How to hang a planter ala the ceiling (without Task Rabbit, a man, or breaking something).

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TVs, ceiling lamps, hanging plants are DAUNTING.  If not hung properly, they’ll crash and break and probably hurt someone in the process. I’m not denying I’ve learned this from experience. So, there’s limited space in our new apartment, which is why we (I)  decided to follow the trend and hang a couple plants! I found this cool (and cheap!) $10 planter at Ikea. It’s simply, clean… and when I have time I may just paint some fun stripes on it.

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To hang it, here’s what I bought: 

1. Instead of a rope or rod, I liked the idea of hanging the planter from a gold chain. So for $2, I bought 2 feet of  silver chain from our local lighting store. Then, I sprayed painted it gold :) You can also sometimes find already sprayed gold chains. Use a set of pliers to make it the length you prefer by removing excess links. I wanted out planter lower than usual so I could see the flowers better, water them easier, give them good sun, and break up some of the empty space.

2. a proper SWAG hook kit — you can get these at your local hardware store for $1.50 — Ace Hardware! ( I bought a gold one to match) Make sure it includes a spring toggle wing and screw bolt. They usually come in two packs.

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3. You’ll need a drill to make a hole to push the toggle and screw into the ceiling. Make sure the drill bit used is the same size as the bolt. The one I bought required a 3/16 in. bit. Also, know the material you are drilling into – if it’s cement or brick you’ll need a different type of drill bit. Check with your hardware store if you’re unsure.

How to Hang it 

1. Drill a hole into the desired spot. Again, make sure you are using the correct bit, it matches the material you’re drilling into, and it’s the same size as the bolt.

2. Attach the hook on one side of the bolt. On the other side, screw the bolt into the hole between each side of the spring toggle. Make sure the toggle isn’t screwed on too far, as it needs to be able to close completely to get through the drilled hole.

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3. After drilling the hole, you need to push the entire device into the hole — to the other side of the wall — except, of course, the hook. Once you do this, the spring toggle will pop back open – SUCCESS!

4. Once you’ve popped it in, pull down snuggly on the hook, and begin to turn the hook clockwise. This will screw the spring toggle closer to the hook (from inside the wall) so that all that is between the hook and the toggle is the wall – this will prevent the entire hook from falling out and ripping the ceiling on the way down. Whoop!

5. Then, hang yo shit and make it look good. (Who needs Task Rabbit anymore?) Daffodils and lavender purchased at Trader Joes! $5 each, what a deal. (Our local nursery is still closed for winter — on the first day of spring — and yes it’s about to snow. ugh).

Protip: Where’s all the water gonna drain? Below the plants, I placed a bunch of pebbles to help hold drained water. This will prevent your flowers from drowning. You can even buy pebbles at Ikea for like a buck.

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make it a kitchen

I’m struggling with how in the world I’m going to not only cook and clean in what the realtor calls a kitchen, but how I’m going to organize all of it!

I don’t online shop for kitchen tools, I no longer even have one of those 1-800-Chop It’s! All I really have are the basics, but alas, three cabinets hold diddly squat. Check out what I’ve done to organize the space, utilize the cabinets to the best of my ability, and keep the itty bitty kitch lookin’ sweet.

1. While it’s all mismatched, I love my dishes. My mom’s made some of them, some are from Ikea, some were stolen from college roommates, and others were taken from free street sales. I figured I would need additional storage in the kitchen, so why not store my pretties — and not boxes of flax seed and canned beans — in the open space, leaving my food, what can quickly appear cluttered, in the cabinets. Check.

I made one purchase from Ikea. It’s a $40 shelving unit that I’m pretty sure is for storing towels and bathroom supplies, but hey, it works.

sadly the space is so small, it’s near impossible to get the whole unit in a photo

** Another trick — Use old jars to store your silverware. Those on top are the bruschetta jars from Trader Joe’s. Nice little addition, especially when you have no drawers.

2. Next, I needed somewhere to store my pans and colander, and heck, maybe some more space for mugs. I purchased a coat hanger for $10 at Ace Hardware, and reused a couple hooks I had purchased years ago from World Market (each were like $4). Since my apartment is way old, I needed to use my drill, and a drill bit for cement walls which you can easily buy at Ace for like $5. Not only are these handy things to have at home, but damn will you feel accomplished. Make sure you get the right screws, too.

3. Lastly, I must admit, I’m an old lady at heart, and try to save all my receipts, old cards, birthday cards, recipes, you name it. There was no space for my old desk (stay tuned for that project), so I decided to mount my paper holder to the wall. Find a magnetic one and you’ll be happy you bought all those cheesy magnets while traveling abroad. Again, get two cement friendly screws (30 cents a piece?) and begin!

Next up: the living room!

-Summer