Times They Are A Changing: Repurposed Kids Changing Table

Our diaper changing table was a very useful piece of furniture while it served it’s purpose.  Once my daughter outgrew it however, I wondered how I would reuse it. For a while it took up space in the craft room as I contemplated what to do with it.  It just so happened that I was looking for additional storage in our kitchen and I thought that the changing table could easily double as an extra set of shelves.

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The family and I took a trip to Joann Fabric and I purchased a colorful floral fabric for the project.  Since I had quite a bit of area to cover I purchased 1  1/2 yards of material.  I decided to leave the areas free of material in its original dark wood color, or if desired it can be painted the color of choice.  Just be sure and use a primer first especially if it is dark wood.

I cleaned the piece thoroughly before getting started.  Once dry I used a small foam roller to apply Mod Podge generously to the table surfaces.

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I cut the material with scissors allowing some extra fabric to hang over the sides.  I then carefully laid it on top of the Mod Podge smoothing out any air bubbles or wrinkles.  I generously applied Mod Podge over top of the fabric.  I repeated this for each individual shelf, and used two coats of Mod Podge for each shelf.

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Once the Mod Podge was dry and clear, I used a box cutter knife to carefully trim away any excess fabric from around the edges.  I utilized the table groove as a guide while slicing the fabric.  I then used two coats of clear polyurethane to seal and protect the table from moisture.

Repurposed Changing table

Now I have a bright and cheery shelf for the kitchen and desperately needed additional storage.  The colorful fabric really pops against our bright yellow walls, and am happy to be able to continue to use what was once a very important and sentimental piece of furniture.

 

Decoupage Diaper Changing Table

 

Materials:

Old Wooden Changing Table

Mod Podge

Foam Roller

Box Cutter Knife

Scissors

1 1/2 yard of Fabric of Choice

(Primer and Paint Optional)

Polyurethane clear sealer

Completely Stumped: Upcycled Tree Stump Ideas

Recently, my backyard neighbor approached me about cutting one of our trees down.  I have wonderful neighbors, and since it was her idea to remove the tree she also offered to pay for it.  She has a huge vegetable garden in the summer and the tree was a bit of a nuisance to her garden.  The tree was leaning and didn’t seem particularly healthy. Not to mention,  little saplings would appear everywhere in our yards and grew like weeds. Due to such factors, it seemed like a good idea to have it removed.  Unfortunately, we are now left with a bit of an ugly tree stump, and the guilt of removing a tree from nature, but the truth is our yards are too small and too close for such forestry.  I began doing research on ideas when it comes to upcycling tree stumps. I am still unsure as to what I am going to do with ours, but found some inventive ideas online I wanted to share.  After a long winter, it seems appropriate to welcome spring in such a way!

1. Interior Holic 

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Who wouldn’t love a tree table!  Just one of many ideas on this site!  Tree stump natural flower planters, Tree stump side tables covered in polyurethane you name it this site has it!

2.  A Cultivated Nest

A DIY site dedicated to crafts is home to the unique idea of a tree stump chair!  I love this idea!  It not only recycles an old broken chair, but saves the old tree stump creating a unique piece of furniture in the process!

3. And… there is always HGTV ! Lets not forget our other backyard neighbors, birds!  This link will show you all the ways to greet and care for birds in a natural garden setting. This lovely idea uses a tree stump with a basin resting on top for a natural looking bird bath.

Bird Bath Tree Stump

Do you have any creative ways of  recycling tree stumps?  Are you as excited as I am to get outside and do a little spring cleanup?

More Brass in Pocket: Reuse Old Blue Jeans

I am hoping I am not the only one this has happened to.  You are at work walking around minding your own business, when someone whispers to you. “uhh you have a hole in your pants.” As embarrassing as it seems at first you are still thankful for this person telling you.  Unable to see it, you probably walked around all day like that, or even worse for weeks like that!

I wear my clothes until they are literally falling off my back.  Especially if I find clothes I like that I feel comfortable in (which for me is rare) I wish I was more of a fashionista.  I love fashion when it comes to others, but struggle when it comes to my wardrobe.

Since starting my upcycling mission I tend to think on the “green” side of things.  Before these jeans let me down in a big way, I loved them and the comfort they provided me.  Why not pay homage to them by allowing part of these pants to live on?  Why not turn my initial shame into a useful repurpose?

This is problematic when your weakest crafting skill is sewing.  So I decided to think simple.  I  repurposed the pockets. Separating them from the jeans was simple.  I used a pair of scissors to cut the thread connecting them to the jeans. These pockets when removed make stylish change purses and are great for storage of small electronics like USB storage devices.  The possibilities are endless!

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got storage anyone?

No worries my environmentally friendly crafters! Despite my shortcomings as a tailor I saved the left over denim.  Learning to properly sew is on my bucket list, so I am hoping this denim will come in handy in the future!

Hello Kitty Themed Kids Surfboard Bench

It has been an especially harsh Northeast winter and many of my usual thrifting haunts have been light on stock especially when it comes to furniture pieces.  Despite this, I certainly don’t mind the thrill of the hunt. You never know when you will find something unique.  On such a trip, I came across an interesting kids bench (At least that’s what I think it was!) at a local Goodwill store.    It appeared to be a surfboard and the painted design was hideous!  Despite all of the negatives with this piece, I felt this would be a fun redesign, and I loved the detachable legs.  This feature made the legs easier to paint.  Nothing conjures up images of summer like a surfboard, and that is just the kind of project I needed!

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I cleaned the entire piece with a Magic Eraser. It had an unidentifiable sticky substance all over it and the Eraser worked well to remove it.  I used a white spray primer to cover the brightly colored design.  I was planning on using a fabric decoupage, but felt the bright colors may bleed through the fabric.  Using a primer first prevents this, and gives me a clean slate to work with.  Once the primer dried, I used a foam craft brush to apply Mod Podge to the bench surface.

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My daughter and I stopped by the craft store and I let her look through the aisle filled with different character fabrics.  She seemed to like this Hello Kitty print and I happily obliged, being a Ms. Hello Kitty fan myself. When I was young the local mall had a store called Sanrio and they sold Hello Kitty and all her “friends” merchandise. It was one of my favorite stores to visit in the mall.  I bought a half yard, and roughly traced the fabric to cover the table surface. Once the Mod Podge dries, any excess fabric left over around the edges and handles I trim with a box cutting knife.  The glue stiffens the fabric and makes it easier to cut.  I placed the fabric down on the Mod Podge soaked surface carefully smoothing out any wrinkles with my hands.

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I placed it aside to dry, eventually I would add a total of three full coats of Mod Podge on the fabric table surface.  I painted the legs with two coats of pink and white acrylic paint.  Once the legs were dry I covered them in a Mod Podge layer.   I then reassembled the table legs by screwing them easily back in to place.

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My daughter loves sitting on it.  It looks great in her room and it is a nice piece of kids furniture to use while helping her get dressed for her day.

 

Hello Kitty Girls Surfboard Bench

Before and After

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Why Not DIY? Toddler Sensory Play Table

When I first heard about sensory play, I loved the idea!  It allows a child to explore their world at home (and get a little or a lot messy in the process) It has many benefits and plays an important role in child development.  It allows all children to explore their world with all of their senses, sight, smell, hearing, touch, and taste.  It boosts language skills, stimulates developement and helps children who have autism or are on the spectrum and children with sensory integration dysfunction disorder.

Many of you have already seen the sand and water tables sold at the big box stores in the summertime.  This is a similar concept.  These outdoor sensory play tables are easy to recreate indoors from items found in your home. I had seen a few home-made versions of play tables on the web and thought my 33 month old daughter would love playing with one.  I had tried a simple plastic bin on the floor, but it became too messy.  I had to come up with a better solution.

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I had an old end table in our attic that we hadn’t used in years.  I thought this would make a great foundation for this project. I found three great red, yellow and green plastic bins at a thrift store, that would hold various sensory play materials. You can use rice, sand, elbow macaroni and so much more in these plastic tubs.  Just remember to be mindful of your child’s age and whether certain materials may pose a choking risk.

First, I painted the entire table.  I used red acrylic paint and covered the table tops and legs.  I allowed it to dry between coats. Full coverage was a total of three coats of paint.

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Once the table was completely dry, I used Mod Podge for the initial seal and a layer of polyurethane to protect the table if it were to get wet during messier types of play.  I cleaned the plastic bins with soapy water and used a total of 12 Phillips head screws (4 per bin) and an electric screwdriver to anchor the bins to the table.  It was important for the contents of the bins to stay in the bins (mostly) and this would also not allow them to tip over.

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I had an alphabet puzzle and animal magnets lying around the house.  I thought these would add a fun element the to project while encouraging letter recognition.  I decided to spell out my daughter’s name on the front of the table and for the sides place the alphabet puzzle pieces on either side of the table: ABC,XYZ. The animal magnets I placed on the front of the bins.  I used a hot temp glue gun to permanently adhere them to the table and the bins.

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I went to Dollar Tree and purchased the materials for the bins.  These were the items I thought a child her age would have fun playing while minimizing mess:

plastic Easter eggs

fake coins

rice

elbow macaroni

left over alphabet puzzle pieces

pom-pom balls

great to also include shovels and cups.

I also picked up a foam number puzzle.  I had space on the back of the table, so I hot glued the puzzle sans the pieces to the table for additional educational play.

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I dumped the items in the pins and hid the coins, letters and poms in the macaroni and the rice. This also helps a child’s fine motor skills.  The plastic eggs went in a separate bin.  The play table was now ready for a curious 2 1/2 year-old girl to explore her senses. She loved it and it kept her attention for a long time!  She loved digging and pulling out the coins and letters and running the rice through her fingers.

You can create themed bins, and change materials as much as you like. Check out a few more ideas for DIY sensory tables.

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“Be Mine Daddy”…. Valentine’s Day Kid’s Craft Ideas

On this Valentine’s day morning, many areas of the country are beginning the task of “digging out” after yet another treacherous winter storm hit the east coast overnight.  Just days before the same winter Nor’Easter  wreaked havoc in other parts of the country such as Georgia and the Carolinas. On top of it,  the little one and I have been battling a series of winter colds and are being forced to spend much of our time in the house due to the lousy weather.  Despite this, we have managed to make the best of these situations and have spent a lot of quality time together as a family.

I wanted to make my husband something special for Valentine’s day this year, and as with most of my creations,  I like to get my 2 1/2 year-old daughter (Also known as the toddler apprentice) involved in the process. I also knew that my husband being the wonderful dad he is, would appreciate the fact that his daughter helped mommy make his gift with “her own little hands.”  I have seen many great Valentine’s day kid’s crafts online via Pinterest and other sites, and I had many ideas swirling around in my head. I saw a great project courtesy of the Roylco kids craft blog (which I follow, and love) and although I decided to create my own version,  The Roylco project was quite inspiring.  Be sure to check it out!

For this project you will need:

Black, Pink, Red and White Construction Paper

Scissors

Kids White School Glue

Black Marker

White Non Toxic Kids Craft Paint

Frame (Optional)

First, I dipped my daughter’s hand in the white paint after pouring it on a paper plate. I pressed her hand on the black construction paper.  This was challenging and it took a few tries after the first two attempts became slightly smudged.  There is no greater excitement to a little one then “messy fun” so she didn’t seem to mind the multiple attempts at getting it right! Once I achieved the desired effect I allowed the construction paper to dry. After about an hour, the paper was dry and ready.  I drew different sized hearts on the red, white and pink paper and carefully cut them out.  The little one enjoyed squeezing the glue on the hearts and sticking them to the paper!

Valenine's Day Kid's  Craft fun!

Such a Good Helper……

Next, I wrote little sayings in the hearts.  I thought this would be cute, but if you prefer it, you can skip this step.  I wanted to make it more personalized for him.  I then found a great glass frame in our attic to frame it in. Now we have a great piece of Valentine’s Day wall art for years to come, permanently immortalizing our daughters little two year-old hands forever. (Can’t you tell I am an overly sentimental person?)

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The apprentice and I also made a Valentine’s Day glass jar lamp.  I had some great left over heart themed scrapbook paper I won courtesy of Ray’s So Crafty’s Labor Day Giveaway.  I have made several jar lamps, and like to interchange them on the light bases, depending on the mood, or for holidays.  I simply cut the paper, applied Mod Podge to the glass and adhered it around the jar carefully matching up the seam.  An easy, simple decoration guaranteed to warm hearts during this frigid Valentine’s Day.

Valentine's Day Jar Lamp made with Scrapbook paper and Mod Podge

“On The Upcycle” would like to wish everyone a safe and happy Valentine’s Day.  Hoping you are able to spend it with those you love today!

ScrapHacker – The Hub for “Scrap Cycling” Innovation & D.I.Y “Scrap Hack” Inspiration

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If you are like me and love to search the vast web for great ideas check out Scrap Hacker.com an online hub of green crafting and upcycle ideas. The blog hasn’t been updated in a while, but there is plenty of content to scroll through.  The site features everything from Ikea Hacks, tips on repurposing items, and a vast number of photographs featuring the green crafting arts.  Sometimes I come across a site in my internet travels too good not to share, so check it out when your curiosity gets the better of you!

ScrapHacker – The Hub for “Scrap Cycling” Innovation & D.I.Y “Scrap Hack” Inspiration.

Upcycled Tiles: Instant Wall Art, And Much More!

Most of us have a box of  ceramic tiles collecting dust in the basement.  In our case, my helpful neighbor passed them on to us thinking we could use them, after I told him that I was attempting a DIY kitchen backsplash.   I utilized most of the box but still did not manage to use them all.  These were plain, white ceramic tiles, a clean slate just waiting to be reused, and make an artistic statement!

Tiles are a great medium for decoupage, and make great wall art!  It is also a great decoupage beginner project and virtually any image can be decoupaged on tile. Often times when I am working on a project, I will do a smaller side project at the same time.  The tile below, is an example of such a project. I had some great smaller prints and decided to use one of them on this tile.  Simply apply Mod Podge to the tile using a foam craft brush, or smaller paint brush, apply the print and once dry, apply the Mod Podge over the print.  Then simply use a small amount hot glue to adhere the tile to your wall.  You can make photo collages, decorative maps, and create different artistic schemes, while sprucing up boring walls.

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The above is simply one example of repurposed tile. It is displayed on the wall in my craft room.  Due to the magic of sites such as Pinterest, the ideas are flowing.  Below are a few examples of such ideas.

Two Girls Being Crafty Blog

These lovely drink coasters were made by Two Crafty Girls using Mod Podge and scrapbook paper.

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Take a favorite photo and divide it among several tiles to create wall art. Thanks to C.B.I.D Home Decor and Design for featuring yet another unique and crafty idea!

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I love the idea of decorating with sheet music, and using it for decoupage!  Check out all of indulgy’s ideas!

On that note, happy crafting and stay warm my friends!

Memories of Paris: Upcycled Drink Coaster Wall Hanging

Since my upcycle adventures started last April, the word has gotten out to family and friends.  I am on a upcycling mission!  The best part of all is that others are starting to see ordinary items normally discarded or not used in a different light.  The original purpose of an item can be changed and restyled.  Instead of discarding something that can no longer be used, it can be modified so that it may have a new useful new purpose in your life.

Such is with the case of this project I am about to share with you.  My sister brought me a set of coasters she purchased during a trip to France.

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They are lovely and feature famous scenes and landmarks, but she felt the beauty of these coasters was wasted, and she never used them for their original intended purpose. It seemed a total waste not to display these in some way.  She asked me if I would I be able to do “something” with them. I love a challenge so I accepted the task, although at the time I really had no idea what the project plan would be, but luckily she was OK with that!

I held on to the coasters for a while, and kicked around a few ideas in my head.  Then one night I was lying in bed unable to sleep when I remembered this little wooden wall plaque.

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It was an item I had picked up at Goodwill a few months back.  When I purchased it for a dollar, I had no idea how I would use it.  Then it hit me!  It would be great to create a vertical wall hanging featuring the tile-like coasters.  She has a pink and brown french themed bedroom that I thought this would look perfect in.  I created my first chair upcycle for her.  A ladder back chair in pink and brown colors, known as  The Pillow Case Makeover.

I cleaned and primed the piece with a while latex primer.  Once dry, I painted the face of the plaque chocolate-brown.  The edges I painted pink.

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I applied Mod Podge matte finish to the painted areas. Once the Mod Podge was dry and clear, I used a high temperature hot glue gun to attach the coasters to the wood lining them up and allowing the same amount of space between them. I applied the hot glue generously and adhered them carefully one by one.

My sister seemed happy with the end result.  I have never been to France, but have a feeling I would love it there.  Everywhere you look is inspired by art, and hopefully looking at these images will bring back all the great memories of her trip!

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The Toilet Paper Roll Experiment: Part Two

Just think of all the toilet paper rolls that are discarded each day!  They serve their purpose and are tossed in the trash can without a thought. When I walked into the bathroom at work, I noticed a few sitting there waiting to be discarded.  Since my upcycling mission started, I tend to look at things a bit different.  I especially love to take something that most certainly would end up in the garbage and give it a second life. I snatched a roll and went home to craft The Spare a Square Project.

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The initial project was a success, and I realized these card board rolls can be used in organizing my craft room items.  There are many upcycle ideas on the web when it comes to cardboard rolls. One amazing example, can be found here.  Word got out around the office that I was starting to save these rolls from the trash for a project to be determined later.  Suddenly, they started appearing on my desk and before I knew it, I had quite a few of them thanks to my recycling and equally curious friends.  I think they were curious to see what exactly I planned to do with them!

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I was sitting in craft room pondering the idea and I decided to create craft supply wall storage. Initially, I was not sure what I would store inside them, that idea would come to me later.

First, I painted the inside of the tubes white with acrylic paint.

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Next, I looked through the fabric that I had available and decided on a “fun” colorful pattern to decoupage. I cut pieces of fabric that would be enough to cover the outside of the roll.  I applied Mod Podge to the it with a foam craft brush, and placed it on to the fabric.

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Once the Mod Podge was applied I “rolled” the toilet paper roll on the fabric, and it adhered nicely.

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I trimmed away any excess fabric with a pair of scissors.

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I repeated this process with all of them.  Once they were done, I used a high temp hot glue to glue them together. I arranged them in rows. Three at the bottom, then two then one. Like this:

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I touched up the white paint in spots particularly around the edges, and once dry, added a Mod Podge finish to the entire project.

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Now that the project was complete, I had to figure out what to store in it!  It didn’t take me long to come up with the idea of storing my smaller containers of paint, and it created easy access to any color I need.

And…I decided to hang it like this:

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Who needs a square, when you can have the whole roll?

Materials:

Six Large toilet paper rolls

Mod Podge

Fabric

Hi Temp Hot Glue Gun

White Acrylic Paint

Scissors/Foam Craft Brush, and a Paint Brush.