Category Archives: Kids

Playroom Storage Makeover

I don’t think I’ve ever shared photos of our playroom before. It is a finished space in our basement that serves as a multi-purpose room (playroom/family room/office/guest room.) The major work horse in the playroom is a huge shelving unit (Expedit from Ikea) which holds all of our games and our son’s small toys in the black bins (Drona). For quite awhile, I’ve wanted to change things up. So, I decided to do a playroom storage makeover, focusing on what we currently have.

Playroom Storage Makeover

There are so many amazing storage solutions for toys available these days. I love these charcoal and ivory rugby bins from the Container store, but at almost $100 for 8 of them, it seemed that I could come up with something similar for our current black bins and save myself some dough.

Playroom Storage Expedit Before

I thought of several different ideas, from covering the bins in fabric to painting stripes, but I just couldn’t commit to any one idea. Then, while perusing Ikea’s website I found black and white stripe place mats (Ljuda) for 1.49 each and decided they would be perfect for the job.

Ljuda Black White Place Mat

After taking the measurements of the bins, I cut one of the place mats to size and used it as a template for the rest of the pieces.

Cutting Ljuda Place Mat

Then, I inserted the cut place mats under the fabric fold at the top of the bins and used hot glue to secure them to the fronts. Super easy.

Hot Glue Place Mat To Drona Box

I love how the stripes add some playfulness to the plain boxes and if for some reason we tire of the contrast, we can just flip the boxes around and they will look just like they used to.

Playroom Drona Storage Makeover

So, what do you think of this simple playroom storage makeover? Do you like all of the stripes or the simplicity of the plain black bins? I would love for you to leave a comment and let me know!

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Clipboard Art Display

Two kids in preschool = lots of artwork. Did we have to get a second refrigerator to display all of those papers? Well, no, but I am glad you asked. We let the kids decide on their favorites and we hang them up on clipboards. Our wall can showcase six projects at once. For all of you that don’t like doing math in your head, that means three projects for each child. Don’t worry, I let my husband do all of my math for me.

This display has been up in our house for a while, pre-blog even. I get so many compliments on it, I decided to share it.

Clipboards 4

First, I took six regular clipboards, primed and painted them black. If I were to do this again, I think I would probably use chalkboard paint. Because, who doesn’t love chalkboard paint?

Clipboards 1
 

Then, I used a black sharpie to get the very top edge that I couldn’t reach with a paint brush.

clipboards 2

Finally, I hung them up on the wall. I know you’re smart, so I won’t insult you any further by explaining how to use a hammer and nails.

Clipboards 3

These clipboards make it so easy to rotate the works of art. This way, the current favorites are always on display. The rest of the pictures get filed away, to be pulled out at future graduation parties and on days when I want to be in denial about my boys growing up too quickly.

Keeping Toddlers Occupied

I am not claiming to be the brilliant person who came up with the genius idea for using a cardboard box as a toy.  Until recently, I had never seen or thought of the idea of giving my kid crayons for coloring inside of a box. Crayons and boxes are two of my son’s favorite things. So combining them together worked like magic. This is such a great way for keeping toddlers occupied.

Step one:
I let my toddler climb into a large, ordinary, cardboard box. (I am not sure why it looks like he doesn’t have feet in this picture, but he does. Two of them.)

box1

 Step two:
He was given a few crayons.

box2

Step three:
I sat back, relaxed, and enjoyed my free time.

As expected, he just had the best time playing in there.

box4 

To keep the fun alive, the sides were reinforcement with duct tape.

box5

Crayons in a box is such a simple idea. I just wish I would have found this idea sooner.

If you had a box large enough, do you think adults could have this much fun?

Octonauts Costumes and DIY Sailor’s Hat

The Disney Jr. show, Octonauts, is a favorite in our house. So it was no surprise to me that our little ones choose to be Kwazi the cat and the polar bear Captain Barnacles for Halloween. There are not commercial costumes for these characters, but lucky for my two, I love any DIY challenge.

Costume 13

An orange shirt and pants were the base of the Kwazi outfit. Felt triangles were attached to a headband for the ears. My little guy made sure I even cut a tiny chomp in one of the ears just like Kwazi’s.The eye patch was also felt. This worked great for a 3 year old because he was able to shift it slightly to see while still maintaining the pirate look. I used felt for the tummy and collar. The tail was a awesome find from the dollar store.

Costume 11
 

To make the hat, I drew the pattern for the main portion of it on the fold of a piece of paper. Next, I traced it on to felt and cut out four equal pieces. The rounded triangles are about 4 inches wide and 5 inches tall. Assume a 1/2 inch seam allowance.

Costume 2
 

Then, I pinned the pieces side by side together and sewed them to form this cone like shape.

Costume 3

To make the brim of the hat, I cut a strip of felt 15 inches long and 3 inches high. The dark blue piece was cut for the stripe around the hat. It measures 15 inches long and only 1/2 inch high.

Costume 4

With the cone still inside out, I attached the brim to the hat with pins.

Costume 5

Using a sewing machine, they were sewed together.

Costume 6

Costume 7

To hem the hat, I turned the whole thing right side out. I folded the edge up, pinned and sewed.

Costume 8

After that, I folded the brim up.  That’s when it starting looking like a hat.

Costume 9

Finally, using my trusty hot glue gun, I attached the stripe and the Octonauts logo. (The Logo, I found here and printed it out on printable fabric.)

Costume 10

This hat could work for so many different costumes, without the Octonauts logo of course. With different fabric it could make a cute hat to accessorize a sailor’s costume.

A little blue sweat suite is what I snagged at Target for Captain Barnacles.  His belt and collar I cut out of blue felt. His Octonauts hat was a much more complicated variation of the Kwazi hat. I’ll spare you the frustrating details of making that one. Using a white hat we already had, I attached two felt half circles with safety pins for the ears.

Costume 12 
 

The boots for both costumes are their winter boots I covered with, you guessed it, more felt. I took two pieces of felt pinned them together along the outside and hot glued them. Once dry, I flipped them right side out and slid them back onto footwear.

Costume 1
 

Although it was a lot of work to get these costumes together for my boys, I am very pleased with how they turned out and more importantly, so are they.