Christmas gift idea: bathroom in a can

Hey everyone!

So it’s no secret by now that I love IKEA. And when my little sister mentioned wanting house stuff for Christmas, I thought it would be a good idea to give her a bathroom in a can, (a garbage can to be exact).

My little sis will be moving out of our parent’s house this summer and transferring to a four-year school. So while bathroom things don’t seem like that thrilling of a gift, I know she’s going to like this when she moves into her first apartment. Plus, she’s not into home decor, as illustrated by her frequent plea, “You should just decorate my whole apartment for me.” So I decided to take her up on her beg offer.

I decided to get everything she’ll need in a bathroom (minus towels to stay on budget).

I scoured IKEA’s website this week before I went because: A. It’s always good to have a game plan in a store like IKEA and B. I wanted to have some sort of theme in mind.

I decided to base everything around this blue shower curtain. From there I went for a blue, black, and white color scheme. For $4.99 the price was great and I knew she’d love the color.


Next, I bought some things I use in my own bathroom from IKEA, like this garbage can, shower caddy, and toilet brush. (Nothing says Merry Christmas like a toilet brush, right?)


I also bought her these two hand towels so even if she decides to go for different color towels, she’ll have some to match her decor.


One of the best bargains was this bathroom set. For $2.99 it came with a soap dispenser, a soap holder, and a toothbrush holder. Granted, the quality isn’t going to last forever, but I look at all college decor as more of a right-now type of thing.


I also got this bathmat, and a blue candle holder, which I plan on sticking one of my spare white tea light candles in.



I decided I should also buy something to put on the walls. After looking through the picture/art section and not really finding anything I liked, I found this fabric that I loved and fit my color scheme. I bought half a yard for $4.50. (Tune in later this week to find out what I did with this stripey guy.)


With the exception of a shower liner and some shower curtain rings, her present is ready. I plan to put all of the items in the garbage can and wrap it up!

Here’s a budget breakdown:

-Garbage can $1.99

-Shower caddy $6.99

-Toilet brush $0.99

-Bathroom set $2.99

-Rug $2.99

-Hand towels $2.99 x 2

-Shower curtain $4.99

-Candle holder $1.99

-Fabric $4.50

Total = $33.41 (plus some tax)


I wanted to stay around $25 so I don’t feel too bad going a few dollars over, especially when I know that everything will be useful.

I could see this sort of idea translating to so many rooms. You could do a kitchen version and fill a mixing bowl with spoons and pot holders, or an office version with a drawer organizer filled with thumb tacks, paper clips, and a stapler.

Don’t forget to come back later this week to find out what I did with the fabric!

U-District fabric stores

Fabric is a universal DIY and crafter tool. So I thought I’d share some of my favorite fabric stores online or near the U-District.


1. Pacific Fabrics. I mentioned Pacific Fabrics last week. This store is pretty well-rounded and does have a small selection of craft products as well. They also have a side store that has wedding and special occasion fabric. My favorite part of Pacific Fabrics is their interior design fabric on the big bolts. Even though this is usually pretty spendy, they have a great, really trendy selection. Pacific Fabrics is about a 25-minute bus ride from the U-District.

2. JoAnn Fabrics. JoAnn’s is a much more well-rounded craft store. They have a wide variety of fabrics and craft materials. The best part of JoAnn’s is their coupons. If you sign up for their mailing list, just about every week you can buy something for 40 percent off. The closest JoAnn’s to the U-District is in Ballard, about a 40-minute bus ride away.

3. IKEA. IKEA has a great fabric section with modern style fabrics that could easily be turned into throw pillows or curtains. The one thing IKEA really lacks is a staff. The fabric section is cut-it-yourself. So while at most stores you can go to the cutting counter and ask the staff questions or advise about your fabric, you’re on your own at IKEA. That being said, they have a great selection and you can almost always find bolts on clearance. IKEA is over an hour away by bus.


4. Etsy. Etsy is a fantastic resource for fabric online. I purchased four yards of this fabric from an Etsy vendor to use in my living room. Etsy also has hand painted and dyed fabrics available if you’re not willing to try it yourself. (Check out my attempt here.) Prices vary widely on Etsy so make sure you shop around.

Where is your favorite place to buy fabric? Are there any great fabric stores in Seattle that I’m missing out on? Let me know in the comment section.

Make more counter-space with an IKEA hack

When I first moved to Seattle, I moved into a house built in 1907 that I’m pretty sure was never updated since then. Needless to say, we had counter-space problems. As in, “seriously, where is the counter?” space problems.

So my roommates and I decided to hunt for some options that we could make ourselves to add some counter-space for as little money as possible. We stumbled upon this idea. And decided to go for it.

And when I moved to my new apartment, I made it again and added the hardware. Now, we use it as a “we-have-no-where-else-to-put-our-microwave” microwave stand.

Here’s how I did it. First you need two IKEA Lack tables. These bad boys are awesome and only $8. I used one I had left over and a new one for the bottom. The first hack I made, we used double stick tape to connect the legs of the top table to the bottom table. The second time I used a hot glue gun. I’d definitely recommend going the tape route, because the hot glue can make things uneven.

The table I used on top was damaged, but that didn’t matter because I covered it with a cutting board my dad made me. If you don’t have a handy-dandy dad to make you one, I wouldn’t recommend buying one because they are pricey. Instead, I’d try paper in a cool print and then cover it with contact paper. The U-District book store has some cool, large printed paper and contact paper can be found at target or craft stores. (Bonus: if you use contact paper, it will be easy to wipe off if you spill on it.) One extra thing I added to my microwave stand was a Bygel bar in front to hang dish towels from.

Getting to IKEA from the U-District is possible by bus and free for us Huskies with the U-Pass. But keep in mind you have to haul home everything you buy, so I’d advise begging finding a friend with a car and making the trip that way.

The best thing about this project is the price. Here’s a budget breakdown for you:

2 Ikea Lack tables: 1 used = free, 1 new = $7.99

1 Ikea Bygel rail: $2.99

4 screws for the rail: 4 x .30 from True Value in the U-District = $1.20

Wood table top = Free from dear-ol’-dad

Grand total = $12.18, not bad for a functional microwave stand.

Have you done any ikea hacks to save space? Let me know in the comments below.