Apartment

DIY String Shelf

Recently, I was looking through my pins and realized I was pinning a lot of pictures of shelves over beds. Mostly, I think I liked the addition of plants.

The area over my bed has been basically a blank wall since I moved in last November. I don’t even use a head board.So when I saw the theme, I thought I could do that. My first trip was to Target, but all of the shelves were about $30 and not quite what I was looking for.

So, of course, I decided to DIY it. This shelf took less than a half hour to make and cost only about $12, plus you’ll have some extra materials.        String Shelf | Mostly Minted

Here’s what you need:

  • A 1 by 6 board (I went with pine and had the guy at Home Depot cut it in half)
  • Suede lacing (or different rope, as long as it can hold the weight)
  • Drill
  • Sewing needle + a bit of thread.
  • 2 hooks

So here’s what you do:

1. Measure where you want the holes to be. Mine are 2 inches in from the sides, 3/4 inches from the front, and a half inch from the back.

2. Drill your holes. You want them to be as close to the size of the lace you are using as possible.

3. Put your lacing through the holes. To make it easier, I used the needle and thread. I put a stitch into the suede lacing and then let the remaining needle and thread hang off. I used this lead to make it easier to squeeze the lacing through the holes. Tie a basic knot to secure it.

4. Put your hooks into the wall.

5. Hang it up.

 

Sting Shelf | Mostly Minted

String Shelf| Mostly Minted

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DIY: Hanging shelving unit

So, this one is an oldie, from my first apartment.

DIY hanging ladder shelf. Takes less than two hours to make.

 

I needed a shelving unit for my porch, so I can up with this easy ladder shelf.

To make it, you need need 1 by 4 boards cut to the width you want (have the people at the store cut it  to size for you if you don’t have a saw), clothes line, an o shaped ring that is fit to hold weight, a hook for the ceiling that can hold weight and a drill.

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First, paint or stain the wood the color you want. If you are going to keep it outside, I recommend treating the wood in some ways.

Then, at the corners — one inch from each edge — drill a hole that is slightly smaller than the clothes line you are using. You want to be able to still get the line through, but you want it to be tight so there is friction to help keep everything in place later.

Next, cut the clothes line into two lengths that are double the height you want the shelf to be plus two feet. Use a larks head knot to tie center of the string to the o-ring. You should have four strings hanging down from it. From there, thread them through the four holes on what will become your highest shelf. When the shelf is at the height you want, tie and overhand knot under it to keep the shelf in place.  Repeat until all the shelves are in place. Then cut away the excess string or leave it. Your choice.

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DIY: Pallet mug holder

A few weeks ago, I was out on assignment at a road striping business (you never know where aa day in job will take you) when I spied this giant pile of pallets out back.

Now, Eryn and I had been scheming the about the past way to get out hands on pallets for about a week. We tried Home Depot, that didn’t work out. We had scoped out the parking lot at the newspaper, they were all plastic or broken. So, when I saw them sitting by a dumpster I got excited.

At the end of the interview, I casually asked the owner if I could have some pallets. Well, he, the News Herald photographer and a crew member ended up going through the whole pile of pallets to pick out the best ones for me, and then loaded them into my car for me.

Now, that’s Southern hospitality.

At the end of the table project, which I will should you later, Eryn and I had a lot of extra boards from the pallet, and we worked hard to pry every board off the pallet. Pro tip: buy a crow bar. Don’t delude yourself into thinking you can do it with a hammer. There’s no efficient way to do it with a hammer. There just isn’t. Invest.

DIY Pallet Mug Holder

Once we got the boards off, we quickly stained them a deep brown to match Eryn’s table.

Then, we measured out enough room for nine hooks on the two pieces of wood we took, and drilled pilots holes … in my dining room. No workshop for us.

DIY Pallet Mug Holder | Mostly Minted

After that we screwed in some hooks I had picked up at Walmart.

DIY Pallet Mug Rack | Mostly Minted

Then a quick test to make sure everything was fitting okay at my place. It’s not actually on the wall hence the crookedness of it.

DIY Pallet Mug Rack | Mostly Minted

Then at Eryn’s we attached it to the wall with just two screws. I think the dark wood looks really nice against the light blue wall. She had wanted to paint her kitchen almost a navy blue, but I talked her into a lighter (and I think more liveable) color.

DIY Pallet Mug Rack | Mostly Minted

DIY Pallet Mug Rack |Mostly Minted DIY Pallet Mug Rack |Mostly Minted DIY Pallet Mug Rack |Mostly Minted DIY Pallet Mug Rack |Mostly Minted

I think it helps to elevate what is otherwise a pretty ordinary kitchen.

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Home Update: My Minted Kitchen!

Hi!

So awhile ago I showed up my rental cottage in its early days, which it what beautiful then but it is even more beautiful now. I would say just about every space is 90 percent done, but the kitchen is the closest to 100 percent. Therefore, I figured it was time to share some pictures of it.

Mostly Minted Home Tour

When I first moved in, the kitchen was painted a deep red and there was a big rust stain in the sink. However, I loved the sink, the window over the sink and the black and white checkered floor. The floor was a bit of a #lifegoal as I told the landlord when I pleaded for the cottage.

Mostly Minted Home Tour

I set up a little garden over the sink. The ledge was too small for some of the pots, so I used a piece of pink twine looped through some hooks in the window frames to hold them in place. It’s worked really well.

Mostly Minted Home Tour

I picked up the apron when I was in Savannah, because I liked the idea of a Southern apron.

Mostly Minted Home Tour

Mostly Minted Home Tour

 

I use a peg board to keep a lot of the kitchen supplies organized. All the utensils with the pink handles are wooden utensils from my grandparents house that I just painted the handles pink on. The wood wasn’t in great shape, so I think the pink was an improvement.

Mostly Minted Home Tour

Mostly Minted Home Tour

 

The built in next to the stove has been a lot of fun to style. I change it around all the time. The trick was adding some tall vertical items to balance out all the short stuff.

 

Mostly Minted Home Tour

 

Mostly Minted Home Tour

Mostly Minted Home Tour

Then we have the main workspace. It’s usually pretty messy over here.

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Mostly Minted Home Tour

I spray painted the toaster oven pink. I just like it better this way The hardest part was taping everything off.

Mostly Minted Home Tour

Then there is the fridge. I “made” all of the magnets, meaning I glued the stones to magnets. They look pretty cool though, in my opinion.

And that’s my kitchen. Hope you like it.

 

 

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There is such a thing as too many windows.

The front door of the my new apartment has 15 window panes. Enough to make me afraid to throw stones, give the neighbors a easy view of my apartment and Addie an even better view of the neighbors.

Addie quickly took to standing at the window and barking all the time.

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I was worried the neighbors would hate us so something had to be done. There was a bamboo type curtain, but I thought it was ugly and Addie kept getting stuck in it. So that had to go and we needed a better fix.

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My solution was to go to Home Depot and buy some window film immediately. I wasn’t even in the apartment 24 hours before I high tailed it to the store (I also bought paint).

I only bought one roll, which wasn’t enough to fully cover all the windows, but I’m very happy with the results, i.e. the barking stopped. I like the vertical stripes near the top, but I’m undecided on if the top panes show have something on them or if I should try to create a Scandinavian style decoration for up there.

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The film was extremely easy to work with. Just a bit of soapy water in a spray bottle, and I actually used a credit card as a squeegee. They’ve been on for about a week now and seem to be holding on just fine.

 

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The Cottage

After the most frustrating Craig’s List negotiations ever, I have started to settle into my new home a.k.a. The Cottage.

From the moment I saw the ad go up online, I knew I wanted it. It has hardwood floors, black and white laminate in the kitchen, french doors, a fireplace, and even a washing machine. Before I moved all my furniture in and started painting and what not, I took three very (very very very very very very very very) rough videos of the place. Here they are if you want to see the basics/before.

Since these photos were taken, I’ve already painted the kitchen, bedroom, part of the living room and the bathroom. I’ve used a lot of mint and white paint.

My furniture has also gotten here so it’s been fun putting that together and seeing how my stuff fits into the new space. This has also given me the great joy of coming up of a list of new furniture to get. So far I’ve got patio furniture (I want to do this), a side table/bar area for the dining room (I have a diy plan) and I need to thrift three more chairs. I hear the thrifting here is pretty good so I’m excited.

 

 

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Goodbye Apartment

This morning, I bid goodbye to my sunny apartment in Gardner, and in a weird and slightly unexpected turn of events, I’m going to miss it.

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To be clear, it was not a nice apartment. It was barely insulated, the walls and floors were in bad condition, most of the rooms were a hideous brown. The neighbors came with their own batch of concerns.

However, the neighbors had good days, like when Don gave me his sunflower and the fat cat Addie became friends with. I loved, loved, loved my bright white living room. My walking loop had a lovely pond full of wildlife (like an otter). Best of all, I could have little Adeline there.

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This was my reading area. Sometimes I would move the chairs out of the way so I could do yoga in the morning light. The chairs were both Craig’s List finds. I redid the stool myself after my grandfather gave it to me. The bookshelf, dog bed and such are all things I made.

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My desk with it’s tangled mess of cords is where I created everything. I built the top with my brother, and triangle shelves next to it are something I designed and my dad helped me build. It was, by far, the most difficult project we’ve ever undertaken but I love my mountain shelves.

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Side note: Martha Stewart paint is definitely the best coverage. I swear by it.

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My favorite thing about the room is that just about everything is thrifted, a hand me down or handmade. The rug was a $4 find at a flea market, the couch was from Craig’s List, I made the pillows, the trunk was my grandfather’s when he was in the Navy, I made the light fixture, painted the deer skull and so on. Heck, even Addie is a little rescue creature.

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This apartment came at a time when I really needed just a little bit of space to figure stuff out. I got that, but I also got Cinco de Mayo parties, nights of making flowers crowns on the floor with good people and lots and lots of memories that prove I will be okay. It showed me I can craft the life I want to live and that I have choices.

So yeah, I’ll miss my little space. But not enough to pay the electric bill this winter.

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Well that’s embarrassing: My Craig’s List Blunder

Do you ever do something and then instantly know that was a bad idea?

Yeah. That was me earlier today.

The credenza in question

The credenza in question

I have been desperately trying to sell a credenza on Craig’s List as part of my break up move out (you just don’t throw away vintage. It’s a crime). A few days ago, I had a buyer all lined up and then the ex just screwed it up royally. It was unfortunate.

So after sending a profuse apology to buyer 1 and not hearing back from her I reposted it. Then buyer 1 said she still “wanted to look at it” and I said okay. However, we never arranged a time.

In the meantime, another person sent me her phone number and said she definitely would want to buy it and could pick it up that day. I knew it was wrong to screw buyer 1 over a second time, but buyer 2 was a sure thing so I went for it and then broke the bad news to buyer 1.

Buyer 1 — who then said she definitely would have bought it — was not pleased with me, and I feel bad.

Right after it happened, it quickly dawned on me what I should have done. I should have told buyer 1 about buyer 2, and asked her if she was serious about buying it or if I should go with buyer 2. That would have been the best way to clarify the situation and not screw anyone over.

Live and you learn.

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DIY Tin Can Candles

Once upon a time, I was nice and decided to buy my dog wet food. The result was a a happy, fat, spoiled cocker spaniel and a lot of tin cans sitting around the apartment that I was trying to come up with a use for.

Then it hit me, candles.

DIY Tin Can Candles

After a good scrubbing that involved some bleach to get rid of any dog food smell, I set out to make Grapefruit Fir candles and Lavender Rose Candles.

I used tin cans, this soy candle wax, candle wicks, grapefruit essential oil, fir essential oil, and grapefruit zest for the Grapefruit Fir. For the Lavender Rose, I used rose oil from the candle section at Walmart, crushed rose petals and crushed lavender leaves.

Making them turned out to be pretty easy. I melted the wax in my toaster oven (I don’t own a microwave) stirring occasionally. Be prepared for the wax to melt down a lot. It took two bowls to fill the tin cans.

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Then mix in your fragrances. I used about 12 drops of grapefruit oil and 3 drops of fir per bowl for the candle. And about 15 drops of rose.

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While the picture doesn’t show this, I found it worked better to mix in the solid objects — leaves petals and zest — in the tin can once the wax started to cool a bit to keep it all from sinking to the bottom. I don’t have an exact recipe for how much of the zest or petals to add. For the lavender, I recommend using the leaves off of 2 sprigs and chopping it down.

From there, you pour it in and let it cool. Be sure to offer your wick some support or it will end up crooked like mine.

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I had made this little watercolor labels the day before to dress them up a little bit.

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So I just glued them on and tied it off with a string. And they were good to go. These are super easy to make and the possibilities for scents and containers are endless.

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Brimfield Flea Market

While shopping at Brimfield Antique Market this year, my mother and I cam up with a new slogan for the affair after watching a lady walk down the street cradling a mermaid statue in her arms.

“Anything’s possible here. Buy what you love.”

I mean, where else can you find this?

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Three times a summer, the otherwise sleepy farm town of Brimfield transforms itself into what is most likely the biggest flea market in New England. It’s known to be frequented by people like Martha Stewart and art directors for just about every show on television, the city people coming in from Boston and New York City looking for a deal, and then just about everybody else in the area.

I’ve gone at least once a year since middle school. When I was a kid, I stuck to the $1 to $15 jewelry, amassing quite a collection of cameos I never wore. Now, I’m in it for the big stuff. My best find to date is my kitchen table, a white, vintage tulip table I grabbed for $45. It’s one of my prized possessions.

At the first show of the year, I stuck to smaller things: a few air plants (4 for $10), a new bedspread (gifted from mumsie – thank you!) and an embroidered hand towel ($3).

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Bedspread

Bedspread

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Here’s a look at some of the other cool booths that were floating around this market….

This booth was super well styles and these rugs were too cute.

 

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They day after Brimfield, I saw someone post on Instagram talking about how they wished they had bought this top globe.
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This booth was so cool. It wasn’t all vintage, but everything was so well styled you almost didn’t care. The people running it had that laid back, tattooed vibe
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There was a lot (like a lot) of mid century modern stuff floating around, not that I’m complaining. These chairs were a really unique twist on the trend. The sellers had reupholstered the classic shape, and they were just really interesting to look at.

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The of course there was the mish mash of other stuff.

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