Studio Apartment Wrapping Center

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Processed with Moldiv

Living in a studio apartment you need to take advantage of any space you can and get creative on storing items. I am a big gift giver and need to have my wrapping, ribbon, and hostess gifts on hand.

I had a little extra space available in my coat closet and decided it was the perfect space for a wrapping station. I was lucky to find an extended height wrapping paper container to fit those extra long rolls. I then went to Target and $1 store to buy some clear totes for gift bags, tissue paper, specialty ribbon, and hostess gifts.

I had a couple tension rods left over and decided to add them above the top shelf in the closet for my curling ribbon. I can’t tell you how much I love this ribbon holder!

I have always wanted to wrap gifts for a department store so having this wrapping center makes me feel like I have my own business. hahaha If any wants their gifts wrapped send them my way! I work cheap. lol

Apartment Bathroom Upgrades

As many of you know I live in a small studio apartment but decorate and design like I live in a house. I absolutely love my apartment. It is the perfect size for me and the upgrades I have made in the last 5 years have really made it comfy and cozy.

I never really did anything with the bathroom when I moved in 5 years ago, so I guess it was time. My off white walls in the bathroom were starting to look dingy and were starting to chip. I absolutely love all grey hues. My living area is also a soft gray. The color I chose for the walls was a slate gray with a blue hint and I did the chair rail a bright white. Just with painting it felt brand new, fresh and clean.

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I was at the Ronald McDonald Household sale during the week and found this wood shelf for $6.00. It was the perfect size for the wall above the toilet. I sanded it down and  gave it several coats of the same white paint I used on the walls.

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Now I hate to measure when hanging things. And I am actually pretty awful at it. LOL. I took a piece of painters tape and placed it on the back of the shelf where the screw holes were. I then took a sharpie and marked on the tape where the holes were located.

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I then took the tape off the shelf and brought it over to the wall and got out my drill. I drilled through the tape marked holes and into the wall.

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I then removed the painters tape and hung the shelf.

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Now the fun part, STAGING!!!  The top shelf I used a silver candle holder and soft blue washcloths that I already had on hand.

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The second shelf I bought a gray soap dish at the $1 store, used a soap that my aunt gave me and placed a terracotta pot with a fake succulent in it. I actually found the pots at the same Ronald McDonald House sale and got 4 for $.50. I painted the pots the same white as shelf and walls.

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The third shelf I used glass jars that I found in Target’s $1.00 bins and filled them with cotton balls, Epsom salts, and q-tips (which I already had on hand).

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The bottom shelf was another pot with a succulent and the remainder of the soft blue washcloths.

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The finished product was way more than I imagined. I am in love with it. It totally fit my spa-like vision.

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I added some cream hand towels to the bar.

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I then bought a new white shower curtain from Bed Bath and Beyond. It actually didn’t cost me anything, as I had a gift card.

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On the opposite wall of the shelf I had a piece of artwork that was hanging prior to upgrades. I also have 2 small throw rugs that are the same color as the washcloths on the shelf.

I just need to do a window covering but it is such a small window that it may be complicated. I am going to brainstorm on it, so be on the look out for a new how-to.

It was a very easy and frugal upgrade to my bathroom. I can’t stop going in and just staring at it from the doorway. I can’t wait to take a bath with my bath salts.

Paint:    $20.00

Shelf:    $6.00

Pots:   $.50

Succulents:    $6.00

Soap dish:   $1.00

Jars:   $3.00

Total: $36.50

Monday Creativity: Wreath Ideas

There is just something about walking by someones front door and seeing a beautiful. My living situation is a little different. I live in a building that has 5 apartments total. Their apartment doors are so blah. They have no character. I like to have a splash of color and creativity to liven up my floor. I have actually decorated the railings at Christmas too. Maybe I should make a wreath for each of the other tenants in building.

Here are some of the wreaths I have created:

Drink Umbrella Wreath

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Very easy to make. All you need is a Styrofoam wreath ring and a package of drink umbrellas. Be careful when opening and sticking the umbrellas into the ring. Add a piece of ribbon and hang. Great for summer, pool parties, and luaus.

Bare Feet Welcome

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This wreath I gave a friend of mine because she is an avid take your shoes of girl. I thought doing it pretty and girly would be a nice way to ask people to take their shoes off prior to coming in the house. This was also an easy wreath. Styrofoam wreath and fuzzy green yarn. Wrap and cover the entire form. Grab some fake flower buds and stick the stem into the Styrofoam. Make a cute little flag with colored paper and a toothpick, add some pretty ribbon, and you are done.

Forsythia Branch Wreath

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This wreath was also a gift but I loved it so much that I made one for myself. These are so expensive that it is much cheaper to make it yourself. It also was incredibly easy. All you need is a brown vine wreath and 3 forsythia branches. I always wait until they are 50% off at Michaels or make sure you have a coupon. Just cut the branches with wire cutters and weave in in the vine wreath.

Tissue Paper Pom Wreath

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I made this for a tiki party I threw at work. Use this link for the how-to.

Coffee Filter Wreath

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I made this wreath for my Friends Theme Party. This was a little more difficult. I bought a white Styrofoam wreath and coffee filters at the $1 store. Taking 1 at a time bunch the filter in the middle (almost like you are putting a napkin in a napkin ring), using a pencil or scissors (be careful) press the pointed end of the filter into the form. Fluff out the filter. Continue till the form is covered. I added a little twine to hang.

Autumn Floral

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This is my latest creation. I grabbed small bouquets of autumn color at Michaels for $1 each. Simply cut the branch and stick into a vine wreath. Alternate the colors for a vibrant display.

Cleaning Your Toaster Oven’s Glass Door

Ok I admit, I have had my toaster oven a year and it was the first time I cleaned it. Gross, I know. I thought I would never be able to get the caked on grease off the door so I kept pushing that chore further and further on the back burner. Well, I finally broke down and did it.

I try to not use any chemicals in my house. I make homemade sprays and keep plenty of vinegar and baking soda on hand. I actually love the smell of vinegar, maybe that is why I use it so much. lol

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This cleaning technique was really simple. Here are your steps:

1) MOST IMPORTANT: Unplug your toaster oven.

2) Remove the “crumb collector tray” and give that a good scrub. Also remove any of the crumbs that lie between the tray and bottom of the door. I had a hard time getting them out so I used a cake spatula to push them through. I placed a couple pieces of paper towel underneath the open door so I didn’t have crumbs all on my counter and floor.

3) Do a quick swipe again the door to remove and extra crumbs lying around.

4) Make a thick paste with baking soda and warm water. Mix thoroughly.

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5) Pour your mixture onto the glass. Using your fingers, spread the mixture evenly, covering the glass and sides.

6) Let sit for 20 minutes.

7) Take a paper towel and scrub/wipe off the mixture. You may be grossed out by how much grease you pull off. Continue until your glass is crystal clean.

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8) I did a quick wipe with some warm water just to make sure the baking soda was gone.

9) Let dry and add it to your chore list. I think it’s going to be added to my monthly column.

Renter’s Guide to Design and Organization: Sofa Table

I originally had 2 ceramic blue garden tables next to my couch and they were so small and barely just fit my lamps. Guests couldn’t fit a drink on them or even their phone. I bought them because they were cute and I got an amazing deal on them from Michaels. I really couldn’t not buy them. They also were very short. Not your average side table but they were adorable. Oh well, I will sell them in the garage sale this year.

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Having such a small apartment I really need to make the most out of every space I can. I saw on Pinterest (surprise, surprise), these tables people made for behind their couches. Theirs were just the length of the couch and I really wanted to use the entire wall. I wanted to be able to  have both lamps, picture frames, and candles on the table, with still extra room for drinks,phone, etc.

I first measured the length of my wall. It was 100”. Then I measured the height of the couch and it was 36”. I moved the couch out from the wall to see how much space I could spare without interrupting the walk space. I decided 8” was good and it allowed my lamps to fit perfectly.

 So on my lunch hour I hit up Home Depot. I took my coworker and friend Stacie as back up and as an extra brain. Measurements and math are not my friend. I love Home Depot. I love that they cut it all for you. Plus, no one in their right mind should ever give me a saw. Stacie the whole time was like” This is totally not going to fit in your car.” I proved her wrong. Granted we had to put the wood through the trunk onto the dashboard but it fit. Love my new Focus!

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It was just me putting this monstrosity together so I had to get creative. I decided to use gorilla glue to attach the pieces of wood together first. Gorilla Glue is messsssssssssy but it really did the trick. Once it was all dry I was able to glue the legs to the top and then let it sit. After everything was dry I took my power drill and added screws. That baby isn’t going anywhere! Once all was screwed in I added a heavy duty cardboard to the front of the table. It gave it a finished look. More like wall shelf. I used small nails to attach. It was similar to those cheap book cases you purchase at Walmart or Target that have that cardboard backing. I am woman! Hear me roar! Who needs a man?!?!?

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(Don’t mind the unmade bed. I had to complete this project in my living space.)

After everything was put together I went on to paint. My walls are a soft gray and majority of my furniture is white with a few pops of light wood. I decided to paint the table black. I felt the room need a pop of darkness. My mom’s friend let me borrow a black glossy paint. I added  2 coats and it turned out great!

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Once all was dry I moved it to the wall. It fit perfectly and made the wall a real focal piece.

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While I was at it I wanted to give the rest of the space a little pick me up. I went to JoAnn’s and found new yellow and gray artwork. Baskets at Marshalls were on clearance. I used them for blankets and magazines. Also, all of my new frames came from TJMaxx’s clearance rack. I found a small metal lantern from Target the dollar section and voila! It’s totally what I needed and now when I have people over they have more room! I actually sit on my couch more now that this is all set.

Wood and Form Core: $35.00 at Home Depot

Screws/Gorilla Glue:    Already had

Black Paint:                 Given to me

Lamps:                         Already had

Art work:                      $21.00 at Joann’s

Picture Frames:          $10.00 at TJMaxx

Wicker Baskets:          $15.00 at Marshalls

Lantern:                       $3.00 at Target

Cost of this project:      $84.00

Renter’s Guide to Design and Organization: Jewelry Wall

Like most women, I too love to accessorize. I am a huge fan of Charming Charlie’s jewelry and accessories. The first time I went in that store I was completely overwhelmed. You really need to go in there with an outfit in mind. I also love TJMaxx’s jewelry. You can find some amazing deals, especially when things are on clearance.

So with all of that jewelry I have I needed a place to store it in my studio apartment. I tried a jewelry box, organizer trays in a dresser but I need the space in my dresser for clothes, and then I saw on Pinterest a ton of ideas. I decided to get a little crafty.

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First for the earring tree, I went to the Christmas Tree Shop and bought (4) cheap 8×10 silver frames.

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Then on to Michael’s and bought (4) clear plastic canvas grids. You can find them here

I took off the back of the frame and used gorilla glued the along the edges of the frame. I placed the canvas grid on top. Oh… you may have to cut the grid prior to doing so. I used the frame back as my ruler/guide.

Side note: I love gorilla glue. It is my go to for so many things.

I let it dry for 24 hours before I decided to hang the earrings on it.

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I went to Walmart and bought (2) cafe rods, one for bracelets and one necklaces. I like these rods a lot. They are cheap and the silver matched perfectly to the frames.

I went to the dollar store and bought two packages of shower hooks to hand my necklaces.

I LOVE how this turned out! Not only is it organized but it adds some style to an empty wall in my small room turned  walk-in closet.

Total Cost: $20.86

Frames: 1.69 x 4 = 6.76

Canvas: .59 x 4 = 2.36

Cafe Rods: 4.87 x 2 = 9.74

Shower Curtain Hooks: 1.00 x 2 = 2.00

Renters Guide to Design & Organization: Shoes, Shoes, and More Shoes!

When you live in a small apartment like I do you have to get creative on how your store things especially shoes! I have a ton of shoes.  I think my flip flop collection is larger than all of the rest of my shoes but that is another story.

In my last post I told you how I created a walk in closet. In this post I am adding on to that, mainly because my shoes are in that walk-in closet. 🙂

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So first off, I went to Target and found the black bookcase. Ahh, Target. My home away from home. The bookcase was $17.99 original price. I waited until there was an additional discount in the Cartwheel app and then used my Red Card for an additional 5% off. I think I ended up paying $14.00 for it.

Also while I was at Target, I picked up some tension rods. I added two to the top shelf of the bookcase to create another “shelf”. It was perfect for my ballet flats.

Then I took an additional 2 tension rods and made a shelf in between the bookcase and wall of the closet. I placed my slouchy boots there because they didn’t weigh much. Really make sure the rod is tight.

I placed my really tall boots on the top of the bookcase because my tops that hung allowed for it.

Quick note on how I keep my boots shape- pool noodles! Now that spring/summer is coming you can probably start to find them at the dollar store or Five Below. Buy them now and save them for next year if you are like me who put my winters shoes away in storage.

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Now the majority of my summer shoes are stored in a container under my bed. I do however keep my flip flops out all year long. They are great for running down to the laundry room or when I am at the gym. I can’t wait to live in them all spring/summer long. We are so close!

I found an over the door shoe organizer at Walmart for like $4.00. I put it inside of my linen closet. One pair of flops fit in each pocket which is great because as you can see I have a lot of them! The bottom four pockets I keep my gym sneakers in.

Voila! Cheap and easy shoe storage for a little over $20.00!

Up next….jewelry organization