There are some great ideas here! I'd just like to chime in that I prefer a solid countertop, rather than panels or tiles, as crumbs and such can get stuck in the latter type of countertop, so that's something to keep in mind.
here is the easiest way to build one https://www.pinterest.com/pin/388576274090846302/
The best way to get ideas is pinterest. Once you have some ideas, come on back to HT and post the picture of your idea. Folks may be able to help with instructions if they have an example.
Hope this Helps! Jeremy - https://do-daddy.com
I am in the midst of redoing my kitchen on a very small budget (less than $2000 for new upper and lower cabinets, new sink, countertops, and backsplash). For countertops and the sink, I went to ReStore (Habitat for Humanity store that gets stuff donated - check for one near you via Google). I found 3 flat panel solid core doors for $10 each and a used stainless steel sink for $15. I cut the counter tops out of the doors, making them 25 inches deep by whatever length I needed for the particular space (my kitchen is small, so 3 doors was more than enough). I used a tinted polyurethane - 4 coats. Yes, they are subject to getting scratched up and such, but I can always just add more polyurethane if they get scratched and a little patina isn't a bad thing. The sink cleaned up beautifully by using a green scrubbie attached to a sanding pad for my power drill. For the doors, a new saw blade, a good paint brush, a can of tinted polyurethane, and a can of mineral spirits, I think I spent a total of about $75.
(Please keep in mind when viewing the photos that it is still a work in progress - it will look better when the new uppers and new backsplash are in place!)