Wednesday, January 25, 2012
My Grandsons LOVE trains! They also love cars, airplanes and anything else with wheels. I decided to make them a train table this year for Christmas.
I began looking for a table at a second hand shop. I found one that was the perfect height with built-in shelves and drawers. It was $30 at Salvation Army and I knew it was perfect the moment I saw it! I love how all the toys have their own drawer or shelf for storage.
I added a place for cars, airplanes and boats as well. I filled in a few dents with putty on the top and then sanded those smooth after they dried.
I laid the train track on top of the table and then sketched out car tracks, an airport take-off strip and a little area of water for the boats. After painting each section and letting them dry, I put 4 coats of poly-seal on top. I knew that the boys would beat this thing up so I wanted to make certain the paint wouldn't chip off.
After the Poly was completely dry, I used heavy duty glue to hold the tracks in place. The latest report from my daughter is that even the heavy duty glue didn't keep one of the tracks from being pulled off so I'll be screwing these tracks into the wood soon!
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
I remember when I was in the 4th grade, my teacher made us sit VERY still in front of a projector while she traced our profile onto a piece of white paper hanging on the wall. I'm sure my parents loved the thoughtful gift of my little silhouette, but sitting still for that long isn't easy when you're young.
I wanted to give my daughter some silhouettes of her little angels for Christmas, but at age 4 and 20 months, sitting still wasn't going to be an option. I needed to do it another way.
First I took pictures of their sweet faces from the side. That was only possible because they were looking at some fun pictures on my computer screen. I printed them out in black and white and traced their profile with a pencil to define the lines better. Then I carefully cut around each little curve.
I took a white pencil and traced the profiles onto black card stock.
I found these matching frames at Salvation Army. I was so happy when I found two oval ones because that's what I had in mind. That almost never happens!
I used double sided tape to stick the silhouette's onto white card stock that I had cut out to fit the frame.
This would be an easy project for you to make as a gift or to enjoy on your own wall. I'm keeping my eyes open for a long, narrow frame to put silhouettes of all my grand-babies in. That special treasure will go up on my wall!. Here's a rough estimate of what I spent on this project.
2 second -hand frames ($3.00 each) - $6.00
2 pieces of white card stock - (approx. 59 cents ea.) - $1.18
2 pieces of black card stock - (approx. 59 cents ea.) - $1.18
Double sided tape - had on had
So for under $10, I was able to create two Silhouette pictures that capture my grand-daughters' images at this special time in their lives. I'd say that's a small price to pay!
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
This year for Christmas, I knew I wanted to make some sort of playhouse for our grand-daughters. I searched online for ideas and came across this picture that inspired me to make a little cafe:
I liked the corner windows in this playhouse. I thought it would work well for a restaurant, or if they ever wanted to turn it into a little house, that would work as well.
I started sketching ideas for a basic plan. This paper is what I gave to my handy husband along with the above photo that I found online.
It took him a couple of weeks (working a couple nights a week on it) to finish the construction. Then came the fun part for me. Paint and accessories!
I started by giving it all a coat of primer. I painted the inside white and the outside a fun, bright pink. The roof is black felt, draped over a rod. It's stuck onto the sides with velcro. The letters and shutters are painted on, as well as the chalkboards. I used Frog tape to create a crisp, clean line. After drawing level lines on the wall, I filled it in with chalkboard paint to create the "specials" sign on the outside...
and the "menu" board inside.
Of course no restaurant is complete without a menu. I typed up a menu and put it on top of scrapbook paper. Then I covered it in clear contact paper. If I did it again, I would have laminated them. The contact paper was so sticky and hard to place onto the paper onto without wrinkling. I ruined one of the menus trying to get it to work.
Here are the sweet little chefs! Many delicious meals have already been served here. I highly recommend it!
Thursday, January 5, 2012
I'm going to share a simple solution to create a "canopy" over your bed.
I've wanted to do something to jazz up the area above my bed for some time. I've looked on Pintrest for some fun ideas to create a canopy. I also looked for something that would cost me next to nothing. There are a lot of beautiful ideas out there but nothing that worked well with my plan to use mainly what I already had laying around.
I bought this cute candle chandelier on Amazon during Christmas. It's pretty small but it fulfilled my desire to have a chandelier - and it only cost me $16. I loved the cream color it came in, but decided to paint mine black to pop against the light color on the wall.
Here is my solution to create a canopy and do it on the cheap:
I bought this shelf bracket at Ikea for $4.00. After it was mounted on the wall, I draped some muslin I had through the opening.
I needed something to hold the fabric back on the sides so I went "shopping" in my junk drawer. I had two of these. I'm not even certain what they are or what they were used for, but I knew they'd work. You could also use napkin rings or even ribbon if you wanted.
I pulled the fabric through and hooked them onto cup hooks in the wall.
I found this cute ribbon at Fabric Depot to add a bit of softness.
Here's the breakdown of the total cost for this project:
* Chandelier - $16
* Muslin - had it!
* Ikea bracket - $4
* Ribbon - $3
* Black spray paint - had it!
For $23, I added this cute detail above my bed and fulfilled my desire for both a canopy and a chandelier. When I move, I can always change the fabric or paint the chandelier another color depending on the colors of my new space.
This idea would also work well above a crib or in a little girl's bedroom. Can you just picture that little chandelier painted pink? Oh wow, my granddaughters may need some of these soon!