Crib Rail Repurpose: Children’s Book Wall Rack

Recently, we began preparation to move my daughter from her crib to a toddler bed.  When we chose a crib for our registry, we made sure it was a convertible style crib that would grow with her.  We were looking for what most consumers want, quality at a reasonable price.  We chose   the Graco convertible crib in espresso finish.

Graco Crib

It appeared sturdy on the showroom floor and was priced right.  Initially, I was happy with the crib.  Then 18 months later, I notice a few of the metal springs had broken off the frame they were welded on.  One by one the springs broke off.  The crib needed to be reinforced with bungee cords.  We knew this bed would not last like we had previously anticipated. We were forced to come up with an alternative and purchased a new mattress and a toddler bed.  The original mattress was torn by sharp edges left where the springs used to reside.  This was a big disappointment.  We were expecting to use this convertible through her toddler years, but it was not to be.  The crib finally gave way and it was obvious it was no longer safe.  Luckily, the new bed was purchased and was on standby and we were able to quickly make the switch.

I am happy to report that the toddler apprentice loves her new “big girl” bed and the toddler bed experiment has gone surprisingly well!  She lays down and falls right to sleep! We were surprised how quickly she has adjusted.

Toddler Bed

When I dismantled the crib, most of it was broken and not salvageable.  The rail was still in decent shape.  I had seen some ideas online upcycling old cribs ranging from Repurposed crib benches  to crib rail Garden Trellis’s.  I wanted to keep this project simple.  I was preoccupied by a much larger, more daunting, task cleaning my daughter’s messy playroom!  I filled one trash bag with broken items and another with items to donate to those in need. This emptied one toy box for additional storage which reduced clutter.

My daughter has a large book collection she acquired before she was even born.  At my baby shower, the guests brought a signed book instead of a card. I loved this idea, but I did not have an ideal way to store all the books we received.  They basically sat in a wooden box on the playroom floor.

I thought the crib rail would be a great alternative way to display her books, and keep them off the floor.  Since I was struggling to get her room organized, and did not have the time,  I decided to leave the crib rail in its original finish.  It also matched the playroom well.

crib rail

If you would like to change the original color, a can of white latex primer works well.  Once dry, paint as desired.    I also suggest using longer screws to anchor each side of the crib rail to the wall. When doing this, lean the crib against the wall on a slight angle so the books can hang over the rails.  I did not have the proper screws handy, so I had to improvise and use one smaller screw through the first rail.  This worked, but the trade-off  is that the first rail cannot be used for display.

Repurposed Crib Rail Book Rack

I love it!   Being the sentimental fool that I am, it also is nice to keep a piece of the crib for nostalgia!  I also repurposed her changing table into a kitchen shelf.  If you missed it,   You can view that project here.

 

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Repurposed Crib into a children's book rack

 

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Prayers For Savannah

Thank Heaven For The WordPress Community

Today, I put away the paint and the Mod Podge to speak from the heart. When I began this humble little blog over a year ago, I really had no idea how wonderful the Word Press community would be!  You all have taught me so much, and although we have never met in the “real” world, your experiences and willingness to share, has helped me through some tough times.    As people we are all faced with different challenges every day and it really is all about the attitude we choose in order to get through it.  I am so grateful to anyone who stops by to read or leave a comment and if you have, you already know that I will gladly return the good will with a blog follow, and try my best to stop by all of these wonderful blogs to keep in touch.  I find myself snuggling up in bed at night with my lap top, desperately trying to wind down from the average hectic day reading about your lives, stories, ideas and it is truly inspiring. One blog in particular has inspired me like no other and I thought I would share that blog with you today.  That blog is The Crayon Box Chronicles. cropped-colored-crayons-macro-wallpapers_35031_2560x16004 My toddler apprentice has been enrolled in a prekindergarten special education program.  She has been getting speech and occupational therapy.  We try to exist day-to-day, hoping with the continued success and progress our daughter is making, that one day we will be able to put this behind us.  Of course the future is still unknown, and that is the hardest part.    Her therapists  have encouraged us to engage her in sensory play activities.  I created a DIY version of a Sensory Play Table.    I began searching  Pinterest and other Word Press blogs for ideas and that is how I discovered the Crayon Box Chronicles.   Heather shares some amazing play activities that she enjoys with her son and I have enjoyed reading and following.   She was overjoyed to find out she was pregnant with a girl, but during a routine 19 week ultrasound, it was discovered little Savannah Hope had  CDH, congenital diaphragmatic hernia.   It is a birth defect in which the diaphragm does not close as it should allowing the organs to crowd the chest cavity.  This does not allow the lungs to fully develop.  A heartbreaking diagnosis during what is usually a time of joy. I have never met Heather or her family, but was amazed to see the amount of love and grace in which this family is handling the many daily obstacles, and those which lie ahead.  There is nothing more inspiring than love for a child and HOPE which just happens to be this little blessing’s middle name.  It puts life in prospective, and it certainly reminds us all to live life to the fullest every day, and not take one day on this earth for granted. For those who wish to donate, they have an active fundraiser campaign going on now.  For anyone that has gone through the devastating effects of a chronic illness, understand not only the emotional toll, but the financial one as well.  That being said, if you are able to donate you can do so here.  Any amount is appreciated by the family, but if it is impossible to give, There is something this little girl needs now more than anything and that is your positive thoughts and prayers. 10463061_10152144293807006_5027494006055771139_n Little Savannah and her family are in the battle of their lives and are requesting as many prayer warriors as they can to fight this battle along with them. They have set up a  facebook page that documents Savannah Hope’s CDH  journey, and brings further awareness to this horrible birth defect which according to the CDH awareness website  CHERUBS  effects 1 in every 2,500 births (1,600 cases in the U.S. alone each year). Stop by for a visit, like and share.  This amazing family is looking forward to your kind words, and prayers for their little girl.  It will give them strength during the toughest of times.  Show them why the Word Press blogging community is the best there is! Peace and love to you all Danielle (On The Upcycle Mom) Precious Baby Girl e3bf3223-3da4-4527-b078-2d1e288ace9a Prayers For Savannah Hope

Thrift Store Surprise: Vintage Wood Sewing Box Upcycle

When I see something at a thrift shop that is unique and catches my attention, I will often purchase it even when I am unsure of what it is.  As was with the case of this little wooden box with legs. I imagined what it could have been used for. Perhaps it was intended to hold hats, gloves and scarves, or it simply sat by the door and was used to sort daily mail.  To me it didn’t matter, it was intriguing and best of all, priced right at $3.99!

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Sure, I had my smart phone handy, I could have googled the item and had my answer right away, but for some strange reason,  I didn’t.  I simply brought it home and stored it in my craft room.  It patiently waited its turn to learn its crafting fate until this weekend, I blew the dust off and decided to come up with a plan of attack.  I like to utilize materials I have handy as much as can. I tend to accumulate unused fabric scraps from previous projects and I prefer to use this fabric to the last thread.  One of my favorite designs was the black and white damask fabric I purchased at Joann Fabric.  I used this fabric on previous projects including The Broken Chair Challenge, and You had me at “Half Table” Yard Sale Rescue. I still had a rather large scrap piece left and decided to use it to upcycle this item.  I began by cleaning the item thoroughly.  Once the dust and dirt had been removed, I used a latex spray on primer and spray painted it white.

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I cut the fabric to fit both sides of the piece. I generously applied Mod Podge to the area with a foam craft brush.

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I then applied the fabric and repeated this step for both sides of the box.

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Once this dried, I applied three total coats of Mod Podge over top allowing each side to dry thoroughly between coats.

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I then painted the entire piece in a black and white scheme using acrylic paint.  The piece took about three coats of paint. I allowed the piece to dry over night and applied a final layer of Mod Podge to the entire piece to seal it.

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I am very happy with the final result;  However, I also want to share with you my mistake during this process.  Halfway through the project, I finally did what I should have done in the very beginning, research the piece online before you upcycle!  What you discover may alter your plans.  Granted in this case, I do not believe I would have done anything differently, but it really got me thinking about these pieces and how research plays an important, but often unspoken role in crafting.  A few pieces along the way, I decided to keep in their natural state, and some purists may have done the same in the case of this vintage box.  Turns out this little box with legs is a Priscilla style sewing box most likely from the depression era 1930’s to 1940’s. I saw a few online in various states, some painted and upcycled and others in their original condition range in price between $35 and $80 dollars on Etsy. My antique radar must have been working that day!  Despite having no clue about what this items’ purpose was I sensed it was something special.

What would you have done with this piece?  Have you ever had something special, but didn’t know it? Do you have crafting regrets? I would love to hear from you!

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Materials:

Vintage Sewing Box Stand

Fabric Of Choice

Mod Podge

Acrylic Paint/White Latex Primer

Scissors, Paint Brushes, Foam Craft Brush

 

 

 

Pack my Bags! Fun and Easy Decoupage Vintage Suitcases

When shopping in thrift stores, I am always on the lookout for certain items on my personal wish list.   Many times I leave empty-handed as these items tend to be harder to find and that is why they remain on my list.  It is the search for these and other welcomed surprises that make thrifting so much fun.  Every now and again I get lucky, and it was truly my lucky day when I stumbled upon three lovely hard case, blue vintage suitcases reasonably priced at Goodwill.  I was also delighted to find the interiors of this cases in excellent condition.  For the larger case, I chose a blue and white fabric from Joann Fabrics, and decoupaged it onto the suitcase surface for my first ever restyled suitcase.  I wanted to make each suitcase unique, so I patiently waited for ideas to come along for cases two and three.

I was walking around Goodwill by my work the other day and stumbled upon a lovely pillow sham.  It was priced right at $1.99.  Usually when it comes to linens and fabrics at Goodwill, it is hit or miss.  This was a lovely pattern of white , red, and a touch of blue.  Whenever I see blue I think of those suitcases and thought this would be a perfect fit for one of them.  The question was if I would have enough fabric to complete the project. Unfortunately they only had one pillow sham in this pattern for sale.

Vintage suitcase pillow sham decoupage makeover

It turns out when I got it home,  I had just the right amount of fabric to restyle the second largest case, and I was thrilled!

First, I cut the decorative fabric away from the plain blue fabric on the pillow cases underside.

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I placed the suitcase on the top of the fabric to get an idea of how much fabric I would need for both sides.  It was easiest to cut it in half.  I allow the fabric to hang over slightly, as I planned on trimming away the excess fabric later.  I applied Mod Podge generously with a foam craft brush to the suitcase surface.

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I then carefully laid the fabric over it,  repeating the same process twice for both sides of the suitcase.

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Once dry, I applied Mod Podge generously over it to seal the fabric.  I also generously applied Mod Podge to the edges where I planned on trimming the excess fabric.

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Once dry, the fabric stiffens and I carefully used a box cutter knife to trim the extra fabric using the suitcase crevice/seam as a guide.  Keep in mind to use just enough pressure as too much can damage the suitcase.

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I applied two more layers of Mod Podge to each side of the suitcase. Working the glue once again in around the suit case edges.

Decoupage suitcase using a pillow sham

I loved how this little suitcase turned out!  Stay tuned for suitcase number three coming soon!

decoupage vintage suitcases with fabric and Mod Podge


 Material Used:

Hard Top Suitcase

Fabric of choice (For this project I used an old pillow sham)

Scissors

Foam Craft Brush

Box Cutting Knife

Mod Podge

Clear Varnish (Optional add for extra protection)

Forgotten Angels: A Horse Rescue With A lot Of Heart

This past weekend, I took my daughter to a wonderful, non-profit, local horse rescue called Forgotten Angels Equine Rescue.     The rescue saves healthy horses that are sent to slaughter and sick and abused horses in need of intervention and care.  Their mission is to promote public awareness of needless horse slaughter and animal abuse.   They involve the local community through events, and activities teaching patience and kindness to all creatures.  You can also follow the cause on Facebook.

We could not have asked for a more perfect weather.  The sun was shining and it was a perfect day to spend on the farm.  The toddler apprentice was particularly enchanted by Snowflake a 7 year-old mini mare up for adoption.  She enjoyed feeding all the horses and donkeys carrots, and handfuls of plucked grass.  She even had a chance to sit on Snowflake’s back.  For those of you unfamiliar with my past, for many years I worked as a Vet Tech and have a deep love for helping sick, unwanted and abused animals.  It is especially sad how we treat our horses who evolved with us through time and have contributed so much to our evolution and humanity.   I want to pass this love, and respect on to my daughter, and it made me smile to see her face light up just being around these gentle creatures.

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My daughter feeding Snowflake, a miniature horse currently up for adoption.

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We had great conversation with one of the volunteers on the farm about all its residents and learned about the rescue which has been operating for the last two years.  I also had an opportunity to engage another hobby of mine photography.   I photographed the animals and they did not disappoint and seemed to love all the attention, and “Ham It Up” for the camera.

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PHOTOS: Residents of The Forgotten Angels Equine Rescue

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“Dreamer”

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“Noel”

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“Glory” The rescue is raising money so this blind horse can have eye surgery.  You can donate here.

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“Wendy”

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“Stanley”

Currently, The Rescue Sponsors a program where you can adopt a horse for the month for a donation.  Please see the following link for more information. http://forgottenangelsequinerescue.com/photo.html    They also accept donations large or small, and you can also purchase Rescue “Swag” at their online store to help raise money for the cause.

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Our daughter was especially good on Saturday, and her daddy gave her a small reward which she “happily” donated to her horse friends.  I was told that thanks to our daughter’s efforts, the horses would have more carrots to snack on.

In Memory Of

Pickles

 

“Pickles” Photo courtesy of Forgotten Angels Equine Rescue

This post is dedicated to Pickles.  We met Pickles during our visit briefly, but she was not feeling well.  Pickles was an elderly horse who sadly developed colic that due to her age, she could not recover from.   She passed away later that evening.   It was a huge loss to all those who loved her as Pickles was a kids and rescue favorite.  We are blessed to have had a chance to meet Pickles on her final day.  God Bless this beautiful horse forever free crossing the Rainbow Bridge.