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.

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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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Repurpose and Remember: Ideas for The Backyard

This weekend officially kicked off the start of summer in our household.  On Saturday, we celebrated our daughter’s 3rd birthday with a small family BBQ.  I am usually big on party planning, but this time I was forced to pull it all together last-minute.  This week has been hectic to say the least, as our daughter also started Preschool.  I am happy to report that things went well and the only tears shed were our own!  She handled going to school and riding the bus with ease and excitement, and asked us several times throughout the weekend if she was going to school!  Mission accomplished!

On Sunday, the hubby and I decided to do something we rarely get a chance to do:  Enjoy our backyard.  I like to think of our outdoor area as an extension of our indoor living space, but we very rarely get to relax and enjoy it together.  This weekend, with the holiday in full swing we decided to enjoy some time outside.   Sunday night in our area was absolutely beautiful.  No mosquitos and a cool evening breeze tickled the trees.  It was the perfect evening to sit and enjoy what Mother Nature had to offer. We put the little one to bed,  hooked up the monitor outside to listen for her, and  we lit a fire in our outdoor fireplace, sat back and enjoyed a relaxing much-needed evening together.

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I thought I would share some simple ideas to creating the scene for a relaxing evening at home.  Kudos to my husband, who came up with a simple but very useful idea.  A popular item at kid’s parties are glow sticks and bracelets. The sticks that continued to glow, he used to line our back porch stairs.  Not only did it look cool, but helped us navigate the stairs safely in the dark.

Glowsticks

Over the years we have received quite a few decorative candle holders as gifts.  As much as I would like to display each and every one in our home, there just isn’t enough wall space.  This particular gifted item was originally a decorative fireplace screen that was also a candle holder.  Although it was a lovely idea, we could no longer safely use it with our three-year old.  I decided to repurpose it as an outdoor wall hanging.  I attached it to our patio area wall with screws and used flameless tea lights to illuminate it.  It adds a festive and romantic feel to our seating area, and was a great way to repurpose an old decoration previously destined to attic exile.

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I have always been a fan of the neighborhood Dollar Store.  Dollar Tree in particular has some great affordable decorations.  Patriotic decorations are no exception.  Since our daughter’s party is held close to the Memorial day holiday, I always incorporate patriotic decorations with her birthday décor.  I picked up these great round paper patriotic decorations.  Dollar tree sells a version of these that light up online, but the ones that I purchased did not.  To remedy this I added flameless battery operated tea light to illuminate them.  This added such a lovely look.  Battery operated tea lights are a great way to add decorative lighting without the dangers.  Having a three-year old roaming around, open flame candles and tiki torches become a hazard.  Despite this I still love the look and feel of luminaries and this is a great way to enjoy them without the danger.

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When my husband and I sat back and soaked it all in, we spoke of, and were thankful for all the men and woman who sacrifice so much to protect our freedoms.  If it wasn’t for these sacrifices, we would not be able to have moments like these.  Thank you to all those who have sacrificed so much so we can live in freedom and have a quality of life that we often take for granted.

Remember

Fun with Chalkboard Paint: Kitchen Cabinet Memo Board

One day I was standing in my kitchen staring at my boring cabinets when the idea came to me! My daughter loves playing with chalk and drawing.  The hubby and I often have the need to communicate through various “notes” left around the house.  We could really use a better way to communicate.  What better way then to create a family chalkboard?  I had often thought about modifying our kitchen cabinets in some way and this was a fun first step.   I was eager to try one of the most talked about craft items on the web, chalkboard paint.   My idea was to use the paint to create a chalkboard on the side of the kitchen sink cabinet, but the ideas for its use don’t end there.  Be sure and check out Brit and Co  40 Creative uses for Chalkboard paint and you will be amazed at all the fun possibilities.

I went to Joann Fabric and picked up some black chalkboard paint.  It was regular priced at around 6 dollars, but I used a 50% off one regular priced item coupon which knocked the price down to below 3 dollars!

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When I got home I cleaned and prepped the area of cabinet I planned to paint.  The bottle recommends 2 coats, but I used 4 total as I was attempting to paint over laminate.

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The project was relatively easy.  I used a brush to apply the paint allowing it  to dry thoroughly between coats.  The top side of the sink was damaged so I used a strip of fabric across the top to cover the area and add a little “pop” to the chalkboard.  I applied the fabric strip using Mod Podge and covered it in Polyurethane since it could be exposed to water being in such close proximity with the faucet.

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I waited about 24 hours for the final coat to dry before using the chalk. It worked beautifully!

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Now we can leave each other messages, post  holiday greetings, and our daughter can use her imagination and draw!

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And yes if you are wondering those are Peeps on a stick my daughter is holding.  Happy Easter Everyone!

 

 

 

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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