Blogland has a lot of perfect DIY tutorials out there. If you believe everything you read, no one ever tries anything and doesn't end up with a perfectly fashionable and stylish result. I am here to cure you of those thoughts.
Our apartment, as great as it is, gets almost no sunlight on the balcony. I attempted a small herb garden last summer, but it didn't do well. I had a brainstorm last month, though, when I realized that our bedroom window does get a ton of light. The only problem is to keep the cats away from whatever burgeoning greens I might have on the sill. I came up the idea to build a hanging shelf that would hold a few pots. Not a lot, but enough to keep me stocked in basil and mint all summer.
My dad sketched out a blueprint for me (I wanted it to hang but not swing, and I didn't know how to do that) and off Chris and I went to Home Depot. I realized I still didn't know what I was doing, so Dad provided some expert advice. (My favorite part was when I asked if the bolts I was using were going to be ok for ceiling mounting. Dad answered, "probably." I said, I'm only asking because it's going to be over our heads while we sleep, and he belly laughed.)
Got my supplies, came home, and started staining the pretty piece of oak I picked out. Over the course of a week I got the wood stained, sealed, and drilled—all set. I bought seeds and potting soil. I went to drill the holes in the ceiling, and surprise! It turns out that under the quarter inch of plaster, our ceiling is made of steel. Behold: a terrible photo of the steel: