a better choice. Installing a butcher block as a countertop of a kitchen island works as the table countertop and can be used for its primary function. 

This is a good alternative for a usual kitchen island because you no longer have to put on chopping boards whenever needed. This surface is already for kitchen use. For those who want it in full storage, you can. Be creative and have them at the bottom of this countertop. 

26. Drop leaf kitchen island

26 kitchen island ideas on a budget

When having problems about the kitchen area and the size of a kitchen island, it is best to choose drop leaf because it allows you to pop up and down the different parts of these when needed.

It can be retracted and it can fold so size does not matter. This one is considered cheap compared to the modern contemporary ones that are used in a home plus it can be made at home too.

27. Wine Rack Kitchen Island

27 kitchen island ideas on a budget

It is always a good idea to have a wine rack as a kitchen island. There is no need for remodeling or recycling, just switching its function to a kitchen island is the deal. It is small but is useful as a storage area and its countertop as a kitchen use. 

The two-tier open area can be used as a storage plus it is so small that it can fit small areas and more so of larger kitchen areas.

When you are looking for a low budget to no budget at all, it is just right to turn unused furniture into a kitchen island that will help you inside your kitchen area. 

28. An Old Desk to a Kitchen Island

This one is a very common idea. In a home where there are too many of an old desk, it is best to have one turn into a kitchen island. An old table would be best when remodeled and repainted or you can have it look as it is. 

The function may change but the look of it stays the same but when put in the center of a kitchen, it is good to be called a kitchen island. Other than the aesthetic it adds to the kitchen is the help it gives both as a usable countertop and a storage area. 

29. Expand on an existing kitchen island

When you are on a tight budget but want to have a better storage area in the kitchen, expanding on an existing kitchen island is best. You can come up with more storage boxes or you can have it wider and large as your preference requires. 

Open storage areas, hooks, or so many more creative ways to add and remodel your kitchen islands. It can be done by amateur woodworkers or the men in your homes to have no cost on labor fees. Getting creative with what you already have is very helpful as a homeowner. 

30. Repainting Kitchen Island

When your goal is to only have it attractive and give an eye-catching look to the total design of the kitchen, you can have it repainted into the color of your liking or to the color where it is best blended with all the other things present in the kitchen. 

A repaint can make your kitchen island new looking or can even pop out and look its best. When you are on a low budget, a repaint is still so much more likeable than those who are buying so much for their kitchen island. Be thrifty and save your budget through doing the labor as it only takes a short time repainting one.

31. A Kitchen Island with a Pegboard

31 kitchen island ideas on a budget

If you are looking for more storage areas without having cabinets and all other usual and common ideas, go on with a pegboard and attach it to the existing kitchen island in your home. This can help you store and classify kitchen utensils. 

Another is that you can also add hooks in this pegboard to make spatulas and others that are meant to be hung.

It is probably the easiest way of having a cheap kitchen island that is very lightweight and helpful at the same time. Just install it securely and all the kitchen utensils are good as stored. 

32. Kitchen island with shelving and storage

32 kitchen island ideas on a budget

A food preparation table is a must in the home. It is used all the time as much as meals are required. However, a preparation table without open storage can only serve one function which is unlikely inside the kitchen. The kitchen always requires a functionable furniture that works two ways. 

Thus, a preparation table with a two tier open storage area is also best. When you are on a low budget, give it a try to make it your own or add tiers on your own. It can get more exciting and can get you more creative as you make it. 

33. Rack over a kitchen island

33 kitchen island ideas on a budget

Aside from the usual ones that they give in two tier open storages at the bottom of the furniture, here, they opted to have it on top to make it appear in style.

Though it may look overly big, it also offers the same function—to have storage areas for kitchen utensils and others that are needed inside the kitchen. 

This kitchen rack is very stylish and very modern and it is beautiful to look at. If you are looking for the affordable ones, it is always good to just add something for storage to an existing kitchen island. 

34. A kitchen island with a pot organizer and a pull-out drawer

34 kitchen island ideas on a budget

For kitchen island ideas that are affordable, adding a pot organizer and a pull-out drawer can be a very nice idea. Aside from being very light weight and adding so much style to a kitchen island, they give in more space for other things inside the kitchen. 

This is probably one of the best and easy ways of having an affordable kitchen island idea. Putting a pot organizer inside and having it as a pull-out drawer is a very high class yet very affordable. 

35. Medium sized Kitchen Island

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When making a DIY kitchen island, it is always good to have it in proportion to the size of your kitchen but to some, making a universal size of a kitchen island just like this medium sized is very much likely. 

This can be in either small or large kitchen areas and can store kitchen needs because of the two-tier space below. It is always good to have a large storage but it can also be better if you have a kitchen island that allows you to have wider aisles to move inside the kitchen. 


Aside from the ideas that we have so far covered, there is also other viable information about kitchen island ideas on a budget which you should take heed of. Hence, here are some of the FAQs that you should be aware about when it comes to kitchen island ideas on a budget. 

How much is a simple kitchen island?

A simple kitchen island costs as low as $0-15. As we have established here, repurposing is still one of the best ways to save money especially when it comes to kitchen essentials like a kitchen island. Although simple, they sure offer high aesthetic value. 

Unlike the ones that are with architectural layout, simple kitchen islands are only DIY ones that make the home owners think and bring out their creativity to make a simple and unique kitchen island that is just enough given the space and budget.

How much does an average kitchen island cost?

Adding a kitchen island to the kitchen can be a bit costly and requires the need of professionals when opting for the more elegant and classy ones. Overall, a compelling kitchen island must be well-coordinated with the interior design of the kitchen. 

Making a kitchen island is at an average range of $3,000 to $5,000 at the very least. So, when planning to have one, make a wise decision regarding the materials and the design and style itself because it is very expensive and requires so much effort in a fully furnished home. 

Does a kitchen island add value?

Aside from its function, a kitchen island is said to add at least 15% to the total kitchen value especially if it is fully furnished and upscale looking. As for aesthetic value, it is a firm yes too.

Being at the kitchen’s center shall make it forever noticed so it means a lot and quite imperative that the kitchen island is made with such thought for it to have high aesthetic value.

What should go on your kitchen island?

There are plenty of things that should be on your Kitchen Islands but it is always best to have furniture of your own preference and design. Nonetheless, the most common sights in a kitchen island would be the following: 

  • Vase
  • Tray
  • Candles
  • Bowl
  • Cutting boards
  • Cake stand
  • Dishes
  • Linens
  • Cook books
  • Canisters

Always note however, that what you put in the kitchen island represents your preference, your personality, and what you value. So, make sure that everything you love and want to easily access is there in the kitchen island. 

Should the island be lighter or darker than cabinets?

Most homeowners have it in the same color as their kitchen islands but the colors used are always based on the want of the homeowner. However, for some, they either tone it down to a lighter shade or intensify it to a darker shade. Overall, there is no strict rule of thumb when it comes to kitchen islands and tonal balance of cabinets. 

Related: 32+ Best Rustic Kitchen Cabinet Ideas and Designs

Can you just buy a kitchen island? 

Apparently, yes. You can actually buy a built-in kitchen island in the industrial, contemporary and modern designs. Others can be bought separately from home improvement retailers or have second hand ones from open houses.

If you are planning to just buy one, make sure that you get the right measurement of the intended place where it shall be installed. 

Are kitchen islands worth it? 

Overall, yes. Aside from providing an added aesthetic value for the kitchen, you can also benefit from the following: 

  • More counter space. 
  • More storage.
  • An eating area. 
  • Extra room for kitchen appliances or for a sink. 


Having a kitchen island is very helpful to homeowners but it does not need to be beautifully expensive. A simple and cost-effective kitchen island can also add value into a home. Aside from this, they also give you an opportunity to ‘do-it-yourself’ and have a more budget friendly kitchen fixture. 

When making one, make sure that you keep in mind the function, size and space of the kitchen island you are making as well as the place you are putting it to.

A kitchen island can make or break the view of the kitchen. That is why homeowners who have a smaller budget give in so much effort to think of different ways on how to make it as unique and as beautiful as it can be.