Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Basically I rule at DIY.

Due to certain events this weekend I decided I wanted to have a nice little project with which to distract myself. I have been pining for some spice rack shelves ever since I first saw them. I figured I probably shouldn't get some for my apartment because there isn't a whole lot of wall space left, what with all my flea market treasures, and I also don't want things to be too cluttered.

But then I had a idea!
I'm kind of embarrassed to post this photo because it illustrates the fact that I've been living with my stupid five dollar Target mirror for far too long. It has a bunch of sticky tabs on the back from way back several years ago when I tried to adhere it to the wall of my apartment in LA. That worked for about ten seconds before it came crashing down, so then I just leaned the mirror against the wall. Looking at yourself in a mirror leaning against the wall has two main problems: (1) it's a bad angle and (2) you can't see your topmost regions. So when I wanted to use my full length mirror for its intended purpose I would pick it up and balance it on the freezer door or on a chair. Oy.
I decided that it was HIGH TIME for a new mirror solution which would simultaneously free up some wall space in my bedroom nook for some spice rack shelves!
Time for a field trip to IKEA.

Step 1: New Mirror
I got the Bonett mirror from IKEA ($20) because it was the skinniest one I could find. It is now affixed to the tiny bit of wall space behind the bathroom door. Notice how you can see my FULL LENGTH in the photo?

Step 2: Spice Rack Shelves
I bought 3 spice racks at IKEA for $3.99 each. And this is the part where again I wonder why I tell you everything because you're just going to make fun of me.
I've recently started reading some blogs about improving one's home and organizing. And actually, that was where I first saw the idea of spice rack bookshelves come to life. My execution of it did not go quite as smoothly.
The people on those blogs are always building things and spackling things and painting things and rewiring things, and going on and on about how they and find great old crap at the Goodwill and give it a coat of paint and a new life and DIY is so easy and cheap, just try it! So I thought I would try it. These people particularly seem to do a lot of spray painting, so I thought I would give that a shot. I bought a can of burgundy paint and I had planned to do my painting while I was at my parents' house on Sunday, somewhere in their huge back yard, but then I didn't end up having time. So here I was in my apartment with my spice racks and a can of paint and a nice bare wall and ooooh I was just itching to have them up and done.

So I made a trip down to the basement for scrap cardboard and put down a layer of it on my bathroom floor. Then I started painting (I could only handle doing two of them at once).
Do you like how I cleverly arranged the cardboard in a nest like configuration to protect the bathroom?
I left them in there to dry for awhile (and to allow the fumes to be pumped out the bathroom vents).
Look how great they turned out!
(That's not my address on the box, not even close).
I was quite pleased with myself. I DIY-ed the hell out of those spice racks. And it was easy peasy! No muss, no--
What the hell is that? Oh, it's paint. PAINT ALL OVER THE FLOOR.

Apparently, APPARENTLY, I hadn't noticed that while I was working, tiny particles of spray paint were floating down all around me. The floor that I had covered with the cardboard was fine, but the rest was pink.
Yeah, this is why people don't use spray paint indoors. I'm an idiot. WITH A PINK FLOOR.
Although, in my defense, one of the lightbulbs in my bathroom is burnt out so it was rather dim in there and I couldn't really tell that there was so much paint on the floor until after I had moved the boxes. But I guess one could argue that maybe I shouldn't have been painting in a dim bathroom in the first place....

So I stared at the mess for a moment, feeling panicky, and then I halfheartedly opened a bottle of nail polish remover and tipped a little of it onto the floor. OH! It worked! So then I busted out the all natural cleaning spray and some rags went to work on the floor. And that worked too! The paint was actually pretty easy to remove from the floor. But I've learned my lesson: spray painting is for doing outside. After I had used my hippy natural cleaning spray on the whole floor I dumped out some more nail polish remover over the floor, too. Just for good measure. Because the thing my bathroom needed most was certainly MORE harsh, smelly chemicals.

After the shelves had completely dried, I put them together.
Okay, they really do look good, don't they? The color is nice, the paint job looks fairly even, the bathroom isn't ruined. Let's call it a success!