diy craziness: each one a little bit louder and a little bit worse

Emboldened by our sleek (but extremely delayed) selection of new curtains a few weeks ago, the hubby and I have embarked on a series of DIY projects around the house lately.  First up: rain gutter bookshelves.  I’ve long admired these bookshelves on various home blogs from around the web, and now that the Gravy Baby is an avid reader, we thought we’d give them a try.


This shot of the Gravy Baby selecting a book while chewing on a teether is, unfortunately, the best photo I have of him doing this.

Guess what?  They’re even better than we imagined.  Made of plastic and mounted to the studs of the Gravy Baby’s playroom, we feel like we don’t have to worry about the Gravy Baby pulling them off the wall or hurting himself somehow on the lip of the shelf.  He loves being able to walk back and forth along the shelf to make his selection, which is much easier when all of the books face outwards instead of by the spine on conventional shelves.  It also makes cleaning up at the end of the day much easier, because the Gravy Baby used to pull all of his books out of their bins to get to the one he wanted.


Right after the holidays, I also read about a great idea on how to store holiday cards each year, which is perfect for a packrat like me.  Every year I can’t bring myself to throw away the photos and messages sent to us by our friends, especially because we’ve moved around so much the last few years that it’s one of the main ways we keep up with what’s going on with everyone.  With a simple hole punch and a book ring, I threw all of our cards together and stored them in a box with our other holiday decorations.  By the time the holiday season rolls around this year, this booklet of cards will be a great way to review where everyone was a year ago.

Lastly, and believe me, I know that this is hands-down the most Type-A, Martha Stewart-with-crazy-eyes that I can get, but the labels I usually make using my handy Brother P-Touch (I prefer that we all use proper names only when referring to my sacred label maker, please) to keep the bins in our laundry room organized were driving me crazy.  Because these bins are made of fabric that is similar to recycled grocery bags (not the kitschy, adorable Whole Foods type, but more like the scratchy, extremely flammable-feeling kind), the labels kept peeling off every few weeks, and I’d have to replace them all the time.

Enter my laminator, which you may remember from such winning DIY projects such as this one.  I adapted my experience from laminating luggage tags to create these:


Which, when affixed to my laundry room bins with oh-so-chic satin ribbon, became this:

I know, right?  Crazy town.  And I would be lying if I said that this little 30-minute project didn’t create an immensely satisfying euphoria quite akin to eating a delicious piece of pork belly.  Because it did, totally and completely.

And you know what?  I’m okay with that.


  1. Michelle Souders says

    Love this post! The new labels for your bins are amazing! After you were finished did you keep going back to admire them?

  2. Laura G. says

    i am about to move and i would like to request that you please come visit me after my move, with Brother P-Touch and your yet-to-be-named laminator and organize my life. i’m actually buying, so i am DETERMINED to finally get my crap in order and make sure that everything has a place. it’s also a studio, so i am fretting that it will be even worse if things are their usual mess. i’m not actually very optimistic that this will pan out like i’m hoping, but tips like these should help!

  3. says

    Michelle — you know me too well!

    Laura G. — great to hear from you! Good luck on the new digs; hopefully next time we’re in town we can see them!