The DIY Beginning

Last weekend my boyfriend and I moved into a new apartment. This is the second time we’ve moved since the start of 2013. I think we found a place we can stick though.

It’s an apartment, approximately 650 square feet…the closet space there is about the amount of living space we used to have. It’s got two windows, but they’re great windows. The one lights up the apartment all the way to the kitchen. I’ve got my spider plant (Stanley) in the front window and he’s seriously grown three inches since we moved there. It’s seriously been like a week and already he’s grown from the sickly looking boy he was to a strong adult with a new bud coming out.

Anyways, Noah and I are working on furnishing the place, so I’ve been looking into a lot of DIY things and Craigslist. Craigslist can be a best friend ever or a worst enemy. Right now, Craigslist is my best friend ever. I was surfing on it and found a dining set (table and 4 chairs) for 15 dollars!

Needless to say, I’m aware it may need some sprucing. But it’ll be a good chance for me to get into caning.

For those of you who don’t know, that’s caning. I have no idea how to do it or what even I’ll need. But I’ve got my mom for that.

So, the person who is selling us the dining set said they couldn’t actually deliver it to us. And to someone who doesn’t have a car or know anybody around with a car…this was devastating. But, faith in humanity was restored, and they decided to figure it out to give us a hand.

The cabinets in the kitchen are really nice, though I discovered we were one drawer and one cabinet short of perfection. So, I redistributed some things. I took the dishes out of one cabinet and put them on the bookshelf closer to the dining area. It now contains no books–not that it could hold all my books anyways–and I had two tubs and four boxes of books to redistribute.

What does every college kid need? Milkcrates. You can build nearly anything out of milkcrates. You can prop a boxspring up on milkcrates-though its killer on the box spring, fyi-make a desk, table, anything. Well, since Noah and I are slowly gaining real furniture, I didn’t want to make milkcrate furniture in this new apartment. The more we’re without it, the more we’ll remember we need it.

I was left then with three options: get rid of the fifteen milkcrates that I had collected, put the odds and ends in them and stick them in the closet for storage, or put the books in them and just stack them up all tacky like somewhere.

I decided to go with none of these options.

I built a bookshelf, a rather classy one if I do say so myself.

The trouble is with milkcrates, when you stack them on their sides, they’re really unstable. I found two tacky solutions to this problem. Tacky can be easily hid sometimes.

The first problem was that when I picked up a book or put one down, the crate had the desire to fall all over the place, slide around. So I bought a bunch of zipties and ziptied them all together. I did it close enough to the back of the crate that the books just naturally hide this.

The other problem was now its tendency to lean forward. It’s wider than it is tall that’s for sure, but it is still about 4 milkcrates high. The top two liked to lean forward quite a bit. So, I took a couple of screwhooks that I got at the dollar store to hang up a ceiling light and simply screwed it in the wall and hooked the two tops in.

This milkcrate bookshelf is now ridiculously sturdy. I’ll post some pictures once we get the apartment cleaned up and the living room arrangement settled a little bit better. I still need to add some pictures to the walls and some shelves. I saw this great thing on Pinterest months ago I’m going to give a shot. I just need some little shelves for accents and to put up my elephant figurine collection.

After living for 5 months in a tiny apartment with white brick walls that were resistant to tape and any other sort of adhesive, I cannot stand white walls. there will be color and a sense of intentional layout. Check back for updates and some DIY crafty fun.


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