Instead of spending a large sum for a cut stone or glass tile backsplash, make your own low-cost, high-impact version out of readily available materials. From cork to seaglass or contact paper to steel sheets, just about any durable material can do double-duty as both backsplash and decor for your kitchen.

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Add a modern touch to your kitchen with a magnetic steel backsplash.

Marvelous Metals

Give your kitchen a modern, magnetic twist with a metal backsplash from supplies from a home improvement store. Thin sheets of flashing or duct material offer a look similar to brushed stainless steel. Take a magnet with you when picking out the metal if you wish to use the backsplash as a magnetic surface as well. A magnetic backplash offers an ideal way to secure spice tins or recipes with magnets. Corrugated metal provides a slightly more rustic or industrial look. Use real or faux tin tiles for a textural touch. Mount the chosen metal to a sheet of plywood or hardboard instead of directly to the wall for a removable solution, ideal even for a rental home.

From Shore to (Hardware) Store

Build an eclectic tile-style backsplash using random inexpensive finds such as sea glass, river rocks, bottle caps, flattened metal spoons or even bolts and washers. Use latex-modified thinset or tile mastic to hold the materials onto the wall. Wait several hours; then grout between the materials, if desired. To plot out patterns, adhere the materials to clear contact paper in reverse by adhering the front-facing portion of each item to the sticky side of the contact paper so the finished design is visible from the front of the contact paper. Press the exposed backside of each piece into the thinset or mastic, then peel the contact paper away after several hours.

Cork Creations

A wine-cork collection looks right at home as a kitchen backsplash. Cut corks in half vertically or horizontally, then glue them to the wall side by side with a suitable craft or construction adhesive. Cork craft sheets, used to make bulletin boards, may be used in place of wine corks. Cork coasters or flooring tiles offer a tiled appearance. Stamp designs or a monogram onto flat cork for a custom look. Use acrylic craft paints and stencils or rubber stamps to create the designs. Cork is naturally fire resistant, so it is a viable option even near the stove.

Making Contact

Contact paper offers an inexpensive, removable option for a simple backsplash over a smooth wall. Patterns such as chevrons, ombre fades and damask prints are all available. Dress up the contact paper backsplash even more by adding your own details to it with additional contact-paper cutouts made from another color. Add a monogram, a favorite quote or a silhouette of an oversized chef's hat for a custom touch. Use a specialty chalkboard contact paper as a backsplash that doubles as a memo center or recipe board.