Here we are in the Ides of March and I’m done with my project!
This was the first time I set out to makeover a complete room all at once and the first time I tried to work within a budget. Overall, I’m very pleased with the outcome. Although it wasn’t exactly as perfect as I had it pictured in my head (is it ever?), it is a vast improvement on what it was and a good starting point for improvements to be made in the future. Budget-wise? I failed. I don’t have time to tally up the damage tonight, but I think it was somewhere between $150 and $200. I’m planning to add it up and post all the nitty-gritty details tomorrow. Today is just for appreciating the pleasant space that is my craft and play room. I hope you get a few ideas for any trouble spots that may be lurking in your home. Honestly, if I can do this, anyone can.
Here are the “afters”:
I spent almost the whole first week just focusing on this closet. Everything came out and then got sorted, labeled, and put back in. EVERYTHING has a label on it. I used the over-the-door shoe holders I already had along with some covered boxes, baskets and Ziploc food storage containers. The clothespin labels are just like the ones from our clothes closet.
These are photos from Hubby and my trip to Barcelona. They were sitting in a box so I decided to showcase them in this frame I had something else in before. I’ve been to that city several times and I’m always so inspired by the mosaics and architecture and lively atmosphere. I found out I was pregnant with Boo-Boo on the day we got back so this trip was especially special.
Remember the mirror that reflected a blank wall? Now it reflects the windows and craft table. That light switch caused a spacing problem so I decided to hang it as a diamond instead of a straight square. (Thanks for making that happen, Hubby!)
I really wanted an area for Boo-Boo to be able to reach his toys and be able to pick and choose what he wanted. The four baskets have toys arranged by type. Once a week I rotate things out to keep it interesting. The books are also rotated. The toys not in use are in the second closet (along with out-of-season clothes) and the books are in the wall shelving. Those shelves, if you’ve never seen them before, are just brackets with large books on top. I’ve seen it done where they actually drill a hole in the book to make it the shelf, but I wasn’t about to puncture any of my precious books! (Props to Hubby for making these happen, too.)
Finally, my craft table is meant to be a bright and open workspace. I have a few supplies displayed in the curios above and a note board (made from ½ yard of fabric and an old poster frame) to post reminders and clip inspiration pieces. The box on the table is to keep the supplies I’m using for an ongoing project. I usually take several days to finish up and instead of leaving everything spread out I can store it in there quickly. There are more book shelves over here and a small couch for relaxing. In case we play too hard!
As my deadline for the One Month $100 Project approaches, I’ve been spending a lot of time in my new room and I can finally see some real changes. Like all my projects, I’m sure the final outcome won’t be exactly what I had in my head, but at least it will be an improvement on what it was… ah don’t remind me!
One of the most noticeable changes happened to this ordinary collapsable banquet table.
BEFORE: Drab table
It was purchased at Target several years ago for around $20. It’s metal on the bottom and plastic on top. I considered painting it but I was worried about the paint chipping off and, well, paint is expensive.
I was inspired by this Apartment Therapy post about using contact paper on a desk. Contact paper is usually used to line shelves and it comes in an assortment of colors and patterns. I got this one for around $6 at Target– I DO shop at other stores… from time to time. Anyway, here it is:
AFTER: Craft table with ironing pad
There was plenty on the roll for the table top and to cover some boxes. I actually messed up a big strip by removing the backing too quickly and it got all stuck to itself. Contact paper is easy to unstick from plastic and paper but gets easily tangled up with itself. So beware of that. But generally it was very easy to use. There was a mild glue smell but it went away in a few hours.
I also decided to add a small ironing pad to the top of my table. I’m often to lazy/forgetful/hurried to pull out the ironing board when I’m sewing. I took an old comforter that was destined for the dumpster and cut out a table-sized corner. Then I sewed a piece of fabric on top. It was very simple: just like making a pillow except there was nothing to stuff. I affixed Velcro to the four corners and the table so it won’t slip. (You can also see the recovered chair in action!)
Now I have a bold table with function on the side.
Yesterday, I talked about how I decided to try displaying some of my supplies while keeping most of them hidden away. With a limited budget, I didn’t have much money to spend on boxes to store things. I did spend $6 on clear, plastic storage boxes with lids (more about that later) and I bought new baskets for the toy shelf. This box was, however, free. Inspired by this tutorial on how to make a fabric-covered box, I decided to cover a shipping box with Contact paper.
BEFORE: Shipping boxes (brought Boo-Boo a gift from Nana!)
Following her advice, I used a box cutter to remove the top flaps from one of the boxes we recently received from Nana. I laid each side down on the back side of the paper and traced a line where I would need to cut. I left about a half inch extra. I peeled off the backing and stuck the sheet on. The great thing about working with Contact paper if you’ve never used it before is that it can be re-stuck if you don’t get it quite right on the first try as I often do. I cut a diagonal slit at the corners and folded the sides around the edges. I ended up leaving the inside plain cardboard brown. It could easily be covered or lined with fabric like the original tutorial shows. I did this one and a couple others.
AFTER: Decorative box
When I started my craft/play room project, I was torn between hiding and displaying my supplies. I’ve seen some beautiful rooms that have perfectly stacked and color coordinated supplies–everything from fabric to beads to paper. It’s very appealing and it seems like it would be helpful to see everything all at once.
But when I started thinking about it, two things stopped me. Firstly, I’d have to purchase a large amount of some type of shelving. There isn’t room in my budget for this and there isn’t room on the floor for it all either. I want to keep as much open space in the room as possible because the kids should have a big area for play. Secondly, when faced with the reality of making ALL my supplies look beautiful, I realized I’d end up spending more time folding fabric and arranging tubes of glue than actually making anything.
Some supplies just aren’t meant to been seen and I knew it would irk me if I had to look at them.
I ended up housing most of the supplies in the closet and choosing a few for display. I decided these wall curios would do the job.
BEFORE: Ordinary wall curio
I staple gunned a piece of fabric to the back to add some color. Now I have a one-of-a-kind shelf to display only the prettiest of my craft supplies. Tomorrow I’ll show you more about the stuff that got hidden.
AFTER: Fabric-backed curio
One of the problems I had in my craft/play room was this bland folding chair:
BEFORE: Bland folding chair
It was comfortable enough, but I really hated the look of it. I mean, what’s more boring than beige? I toyed with the idea of spray painting the metal parts, but decided against it because the kiddos are always climbing on it and playing under it. I just didn’t want to add any more chemicals to their little world.
While staring at it one night, I realized the padded part could be unscrewed and thusly covered with new, more appealing fabric. I have never upholstered anything before, but this was easy. I initially tried to use my staple gun, but I quickly realized that my staples weren’t fitting correctly and their little pointy ends would be poking my back and bum.
So I went to my go-to Plan B: FabriTac. I laid the fabric out with the chair piece over it and roughly cut out how much I would need. Starting with one edge, I put a strip of glue on the piece and pulled to fabric up and around it. It was a quick and easy fix– just the kind I like.
AFTER: Fun Folding Chair
You know how when you were a kid and you stayed home sick from school and you dreaded going back because of the pile of make-up work you would have to do? I’ve been playing catch-up all week after being sick. Since my little Boo-Boo and I are both feeling better, I’ve been working like a busy bee on my project. I have several posts lined up this week, so keep checking back.
I managed to squeeze in this February’s Lil Magoolie Colour Me Happy challenge thanks to Leap Day. (It is still February in The United States, so I hope this one counts!) The challenge was to paint a piece of furniture. Well, I’ve never painted furniture before so I was a little intimidated with the thought of sanding and drop cloths. Also, I didn’t have anything I wanted painted. Then I realized that this Ikea mirror is sort of like furniture…
BEFORE: Plain Jane Ikea Mirror
So I added a touch of pinky-coral and a strip of Contact Paper.
AFTER: Painted mirror
Before I started to work on my mammoth organization project, I decided to do something to give the room a quick flush of color and whimsy.
Some time ago, we used shaving cream and food coloring to marble color some shapes cut from coffee filters. This activity isn’t my original idea; it was all over Pinterest and if you Google “shaving cream and food coloring” you can find several blogs and even a few You Tube videos. I decided to use coffee filters instead of paper because they tend to be more porous and a bit translucent.
I cut them into different shapes (Bean was learning names for shapes at the time.) and gave her a tray of shaving cream with a few drops of food coloring and let her start swirling.
BEFORE: Food coloring and shaving cream make marbled prints on coffee filters
We talked about the shapes and different colors. You could also expand it to color mixing for older children. Then she laid the shapes on top and tapped down gently. (Okay, I did most of the gentle tapping!)
Afterward we let them dry and brushed off the slight filmy residue. AND if you are worried about wasting the shaving cream, I used it as a window cleaner after we were finished!
So these little marbled shapes have sat around for a while and they made their way into the craft/play room. A few were eaten by Boo-Boo, but this morning I finally hung them in the window. (I got then to stick with a dab of the glue stick.)
AFTER: Happy windows