Everyone has a weird obsession. Well, not obsession, but weird collection or habit. Mine is hats. I love them. I own roughly 70 hats (and I think that’s a low estimate). Storing these hats became a strange dilemma in my new apartment. There are so many different colors, shapes, and sizes that there’s really no uniform storage techniques when you’re low of space. The solution I came up with turned into my hat wall. It has become a wall installation in it’s own right and super practical storage.
My grandmother works estate sales. That means she’s got access to a lot of old, beat up, cheap furniture. When I was moving into my first place and needed a dresser, she was my inside woman. What she found was a beautiful dresser that had seen a lot. A WHOLE lot. It was painted an ugly white over an ugly green and in places there was no paint at all. Most of the knobs were loose and falling off and one knob was completely MIA. The drawers stuck and rattled - it was basically a mess. But, being an undergrad in college and generally lazy, I tightened the drawer knobs and let it be.
After moving to NYC into my new apartment, my beat-up dresser made the trip, but didn’t fit into my bedroom space. Instead of Craigslisting my old friend, my roommate and I decided it would work as a makeshift entertainment center. But unlike me, she wasn’t having ugly on display. Fixing this dresser was the biggest home improvement project I’d ever embarked upon. Rather than explain it in super detail, here were the basics.
Sand it down. (You can see the awful white it used to be)
Paint it black.
Buy and attack new knobs.
In numerals, it sounds super easy. In practice, it took a good deal of work. But one day of work (while doing other projects) was definitely worth the final project.
So a few days ago I posted a video about making coasters. A few days before that, I actually made some! My roommate and I had been in the process of making them for a while, but we finally just got fed up with the half-done project and finished it. Pictured above are the 12 I made (hers are much classier and more literary). Since I worked at Marvel comics for a semester, I had access to a lot of older comic books: they became my inspiration. To make cool coasters like these, we followed this overly complicated process:
Buy adhesive corkboard (like you would use for lining a drawer), spray adhesive, and spray shellac.
Cut the corkboard into 2” x 2” squares.
Adhere the squares (sticky side to sticky side) to one another.
Pick the material or images you want to turn into coasters (I suggest created a 2” x 2” “viewfinder” to know exactly what the coaster image will be)
Cut out the images for the coasters with a little space to spare.
Adhere the image to the corkboard with the spray adhesive.
Use an exacto knife or box-cutter to get the edge of the image inline with the coaster.
Put an even coat of spray shellac over the coasters and let them sit for a few minutes.
Put on an additional coat of shellac. Continue this process until you find the coat of the coaster shiny to your liking.
Making coasters is a great way to customize your apartment. There are multiple ways to make them, such as with fabric or tile or cork. I thought this was an interesting way to go about it and recycle old magazines. What kind of coaster are you most interested in trying out?
I wish I had enough space in my apartment to live in that apartment. Does that make sense? I also wish I was classy enough to have considered that vintage wall poster design as soon as I walked into my apartment.