Ravenclaw Common Room

I found out at an early age that I’m allergic to white walls. Everywhere I live or work ends up plastered with T-shirts, posters, flags, toys, projects, tapestries— whatever it takes to make it feel more like home. 

When I moved to a new city, I knew I’d be living completely by myself for the first time in my life. I’ve been lucky in the past, in that all my other cohabitants have enjoyed (or at least tolerated) the eclectic nonsense that went up on the walls. Starting fresh though, I wanted a decor that was unique, thematic and at least a little classy. I always wished I could have grown up at Hogwarts, so I settled on trying to make my apartment feel as close to the Ravenclaw Common Room as possible. In this post you’ll find the DIY details I managed to document while taking on one of the biggest customization projects of my life. 

I knew setting out that this was going to be a lot more time consuming and expensive than just  thumb tacking a few items to the drywall, so I started by taking a look at the space as it was, planning out the major components and budgeting the supplies.

    

I spent a lot of lunch breaks at work sketching or making lists.

I even went so far as to make a Gantt chart on smartsheet.com to try and have it finished as soon as possible (This was actually helpful because I tend to get side-tracked easily by other projects in progress).

 

As you can see, I had a lot of ideas, but it boiled down to a few important components:

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Wallpaper

Light Fixtures

Pillars 

Mirror and Bust

Fireplace

Molding, Crests, and other details


  VSauce-in-the-Box and Brain Candy Live!

 

I’ve been a huge fan of both Mythbusters and the YouTube channel, VSauce, pretty much since they started, so when I saw the announcement for the Brain Candy Live Tour, I bought VIP tickets within an hour. The tickets come with a chance to ask questions and get photos with Adam Savage and Michael Stevens, the respective hosts. I started to think about what I’d like to ask them and realized that more than anything I wish there was a way to thank them for the years of entertainment, education, and inspiration. 

Making stuff is part of how I’ve always let people know that I appreciate them. From canning my and my roomate’s laughter, to making a talking “Drinking Out of Cups” action figure, I always find myself making personalized gifts for all my friends; so why not my role models?

For Adam, I made a shirt that says Savage AF, because who doesn’t wish they were as cool as Adam? See more about that in my post on Custom T-Shirts.

Michael’s gift is a little bit more complicated. I originally designed a shirt featuring Michael crouching in front of a camera, because it’s obvious he must do this about a dozen times to make a VSauce video. 

Continue reading “VSauce-in-the-Box and Brain Candy Live!”


Custom T-Shirts

Ever come up with a quote or a graphic that you thought was just begging to be put on a t-shirt? Or want to make your team or group seem official without spending a few hundred on shirts? Making novelty shirts for your friends or putting a logo on some wearable merch can be really fun and satisfying, but there is a reason shops/services charge so much to make custom shirts: it can be really time consuming and it’s easy to make mistakes that will ruin a shirt, bumping up the cost of production that you may have been trying to keep low. So, if you’re in a hurry or need absolute perfection, I might recommend going to professionals for at least part of the process. As with anything though, a little research, practice and the right supplies can get you exactly the results you’re after. Continue reading “Custom T-shirts”


Torchy’s Tacos Dancing Devil

I’m at the dollar store stocking up on foam-core and a few other random items, when a little solar-powered dancing Valentine’s devil catches my eye. Having been to Torchy’s Tacos on many occasions in the few month’s I’ve lived here, I find the resemblance between this tchotchke and the local taco chain’s mascot to be pretty uncanny. With other projects on my plate I start considering how much time it would take to complete the conversion and have my own teeter-tottering, taco-wielding Torchy.  Continue reading “Torchy’s Tacos Dancing Devil”