Thursday, December 16, 2010

A $12 Rental Bathroom Makeover (again)

Way back when, ooou a squillion (ok like, 3) years ago, I had a rental bathroom that I hated. And while my first choice was to SACK IT LIKE CARTHAGE. I didn't. (I'm restrained, see!)
Instead I used $20 dollars worth of dollar store stuff. And I fixed it. You can read all about it right here. But here're the previous before and after shots:
We still have that same rental bathroom; but since then we've had a new bath and shower and tiles put in. But the hideous early 60's sliding door'd cabinet is a keeper apparently.
SO, that's the backstory. On Wednesday night I was whipping around the dollar store for supplies (adhesive photo-magnet backing, but that's a different post) and I spotted some sticky mirrors and had a lightbulb moment.
So, I picked up.
3 self adhesive mirrors- $2 a piece
4 plastic placemats - 2 for a dollar
3 new hand towels -$1 each
a lidded glass jar - $1
AND a big sheet of vinyl butterfly wall sickies - $2
Total = $12
The first thing I did was cut the placemats to size to use as new sliding doors, then I just stuck them over the same backing I used before (the skinny for that is here).
Big change already, and it took all of about 5 minutes.

Now, the slidey doors don't really need handles; but I happen to have some pushpins (you know, the kind for corkboard?) in the shape of teeny weeny birdies. I bought them 4 years ago from the dollar store but I've never used them for anything even though I LOVES them. Anyhow, I stuck them through the new doors and secured them with a tiny spot of Mighty Putty (like off the teeeveeeee!) Et voila. Door handles.

Then I gave the wall a quick clean and dry and stuck my new mirrors on. I was worried about how sticky they were but the answer is DUDE. PRETTY STICKY. So I lined them up careful like, and bam, another big change (If you're a renter and need to undo the stickiness, try giving stuff a blast with a hairdryer before peeling it off).

Next up I needed storage, so I dragged in some metal flowerpot buckets from the balcony(they were originally form the dollar store, anybody else sensing a theme emerging here?), and stuck stuff in them. Tubby toys? BINGO. Hairbrushes? YUP.)

I also popped stuff like Pointy Metal Objects and hair bungees in the little jar I got. Then bunged a bit o' ribbon round it.

Next really big thing was the shower curtain. I have only just recently got over the opaque shower curtain = certain death by serial killer fear that's plagued me for years. (Thanks Hitchcock you big, jowly, jerk).
Anyhow, I happened to have a piece of fabric in my stash that I love a ridiculous, paralyzing amount. My ma brought it home for me from Sardinia when she was there ( I know right!) and it's a pink and paisley patterned cotton and it feels BLOODY GLORIOUS.
But I love it so much I couldn't decide what to do with it. At all. And it's just been sitting there in the drawer. So I whipped it out, folded it over and used a handful of safety pins as curtain hooks and stuck it over top of the shower curtain we had up already. Now I get to see it everyday and I can still make something out of it next summer. And when my chums ask if I'm wearing a shower curtain I'll be all "YAH I AM!".

OK, back to the bathroom. The last thing I did was scatter butterflies all over the joint. I wanted it to look like one of those Victorian specimen boxes had come to life and gone nuts in there. And just so you know, random is HARD for me. I am a Person Who Likes Symmetry; but I like how they turned out more.

And that would be that. One bathroom. Half an hour. $12.
In case you're curious, this is what is written on the door (um, prolly best not to look too close at the pictures if you're easily offended, the girls there are Edwardian nudey shots (100 year old porn!), a gift from my sis and the start of a my collection)

And lastly, I just wanted to say something on the subject of renting; we've been in our current apartment for 4 years and a few days. Which you guys, has gone RIDICULOUSLY fast. We never really intended to be here for so long, and there are/were plans for buying a place. But you know how it is right? In addition to the Insecure Jobmarket Two-Step we've been dancing a few rounds of the Visa Application Tango. I know my sweetie is eager to get our own place but our lives here have been brilliant so I'm not in a hurry.


  1. Go you! It looks great! I love the b&w touches. It looks fresh, clean, inviting, relaxing, spa-like! Awesome job!

  2. Ooh, thanks for the blow-by-blow, Erin! Very cool and creative. Place mats--that answered my question. It's as if they're just made for attractively lining old medicine cabinet doors (and other things, I'm sure, but they look particularly great here).

  3. I have the same sliding cabinet. THANK YOU for inspiring me to cover it with something that isn't frosted patterned plastic. (I can't make that stuff up.)


  4. WOW, I stumbled upon your site via a web search for dollar store makeovers. SO glad I did. You have got my brain gears turning. You did such a fantastic job on your bathroom with such a TINY amount of money. You deserve a pat on the back! Now I'm going to go steal all of your cool ideas. Thanks!


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